Simulation models

A Model of Making

Bruce Edmonds

This is a model of individuals constructing, taking apart, using tools, buying and selling objects – a model of making itself. The world of objects is an artificial world of 1D strings, but where there are complex affordances and constraints which make plans (the steps of how to make a particular object) are valuable.

The purpose of this model is to provide the simulation infrastructure needed in order to model the activity of making. That is individuals using resources they can find in their environment plus other things that other individuals might sell or give them, to design, construct and deconstruct items, some of which will be of direct use to themselves, some of which they might sell or give to others and some of which might be used as a tool to help in these activities. It explicitly represents plans and complex objects as separate entities in the model – embedding the “Atoms – Bits” distinction highlighted within the DiDIY project. This allows plans to be shared between agents which give the steps of how to make objects of use – either on a commercial or a free basis.

The framework is intended as a basis upon which many, more specific, models could be constructed, allowing the exploration of a variety of “what if” or counterfactual possibilities and thus give a concrete but dynamic and complex instantiation of the issues and situations discussed within the DiDIY project.

The model and its documentation are freely available at:

Some slides introducing the model to the DiDIY project available at: