Machine Designer

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Last Updated Nov. 15, 2012.

To apply: Machine Designer Application
See Recruitment Video Summary Here

  • Description: We are looking for a seasoned professional to leader of our machine design program to lead the design aspect of GVCS machine prototypes - from concept, CAD design, and engineering design according to OSE Specifications. This is a unique opportunity with an innovative open source hardware development organization. See also Master Prototyper and Machine Designer Invitation.
  • No. of Positions: 4
  • City: Maysville
  • Country / State: USA / Missouri
  • Enterprise: Open Source Ecology
  • Job Title Suffix: Machine Designer; promotion track to Product Lead
  • Date of Recruiting Announcement - 8/25/12


The core of the Machine Designer role is design of GVCS machines. This includes conceptual, CAD, and CAE design/analysis of mechanical, hydraulic, and mechatronic machines. The Machine Designer also engages in:

  • Works with remote collaborators on designs and reviews their designs
  • Specifies an open source CAD solution. We are interested in leading the crowd-funding of such a project. Development is expected to be 1 year for Beta release with a team of 4 full-time programmers.
  • Works closely with the Master Prototyper and the fabrication team.
  • Strategic development and setting of standards towards design of the GVCS as an ecology of products where parts and modules interchange
  • Focusing on design-for-fabrication, test-driven design
  • Design and documentation of design-for-fabrication tool chains
  • Generating Bills of Materials, estimating costs, submitting bids for engineering or construction projects, and preparing contract documents
  • Generation of Fabrication Diagrams for the fabrication team
  • Reports to Founding Director (FD) and executes development priorities set by the FD
  • Assists FD in strategy on issues of design optimization
  • Collaborates with other team members on documentation, planning, field testing, and other common activities
  • Performs planning, review, and reporting process on Flashy XM platform according to Planning and Review Strategy (in development)
  • Leads Flash Mob teams in crowd design sessions
  • Develops fabrication procedures according to Fabrication Diagram method; develops Fabrication Diagram methodology
  • Performs quality control of design work
  • Trains apprentices and team members in machine design
  • Coordinates with remote development teams (including design Flash Mobs) to design prototypes and components thereof
  • Instills a sense of pride in excellence and inspires others towards mastery
  • Crafts strategies for scaling CAD design efforts to a much greater community of intrinsically-motivated designers
  • Advises the Director of Learning in developing curriculum covering machine design
  • Designs processes with intent of cross-training of others in mind
  • Participates in group work days from 10 AM to 6 PM on Saturdays

Basic Terms

  • May work remotely or live at Factor e Farm (accommodations and fast internet are provided, applicant covers their own food) and follow Factor e Farm General Guidelines
  • Full time commitment (no outside jobs or telecommuting unless specifically negotiated)
  • Applicant covers travel to and from FeF, and any insurance needs
  • Financial compensation based on risk-sharing, experience, and culture fit
  • Biweekly blog posting on the Factor e Farm Blog according to FeF Blogging Standards
  • Alignment with open source culture, and openness to lifelong learning


General Requirements

The MD must be able to:

  • Follow instructions from superiors, take initiative as necessary, and have the wisdom to understand the difference between the two
  • Develop and implement standards for open, collaborative CAD design
  • Work with both proprietary CAD tools and open source/free software
  • Work with other engineering and documentation team members
  • Manage interruptions and organize collaborators to meet monthly design schedules
  • Manage Flash Mobs for CAD deign
  • Be responsible for sound judgment
  • Ask questions when uncertain or blocked
  • Work with minimum supervision or work closely with teams on a schedule on teams
  • Be in good physical condition
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Teach apprentices
  • Provide leadership and inspiration to apprentices

Technical Skills

  • Professional (or equivalent) experience in machine design of mechanical, hydraulic, precision machine, and mechatronic systems. Excellent practical sense in machine design, technical drawing, and CAD
  • Design of CAM, automation, and robotic systems
  • Experience with design-for-fabrication, design-for-disassembly, design-for-manufacturability, modular design
  • Fabrication and machining experience
  • Hydraulic power system design and build
  • Excellent working knowledge of mechanisms, mechanics, electromechanical devices, and mechatronics
  • Excellent working knowledge of CAD systems to generate Bills of Materials, Exploded Parts Diagrams, Animations, CAE analysis, Isometric drawings, fabrication and assembly drawings
  • Ability to produce Systems Engineering Breakdown Diagrams and to define component interface designs
  • Working knowledge of G, D, & T
  • Excellent working knowledge of engines, engine repair, and electrical wiring
  • Experience with creating bills of materials, sourcing, bidding, and preparation of work contracts
  • Experience in heavy machine operation
  • Excellent communication skills and technical writing ability to communicate complex design to a wide audience
  • Ability to carry out performance calculations

Bonus Skills

  • Power electronics design and fabrication
  • Hot metal processing systems design
  • Electrical generator design and fabrication
  • Gear design and fabrication
  • Hydraulic motor design
  • Engine design
  • Tool and die design
  • Metallurgy and alloying
  • Metal casting
  • Teaching experience
  • Project management and startup entrepreneurship
  • Agricultural machinery and heavy equipment design
  • Farming
  • Construction