Lifetime Design Guarantee
OSE focuses on Lifetime Design - the OSE Lifetime Design Guarantee - for most of its products.
Specifying point by point how you can redeem a lifetime of guaranteed service.
Philosophy and How It Works
- Stewardship of resources is important for a sustainable, thriving society. There are plenty of resources available for everyone to thrive, but not if there is greed and waste.
- Today's consumer society is based on extreme waste, where resources are extracted for a very short use cycle, ending up in a landfill. This has profound effects on wealth and its distribution, and this has profound effects on society being trapped in on a treadmill with a high cost of living.
- Introducing lifetime design to the equation is a solution, and this solution is enabled by open source design. Lifetime design is achieved by design - and can increase/retain value significantly.
- Lifetime design is critical to ecological integrity, as we cannot burn earth's natural resource base for ever. Species extinction is an ongoing issue that is related directly to resource extraction.
- To address some of these issues, we are taking a stand on making our products designed for a lifetime, and are offering a lifetime guarantee to back this.
- First, our design is simple, robust, transparent. We make things that do not require special tools or facilities - and we use COTS parts. Thus, a user can effectively service a product even by themselves using transparent documentation - even if the business itself goes out of business. This is critical for product immortality - by using COTS supply chains, which are available for ever by definition.
- For someone to redeem the guarantee - there are 2 basic options, both of which are straightforward and effective: (1), you can send a defective part or machine back to us for a replacement if you cover shipping. (2), you can get a replacement readily off the shelf by yourself, which in many cases may be less expensive and faster than shipping the broken part back to us. That's it - that is just about all there is to it - and you can do this for as long as you are alive. We will help you make this determination whenever any breakage or service issue comes up.
- But it gets better. Because our design is open source and modular, we continuously design upgrades and improvements. So when you buy a product, we guarantee to you that you have the ability to invest in that improvement - thus creating not only a lifetime of use - but a lifetime of improvement. Your product can actually improve with age!
- And if you no longer need the product - we would like you to take it back to us or recycle it. We give you a clear option where you can redeem value for yourself in this process. Because we design our tools for immortality - we design them with parts that are readily reused and recycled. So if you want to redeem value for your product - take it apart and send us the useful parts, and we can pay you for them if they are in usable shape. We are creating a Recycling List where we show the values of different things, and how that value depreciates over time. Our formula is to offer you as much value as whatever you send back would cost us to acquire on the open market. Clear and simple.
Why It Works, And Why It Is Important to Us
How it is possible for us to offer unlimited lifetime support, and why we are doing it?
You may be asking, how can we stay in business if we guarantee our products for ever? Would we not go out of business if we sell only one of a durable good to you? After all, many business models today are based on planned obsolescence, so how can we do better?
We think that this can work because our values are based on economic logic: if we provide more value, we can charge more for that value up front, and everyone still wins. To an extent - we cannot make things expensive to the point that the initial cost is too high. This can be solved in various ways, such as modularity.
In practice - our commitment to lifetime design means that we make deliberate design choices that make designs robust and their service easy. That is our unique design language, and thus our products have a certain character. At the same time - because we go the extra mile to make things robust and easy to maintain - maintenance, service, and modification should not be difficult. In practice, it means that the cost of doing any repair is low. The electronics broke? Pay $5 for a new microcontroller that you can replace yourself in 5 minutes. Some electrical problem? We'll help you troubleshoot and replace a wire - and many times you'll be able to do that yourself from our transparent documentation.
The cost of repair is in many cases knowing what to do. With open source design, that cost approaches zero. It's like the joke about the engineer who examined a complex machine, then did one small thing in 5 minutes - and charge the client $10,000 for that 5 minutes. When asked about the exorbitant cost - he responded that it cost him $5 of his time, but the other $9995 for knowing which part to replace. (refactor this)
So the point it - with transparent and open source design - and a support community - and with simple design - and with COTS parts - repair cost becomes insignificant. So when faced with shipping a product back to us, vs going on Amazon to get a replacement part the next day that you can replace yourself in 5 minutes at $5 - you will probably opt to do that yourself instead of shipping a product back and forth for $50, and a few weeks of downtime. The logic is simple - and our goal is to design our products in such a way that this logic applies in most cases.
The key here is our radical reduction of unique parts, modular design where parts are reuses in different contexts, and attention to simplicity, pursuit of common standards for reducing overall system complexity, easy access to parts, design-for-repair - and above all - transparent, open source documentation - this becomes a possibility. And we believe the whole world will adopt this thinking in due time, and we stand behind this with our Lifetime Design Guarantee right now.
One question you may still have is - "But things change, how can you provide service for a lifetime?" Things change, but many things stay constant. The number of useful elements has remained at about 100 since about 14 billion years - so things like steel and carbon and ball bearings are likely to remain with us for a long time. Thus, we can afford to provide service on predictable value.
Why is the Lifetime Design Guarantee important to us? We believe that a historic transition in the human economy towards sustainability and regeneration involves lifetime design. Lifetime design facilitates a shift in peoples' lives from the need to make a living (rat race, no time to think) towards considering deeper issues higher on the Maslow hierarchy of needs. Unblocking blocks to human evolution can be achieved by improving the quality of life of people - by reducing costs - so we have time to think about deeper issues. This theory may not be true if people run into an existential crisis when they achieve free time, and avoidance of deeper issues may be one of the reasons why so many people continue on the rat race. It would be useful to test this macrosocial phenomenon.
How to Claim Replacements, Service, and End-Of Lifetime Stewardship
We have designed the 3D printer for a lifetime, not planned obsolescence. That means that because the printer is open source and uses easy-to-source, off-the-shelf parts - it retains its value for as long as needed. It is easy to replace or fix parts, or to 3D print replacement parts with the same printer - for as long as one wants to do so. We avoid a situation of a part breaking down and a user not knowing how to fix it. In fact, for products other than the 3D printer, we will offer a Lifetime Guarantee program - which consists of our 3D printer, which can be used to print replacement parts. We focus on using as many 3D printable parts as possible, in order to facilitate lifetime design. Initially, printing will be done in thermoplastics, and after further development - in metals and ceramics such as Geopolymers.
OSE intends to produce the plastic that it uses in its products only from the waste stream, thereby cleaning up the environment. This has the benefit of saving the energy, resources, and pollution that it would otherwise take to make plastics from raw resources, especially from petroleum.
To sign up for OSE's Lifetime Guarantee, email us to get the package. It requires work on your part: for example - to guarantee that you can use your machine for a lifetime, you need to start by printing replacement parts as the first use of your machine for practical production.