GVCS Project Plan

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Project Plan: Global Village Construction Set


The Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) is a set of open source hardware – that is, plans and documentation, to be made freely available to the public, for machinery. The project will include development of several prototypes of the machinery, to improve the plans and documentation and provide “proof of concept” for them.

The machines defined by the GVCS are intended to provide a complete kit for the creation, maintenance, and operation of small, self-sufficient community at a high level of technological achievement, and with a quality of life enviable by any standard. The GVCS includes machinery for farming; for energy production; for construction; for the extraction of necessary raw materials; and for processing them into usable form. During the bootstrapping phase, however, scrap metal is an important resource for producing GVCS machines.

The GVCS is a project of Open Source Ecology (OSE), a group that has been created to develop the GVCS and related ideas. Although OSE has many ideas as to what purposes the GVCS can be put to, and is both generating and receiving more ideas all the time, we recognize that the GVCS won’t be limited by our ideas. Its success will be marked partly by the extent to which it is used to accomplish things that we have not conceived of.

The initial development phase of the GVCS is intended to be limited in scope and duration. Our initial research indicates that a coherent GVCS may comprise just 40 machines, and that development, prototyping, testing, and documentation may be able to be accomplished in about two years, at a budget of approximately $2M.

We intend to take each machine and its accompanying blueprints and documentation through three cycles of prototyping, testing, and revision. At the same time, we will test the economic feasibility of the distributive production model for each machine via on-demand, flexible, digitally assisted fabrication. When the machine has been fully tested for both usefulness and manufacturability, it will be considered ready for Full Product Release (FPR). We have already fully tested and documented one machine to FPR, and created initial prototypes for seven others.

Initial Development Phase 1: Project Proposal, to end March, 2011

We are currently in the midst of Phase 1 of initial development, which is intended to produce a full project proposal for development of the GVCS by the end of March, 2011 – a period totaling four months. So far, the proposal envisions:

  • The immediate recruitment of a core advisory team, which is largely already in place;
  • The specification of the GVCS machine set;
  • The creation of a resilient support infrastructure to enable the delivery of needs for machine development;
  • A parallel development program for rapid creation of the envisioned set of machines;
  • Plans for engaging designers, prototypers, writers, and fabricators with relevant skills to create, test, and document the machines;
  • The specification of a project budget;
  • The creation of a fundraising infrastructure to raise the budget;
  • Plans for development of a strong online presence, including a Web site and social media support.