DE Blog Post

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Main thoughts on de

1. Goal - OS 2. Increase it from -6. Our metric is >, not -6. 2. Quality/price/speed trio. 4. 2 issues on ppl - Ethically, we find it problematic. It's a modified nc. It gives a message that it is ok to be closed - if you pay up. OSE's position on open source is that it is a desirable philosophy, as it gives the 4 freedoms. Practically, it appears to be unenforceable due to its arbitrary distinction between 'good' and 'bad' use, and it appears to be designed for corruption, as discussed in more detail by Ralf schlatterbach. We still agree with the ppl licenses aim of creating the commons, but we think that an open source license is the best way to achieve this goal. The Ppl is not open source according to the official open source hardware association definition. In case any reader is questioning the validity of the OSHWA definition, allow me to point out that the OSHWA definition is based upon the open source software definition - a historical creation based on 4 freedoms. OSE' support of these 4 freedoms is non-negotiable: Open Source Ecology is open source as it's name suggests. You can read more about how OSE's financial sustainability and growth model relies on open source.

Essentially, our distributive enterprise model relies on products being open source - otherwise, we couldn't publish our enterprise model or teach people - unless we accepted licensing complications and overhead. Such competitive waste is not consistent with OSE's drive for radical efficiency.

Our drive for such radical efficiency says to the world: a world without bureaucracy IS possible. We encourage others to act on this radically simple stance. Open source allows us to practice this efficiency - and as the world becomes more efficient, we believe that it is simply a mattr of time before open source efficiency trumps the perceived advantage of monopoly capitalism.

So now on to the enterprise models that we are trying to develop. We are going to test them with the brick press - simply because the brick press is the most well-developed of our machines. This means design, build, and build optimization have been completed. We have demonstrated a proof of concept of radical build efficiency: we built it in a single day. We underscore this point because it is this short build time that allows us to run our production workshop model.

Why not test the Distributive E model with any other? No other one of our machines is the point of development as the Brookcress namely up to the fabrication optimization part. The tractor is about 90% it needs work. The laser cutter is a 5 day build. The Power cube is a 2 day build. The power cube is finished up to a stable design, but not a one day build. The 3D printer is well-developed if we build upon RepRap - but we are not aware of anyone building a complete, top performance 3D printer. The closest to the desirable working model of effective production that we know of is 3d4edu, where they build a dozen printers from scratch in 3 days in a workshop. Hydronics is building upon this, and we would like to build upon this to build a dozen or two printers Ina single day. These are all formidable crowd production engineering tasks - and to date, we know of only our brick press as the most rapid build of a large machine on this planet. Even if you consider our full size tractor, which we can build in 5 days. Production data from Mahindra&mahindra tractors, the largest tractor producer in the world - takes about 5 days to build one of thei tractors, according to their production and workforce figures. When we bring outer tractor production down to a single day, our build duration will be 5 times shorter. Such is the evidence for the case that distributed manufacturing can compete with mass production. We have just scratched the surface on this - there are both design and build optimizations that we still need to do on the tractor. The enabling feature is modularity, which allows for a parallel, swarm build:

Typical short build.


In the meantime, the brick press is our first test case. Machine simplicity and modularity is the reason that it can be built fast in a swarm build process. Or, the machine can be built in a longer time by a single person. Our current estimated total build time is 50 hours. 10 skilled people can in principle do a build in 5 hours. We have demonstrated that 10 unskilled people under the guidance of a production leader have built the machine in a time period from 9 am to midnight on that long, historic day of Dec 18, 2012. And that day, there were several mistakes made and the process was far from seamless - so we know the time could be cut significantly. These are the Resulting brick compresive strength data and block uniformity data.

I would also like to bring up house production time results. Microhouse 4 resulted in the sjhell and roof being built in 5 days - with many mistakes and learnings. The main one was the usual suspect - incomplete design documentation, for those parts that were documented, the build was seamless - we installed the rood it in a single day of time by building modular panels Ina swarm process.


  • cost of constructing a new home - average 2500 SF and $400k - [1]
  • average home is 2600 SF, contractor cost is $300k.