OpenDesk files gone?

Is it just me or are all of the OpenDesk DIY files missing? I keep getting a message that says, “DIY Files available for download again soon” no matter what product I click on.


I saw that on a couple files last week :frowning_face:

Not as open source anymore

Cynical me thinks credit card button coming soon, the other personality thinks disk space issues or site rework

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I emailed them about a missing file last week and they said they were assessing how their files are being used and who is downloading them so I’m a little worried about the credit card button

The CC-NC-BY license they used means that we can share any files we have downloaded here without issue, right?

Yep, the files can be shared, but the NC means that you can’t charge for them or
use them and sell the resulting objects


This would indicate ‘yes’, so long as we include the copyright, state any changes, and give credit. IANAL, and the linked site is not a source of legal advice…

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Didn’t I see someone in the forums say they had downloaded all of the files at one point? Sure would be nice if they (the files) ended up here. :slight_smile:

The Sketchup 3D Warehouse has .skp files of some of the designs…

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@bar, The CC-BY-NC means that it can’t be used for “commercial purposes”. Since this term is ambiguous, the use of the NC has come under criticism. Personally, I would hesitate to use anything with a CC-NC license attached.

Not all of the’s designs are under a “non-commercial” license. There are many that are under a CC-BY (by attribution) or CC-BY-SA (by attribution, “share alike”). For those that are interested, the “About The Licenses” page on the website.

OpenDesk has a GitHub repository with a few design files that are labelled with a CC-BY license, though they look to be 2+ years old. We might want to consider collecting the free/libre designs provided by so if they decide to close off access, the design files are still available to the community. At worst, we could try and use the Wayback Machine or some other internet archiving service to find the design files that were available under a free/libre license.

I think the designs are great. I hope that the folks won’t thumb their noses at a community that actively uses their designs and promotes their work.


Wow @abetusk , thanks for sharing the OD GitHub repository! I particularly love the wood joint zip file on there!!

I also found an “Open desk” account on Open Bricks that has 8 Open Desk designs, most of which are under a CC-BY license. It looks like these were uploaded in the early 2016 period.

I also found some other accounts with OpenDesk files, like on SketchFab, but have yet to find any with the full complement of design files that are on the OpenDesk website itself or that have proper license files. For example, the SketchFab files have no license associated with the files they offer from Open Desk.

@bar, any word from the Open Desk folks?

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No word, but I haven’t emailed them a second time

Edit: I hadn’t spent much time on Open Bricks…there’s a lot of cool projects in there even if the organization is a little tough to sort through

I’ve struggled with Open Bricks. There is definitely neat stuff on the site but I cannot find a way to sort and view them in a way that makes sense. It’s like digging in a sandbox - sometimes you find a gold nugget and sometimes it’s a cat turd.


Man, I gotta upgrade my sandbox! I’ve never found a gold nugget ever!
What kind of sandbox do you have!?
I find mostly old G.I. Joe parts and an occasional cat turd.


I live-chatted with OpenDesk this morning:


Thanks for doing that. An interesting exchange.

So at face value they’re doing some marketing research. These are open source guys, not experienced business wizards, and could just be fumbling around a little while they’re learning. If so let’s wish them a wild success.

Wonder what that questionnaire looks like.

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@mooselake, I think you’re right that they’re fumbling around a bit. I do wish them all the success but it would be nice if it didn’t come at the cost of usability for the community that’s interested in using their designs.

For what it’s worth, I found that many of their design files are still available after the usual email form fillout requirement. For example the “Slim Chair” is still available for download. Others are as well but it’s hard to filter on what’s available and/or what license they’re under.

Also note that I just received a marketing email from the OpenDesk folks about their new “tailoring” service. I think the idea is that you can change the dimensions of the design files, with certain constraints, to better suite inidvidual needs.

Maybe their new feature rollout coincides with marketing research shenanigans.

Or they’re just new at it. Might be a good sign they’re not polished marketing people. Look at the Tiko disaster.

Open source is a hard business model, particularly intangibles like software and design files. No consistent source of income, and in the real world your people need food, housing, internet, cell phones, Starbucks, etc. If you try to switch to a more income oriented model the knives and axes come out. Hardware’s a little easier but if you do well the mega factories start cranking them out without passing much back to the creators (think Prusa copies on every corner, think they contribute to Josef?). Ideas are easy but turning them into products takes work and sacrifices. Look at Bar (and the community helping him) trying to bootstrap a business - if he had the end of the rainbow pot it would be easy to order up a few hundred thousand motors, etc. and ship kits ten minutes after they were ordered. Hard to find a mermaid, unicorn, or whatever they call them now if anybody can take your design and run with it.

OK, off the soapbox. Appreciate your tolerance


One item to factor in is that with success comes cost. Depending on how they are hosting their files they could be incurring increasing bandwidth costs.

I also think they are trying to figure out a model that compensates the design creators and create some predictable revenue. Currently only those with their commercial license or orders originating on their site are providing income.