1 Month Immersion Program Announcement

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This is a set of 50 industrial machines to enable efficient productivity on a small scale. All the designs are posted online for free, as part of a global commons.

4 minute version

So I started Open Source Ecology, coined the Global Village Construction set in 2008, and by 2011, got onto the world stage. We have now protyped about 200 machines, and it's time to get serious. At this 10 year mark of the Global Village Construction Set - I decided to write my opus - a book on this experiment - to mobilize for the next phase. Our next major milestone is immersion training - to address the need for a scalable team. Thus I'd like to announce - that This September 2018 we are offering our first ever - 5 week Immersion Program - for those who want to join us - full time.

The training is a deep dive into the basic open source microfactory: 3D Printer, CNC Circuit Mill, small laser cutter, and filament maker - which you will take home with you. We will move on to the larger machines in 2019, the aquaponic greenhouses, and houses. As I like to say - this is only the beginning.

The immersion teaches you not only how to build the production tools - but also how to design them with a modular, construction set approach - AND to design various derivative products using open development methods. We'll teach hard skills of FreeCAD and KiCAD with calculations, part libraries, and cloud collaboration. We will cover how to create new design workbenches in FreeCAD for the designs that we are making. We cover mechanics, electronics, and a modular product development method. We will teach you how to run our swarm build workshops on the 3D printer, where a heap of people build their machines in a single day. Our work thus covers both technology and human relations. We have shown that workshops can be a sound revenue model for bootstrapped funding.

The goal is that our graduates - whom we call OSE Fellows - work with us - with 25% of their time on running workshops - and 75% of the time on further product R&D, documentation, and running massive open source hardware design jams - like we did in 2012 in NYC, except now we'll go to a regular schedule. Imagine scaling the team of OSE Fellows to thousands - then we'll have the open source economy in a bag - and clearly transcend artificial scarcity.

Teh only issue is - changing the world does not rely on technology. It can help, but the human condition relies on the stories we unknowingly play out, through the fictions that society feeds us. So in order to transition from a world of permanent warfare - we also teach the open source way - about what it means to be a full and effective human. The basiline is skills of efficient productivity - both hard skills and the interpersonal. We are looking for recent college grads, generalists, and people not necessarily with the skill set, but with a mindset open to learning. We have only 4 spots for the 5 week pilot program. For those who are not in a position to do the full 5 weeks, you can also take just the intro - the first week - which is an OSE Boot Camp - and introduction to our product development methods. The first week also includes taking a 3D printer home with you. So start the conversation with us today - and apply below. Pass this on to your friends. Thanks in advance and we'll make this happen.


The importance of the microfactory is that when combined with widely available off-the-shelf components - you can make things like rubber tires, cell phones, and aerial drones - or a wide array of consumer goods. If something breaks - you can fix it because you built it - thereby creating lifetime design. The microfactory feeds on scrap plastic - turned into 3D printing filament - thus closing the material loop.

We use a construction set approach, where our machines are being made on a scale competitive with industrial productivity - yet done on a small scale.

We plan to launch crowd design incentive prizes as part of this work as well. We will be launching the Open Source Microfactory Incentive Prize on HeroX at the same time - with a prize for the best example of an open source, closed loop production system - with a professional cordless drill as a specific product.


Friends, after a decade of Open Source Ecology prototyping and builds - we are glad to announce our first ever immersion training program. This is 5 week program from late August to the end of September. We will train you to work full time with OSE as a e a full time Developer - an OSE Fellow. The program focuses around the basic level of the Open Source Microfactory. We will build 5 machines: the 3D Printer, CNC Circuit Mill, small laser cutter, and filament maker with plastic grinder. This is small scale and very basic yet powerful toolset that allows for the production of many consumer goods - with the feedstock being scrap plastic. You will learn our open source product development toolchain for mechanics and electronics. Using FreeCAD and our design guides, you will learn not only how to build these tools - but how to design larger and smaller versions - as our design system is modular and scalable.

Ideal candidates are people who can teach, do research and development, and communicate their results effectively. We will hire 4 full time OSE Fellows as a result of this program - and there are 6 spots open for the 5 week program. We have demonstrated a viable revenue model with our Extreme Manufacturing workshops - where we teach people to build things in a single day. The market for 3D printing and the STEM education around the open source microfactory tools is significant. As such, we are using the Extreme Manufacturing workshops as a way to fund the ongoing R&D - to transcend the continuity issues involves in a volunteer project. The imersion training requires a full time, on-site commitment for 5 weeks. The first week is an OSE Boot Camp, where you will be immersed in the Open Source Product Development process - learning FreeCAD and KiCAD for mechanical and electronic design - understanding the process of using part libraries and design guides to engage in a crowd-based, construction set approach. In the first week, we will be building out the Universal Axis system as an initial instance - in the form of a fully working 3D printer.

Candidates will master the production of parts and sourcing to build the 5 machines. The intended outcome is a full capacity to not only design and build new machine iterations - but to be fully comfortable teaching build workshops. To do this, candidates will participate in a total of 4 actual build workshops - first as participant observers - and finally as the leaders. If this is interesting to you, submit your application below.