OSE Incentive Challenge Equipment Infrastructure

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The OSE Incentive Challenge is intended to be the world's first, open source, closed loop manufacturing franchise - intended to bring closed loop manufacturing into popular consiousness. The problem of plastic waste is global - and an effect of the Challenge is to enable robust recycling. While not extremely difficult - the issue of plastic recycling to closed loop 3D printing materials requires significant deevelopment. Forturnately, open source state of art in plastic extrusion is avilable - but needs work.

The cordless drill production and plastic recycling constitute a basic Open Source Microfactory. The scope of this must be defined clearly so that this is executable within the framework of an incentive challenge. 3D printing, small electronics, plastic shredding, and filament making are well within the scope of small scale, open source production. The cordless drill is strategic in this point.

The closed loop manufacturing incentive implies that we need to recycle electronic components (make out own boards with CNC circuit mill), melt aluminum alloy, recycle plastic. The steel is the only unaccounted item in the small infrastructure, as that is the next level of technology that requires a 4000 sf facility.

The challenge results in opensourcing - in an economically significant way - of circuit milling, simple metal melts, and possibly now buying the chucks unless MIG casting.

Scope of Equipment: Rationale

How deep into the production infrastructure do we go? 3D printers are included. More so - larger 3D printers - probably at the 18" printing bed scale - are desirable both for the ability to produce all parts on one print bed (a requirement of the Challenge) and further to print a product and shipping case - all recyclable.

Then there is filament making. Between Precious Plastic, Lyman Filament Maker, and the Recyclebot, there is ample open source prior art.

For the shredder, there is great prior art from Precious Plastic.

With the ability to produce 3D printing filament at sbout 10 cents per lb + labor - at a return of one roll of filament per 2 hours - there is a clear economic case for efficiency. Filament sells for about $20/kg [1]. The return on investment is thus about $240/day for filament production - for 12 rolls made per day. If the cost is negigible, that means that people can engage in widespread 3D printing. And eco-printing with insulated heat beds and enclosures, so that energy for 3D printing drops down to about 20% of industry standards. Efficiency of the 3D printer (energy use data) is intended to be part of the design challenge.

The practical outcome of low-cost 3d printing filament is that the organizing infrastructure of stackable bins for a microfactory becomes low cost - faciitating enterprise replication. This means that the 3D printing entrepreneur can diversify readily to many different products - including heavy products such as furniture and building materials. This translates into material security for communities - as plastic and wood composites can enter mainstream use - all using local, natural, and recycled materials. Now the development required to make this practical is significant - and is perfect material for an open source incentive challenge.

More Tools?

In addition to the shredder and filament maker, there are 4 more desirable tools: a circuit mill, CNC Torch, small foundry, and electric motor production infrastructure.

The circuit mill can produce associated electronics, including power supplies for the 3d printer, shredder, and filament maker. It is a small device based on the existing motion system of the 3D printer. We have tested the mechanics, but software can use improvement. This can be designed into the Incentive Challenge.

The electric motor production infrastructure involves both the stepper motors for the machines (see 3D Printed Stepper Motor) and for the shredder. The CNC torch cuts out the blades for the shredder, and can produce steel frames for the machines. It is noteworthy that a 2x2' torch table would suffice - because we can use linear feedstock such as metal flats to make production parts. Thus, a 2x2' torch for light steel (up to 1/2" thick) can fit in a small room microfactory.

Electric motor production infrastructure could address low cost motors for CNC drive, mill spindle, cordless drill, and grinder motor. Excellent prior art exists for the 3D printed stepper motor - [2]. There are many examples of 3D Printed Motors

Small foundry is the ability to build ZA Alloy melting furnaces for use with lost PLA. This with MIG casting can produce steel parts.


3D printed frames are good - but we would need fire-retardant plastic for fire safety. Thus, it's important to include the torch to be able to access low cost frames. Printed plastic could be a good bootstrap option, with capitalization assistance consisting of pass-me-down frames for low-cost startup.

Circuit Mill

Note that our main proprietary competitor is Mostly Printed CNC - which means that they would have to go open source for this to be admissible infrastructure.

Note that we would have to offer kits for ours to make it easy for others to use our toolchain.

Note that for the electronics to be closed loop materials - we would have to build them ourselves so we know how to recycle them. Thus, it's desirable to have the CNC circuit mill as part of the infrastructure. Thus, for low cost infrastructure - it makes sense

Desktop Metal

Electric Motors

CNC Torch

Not directly related to cordless drill, but necessary to make the machines involved in the business. Part of the Challenge is to get effective distibution of the technology - disseminating Microfactories far and wide at low cost.

Livelihood Incentive and Continued R&D

Thus, the incentive challenge can effectively become a efficient harvester and integrator of widely distributed and proprietary knowlege - putting everything into the public domain. It should be emphasized that a lot of small scale distributed innovation is proprietary - as most people put low quality information out into the public for free - but once they smell the money of economic potential - the information is no longer freely available. People who hide information, like all of us, are just struggling to make a living - and a clear incentive for making a living by transcending the scarcity condition would be most welcome. From personal conversations - most people don't care about letting their work be public - as long as they can still make a living. There are many who are attracted to ride the gravy train of royalties - with yearning to never have to work again. Such a mindset should be avoided, by making free enterprise available instead. The open source stance is typically taken on practical, not ethical, grounds. A purely ethical stance is in short supply, and only the rare outlier can afford to be ethical. Using an incentive challenge design can motivate both the 'fence sitters' and 'gravy train riders' to embrace open source on practical grounds of potential free enterprise.

The Incentive Challenge - with the cordless drill as a core product - can support a wider collaborative effort for the Open Source Everything Store - the free enterprise remedy to Amazon. As such, the design of the incentive challenge should focus on setting up the R&D infrastructure necessary for expansion as part of its effort.

In summary: filament recycling from the waste stream must be a core aspect of operations.