What is kitbom?
KitBOM is a place to post and collaborate on open source hardware bill-of-materials (BOMs), the list of parts needed to build physical projects. KitBOM helps product designers and makers collaborate to create, remix and share BOMs.
Think source-code for physical goods.
KitBOM is the first service by 3D-Bots -- a new company founded to help make DIY manufacturing & open source hardware projects easier and more accessible.
KitBOM lets you collaborate to create project bill of materials, fork a project to create your own derivative, manage suppliers -- which thanks to network effects will let us bubble up the most popular vendors, fewest vendors, and (soon) vendors near me.
How did KitBOM come to be?
We started building open source reprap printers 9 months ago. In that time we built 8 Prusa Mendels, a MendelMax, and a Printrbot. In doing so we made tons of improvements to our printers -- changing out parts from Thingiverse or ordering more mass-manufactured parts as we learned where failures were likely to occur. Even though there were less than a dozen friends hacking on our printers, sharing the latest version of what we learned was a pain.
During this time we hung-out on various RepRap google groups and IRC channels asking questions, sharing ideas and helping other noobs with things we had already solved. We noticed that the majority of questions being asked were around parts needed for a build, where they were used, which were the latest version, and where could the correct parts be obtained.
After dealing with one too many wiki tables and google spreadsheets, we decided to build a dedicated tool to solve these problems. Hence, KitBOM was born.
KitBOM is still an infant with lots of growing to do. We have been working on KitBOM (and 3D-Bots in general) for just over a month full-time; less than three months of nights and weekends in any structured way.
What's up next: Finish building out inventory. Add more collaboration features. Integrate with more online suppliers.
Longer-term: Make it really easy to source the parts you need to build your project. And then help you complete your build and get the most out of that project.
The dream: We believe that once people get a taste of "making" many will want to go pro -- selling what they make or, at a minimum, sourcing parts for their local community. We want to help make that easy. Open Source Hardware can turn not only manufacturing, but supply and demand chains on their heads. We find this all really exciting.
We hope you enjoy. And we look forward to hearing how we can make KitBOM more useful.