The Fourth Industrial Revolution’s technological advances have accelerated hand in hand with the development of collaborative platforms in the digital design of software and hardware, giving way to greater efficiency both within both production and manufacturing processes.
Wikifactory is an example of one such platform that, like a social network, connects the work of different developers and producers to make work more efficient and encourage global innovation in design and digital manufacturing of physical products. Wikifactory’s platform enables engineers, makers, and hardware startups to collaborate across the globe to design and prototype products anywhere in the world, completely online, giving another meaning to the famous saying “two heads are better than one”.
The emergence of collaborative platforms for hardware arose through the trend for “open source” product development. A concept that appeared at the end of the 80s within software, and today is known through two of the greatest references in the sector. Linux and Github. Wikifactory adopted the principles of collaboration, version control and documentation from software to provide both open and private virtual workspaces for collaboration on 3D prototyping.
Wikifactory’s platform is extremely useful, reducing production costs, enabling prototyping and manufacture where it is needed, and speeding up the creative process from concept to production. In addition, the platform empowers decentralized innovation, opening up access to industry-standard, but lightweight and agile software for both large scale and individualized, digital and small-scale production and innovation.
“Today, the decentralization of information enabled by the internet, and of design and prototyping by Wikifactory allows you to have access to a digital design made by someone on the other side of the world but be able to create the prototype product wherever you live, in your home or maker space, without the need to go to a factory,” said Carolina Portugal, Head of Community Development at Wikifactory, in an exclusive interview for Cuatro Cero.
One of the great virtues of Industry 4.0 is related to the reduction in production costs in factories and, without a doubt, platforms such as Wikifactory will contribute to achieving this objective. Manufacturing and remote collaboration in digital environments will be the new trend in the 21st century industrial sector.