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Pattern Repository?
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Michael Levine
(Trout) - F

Locale: Long Beach
Pattern Repository? on 05/06/2012 11:16:56 MDT Print View

I was just wondering if there is somewhere to go for a repository of, to take a phrase from the programming community, open source patterns for projects? What I envision is:

Backpack:

35L Internal Frame Cuben, by Joe Blow
65L External Frame Dyneema, by Phil Yonkers
20L Hip Pack, by Linda Stew

Poncho:

Half Zip Longer Arms, by blah blah
Breathable cuben Pack covering Poncho, by steve kalima

Not sure materials matter or whatever, but I hope that communicates the gist. Essentially is there an organized listing of patterns people have put out that they intended to share? I realize people put a lot of time into R&D and we wouldn't want to take away from their intellectual property rights and whatnot, but some people must make something cool and want to put it out there.

Chris Muthig
(cmuthig) - M

Locale: Georgia
Re: Pattern Repository? on 05/06/2012 11:47:01 MDT Print View

I am a programmer and agree with the sentiment of wanting a repository like this for patterns.

I started a blog this year to keep track of my patterns as I go. I am a little behind, but I have been able to put a few patterns on there. I also started a page on there that I plan to link patterns as I find them. It isn't complete, but it is a starting point.

I think it is a worthy idea and will spend some time this week finding and getting permission to host patterns.

http://kringlelight.wordpress.com/santas-bag-2/

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Pattern Repository? on 05/06/2012 11:51:58 MDT Print View

This one never really took off, but the basic idea is there.

http://www.backpacking.net/makegear.html

Michael Levine
(Trout) - F

Locale: Long Beach
Re: Re: Pattern Repository? on 05/07/2012 10:30:23 MDT Print View

Also what would qualify as a jerk thing to post to such a repository? I'm way new to sewing, but can with some effort sort of reverse engineer some (okay, very few things) of what I see on the market. I've seen a couple people's attempts to re-create something commercially available. Is posting something like that bad karma? I don't think it'd really drive down sales, but I don't think a manufacturer would be super stoked to find their blueprint on the web.

How about something simple like a zpacks cloudkilt? Sheet of cuben, drawstring, hems, grosgrain. Is posting the steps for creating a kilt too much? Should info we left off like maybe the grosgrain, therefor taking away the triangle mode option and leaving Joe with some I.P. intact?

I'm wondering what you guys think. I guess I could see it both ways. I feel perfectly justified making my own re-creation of something, but I'd feel bad posting a super accurate how-to.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Re: Re: Pattern Repository? on 05/07/2012 11:05:55 MDT Print View

I make an ethical distinction between reverse engineering gear I've seen in person and reverse engineering based on pictures and specs the manufacturer has made publicly available. I also make a distinction between mass-market and cottage gear. Something like this:

Mass-market gear, seen in person and cloned (but say, with lighter materials): I'd be comfortable posting details and any patterns I made on a public forum. Wouldn't do this with cottage gear.

Cottage gear, cloned based on publicly available pics and specs (ie, posted by cottage maker): First, wouldn't bother cloning unless I could somehow customize (and maybe save weight). Might post general pics and description of my "improvements" but no plans or patterns. Wouldn't attempt to commercialize.

90% of my interest in MYOG is in _designing_ gear that works perfectly for me, so detailed how-to usually doesn't meet my needs, anyway.

Chris Muthig
(cmuthig) - M

Locale: Georgia
Re: Re: Re: Re: Pattern Repository? on 05/07/2012 11:25:07 MDT Print View

I have very rarely been able to reverse engineer from an actual product. I started out in UL making my own gear, so have never really purchased much from any manufacturers.

I doubt posting a step by step guide on how to build a MLD Duomid with exact details and measurements would ever hurt the company, because people buy it from them for the high quality that the companies guarantee and to save time. At the same time, I don't think I would ever do this.

I think the difference is the details. I made a mid once with the general dimensions of the Duomid, and it was good. But certain details were hard to copy without seeing the product. For instance, how Ron goes about finishing the peak and vent area cleanly. This proved very difficult for me trying to figure it out on my own. These details are hard to get from pictures posted on the site. And so, I would feel okay posting my pattern and descriptions of how I did it, because the way I did it is very different than Ron's (much better) way of doing it.

As far as detailed how-to's, they have their place. I have written most of my guides in a very detailed way. That was because I wanted to show the little details that I mentioned above. Such as how I went about finishing edges or connecting two difficult pieces. I normally also try to write guides that someone with very little knowledge of sewing can use. Mostly, I write details because I have found the order of sewing the most important part of putting gear together. When I make a new backpack design, I seam rip constantly because I realize that I needed to sew things in a different order, and I when I share a guide with others, I don't want them to have to seam rip ever.

But I can also agree with having an interest in designing. That is probably the part of a project I spend the most time on, and I really enjoy it. And I believe most people who get into MYOG feel that same way. I don't mind starting from someone else's project though. Let's me skip a few boring steps.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pattern Repository? on 05/07/2012 12:43:08 MDT Print View

Yeah, Chris, I should clarify: I've found detailed how-tos (including yours--thanks) very helpful, not because I'm making the piece the instructions refer to, but as a template to think through organization and procedure for a project. I'll modify, but two (virtual) heads are better than one, as they say. And I still get plenty of use from my seam-ripper.

With regard to IP, I've spent my whole working life in some form or another of creative industry (cooked professionally, building trades, fine art, design). I've noticed a strong correlation between people's depth of experience and their level of humility regarding their own unique innovations, inventions, etc. Generally, I think that holds with respect to cottage makers. I don't think it's an accident so many of the cottage makers are very generous with information on these forums, and I deeply appreciate it.

David Scheidt
(dscheidt) - F
Re: Re: Re: Pattern Repository? on 05/07/2012 12:59:31 MDT Print View

There's very little that someone with a piece of gear and a tape measure can't figure out how to copy. If you're willing to take it apart, there's even less. You can be sure the big gear companies buy each other's gear to see what they're up to. They probably don't copy patterns, because it's not really a time or money saver for them to do so.

Daniel Sandström
(sandstrom.dj)
My thoughts on 05/09/2012 01:57:51 MDT Print View

I think Chris Muthig had a lot of good points, especially about which part is actually hard, putting it all together in the right order. I don't get a bad conscience about "copying" other designs - see Everything is a remix on Vimeo . Also, Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. :)

About the repository. Good idea. Except, I actually think this forum is the best place to post myog projects. I mean, we already post myog projects, both big and small, short and detailed. Plus the supervaluable, Active comment feature where everyone can ask about details.
On patterns. As it is now, it's handled with embedded images (more or less poor/ok) or sending files on request (quite ok). So a place to upload files would be nice, but someone would have to maintain the site, which usually only works for a year or two. Then again, how about BPL supplying a ftp server? Although that would probably cause some conflicts. Just thinking out loud. :)

Good idea non the less.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: My thoughts on 05/09/2012 09:36:33 MDT Print View

My perspective on copying gear is go for it. If you are making gear for your family and friends feel free to copy anything you want, I wouldn't have sold anything to you even if you didn't copy mine because you want to make it yourself. I say post all the instructions you want and feel free to take directly from my products or ideas. But please keep your work for fun. If you start selling stuff that are mostly my ideas or that of another gear maker you aren't adding anything new to the community and are just stealing from the people who helped you on the front end. I am always willing to answer questions about how to make your own stuff but please don't steal my effort and sell it as your own, but make them for friends or family all you want. I won't even get mad if you charge them materials but once you charge labor you are taking my customers and that is rude. My thoughts.

-Tim

David Scheidt
(dscheidt) - F
Re: My thoughts on 05/09/2012 20:51:48 MDT Print View

I just replaced a couple zippers in my girlfriend's (commercially made, and old) pack. It was blindingly obvious the order in which the seams were sewn, at least for the seams that are dependent on each other. There were a couple of surprises (a zipper that seemed to have been sewn to the pieces of the main pocket with no sliders, the two pieces sewn together where the zipper wasn't going to be, the sliders installed along with stops, for instance. I wouldn't copy that: it made replacing the zip very complicated, and I'd have had a very hard time getting the sliders on that late, where access is limited. If they had some machine that made inserting sliders easier (or just someone who did more in a day than I'll do in my life), it probably saved them three or four handling operations, which is real money.) Where the seams are dependent on each other, it's either not important, or it's pretty clear to someone with some experience that doing Y before X will make X harder, so do X than Y.

There are many things that are not possible to figure out from just inspection of existing equipment. You can't, for instance, work out why they're using a particular fabric, and not a different one that you'd think is equally suitable. The answer could be all sorts of things: they didn't know the other fabric existed, they couldn't source it (cheaply enough, or reliably enough, or at all, or in the right colors, or ...), it was too hard to sew properly, or it could be that they discovered in field trials that it isn't really suitable. that has to come from experience, and that's what makes fora like this so valuable.