Open Circuit Institute

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This information has been taken directly from the "About" page of OCI on 1JAN2018

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What is the Open Circuit Institute?[edit]

The Open Circuit Institute (OCI) is a community devoted to open source circuit board design, manufacturing, and theory. The community consists of engineers and hobbyists alike - and anyone can join and contribute. OCI is first and foremost a circuit design repository. These circuits can be stand alone devices, or constituent pieces that can be used in more complex circuit boards. OCI also has aspirations to be an educational resource, lowering the barrier of electronics to all non-professionals. Anyone can design and create their own useful circuit boards!

A point of emphasis - What makes OCI unique vs other similar sites is that we're looking to create a comprehensive repository of circuit boards. So your submisson doesn't need to be extremely unique and creative to be considered "good content." Everything has its place from simple LED blinkers, to particle accelerator control boards.

What is our Purpose?[edit]

  • Sharing Designs: Log in and share your circuit board designs and tell the community a little bit about them! Or download, make, and test someone's design. Make modifications or improvements and re-share designs. Your OCI page can be a good place to share your skills with potential employers.
  • Expedite the Design Process: Why re-invent the wheel? Check OCI for the design you need. Or perhaps you can find components required by your design and add them to create a more complex device. Also since the target of OCI designs are to be home-manufacturable, you can have the designs same day.
  • Open Platform for Cheap and Effective Boards: DIY boards can be very in-expensive and easy to maintenance. Since the designs are open, you really do own the board! You know exactly how the board works and have a community devoted to making the repository of designs as good as it can be.
  • Defined Design Standards: Manufacturing boards can be difficult if you don't know what you're doing, and can involve a lot of trial and error. We define valid design standards to keep designs easy to manufacture, and consistent with other designs on the database. OCI also provides a Universal Parts List (UPL) which is a list of parts that are versatile and can be used for many designs. Using parts from the UPL will reduce time spent selecting parts, and ensure that others can build your boards quickly - given they stock parts from the UPL.
  • Educate Interested Hobbyists and Non-Professionals: Board design can be tough. OCI provides concise instructions on how to develop a circuit board from scratch. Using the UPL simplifies the process since options have already been narrowed down to general parts. Out database of designs can also act as a great reference to help understand how board are designed and how they work.

How Can I Contribute?[edit]

  • Upload your Design: Log in and upload your design. Your designs will fit best if they follow our design standards and use parts off of the Universal Parts List
  • Contribute to our Forum: Ask questions, discuss design theory, debugging advice, build teams, all at the OCI Forums
  • Add a Request for A Design: Not sure how to design circuit boards but have a great idea? Add the idea to the Design Requests page!
  • Create someone's design request: Have engineering skills but don't know what to make? Find a design idea you like on the Design Requests page and try and make it a reality!
  • Download and Fabricate Someone else's Design and Provide Feedback: Browse the Whole Database, or see Hot New Designs. Create them and let the user know how it worked!
  • Improve an Existing Design: If you download someones design and modify it, share it back with the community. That is how Open Source creates great new things!
  • Help fund This Site: By clicking the Donate button, you can help keep this site running. Funds will go to hosting costs, advertisement to build our user base, competition prizes, open source product development, and educational video production (parts for circuits)