RS Components expands its online DesignSpark platform with an open-source 'DesignShare' area to enhance collaboration



RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents, a leading distributor of electronics and maintenance products, has revealed a major extension to its online DesignSpark platform for engineers with the launch of a new open-source 'DesignShare' area. The purpose of DesignSpark 'DesignShare' is to host projects, and encourage sharing, collaboration and concept discussions in a design community environment. Developed in conjunction with Elektor, a leading magazine for electronics design engineers, 'DesignShare' is available on the DesignSpark site and includes two main areas: 'Ideas' and 'Projects'. The 'Ideas' or 'Incubator' section enables DesignSpark members to post project ideas, generate discussion and invite comment from the community. The most popular and highest rated ideas will be created as projects by Elektor via its network of engineers. As the project develops through the stages (brief, proposal, design, prototype and test & evaluation) the assets will be uploaded and shared with the DesignSpark community. In the 'Projects' area, users will find all of the available projects tagged with relevant keywords for easy navigation. The individual project pages include details of how the project developed at each stage, along with a collection of assets that will enable users to build the project themselves. Project assets may include PCB schematics and layout files for DesignSpark PCB, for example, along with mechanical blueprints, software code and/or machine code, mechanical drawings and CAD files. There is also a plug-in to the RS website where users can purchase the kit of parts. For professional projects requiring commercial confidentiality there is a 'privacy' option that allows users to limit access to selected contributors. All publicly viewable projects will be available as open source and downloadable free-of-charge. "We have developed the new 'DesignShare' area together to make it easier for engineers, students and hobbyists in the DesignSpark and wider community to collaborate on, share, and download projects and ideas," said David Tarrant, Head of Community Development at RS. "This is very much part of the evolution of the online design resources we provide to support anyone involved or interested in electronics design, and is a great way for them to communicate openly on their projects, no matter whether they are designing for fun or in a professional environment." "We chose to partner with RS on the 'DesignShare' initiative as we have a common goal of inspiring people at any level to develop their electronics design skills," said Wisse Hettinga, International Director for Elektor, part of the international publishing house, EIM. "The RS online DesignSpark community has gained enormously in popularity and reputation since it was introduced, and has an ever-increasing membership, so it is the ideal forum to reach budding and experienced engineers, and to foster collaboration and project sharing in support of continued innovation in electronics design." DesignSpark