Author Archives: Marcin

OSEmail – October 2019 Update

via Open Source Ecology

Things are heating up for winter with several updates:

  1. Open Source Microfactory Startup Camp – first ever enterprise development immersion Nov 9-30, 2019 at the OSE Headquarters.
  2. Open Source Microfactory STEAM Camp – Hong Kong and Belgium events are on the calendar for January, 2020
  3. We’re hiring: Senior Project Manager for the STEAM Camp program.
  4. CEB Microhouse Build in Belize – one week left for early bird registration
  5. Awakened Life Expo – free online event on leading a fulfilling life.

Foremost – we are doing our first ever event dedicated to enterprise development – a 3 week Open Source Microfactory Startup Camp. We are beginning to produce kits for the CNC Torch Table and 3D Printer.  We are hosting a development camp as a public workshop, like a Startup Camp – but longer and probably involving more power tools. If you want to start a microfactory in your home town, then join us. This is interesting for us, as it’s a first event where productization is an explicit goal.

On to STEAM Camps. Currently we are developing the Open Source Microfactory STEAM Camp as a regular, ongoing immersion education program to be deployed concurrently in multiple cities around the world.  Based on the success of our first STEAM Camp, we felt that we can make a dent in the universe by offering collaborative design training for public development of common products – such that we truly democratize production and bring innovation back to every community. The STEAM Camps are picking up steam, as we are are putting Hong Kong and Belgium on the calendar for January 2020. See the STEAM Camp curriculum that we’re curretly developing – it’s a powerful 9 days or collaborative design training. We still need the power electronics aspects developed – so it the curriculum speaks to your skill set, we could use your help.

To expand the STEAM Camps – we are hiring. We need a Senior Project Manager to help us organize and execute all the steps of successful Camps as we expand this program. We plan to reach 12-24 events in parallel in cities around the world – such that at each parallel event – we have a combined effort of about 500 participants who can work together on collaborative design. Do the STEAM Camps speak to you as something that can do a lot of good, and do you have the management and operations skills to execute such complex events? Then email me at info at opensourceecology to apply. This is a full time job for those passionate about open source economic development, and we are offering competitive pay. Please pass this on to potential candidates.

On another side – the CEB MIcrohouse Build in Belize is moving forward for our first international build workshop. We just tested some soils and set up the brick press for pressing. If you would like to sign up, note that early bird registration ends next week at midnight, October 22, 2019 – which is still 4 months ahead of the Feb 22, 2020 event.

Last, I was interviewed for the Awakened Life Expo – an online event for leading a more fulfilling life. I gave my two cents about the open source economy and collaborative design for a transparent and inclusive economy of abundance. You can get all 50 interviews for free from October 14-20, but you have to pay after that. Let me know what you think of this if you watch these. OSE is getting a 50/50 cut from anyone who buys the product.

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Limits to Distributed Manufacturing

via Open Source Ecology

I asked Dr. Joshua Pearce from the Michigan Tech’s Lab in Open Sustainability Technology: What kind of reception have you gotten on your 3D Printers Save You Money paper? Dr. Pearce is a leader in open source 3D printer research. The question remains: if 3D printing saves you money on making practical products, why is nobody doing it? Discuss this more at the OSE Workshops FB page.
For the most part pretty postive – lots of press – see list at bottom. There was some skepticicm – -mostly from people that had some experience that was bad with 3DP. We did another article where we took aim at some of the criticism (e.g. normal people could not build a 3DP )– so we used a Lulzbot to replicate the study — same results: Emily E. Petersen and Joshua Pearce. Emergence of Home Manufacturing in the Developed World: Return on Investment for Open-Source 3-D PrintersTechnologies 2017, 5(1), 7; doi:10.3390/technologies5010007
It seems that people are not catching or acting on the potential of 3D printers.
It is still most engineers – but I think there has been a lot of build out in schools, community centers, makerspaces and the like ….even many libraries now have it as a service….so it is coming…but the OS fall of Makerbot really hurt us in terms of speed of uptake.
Do you have thoughts on what is currently missing for practical production (ie, billions of $ of product, or at least 1% of the plastic industry) to happen more often with 3D printing as part of the circular economy?
I have looked at these numbers – we still need a lot more growth in 3DP – this means more printers, more good designs, more trust in them. We are working on AI/machine vision correction of printing errors in real time…that should help. More low cost high quality machines will do – but it looks like most non-chinese firms are moving up the food chain away from prosumers.
My thoughts are: 1. lack of quality curated design repositories, 2. lack of uniform production engineering 3. lack of 3D printers with high-temperature print chamber 4. Lack of reliable filament production/recycling infrastructure knowhow.
1. is a real problem – we need a NPO to set up something equivalent to thingiverse but have it free from all IP and leaching concerns. See my wish list https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:30880
2. hoping the ai/mv work we are doing will address this
3. We have 1 and are building a second to make it more replicable — <$1k
4. This is a major issue — I am now of the mind to move away from filament — when dealing with waste recycling – you essentially have to get 2 things right…the printing and the filament …and the latter is actually really hard with non uniform feedstock….we are moving rapidly to FPF work with re:3D and working on a high T version  (3) and a desktop model….
I’d like to prepare a compelling documentation of 3D printable items for a promo video that shows the full power of 3D printing. Have you curated/created more updated 3D Printable Product lists that you could share?
We have done a lot of examples — it really depends on what market you want to aim at. If you have an idea I can send over anything we have done – -best is to use Yeggi for general ideas. The higher quality designs are normally showcased on the various sites.
What is the best example of an on-demand printing service that you’ve seen that is producing common (not custom) 3d printed consumer objects?
Shapeways is probably the leader in that space.
Here is a boatload of feedback on the article in the media:

5.1 International

in America and the Caribbean

Canada

Spain

Poland

Japan

Hungary

Austria

Netherlands

Russia

UK

Norway

France

Costa Rica

The post Limits to Distributed Manufacturing appeared first on Open Source Ecology.

Scaling Open Source Product Development

via Open Source Ecology

We do collaborative design – for a transparent and inclusive economy of abundance. We talked about creating a scalable platform for open source product development since 2008 – when we first formulated the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) concept. We’ve been prototyping hundreds of GVCS machines over the last decade, but did little on productization and financial feedback loops. We watched as the project began to grow on its own (that is a line from my TED Talk, but we plateaued before widespread replication. At the same time, we developed our Extreme Manufacturing Workshop model for crowd builds. As such, we learned how to build machines – in One Day – or houses in a few days. This has become our main revenue source since our Shuttleworth Foundation funding dried up by 2014. We never developed kits or products for cash flow – it has been more ad hoc as we kept on learning. We are continuing the Extreme Builds, such as with the upcoming CEB Microhouse Build in Belize. We are now developing kits as a revenue stream. Along the lines of smaller desktop microfactory tools, we began to run STEAM Camps – with our first one 2 months ago. The STEAM Camps teach collaborative literacy applied to open source product development, where each Camp builds upon the former to develop real products.

STEAM Camps + HeroX Incentive Challenges

We would like to grow the STEAM Camps. This is relevant directly to our core mission of teaching open source product development methods. The revenue model here involves the participants who pay for the experience – which allows us to continue the events – while contributing to GVCS development in a tangible way.

The STEAM Camp worked well enough in our last STEAM Camp that we are scaling the STEAM camp effort. The idea is to continue developing – both hardware and the curriculum – as part of the actual Camps – until we arrive at economically viable products. If this addresses making a living for all the instructors – then it’s a win for the open source product development method.

Another important purpose of the STEAM Camps is training people for Incentive Challenges. On September 1, 2020 – we plan to launch a $250k incentive challenge on HeroX. The challenge involves design and enterprise blueprints for the world’s first, open source, professional grade cordless drill – made from waste plastic. The challenge involves developing a garage-scale microfactory that can achieve this. The microfactory includes 3D printing and plastic recycling.

By using open source design and recycling capacity – we are creating the circular economy and finally taking consumer goods out of the waste steam. This is a 10x lifetime improvement over industry standards. To us, lifetime design is a game-changer from the environmental perspective – and also from the human treadmill perspective. If products last a lifetime, then we don’t need to buy new ones and thus we increase our economic freedom. Lifetime design is key to environmental integrity, and it is part of a paradigm shift in production. Lifetime design would require a transition to design-for-improvements and design-for-repair – as opposed to growing landfills. Indeed, we plan to offer a lifetime warranty with a twist – in that the product will improve in time – not degrade. By virtue of modular, open source design – products can be upgraded or repaired.

Unleashing Creativity

The goal of the Incentive Challenge is to show the first clear example that open source product development – coupled with distributed production – can produce common consumer goods better, cheaper, and faster than proprietary development. If a strong example can be made of an open process like this working beyond software – with hardware – then it is likely that the process can be applied to any other hardware product. This has actually already happened for 3D printing – but nobody noticed.

We foresee a shift to the open method of development in hardware. That is – we see that open hardware will follow the pattern of open source software – the fringe movement from 1991 that now dominates the world. This is simply inevitable.

However, does open hardware make a fundamental paradigm shift in society? Not without an upgrade in the software of the human brain, which requires a shift from competitive to collaborative. Our big question is, How do we transition the economic paradigm from proprietary to collaborative development? Open hardware is a prerequisite. Our goal is to show that this prerequisite is possible – within a year of Sep 1, 2020. We would like to spin off small enterprises producing cordless drills in many communities – alongside the other 4 giants who currently dominate the $10B cordless drill market. Our goal is to achieve Distributed Market Substition of cordless drills within a 3 year window. Why? So that we achieve a data point on the feasibility of collaborative development producing superior results to proprietary development. Distributed manufacturing would require novel production engineering and distributed quality control. We’re working on it.

We think that such goals are beyond any individual or existing company – and that only an unleashed, collaborative process, and collaborative culture can accomplish such product. If this succeeds, we will have rewritten human economic history. If we fail, we will have learned much about open development. I don’t think that any compelling evidence exists for centralized, proprietary production remaining a superior way to do business in the digital age – if efficiency, effectiveness, environmental factors, and social factors are considered. The efficiency can’t be the current “this is the most amazing drill but it lands in a landfill in 3 years.” It must instead be an efficiency that reflects more circular economy principles:

For OSE, principle 2 (share), and principle 3 (design out all negative externalities) includes organizing as a Distributive Enterprise so that we aren’t ”reinventing the wheel” as us typical when multiple companies battle to design almost identical products. The preferred solution is to collaborate – which can also be reframed as ”competing with mediocrity”, not with other companies.

So let’s do it. The best way to predict the future is to create it, paraphrasing Lincoln et al.

STEAM Camps + Incentive Challenges as a Distributed and Scalable Route to Open Source Product Development

Our current approach is to run with the STEAM Camps and Incentive Challenges to scale development. The STEAM Camps must be really good – if they are to make impact. Thus, the promise is:

  • To provide an amazing experience that spreads by word of mouth
  • To teach fundamental open source product development skills, using fully open source toolchains
  • To develop real products during STEAM Camps, and produce a real contribution to [[Distributive Enterprise]]
  • To build a team of instructors, for continuing the development effort
  • To do all of this with a bootstrap-funded model
  • Point 5 relates to the structure of mainstream funding, which we think can easily contribute to structural evil. In the typical get-a-buttload-of-money-and-exit model – there appears to be little vetting for the true merit of any enterprise. That is – throw enough money at it – and it will succeed. The only problem is, you could be creating a monster. For this reason, we like the bootstrap funded way, because it forces an enterprise to succeed on its own merit, and does not limit someone without money. Bootstrap funding is more relevant to widespread replication – just skill and perseverance are prerequisite. Yes, the number of entrepreneurs is small, but our goal is to lower the barriers to entry.

    But how to get critical mass – for product development and enterprise creation – by bootstrap funding? By incentivizing collaborative development properly. This is our current effort to do just that.

    To create a compelling product in the STEAM Camp, we need to up the collaboration by building an A-team of instructors/curriculum creators. I’ve been contacting people to help co-create – and The Invitation still stands. This new experiment aims to live up to our mission of ‘collaborative design for a transparent and inclusive economy of abundance.’ Forget the DIY spirit that I mentioned in my TED Talk – we need to Do it Together (DIT). But – how do we pay a dozen instructors if you are running a single STEAM Camp? Impossible from a single event. But quite doable if we run multiple events at the same time. Running multiple events allows us to attract as many instructors as needed to share the prerequisite development effort. The limiting step is finding and on-boarding qualified instructors – who can develop curriculum, teach, design, and prototype – with the caveat that they all be open source super-cooperators. Organizationally – finding more people is more effort, but it pays off.

    The Invitation

    Forming the team appears to be the hard part. I’m writing this blog post to communicate this need.

    The Invitation is to join the team of instructors. It’s an open invitation, with the requirement of a track record in open AND collaborative work. Have you done any open design or developed any product under an OSI or OSHWA-compliant license? Can you learn the 9 day curriculum well enough to teach it? Then join us. You will have to produce curriculum and prototypes, and you will have to learn with the other instructors so you can teach effectively. The biggest requirement is your subscription to open, collaborative culture. We start by collaborating on development – learning open hardware, enterprise, teamwork, and many different skills that allow us to grow successfully. We will do multiple events in different locations in parallel – on a 3 month development cycle.

    What Exactly is the STEAM Camp Teaching?

    The STEAM Camp contains theory but focuses on the hands-on imperative. In the first 4 days of the camp, every participant builds and takes home a 3-in-1 CNC machine. We also build a cordless welder. This is possible by using a modular approach with proven, open source modules, and the lowest unique part count of any CNC system in the world. We rely on the Universal Axis with the Universal Controller to build a 3-in-1 machine with quick-connect toolheads. The toolheads are a 3D printer, plotter, and CNC mill. These tools are used to make 3D printed parts and electronic circuits (plotter). We include other builds that show a vast diversity of builds: brushless motor, Arduino Uno, charge controller, battery packs, and power electronics controller – all built from scratch. The 5 project days include and a choice of (1) aerial drone, (2) raspberry pi tablet, or (3) vacuum robot. We will move on to other builds in successive events and diversify to the Extreme Manufacturing of larger goods – such as electric vehicles or induction furnaces. These builds are to be completed in a short time frame by careful selection of robust design, simplicity, modular components, low parts count, and pre-made parts – while using quality documentation. We work from well-prepared kits – but the kits consist of basic parts that go deeply into the underlying design: rods, bearined, belts, wire connectors, bolts, stepper motors, etc. Because our design features high modularity and the lowest unique part count of any CNC machine in the world – rapid builds are still possible. With the 3 tools, derivative products can be made from scratch by 3D printing, making circuits, using basic jigs, and using common off-the-shelf (COTS)parts. The combination of digital fabrication, modularity, common off-the=shelf (COTS) parts, and robust design makes practical products feasible. The goal is to deliver industrial productivity on a small scale.

    The point is to deliver the best products possible, by developing the best designs, and publishing them openly so everyone can benefit. While this type of process does happen to a certain extent in various open source hardware projects – so far such projects are rare. We aim to create a continuous, replicable, scalable, and stable process for developing open hardware – where marketable products can be delivered on a predictable schedule. There is a level of organizational infrastructure required for that to happen. We are working on this organizational infrastructure.

    Here is a 38 minute explanation of some of the curriculum design rationale – a discussion with one of our advisors, Steve. I also mention the Open Source Everything Store, the open source version of Amazon.

    The Larger Context

    Our goal is to combining the STEAM Camps process with the HeroX incentive challenge to create a powerful platform for open product development. The STEAM Camps are designed such that anyone who takes the Camp is capable of participating in the open source design/build Incentive Challenge. We are designing the Incentive Challenges for 1000+ coopetitors, with rules of the game based on complete collaboration and building upon each other’s work. We are very clear that the OSE challenge will be different. In a standard challenge, everyone is competing (you are not allowed to copy others’ work), and thereby the product created can only be a small fraction compared to a collaborative result. In our collaborative route, participants are expected to upload their designs as soon as they have them, and others are rewarded for building upon them. Our rules are slanted for 0 competitive waste – an idea which I found completely absent in ALL of the challenges I examined. In our proposed challenge – people are still competing – but not between each other – but with mediocrity. It blew me away that I could find no other challenge (please show me otherwise) that was actually collaborative!

    If everyone collaborates, then we can in principle create a truly outstanding and complete product design. For us, the level of completion includes the open source production engineering, and the open source machine designs involved. It also includes developing enterprise infrastructure: open source revenue models, marketing, and distribution for an open source franchise. What? The open source franchise is an open source enterprise (one that publishes all of its know-how publicly) – an instance of a Distributive Enterprise. It is an enterprise whose business is putting other people in business. It’s the same as a typical franchise – except all of its product and enterpise blueprints are open source and available for use and improvement to make the world a better place.

    It is recognized that access to open networks is the largest predictor of one’s career success. We are interested in following openness because such openness in organizational design can provide the most value to the laregest number of people.

    For the specific case of the cordless drill – we would like to distribute this production to a hundred collaborators worldwide right after the Incentive Challenge. And then grow this to thousands. We have to show first that people can make a living building open source hardware. Not just a few people – but many – who all collaborate on open design and open production – with feedback loops that improve product quality. We are interested in building an organization and societal infrastructure which supports such collaboration. The infrastructure would need to include training, continuing product development, marketing, sales, standards and certification – both for products and for the producers. We believe that distributing production far and wide is a prerequisite to democratic society, and that creating such a framework is not only valuable but indispensable for human evolution.

    If the numbers of cordless drill producers grow to thousands worldwide – then we have probably achieved [[Distributed Market Substitution]] of the $10B cordless drill industry, which appears to produce around 100M cordless drills per year if an average drill costs $100. But we would need to produce 10x fewer drills, as the open source version would last 10x longer. That gets us down to 10M drills per year. 10,000 producers would need to produce 1000 drills each per year to meet this quota. That sounds about right: 100 drills per month in a garage-scale workshop. And there are about 5000 cities with populations over 150,000. [https://www.quora.com/How-many-cities-are-on-Earth] – so about 1 cordless drill enterprise per city worldwide. These large numbers sound crazy from an organizational perspective, but the trick is to do this with high efficiency and low waste in a distributed framework – because Small is Beautiful.

    Changing the World

    You may be asking how the Open Source Microfactory STEAM Camp with 4 day of training + 5 project days could change the world. First, we must ask if it has value? The answer is 3-fold.

  • Education is valuable. The market for education is $1.4T (trillion) in the USA alone [https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/04/09/1466926/0/en/U-S-Education-Market-Will-Reach-USD-2-040-billion-by-2026-Zion-Market-Research.html]. See market size. If the STEAM Camp grows into local microfactories, and then into OSE Campuses, the growth potential is significant. For STEAM Camps, enrichment programs, after school programs – just about everyone takes them. The OSE program can grow to hundreds or thousands of events worldwide. The limiting factor may be the number of qualified instructors.
  • We are developing real products. Between the STEAM Camp and the Incentive Challenge – the promise is building capacity to produce 80% of what can be found on Amazon. That is a trillion dollar market. Furthermore, the market size for all of the GVCS technologies is at least $1B for each product and its derivatives.
  • We are developing people. Instructors have an opportunity for rapid learning from their instructor peers – across technology, enterprise, and personal/team growth areas. The participants benefit from this – by being immersed in a rapid learning environment. Instructors can advance to building open source microfactories and OSE Campuses, both of which increase access to education. Imagine that Anyplace, World – now joins as a cutting edge contributor to the global community – because all of its people have access to quality education.
  • Now some more details:

  • We teach core and powerful skills. By building a 3D printer, circuit maker, and CNC mill – and building a 3D printed motor, microcontroller, electronics circuits, and a cordless welder – all from scratch – and by learning basics of FreeCAD design – and by learning basic part libraries and Universal Controller and Universal Axis modules that can be used to build other things – you have tapped a tool set of wide applicability. Because what we teach is fundamental, modular, and scalable, you can build other and larger things. In fact, if you really master the content that we teach – you’ll be able to produce 80% of the consumer goods on Amazon – just with the 3 tools you build and your skill set to take off from there. The curriculum is super tight. For the novice, we provide basics. For the more advanced students, you can always delve deeper into the essential content that we provide.
  • We collaborate. Imagine what happens when not only your group of 12 in a Camp works on a design – but if a dozen or more groups contribute. This can produce amazing results – if you know how to collaborate and share tasks effectively. We do this by breaking down the tasks into the smallest modules – and develop them in parallel. Task breakdown is a critical skill that you will learn, as is basic skills of collaborative literacy that allow you to work together.
  • We iterate. Each camp builds upon the last one. We continue developing each technology until it is a remarkable product.
  • We build leaders and teams. This applies to STEAM Camp instructors and students. Instructors are required to keep honing their skills with successive events. We encourage participants to join our development team, and to grow into Instructors. We encourage instructors to grow their skills – and build a microfactory in their community, and eventually to build an [[OSE Campus]]. We develop our ability to communicate and collaborate. We learn to create teams that work like genius – as tackling global issues requires the ability to create genius teams in a replicable way.
  • We are interested in solving pressing world issues. We believe that addressing material security for everyone is essential. We believe that access to knowledge is essential. We use the STEAM camps to create the [[Open Source Everything Store]] – a manifestation of distributed production.
  • We are open. Our inbound and outbound boundaries are open. If you want to participate, our curriculum, kits, and products are open source. You are encouraged to start a business, and we will provide templates. If you want to work with us, we invite you to our STEAM Camps, or to join as an instructor. If you join us, but think you could do better on your own, you are free to leave and use our materials to do so.
  • We are building a funding model for making an ethical living. If you don’t like working for someone and don’t like it – join us to create your world as you like it. We are working on financial freedom – a prerequisite for the world to transition beyond the loss of meaningful in peoples’ lives. ”Making a living” should not be a core preoccupation that prevents us from pursuing our true goals.
  • We are developing a different way to run the economy. The idea is simple – we are simply reformulating the economy to eliminate all competitive waste. It starts with each of us being able to use abundant resources to free ourselves from material constraints.
  • To finish up – take on The Invitation – and pass it on to your friends.

    Call to Action

    Use this form if you would like to pursue the opportunity to run STEAM Camps with us – or to suggest any other potential candidates:



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    Moving to Open Source Email List Software

    via Open Source Ecology

    We just took another small step on our path to creating the open source economy. We are pleased to announce that we have installed the free, libre open source (FLOSS) email list software on OSE servers – phpList. We are now transitioning all of our email lists into phpList. When we decided on phpList in 2018 for the OSE Newsletter, it was determined to be the most feature-rich FLOSS alternative to the gold-standard paid alternative, MailChimp.

    And this is a good time to get into compliance with GDPR – the recent European privacy regulations. To keep receiving updates from OSE – you will need to resubscribe to our lists if you are on them. Or to start receiving updates – you can subscribe for the first time:


    We have several email lists. OSEmail is our main OSE Newsletter featuring news updates, workshop announcement, progress reports, and other noteworthy items. OSEmail comes out a few times per year at monthly or longer intervals. Anyone can sign up to receive our free newsletter. You can see more information at https://wiki.opensourceecology.org/wiki/OSEmail

    We also have another newsletter for Design Sprints. Design Sprints are online virtual collaboration events where we engage in design and documentation work. Design events last from one to a few hours – typically on Friday or weekends – where we collaborate in real-time as a team. We use online editable documents and the OSE wiki to coordinate development work. Anyone with technical skills can participate, and we host several design sprints per year as needed. The Design Sprint newsletter is an announcement of upcoming Design Sprints which comes out every time that a Design Sprint is organized. It provides background information on the Design Sprint so that contributors get a heads up on what to expect. If you would like to participate, you can sign up at the Design Sprints Newsletter.

    What kind of updates do we have in store? I am taking a ‘sabbatical’ to write a book. In 2008, we formulated the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) and began blogging regularly. Continued progress got us to the world stage with my GVCS TED Talk in 2011. Since then, there has been lots of exciting developments – and not enough time to document them. At this here one decade mark since the beginning of the project – I decided to write a book about our learnings – and how to take the Global Village Construction Set to the next stage. The experiment is as alive as ever, with every day producing new evidence that transcending artificial scarcity and achieving freedom – for the first time in human history – is more possible than ever.

    Still, we are far from the kind of impact that Linux has done for software. Why? That is the central question I will attempt to answer – as we focus for the next decade on opensourcing critical infrastructures of material prosperity. That is a prerequisite to self-determination and freedom – a central question that our civilization has not yet mastered. And many question whether we will survive at all. In another decade, end of 2028 – I’m retiring for the third time to work on applications of technology, not technology per say. That means helping people to grow – and building village campuses for global regeneration.

    I believe that taking OSE to the next level requires a thorough analysis of all OSE learnings – as well as a survey of all knowledge gained by civilization to date across many disciplines. This helps put our work into perspective – as we are doing nothing new. We are just integrating and applying existing know-how and standing on the shoulders of giants.

    So if you would like to keep receiving OSE news – or to join our mailing list for the first time – please do so by subscribing to the list below. For reasons of GDPR internet privacy regulations, we require that everyone on our existing lists resubscribe so that OSE is in compliance with the regulations.

    OSE Clubs

    via Open Source Ecology

    Open Source Ecology’s goal is to create the open source economy. What does that mean? It means simply an economy where collaboration is the norm – where access to knowledge, informaiton, and design is free and public – as opposed to the industry-standard system of competitive waste.

    We build 3D printers and tractors. In One Day. And we build houses – in 5 days.

    We just finished our first ever immersion training program, hired two people, and plan on doing the next immersion program in May of 2019. Our goal is to double every year until we reach 1000 full time developers by 2028 – having completed the entire Global Village Construction Set by that time.

    Our current strategy revolves around Extreme Manufacturing Workshops as the revenue model, and we are just adding kits to our funding model, starting with the 3D printer and moving onto tractors, houses, etc. We are not funded by foundations – but via a bootstrapping route – which we think is more scalable. The vision is public design for the common good – and to achieve that, we need developers.

    We have an active development team – reflecting about 4 full time equivalent effort as of the end of 2018 –

    Fig. 1. Development effort from January 2017 to the end of 2018.

    This is a small but ongoing contribution, and to meet our 2028 development goals we would need to grow significantly. Our current effort is far from the 100 full time effort that I would like to have seen by this time, and further still from the 1000 full time effort that is required to achieve the same level of impact that Linux was able to achieve.

    One way we can get closer to our goals is OSE Clubs – and we have just started our very first club at the London International Academy in London, Ontario, Canada. William Neal is leading this club. William first came to the OSE site in 2010 – and has been infected with the OSE method ever since. He built our compressed earth block press in China, and has been promoting OSE work in his classes.

    The main requirement for OSE Clubs is a strong stakeholder – a mentor to maintain continuity. We train the mentor in an intensive 3 day program, for which the mentor can also receive professional development credit. This program is open to anyone worldwide who can commit to running an OSE Club.

    The main focus of OSE Clubs is continued development on the OSE Roadmap for 2028. We meet with mentors on a weekly basis, and the mentors provide the leadership for their club. Every 3 months – we do an Extreme Build Competition – which is really a Coopetition – a collaborative competition. Teams meet in real life for an Extreme Build of a project that they have been designing and prototyping over a 3 month period. This is similar to FIRST Robotics Competitions, except the goal is explicitly on design for public good rather than preparation for the military industry.

    In the OSE Coopetition – the reward structure is based on the level of cooperation, and we are considering build speed as one of the main judging criteria. This is consistent with our vision of Extreme Manufacturing – where swarm builds can produce industrial efficiency on the small scale. We are developing this social production model to revitalize communities worldwide. We’re far from Nobel Peace Prize material at this time, but we have to start somewhere.

    First Ever Immersion Training: Growing the OSE Team

    via Open Source Ecology

    We have just completed the first ever OSE Immersion Program on the Open Source Microfactory. We are are proud to announce that Alex Au and Sara Bajor have joined the OSE team full time as OSE Fellows. As such we have raised OSE staff in number from 1 to 3. I point to these humble numbers to emphasize that we are using our bootstrap funding model to grow the organization. The main point is that as we ‘grow up’ as an organization – we transition to paid staff. This doesn’t mean that we won’t rely on volunteers any more – on the contrary – we aim to expand their role greatly – but need some measure of organizational stability to make this happen. This may be obvious to any student of enterprise – but for the longest time I’ve been thinking that the revolution would succeed with volunteers only. Since banging one’s head against a wall begins to hurt after some time, it was time to pursue a more enterprising approach. Will it work? The next 3 months will tell – as we have no runway and rely on earned revenue to keep going.

    Moving forward, we are pleased to release our new website dedicated to the open source microfactory aspect of the Global Village Construction Set:

    https://microfactory.opensourceecology.org/ 

    We are thus expanding operations to the Bay Area in the USA – where Alex and Sara are located. We begin with our offerings of 1 day 3D printer builds, to be followed soon by recycling with the plastic shredder and filament maker – for producing 3D printing filament from scrap plastic. We are doing market research to uncover where our skills and tools may be put to best use. Workshops? Teacher training? Turning libraries into maker spaces? Kits? Corporate Team Building Retreats?

    Immersion Training

    As a result of their immersion training, Sara and Alex are now working as OSE Fellows full-time. Our revenue model is running public workshops to fund continuing development. Full time development effort is critical to accelerating OSE work to completion – slated as a window of opportunity until 2028. I say window of opportunity as we are switching to the application of the GVCS in 2028 – with whatever GVCS machines that we have developed. The next area of endeavor will be, broadly speaking, training people to become Integrated Humans and who microstate entrepreneurs – reforesting the deserts of both the biosphere and of human consciousness.

    In the immediate work – if the revenue model works – we will have proven that we can scale to different locations around the world – starting with North America.

    We’re excited about the next Immersion in April 2019 where we plan to cover heavy machinery that makes building the Seed Eco-Home more accessible. Our goal is to double annually for the next 10 years until we reach 1000 full time effort, meaning that we can actually do something world-changing in a fundamental way. So far it wasn’t easy: of the 7 people who were accepted for Immersion Training, only 3 made it through the program. 3 dropped out after Boot Camp, and 1 lasted for another week. A 43% graduation rate means that in its current form, the OSE Immersion Program needs a lot of work. I’d be happy with an 80% graduation rate the next time. In the current cohort – the 3rd graduate – Dixon Nahrwold – is working as an idependent OSE developer with 60-80% effort until releasing full documentation for the laser cutter by end of December 2018.

    Given the challenges that we faced, the initial OSE Immersion crew earns my respect as true survivors. Alex, Sara, and Dixon are the early adopters. We went through a lot together in those 5 weeks – but nobody lost faith no matter what happened. As I write this – our future is not certain for the next 3 months. As OSE grows to a veritable movement – we may look at these three as The Legends.

    Here were some takeaways from the immersion training experience. You can also hear more details in Alex’s and Sara’s own words in this 1 hour YouTube recording.

    • Full Product Manual – We published our 358-page exhaustive build guide for the OSE 3D Printer. This is the most complete and finished documentation for any of our projects. We adopted a documentation process that makes building our machines more accessible to total beginners.
    • Collaborative Workshop Teamwork – We committed to a workshop model that increases collaboration between participants such that there are no stragglers. Typical workshops involve people with all skill levels – which means that some builders are faster and some are slower. This makes quality control impossible, so we are now committing to a build model where everyone is kept at the same step. The first person to finish helps others – and this continues until the very last person is up to the same step. We have found repeatedly that doing this allows everyone to finish in less time. Both the faster and slower people end up learning more. We are constantly learning about barriers to collaboration – and our renewed commitment to a truly collaborative build has the potential to scale the workshop build model to surprising results.
    • Setting Workshop Expectations – We reflected on how expectations should be better communicated so that participants understand we are actively developing and improving on prototypes rather than distributing finished products. Right now the 3D printer is at what we call a ‘finished product’ ready for widespread replication. But in reality – the product will continue to improve. Plus, our grounding in a Construction Set Approach means that we can build infinite variations – in which every new variation is best viewed as an experiment rather than product.
    • Supply Chain Issues – we though that we had the supply chain work finished – but we ran into severe supply chain issues when we switched several suppliers for the 3D printer that was built during Boot Camp. That turned the first week of the Immersion Program into a Week of Hell. We struggled all week with parts that did not work – and wasted so much time in the process that we ended up covering only 50% of the intended curriculum. Of the 18 3D printers that were built during the Boot Camp – only 10 got to their first successful print. By the end of the immersion program, we ended up switching from the Prusa i3 MK2 extruder – which was simply too difficult for most people to build – to the E3D Titan Aero – a much simpler design. The simple solution for supply chain issues is to test all components prior to workshops.
    • Holding Space for Group Processing – part of technology development involves social technology. We created space for participants to share their feelings in a safe space so we can understand our collective needs and help people manage a stressful situation.
    • Governance for Full-Time Team– We adopted formal decision-making processes that let the full time team have control over how they do their work.

    We are actively seeking ways for Open Source Ecology can support its growth by holding education workshops, building community-scale infrastructure, and supporting entrepreneurship. Right now, we’re doing research on the needs of the OSE community.

    Our one ask: chat with us and let us listen to your needs

    As we are growing – we would like to establish feedback loops on how we can serve our community better. Chat with us and help us understand what you would like to see come out of our work. What do you need and find valuable? How can OSE meet those needs? Understanding your answers would help Open Source Ecology in big way. Please fill out this survey so we can hear your feedback.

    We are currently researching how to roll out the 3D printer and the open source microfactory into communities. Make sure to fill out this form if you have insights or suggestions – so we can reach out to you.

    How can we serve entrepreneurs, producers, schools, libraries community centers, and others – while launching a public design process for the common good? The goal is to involve everyone in creating a better world.

    Please fill out the survey below – posted October, 2018 and intended for continuing data collection:

     

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    The legend continues. The Legends continue.