ESW Project - Strawboard Machine

From Open Source Ecology
Jump to: navigation, search

See more information about ESW = Engineers for a Sustainable World


Strawboard is a solid, semistructural product made from straw or hay. One company selling a commercial product is Stramit -

The solid straw board or block is made by heating the straw (reportedly to 240F by Stramit) and compressing. See video at Stramit page.

For OSE purposes, we can consider a machine like above. It would be interesting to start with a prototype where we make straw bricks. To do this, we could take our existing machine, add a heater element to the compression chamber, and document the results.

Meeting Notes


Began CAD of

  • Mold
  • Frame

To Do

  • Meet with Marcin (3/14/14?)
  • Research heating further (Kevin)
  • Determine power source, piston, valves available (John)
  • Continue CAD (John, Justin)



Thanks for a good meeting.

For further motivation on Strawboard - I talked to my friend Alastair Parvin, founder of Wikihouse about strawboard - and we are excited about strawboard being the material for his CNC-cut houses - see his TED Talk -

For further motivation to sudents:

1. If the design is successful, OSE will build the machines during the summer of 2014 - where we will have a summer of Extreme Design/Builds. The summer session will include machines, microhouse builds, and some agriculture activity - centered around the application of our machines to these areas.

2. Phase 1 of Strawboard Machine would be a batch machine, say 3"x1' wide, for producing, say a 4' board. Then we could move to a coninuous process in Phase 1.

3. It would be good to design the Phase 1 Strawboard machine by the summer.

4. The goal is complete design and fabrication instructions.

5. We prefer Google Sketchup as the CAD platform, because everyone has access to it.

6. If the design is complete and if OSE approves the final fabrication procedure, OSE could invite ESW team members for the actual build in the summer. The build should take under a week if we follow OSE Extreme Design principles of modular design - where many of the parts can be built in parallel. Thus, we need to design with this in mind - this is something I can go over with the team.

I am posting this on OSE's FB page.

Thanks, Marcin