Extreme Manufacturing Workshop

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OSE creates immersion social production experiences.

OSE's version of social production experiences is the Extreme Manufacturing Workshop. This is a model of localized production proposed by Open Source Ecology. This model is based on social production, swarm builds where a large groups of people builds one or multiple products in a single day. This model includes education and production in one, where people are exposed to immersion learning of build skills. This model does not assume prior skills of manufacturing on the part of the participants. Participants can be novices, and they are guided by experienced guides. Further, looping videos provide added instructions. This model can be applied to production in local microfactories, and also for team building and skills training - or any combination of these. This model is marked by:

  • Extreme efficiency- allows for buildingn of complex or heavy machines in a single day. And this is not just assembly - it is also actual manufacturing steps of parts.
  • Forced collaboration - this is said playfully - but we emphasize our learnings from 4 years of running workshops regarding how difficult it is for a large team of people to work together. True collaboration requires a mindset that is rare in today's society - especially in a context when a team is working collaboratively on multiple machines - where each machine is taken home by different people. Some people go slow, and some go fast. It is usually difficult to get the fast types to help others - and conversely for the slow ones to accept help - usually due to issues related to ego and self-esteem. True collaborators have a small ego and a high self-esteem - which allows them to not be right all the time, and to ask for help when needed. Thus, in our Extreme Manufacturing model - we have an explicit requirement that people work to break these norms of non-cooperation, to provide for improved learning. Specifically - we move the group build together - so we require the faster people to help the slower ones when they finish a step, and we require the slower people to accept assitance. We have seen that this leads to a faster finish for everyone - including the faster people. Faster people tend to get ahead of the group - and often - due to the complexity of builds - tend to make mistakes and actually not finish faster than anyone else.
  • Modular design - modular product design allows for many teams to work in parallel on independent modules, which are then assembled rapidly into the final product
  • Automation - digital design and fabrication tools (3D printing, CNC torch table, CNC machining, etc) are key to augmenting human efficiency
  • Excellent documentation - workflows are optimized and language agnostic instructionals are available to facilitate the build process
  • Scalability - if the instructions are clear, sourcing is one-click automated, and a large enough facility is provided with audio-visual equipment - this process can scale from 12 to possibly as high as 1000 people. OSE has already demostrated a build of a single heavy machine in one day (CEB Press), 12 3D printers in one day - and one 1250 square foot house in 5 days with 60 people. We are continuing to scale our experiments to more people.


See our economic model for Extreme Manufacturing - and see our current workshop offerings at http://opensourceecology.org/workshops-and-programs/