About Us


o·brar·y \'oh-brer-ee:


The open library of products; "Let's make this product that we found the design for on Obrary."


Obrary is a marketplace of products collaboratively designed by the community. These products can be produced by anyone, amateur or professional manufacturer, wherever economically or locally practical.

We are inspired by the Open Source world that is so prevalent in the software today, from Linux to Twitter Bootstrap. Tools like Github have made open source software easy for the developer community. In Open Source, the software’s source code is made available to anyone for any use. Here’s the definition from Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software

“Open-source software (OSS) is computer software with its source code made available with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose”

We see the same benefits for the world of products. Open access to the source files of designs and the ability to improve or customize those designs will enable the community to accelerate the test/learn/iterate cycle and explore new uses for products.

For us, open also means not being tied to any one company or industry. We are an independent company and not associated with any manufacturers of products. Our solution is available for all types of design and manufacturing. We want to harness and enable Crowd Collaboration - when people get together to create something new or improve on something that already exists.
We chose to use the term Open Design over Open Source Hardware. Those terms are almost synonymous to us, but Open Design is more intuitive since more people understand design to mean design files. What’s more, hardware is not a broad enough term for the products we have in Obrary. For example, a chair is not hardware. Historically, hardware has been used to mean metalware, military equipment, weapons, or computer, mechanical, electronic devices.

Open Design

We follow the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) which you can see here.

If you use designs from Obrary:

  • You must provide attribution. You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • You inherit ShareAlike Creative Commons rules — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.”
  • You can use the design for Commercial Use  This license allows for commercial use.
  • You may have access to the designer(s)  Whenever possible, we will provide communication access to the source designer so that new designers or makers can ask questions about the design.

If you submit Open Designs to Obrary:

  • You must agree to the communal rights to share, study, change and distribute of your source design.
  • You must provide source files. The design source file is from the CAD application used to create the design. This could be Sketch-Up, Grasshopper, InkScape, etc. We believe that in order for others to iterate on the design, they are most empowered by the source file versus an exchange formats like DXF and STL.
  • You will receive improvements, augmentations and adaptations to your original design. 

Why Creative Commons?

Creative Commons has easy to understand licenses. Some other licenses have long documents full of legalize that aren’t user friendly. Creative Commons is the now the most popular licenses for hardware and designs, so our hope is that CC will be more easily identified and understood by people. The Creative Commons license is about general IP and is not just for software or technology based hardware.



Obrary was created by Eric and Scott.  They provide Obrary as a resource for the community of makers.