Could your business grow by going open source?

Businesses around the globe are inviting users and customers to co-create new products. The result? Increased innovation and scaling.

REMODEL is a free toolkit that helps you explore and develop new business models for physical products – based on open source principles.

What exactly is open source?

Open sourcing your product means making design recipes and source files for software and hardware publicly available. This approach allows users to take part in developing and improving the original product by following a set of rules that you determine: An open license to join your team – as part of a community.

In other words you outsource innovation, streamline development processes, save money and scale faster than what you would be able to do on your own.

Anders Buchmann from Bang & Olufsen talks about their open source product ReCreate.

“We believe that open source is the future of production. Through REMODEL we were challenged to think differently and it gave us a framework to rework and envision a future open source business model.”

— Ingeborg Rosenvinge, Head of R&D 3D Print, Thürmer Tools

The REMODEL sprint

Through 7 phases of hands-on design exercises and practical experimentation, REMODEL helps you uncover how to create economically sustainable open source-based business models. This happens through a sprint format.

REMODEL has been thoroughly tested by 10 Danish manufacturing companies such as Novozymes, Tekpartner, Stykka and Thürmer Tools. During the sprint, REMODEL helped them open source an existing product and conceptualize a business strategy to support it.

Take a look at the cases below.


Hear about the furniture company Stykka’s experiences with REMODEL and their transformation into a more open business model.


Alexander Moldt Nielsen from Novozymes talks about REMODEL and the challenges and organisational changes the programme caused.

Using the toolkit

The REMODEL toolkit is free to use and lets you and your company work fully autonomously and from your own location. There is no need for a trained instructor or any previous experience with open source or design methods.

The toolkit consists of 7 work packages. Each part has a step-by-step instruction and a video tutorial as well as examples of how to do it. You set a team of 2-4 employees and work through the materials at your own pace (we recommend one work package per week). Each package takes approx 4 hours to complete.

Join the REMODEL community on Slack and get access to other users, experts and the people behind it all.

Download the toolkit

Download the complete materials of the REMODEL Toolkit as a zip file here.

Below, you can find descriptions as well as guides for each phase of the course.

Phase 1

Discovering open source

You will learn the basics of open source principles by getting insights into some succesful manufacturing companies who apply open principles already. These examples show how going open can make up the foundation of a financially sustainable business strategy.

Phase 2

Imagining going open

You will dive into imagining what it would look like if you open source a product from your portfolio (or parts/elements of it). You will select who your most important users are and, more importantly, start envisioning what might motivate them to engage with your potentially open product in order to become co-creators.

Phase 3

Visualising user journeys

Here you will transform one of the user stories you made last week into more detailed storyboards that describe the interaction users will have with your product. Moreover you will identify key elements in that interaction and discuss how to open them. These open key elements work as cornerstones in open business models.

Phase 4

community & system map

In this phase you will be getting valuable expert input from your two mentors, who have been reviewing your work. Following a call with them you will update your system map and pitch according to the feedback, and then continue your dive into engaging with your potential community of co-creators: Interviewing a key ecosystem stakeholder.

Phase 5

Community testing pt. 1

In this and the next two phases you will dive into engaging with what can become your community of co-creators. In this phase you will organize a hackathon (in a simulation) to collect feedback and revise your System Map, Open-o-Meter(s) and Pitch based on that feedback. Lastly, you will send your materials to your mentors for review and commenting.

Phase 6

community testing pt. 2

In this phase you will start to lay the foundation for establishing a community around your product by mapping your existing stakeholders, and then dive into imagining the full scope of the system around your product that this community will be part of. We call this the system map.

Phase 7

prototype your ecosystem

In this final phase you will finalize your System Map before diving into crafting your community eco-system and looking at which are the key participants, what human resources you will need to establish and main it and which licenses and platforms you will need to realize it. Lastly, you will start to plan out what comes next.

Remix the toolkit

The entire toolkit is, of course, open source. If you wish to rework the REMODEL materials, you can find all source files at Github.

Please take what we’ve made and make it your own, build on it, share it, sell it – do whatever you want with it. All we ask is that you mention where the originals came from. This is our way of building assets that will continue to pay value forward to coming generations of co-creators.

The toolkit is published under one of the most open and liberal licenses available, namely the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike liscense.

Documentation and background

REMODEL has been created by Danish Design Centre in collaboration with a range of contributors. Read more.

For more information about REMODEL or to discuss facilitation, implementation or mentoring, please get in touch with open source business coach Christian Villum at villum (a) autofunk (dot) dk.

REMODEL toolkit materials are made available under a Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license, which means it is free for anyone to use, remix or build upon it for any purpose, as long as credit to the sources of original works is given and derivative work is made available under the same license.