GVCS Changes

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The GVCS will evolve over time. In fact, it's already evolving. This is a list of things that haven't been synced between the different GVCS lists.

  • The drill press is listed in the wiki menu, but doesn't appear in the wikinames list or in the budget estimate.
  • The power inverter shows up in the budget estimate but nowhere else.
  • The soil pulverizer is called that in the wiki menu, but called a rototiller everywhere else.
  • The wiki menu includes a heat exchanger, which doesn't appear anywhere else. The budget estimate and wikinames lists do include a steam generator, which redirects to heat exchanger when I search for it.
  • The budget estimate and wikinames lists include a "nursery" and/or "nursery - orchard" which doesn't seem to be a machine.

A google spreadsheet comparing the different lists

The GVCS is basically just an educated guess at what the final "set" will consist of. This is where people can suggest changes to the GVCS.

Changing the GVCS implies alterations to what machines OSE develops and what the goals of development are. The end-state will be a tightly integrated system of systems that is light-weight, flexible, scale-able, and universal.

(You can save a copy of this spreadsheet from the original Google spreadsheet)


Conversations about specific changes.

CNC Machine

The only difference between a "CNC circuit mill" and a "3D printer" is that the mill is stronger and they have different toolheads. A CNC mill could easily print in 3D if you replaced the router with an extruder. That is, of course, assuming "3D printer" is referring to thermoplastic extrusion. A powder bed printer would have significant structural differences, as would any kind of focused laser printer (powder or liquid).

Different 3D printing technologies have different strengths and weaknesses. The Thermoplastic extruders can produce parts that are useful immediately (same plastic and strength as Legos). The structural integrity of powder and liquid printers is questionable at best. However, powder and liquid printers can print truly arbitrary shapes in one pass because the print medium is always fully supported. They can even print (sort of) functional moving parts inside of other parts.

It seems like the thermoplastic printer would be the first choice. Not only is it simpler, it can take plastic rod from the bioplastic extruder and turn it into complex shapes. The print medium that powder and liquid printers us is much more specific and harder to produce. I don't think a powder or liquid printer would make sense until OSE starts wanting to produce highly complex machine components that are too much trouble to, or cannot be, machined.

Thus, skip a dedicated 3D printer and just put an extruder onto a CNC mill.


Construction goes much more smoothly when you have a crane, so the GVCS really should include one. At a minimum, a telehandler could be used as a forklift, loader and crane. The same vehicle, if you put a basket on the end of the arm, could be a cherry picker. It might also be possible to use it as a backhoe if the arm was creatively designed.



Recycling is going to be a big part of any OSE village, particularly recycling metals. Breaking up metal into small chunks that can go into the induction furnace requires a massive shredder. By changing out the cutting wheels the shredder can be used to break up all sorts of things like wood and stone. The hammermill could be an accessory to the giant industrial shredder. It could even sit underneath the shredder as a second stage that turns logs into chunks and then into dust.

CNC Platform

There are several tools that can be put on a CNC gantry for cutting flat material. The table and the gantry don't require any significant changes; all you really have to do is change the toolhead. A common platform would prevent redundancy.

Hydraulic System

It doesn't make much sense to build just a hydraulic motor when the GVCS is pretty much entirely dependent on hydraulic power. Might as well make the cylinders and hoses and manifolds and connectors and accumulators and regulators and valves and everything else the machines need.

Robot Arms

There are several distinct structures that robot arms can take and each one is better for certain jobs. It's not just a matter of scale, the 3-axis linear motion of a CNC machine is just a robot arm. It would be hard to justify the expense of a full-sized industrial robot given the fact that the OSE paradigm doesn't include mass production. That means if we want one we're going to need to find cost savings somewhere, and preventing redundancy is one way to do that.

This deserves more discussion.

Aluminum-Air Battery

Aluminum-Air Battery

Aluminum has an awesome energy density. Al-Air batteries are the only chemical battery that has a hope of equaling fossil fuels in terms of energy density, cost and safety. They aren't rechargeable, but the GVCS already assumes a full aluminum lifecycle, from pulling it out of the ground to recycling it. The Al-Air battery would just slip right into that lifecycle.

Modular Vehicle Kit

Modular Vehicles

A passenger car doesn't make a whole lot of sense from the OSE point of view. Everything you need is supposed to be produced within a 10 mile radius, so you don't need to go anywhere. Also, the legal/ethical implications of building a vehicle to safely transport humans, at high speeds, on roads that other humans are using, are...significant. At best, a passenger car will be an appliance that will be built after the village is established, kind of like how washing machines and TVs will be built only AFTER the GVCS has created an industrial base.

The truck makes a lot of sense because it's a utility vehicle. However, it makes even more sense if it's a scale-able utility vehicle. Rather than a single design, it would be better to break the vehicle into parts that are interchangeable. Not only does that allow for broken parts to be quickly swapped in the field and repaired later, it also allows multiple different vehicles to be built for different missions.

Using hydraulics as a foundation makes this modularity a real possibility. Additionally, it allows pretty much all the functions of a vehicle to be powered from the same source. Hydraulics can drive the vehicle, steer it, move any equipment attached to it, and can also take over the entire suspension (shocks and springs). Additionally, it allows for the vehicle to be more efficient because it will use a small, efficient engine to charge the accumulator and generate electricity.

Soil Multitool

From looking at rototiller and spader designs, they don't seem significantly different. At worst a single machine frame could have interchangeable rotors and at best it could all be one frame. Maybe you just tilt it to bring one tool into contact with the ground or tilt it to bring another tool to the ground.

Also, as these tools emerge a soild grinder could just be put on top of the CEB Press hopper so that dirt can be loaded into it from an earth mover, without needing to be rototilled first.

Portable Computer

Portable Computer

This is necessary for the GVCS to truly bridge the entire gap between low-tech and high-tech. It doesn't really matter if the portable computer is a laptop, or a tablet, or a smart phone, or whatever. The point is that it would 1) connect the user to communication systems and 2) run the sort of abstract, high-level programs the user needs. For example, the standard "office" suite of tools (spreadsheets, documents, etc).

Additionally, the portable computer would be the primary method for interacting with the many electronic control systems the GVCS machines require.

Universal Controller

Universal Axis Controller

The machines need low-level, real-time signals to be sent from a controller and interpreted from sensors. Before the GVCS machines start getting too complex, a common modular control system should be developed. Once that control system is realized, the controller itself can be removed from idle machines and docked onto in-use machines to further reduce redundancy.

Center-Pivot Gardener

Sure, the village will have big fields for grain and hay and stuff, but a lot of the niche things it will grow will be on small plots. We might as well carry the automation thing through to garden cultivation. A center-pivot robot arm with electricity/hydraulics and water could plant the seeds, water them, till weeds, monitor health, and aid in the harvest.

Water Treater

The difference between civilization and squalor is how well we deal with sewage and wastewater from residential and industrial activities. Additionally, the OSE paradigm demands releasing wastes back into the environment that are not only safe for humans, but also sustainable over the long term. That will probably require some specialized processing, at least for the industrial runoff.


A greenhouse or an array of garden beds where plants are grown from seeds.

Bakery Oven

This tool doesn't make sense when compared to the GVCS as a whole, for multiple reasons. Not the least of which is that the GVCS doesn't include a flour mill...so what is it going to do with a bakery oven? Additionally, there is a nearly unlimited number of appliances (oven, refrigerator, washer, etc) that will be useful to an established village. None of those appliances are included in the GVCS because it is a system of tools that make other tools.