BRV Microfactory

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This is the case for building an open source, Biorefinery and Microfactory in the Blue River Valley (BRV) of KCMO. The microfactory side would produce DIY Kits with associated trainings to empower anyone to make affordable houses, aquaponics, CEB presses, tractors, 3D printers necessary for economic development (from resiliency to abundance), social equity (from stabilization to self determination), and ecological health (from waste to value). The facility is largely off-grid, employee owned, and largely independent of weak supply chains.

the New American Dream

  • Localizing the economy with new brands and communities people grow to love
  • De-risking the community with low cost modular life giving products that increase resilience
  • Empowering people with the knowledge, jobs, and ownership for self determination
  • Healing rivers & soils by closing biological and technical material loops

Workforce Development: We train people to do one or all of five things:

  1. Build and maintain the production machines
  2. Build and maintain the machines that are produced
  3. Operate the machines
  4. Plant trees, riparian restoration, regenerative farming
  5. Start enterprises (1) producing both production and end-use machines, (2) running enterprises that use the resulting machines, (3) and (3) building replication facilities for training and production in other locations
  6. All enterprises started must be employee owned and open source.

Underutilized resources and people can build a low cost future for themselves, restore ecological balance, and jumpstart the regions material digestion system. Ideally, biological and technological material cycles would find a home. Anything ranging from...

Biorefinery Feed Stock Sources

  • Plastics
  • Food and its Waste
  • Wood
  • Chemicals
  • Fungi
  • Water
  • Poop
  • Energy

Microfactory Kits Types:

  • Modular housing
  • Aquaponics
  • Brick presses
  • Tractors
  • 3D printers
  • Gasifier + Charcoal production
  • Power Cube
  • Bulldozer
  • Inverter + Welder

Kit Levels:

  • Kit Only
  • Kit + Training On Demand
  • Kit + Training Live

Membership Program + Trainings

Managed Accounts

We resell kits, educate DIY, but most importantly we do our own projects where we live, work, and play. By producing materials and machines that create materials, we can operate like a bank. If you can't pay, you can 'clean the dishes' and help out earning base fee.

Facility Requirements

  • 4000 square feet
  • Off-grid - includes 100kW of PV energy and 50kWhr of nickel-iron battery storage. Double this would be useful, adding $50k more to the budget
  • Based on 40 acres to include integrated agriculture as part of the operation
  • Storage, Saw Mill, etc

Riskiest Assumptions

  • Site Generalist vs Specialization
  • Product sales needs to be at an predictable level. Could be testing and prototyping right now.
  • Value proposition confidence over alternatives

Equipment Base

  • Manufacturing/Construction equipment:
  • CNC Torch Table - $3k
  • Oxyhydrogen production - $1k
  • CNC multimachine - $3k
  • 3D Printer, circuit mill, small laser cutter, filament maker, plastic shredder (desktop microfactory) - $3.5k
  • Charcoal maker - $2k
  • Gasifier + engines - $4k
  • Tractor - $10k
  • Bulldozer - $30k
  • Backhoe - $5k
  • Soil Mixer/Conditioner - $5k
  • CEB Press - $7k (on trailer)
  • Welders - $4k
  • Hand tools and power tools - $4k
  • Ironworker machine - $3k

Total - about $100k



  • PV - $50k (100kW) (includes mounting + inverters)
  • Batteries - $20k ($40k for 100kWhr)
  • Powered by gasifier system - if budget is low, but is not as environmentally sound depending on location
  • Roof - $5k
  • Windows, doors, lumber - $5k
  • Foundation - $5k
  • Electrical - $2k
  • Walls - $5k
  • Labor - $10k

Total: About $100k (or $150k with more PV/storage)


Year 1

  • 7 full time engineers @ $100k/yr - $700k
  • OSE Fellows Tuition for training program x3 - $19.5k
  • Fellows Stipend x3 @$4k/mo - $150k

Subtotal - $870k

Year 2-3

  • Open Source Equipment (tractor, dozer, backhoe, CEB, mixer, gasifier, CNC torch, welder, CNC multimachine, oxyhydrogen production, gasifier, charcoal maker + BOS) - $100k
  • Open Source Facility (4000 sf, off grid PV + nickel iron batteries, CEB structure + BOS) - $100k
  • Transport - 2 containers - $20k
  • Staff + admin, 3 years - $125k
  • OSE Fellows Tuition x3 - $19.5k
  • Fellows Stipend x3 @$6k/mo - $360k
  • Travel x4, 2x per year, $2k a pop - $32k
  • Land, 40 acres (donated)

Subtotal - $757k

Total - $1.6M

White Paper Draft


Research & Development

  • Will add more to OSE Devices List
  • Fungi brownfield remediation
  • Low CO2 Concrete
  • Right to Repair Movement
  • Rapid Learning VR
  • Trash Filament


Copy Graveyard

2018 notes: The only way that any technology project will work in an area devoid of easily-available industrialized supply chains is if we build the off-grid microfactories so we can produce our own parts including engines and hydraulics. This allows leapfrogging of dependence on industrialized world supply chains, and is the only way this project could work in the 5 year term. As I outlined before, it would be 3 years to the basic off-grid microfactory. It would take another 2-3 years from there to get to producing our own parts. This is what we are trying to sell, so if the question is can we deliver, I just ask if we have a budget to do this. And to the client - the question is do they want to support this. The pilot here is to demonstrate that industrial productivity can be achieved on a small scale, and that it can be done with basic training if open source know-how is available.

For a facility that produces CEB Machines and other supporting construction equipment necessary for building with CEBs, we propose to build a facility that uses all open source equipment, that is land-based, and that is made from the CEBs themselves.

Business Model of Facility

  • Facility produces CEB block, rents machines, does training programs and training workshops, trains foreign aid workers in field work, produces machines, runs OSE Fellow training programs
  • Baseline: 3 OSE Fellows run training operations for producers, entreprenuers, builders; also they run Extreme Manufacturing Workshops for clients - a model that we have proven in the USA


  • Should add 50% to facility and equipment cost (another $100k) to take care of overruns
  • Hiring risks - finding qualified designers/engineers
  • Hiring risks - finding qualified OSE Fellows
  • Enterprise risks - viability of the business model that has worked in the USA (Extreme Manufacturing) but may not work in Africa
  • This has never been done before. But we can either sell sugar water, or take a chance to change the world.


  • Ability to source virgin steel
  • Autonomy on off-grid equipment, facility, energy.
  • Land-based facility integrated with regenerative agriculture.
  • OSE Fellows and their tuition are funded for 3 years with financial sustainability in year 3

Budget Narrative The idea is to build a microfactory based on open source equipment, using the simplest possible design - using common, off-the shelf parts, or using parts that can be manufactured readily in the microfactory itself. That capacity includes CNC torching, CNC machining, circuit fabrication, and 3D printing. Local plastic waste can be used to produce 3D printing filament. Circuits can be built from off-shelf components. Replacement parts can be CNC machined. The only local requirements are steel and concrete. A supply of virgin steel must be available. Otherwise, the facility is autonomous on the electricity, fuel, and machine/parts supply chains by being able to use commonly-available materials.

OSE has done a decade of R&D, with the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) being 33% complete - see GVCS Completion Status. The project is under active development. To produce a robust open source microfactory, the machines involved need to be perfected. To this end, the budget involves 7 full time engineers for the first year, to handle each of the 7 main machine areas: