Magpie & Open Source

To me Open Source is more than a license, it’s faith in the idea that information wants to be free; that far more people benefit when you show your working techniques, when you don't hide your innovations to maintain a competitive edge and freely share your tools for other people to perfectly recreate (or ideally, improve upon) whatever it is you do . To us, it is a subtle shift, with drastic implications, from competition to collaboration.

It is almost dizzying to look back at all the things I have learned in the past 1.5 years owing to open source projects particularly the contributions of Olivier Gillet of Mutable Instruments and Tom Whitwell of Music Thing. Since  beginning I’ve learned how to through-hole solder, SMT solder, trouble shoot circuits, polish aluminum, create panels, powder coat, screen print, flash ARM microprocessors, print circuit boards and on and on. This would not have happened if the work was closed source and sold strictly as a retail product.

As such, I personally feel indebted to this movement and humbly offer my work in the same vein in hopes that my contributions may someday be of use to someone else. For now our contributions are small, with links to our working design files and by releasing our design work into the Creative Commons, however as we slow down our production rate we plan to write blog posts on our process and delve deeper into some of the more technical aspects of our process that we have honed in on over the years.

Regarding our Files:
Our PDF files are created in Illustrator CC - They should open up and show separate layers of process ready artwork, This means that the silkscreen layer is ready to copy and paste into the file we use to create our silkscreens, The sandblast artwork is proper two tone black and white vector artwork with ‘Rich Black’ CMYK in order to make our acetates print as dark as possible and finally we have shared our cut files - which feature a larger hole diameter for pots and jacks to allow for a wide variety of DIY parts to be used.

If you open these files in a previous version of Illustrator it will compact all these down to a single layer and it will likely be a mess trying to sort it out. This layered system is ideal for visualizing the finished product if you are crazy enough to stack processes (i.e. powder coating then sandblasting then silkscreening) and to prototype different colors and techniques without having to waste a few days to actually do it.

Thanks for reading