OSE HeroX - The Open Source Microfactory Challenge

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  • Firm protocol dev
  • Find sponsors - doable. Specifics of 'Challenge Organizer' operations
  • Admissible 3D printers
  • Key design specifications
  • Challenge for high schools
  • It is collaborative
  • Full stream from design to product sales and marketing, video, copy, website, clickfunnels, etc...
  • Tech open source - via EDM, etc - highly coordinated
  • Prize - replication for $50 with 'admissible printers' and admissible supply chain even if China. It outdoes viral 'IKEA villages' of china, because it puts economic power into 1000 producers worldwide.
  • Key outcome-a high performance, lifetime design tool from common supply chains enabled by open source blueprints and open source manufacturing development and open source tooling development. Push the boundary incrementally to added capacity every year until Distributed Market Substitution of cordless tool industry


  • The open source cast of characters is Lulzbot, Sparkfun, Adafruit, and other direct OSHWA relations - and see sponsors of OS Hardware Summit
  • Matterhackers
  • Polar Cloud
  • Check out these 3 sponsors. Similar work, but proprietary. - http://www.instructables.com/id/3D-printed-CNC-mill/


  • Clear positioning as distributive, open source enterprise, without compromises. FreeCAD and 100% open source tool chain is required.
  • Distributive economic impact is a stated goal. $10M distributed revenue goal, within 2 years in a distributed enterprise.
  • Value proposition: replaceable, lifetime design with easy to source parts - allows for user maintenance.
  • Incentive structure must reward collaboration

Incentive Structure

The project is complex, and is intentionally so - such that one must collaborate and borrow from others in order to complete the project. Without building on others' work, it would be imopossible to complete the design, build, testing, data collection, documentation, and production engineering. The result is a working product - not a design. The result must include manufacturability - production ergonomics that allow for the creation of a small business producing 4 cordless drills per day (8 hours) once all the parts are secured. Candidates will be judged on the performance and build data presented. That means that all the parts have to work.

While freeloaders are encouraged, original contributors will get rewards based on the percentage of their contribution. The selection criteria are transparent, but to prevent gaming and to prevent disputes of the judging panel's selection - the specific details of the algorithm will be secret. Judges' selections will be final.

There will be 2 types of rewards - Final Product - and Contributors. The Final Product category rewards anyone who has succeeded in building the desired product to spec. If the Final Product is not reached - ie, nobody achieves an industrial-grade DIY drill - then the full reward will not be given and the contest will be extended by 45 days. The first person to publish gets the reward. Ie, if there are competing designs, the one that is published earlier gets more credit and reward than a later one.

The Final Product prize may not be the largest prize if it turns out preliminary contributions were significant. This incentivizes early publishing rules.

The publishing format is very explicit, in order to make it easy for anyone to build upon the work and review it. As such, a wiki template is used that shows the file download, a screenshot, and key information for 'summary of the innovation' as in patents. Innovation can be obtained from primacy, interesting features, and proven data. One person may produce design, another may produce the product - and yet another may produce the data. People will be rewarded accordingly.

Additional money collected via crowdfunding will be used to provide a prize for the FreeCAD Cordless Tool Design Workbench. This will allow people to reconfigure and modify the design:

  1. Basic design
  2. Scaling of battery size
  3. Motor scaling and modularity
  4. Gear scaling
  5. Gearing modularity

General Sourcing Rules

Admissible parts are:

  1. 3D prints in any thermoplastic material including elastomers
  2. Standard hardware - metric and imperial nuts, bolts, belts
  3. Off-shelf parts - parts that are easily sourced from manufacturers around the world

Custom machined metal parts or castings, or any other custom-manufactured parts are admissible - only if:

  1. The price for the end product remains reasonable - as the goal of the contest is to produce a product that can be replicated easily anywhere in the world

but if they are expensive in a


Other Tools

  • Power Belt - a set of batteries on a belt, allowing for long duration work, or even augmented battery power for electric vehicles
  • Cordless Welder with power belt
  • Cordless bar cutter
  • Cordless hole puncher
  • Cordless spot welder
  • Cordless Welder via power belt
  • Cordless self-contained battery spot welder
  • Hole puncher
  • Metal shear (roof metal)