Master Prototyper

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To Apply:Master Prototyper Application
See Recruitment Video Summary Here

  • Description: We are looking for a Master Fabricator/Machinist/Prototyper to lead the build-out of GVCS machine prototypes. Unique opportunity with innovative open source machine development organization. See Master Prototyper and Machine Designer Invitation.
  • Date of Recruiting Announcement - 8/25/12
  • No. of Positions: 1
  • City: Maysville
  • Country / State: USA: Missouri
  • Enterprise: Open Source Ecology
  • Job Title Suffix: Prototyping Director


  • The core of the Master Prototyper role is prototyping GVCS machines. This requires a number of responsibilities: fabrication, workshop and tool management, apprentice training, strategic planning, documenting, product quality control and testing, design work, and others.
  • Enforces shop conduct standards covering safety, quality control, organization, and cleanliness
  • Reports to Founding Director (FD) and executes development priorities set by the FD
  • Assists FD in strategy on issues of fabrication 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)
  • Builds prototypes on an ongoing basis, and in absence of fabrication drawings or plans, engages in design work
  • Performs field testing of prototypes to collect performance data, evaluate prototypes, and make improvements
  • Leads teams of fabricators and apprentices in prototyping and production runs
  • Develops fabrication procedures according to Fabrication Diagram method
  • Keeps workshop well-organized, ergonomic, and clean, and maintains tools in good working order
  • Develops standards for cleanliness, tool organization, and workflow
  • Performs quality control on prototyping work
  • In addition to building from stock components, must also be able to build precision components as needed
  • Trains apprentices and team members in machine operation and tool use
  • Coordinates with remote fabrication teams (Prototyping Flash Fab Mobs) to build prototypes and components thereof
  • Instills a sense of pride in craftsmanship and inspires others towards mastery
  • Crafts strategies for organization and replication of the workshop with management team
  • Advises the Director of Learning in developing curriculum covering fabrication and machining
  • Organizes cleanup of workshop and maintenance of tools and machines in collaboration with the rest of the team
  • Designs processes with intent of cross-training in mind

Basic Terms

  • Must live on-site 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, unless otherwise negotiated
  • Financial compensation based on risk-sharing, experience, and culture fit to OSE
  • 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 MP must be able to:

  • Follow verbal and written work instructions, take initiative as necessary, and have the wisdom to understand the difference between the two
  • Read blue prints and understand G.D.T. and how it applies to the part and the manufacturing process
  • Work tool steel and carbide tooling
  • Work with indexing heads, sine plates, and and know trigonometry to figure distances and angles from construction holes and tooling balls
  • Work with engineering and documentation personnel
  • Manage interruptions and organize apprentices to meet monthly prototyping and production schedules
  • 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 custom fabrication and machining
  • Professional (or equivalent) competency in precision machining and CNC precision machining
  • Excellent practical working proficiency in machine design, technical drawing, and CAD
  • Reading fabrication drawings, setting up jigs, squaring, measuring distances and angles
  • Hydraulic power system design and build
  • Excellent working knowledge of mechanisms, mechanics, electromechanical devices, and mechatronics
  • Excellent working knowledge of engines, engine repair, and electrical wiring
  • Creating bills of materials, sourcing, bidding, and preparation of work contracts
  • Experience with heavy machine operation

Desired Experience

  • CAM, automation, and robotics
  • Fabrication of gears
  • Engine building from the ground up
  • Tool and die making, heat treating
  • Metallurgy and alloying
  • Metal casting
  • Power electronics design and fabrication
  • Electrical generator design and fabrication
  • Teaching experience
  • Managing a workshop
  • Precision machine design
  • Agricultural machinery design
  • Heavy equipment design
  • Programming milling machines in both G & M codes and makimg required fixturing
  • Setting standards for and executing workshop facility organization, cleanliness, and maintenance
  • Farming
  • Construction