Open Source Microfactory
Open Source Microfactory
Summary: The Open Source Microfactory is a small enterprise in any city or village, somewhat like the General Store of yesterday - where lifetime design products are made from common, local materials - using open source designs. Those materials include recycled steel, aluminum, metals, plastics, organics, and ceramics. The Microfactory is an educational facility where individuals can learn and produce their own products, or they can buy them turnkey from the Microfactory. The Microfactory guarantees the Future-Proof Products - where products can be used for ever and are taken back by the Microfactory at the end of their useful life. Digital and trainable manufacturing equipment is used in the Microfactory - and it is powered by a global, collaborative effort of open source product development. As of 2019, no implementations of such microfactory yet exist anywhere in the world. Concepts of Circular Economies and Fab Cities are popular as of 2020, but no real world examples exist. OSE's role is to fill this gap with a first authentic implementation that generates a complete economy on the scale of a bioregion, and even on the scale of a small acreage land parcel.
The above assumes private ownership. To emphasize the public interest aspect, we must first emphasize that the product designs and enterprise blueprints for all products is open source pursuant to principles of Distributive Enterprise. Product are developed collaboratively as OSE's Mission. Enterprise acceleration, R&D, startup training, and facility rental at the Microfactory could encourage more people to enter productive endeavors.
This is as opposed to the service economy. Automation of store fronts or displacement via delivery such as Amazon are making consumerism easier. The Open Source Microfactories are a motion in the other direction, where local production as in the Circular Economy is the priority, and human needs are met abundantly so that people can shift their attention from consumerism and dependence to Self-Determination .
The antidote to the centralized and planned economies of today - whether capitalist or socialist - is a massive transfer of productive endeavors to distributed production. The new economic paradign needed is open source collaboration towards the Open Source Economy. In the OSE case, producers would be trained based on open source toolchains and designs - and as such would be encouraged to contribute back in the same way. This could encourage wealth creation that diminishes the gap between classes. This is OSE's formula for a historic transfer of wealth from the few to the many. This is a secular and apolitical movement - where the new religion is open source collaboration.
- Basic Workshop
- Open Source Microfactory Specification - towards a working spec, 2020
- A open source microfactory probably shares characteristics with a Job Shop
- Local Motors - uses a microfactory-like infrastructure, minus the open source hardware and enterprise component
- For earlier work, see Open Source Microfactory up to 2019
- OSE Microfactory
- RepLab - older term from 2010