Open Source Microfactory Boot Camp

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Open Source Microfactory Boot Camp 2019

Intro Video to the 1 Week OSE Boot Camp

Published June 4, 2018

Intro Video - 5 Week Immersion Program

Published May 16, 2018

The Open Source Microfactory Boot Camp - starting for the first time in 2018 - is part of a greater OSE immersion program for growing the OSE development effort. See this video - which covers both the 5 week Immersion Training and the 1 week OSE Boot Camp:


An immersion, 7 day course - August 25-31, 2018, at Open Source Ecology, Kansas City area, Missouri, USA

Learn to design, build, and use the open source desktop Microfactory in an immersive learning environment. The Microfactory consisting of important digital manufacturing tools: a 3D printer, CNC Circuit Mill, Laser Cutter, and Filament maker. Participants will build a 3D printer to take home with them, and learn how to set up an online print cluster as a small enterprise for printing parts. Atttendees will also assist in teaching a workshop on how to build the 3D Printer - to experience the teaching side of the equation.

All together, this is a crash course in open source product design and enterprise - using accessible, open source software, and the open source Microfactory for rapid prototyping. The basic microfactory involves a modular, Universal Axis motion system - allowing anyone to take our design and modify the design to any size and shape that they like. Because our design is based on common, off-the-shelf parts - participants can use the 3D printer to print parts for additional machines of the desktop Microfactory.

And - with the Filament Maker - one can turn scrap plastic to 3D printing filament - for closed loop manufacturing - while cleaning up the environment. Together with an online print cluster, we will show how average people can begin changing the landscape of production by using open source blueprints for common consumer goods. We will show how a professional grade cordless drill can be designed in an open source fashion, and how it can be built from scratch using the open source microfactory. We will start with scrap plastic that is turned to 3D printing filament - and used to print the cordless drill body. The body will be 3D scanned from an existing drill and reverse engineered. The CNC circuit mill will be used for the cordless drill charger, and the laser cutter will be used to make the battery charger enclosure. Together with easy-to-source parts, we will build the cordless drill from scratch as an example of a professional grade tool that can be built in the open source microfactory as a potential small enteprise.


See Open Source Microfactory Narrative

Overview Schedule

  • Day 1 - Intro + 3D Printer - We start with the open source design software, how to design a 3D printer using our Universal Axis system, and then build a 3D printer from scratch in the afternoon. We use common, off-the-shelf materials and 3D printed parts, so that the builds can be replicated easily anywhere in the world. This first day of the OSE Boot Camp is open to the public for one day participation with others who want to participate in the 3D printer build.
  • Day 2 - 3D Print Cluster + Filament Maker - Did you ever think about producing useful products that can be part of a circular economy? Here we teach you how you can start your own microfactory at home - which you can connect to the internet as an on-demand printing service. To reduce the cost of 3D printing filament, we will teach you how to produce your own 3D printing filament from scrap plastic. Thus, the transition to distributed, closed loop production can start right at your home.
  • Day 3 - CNC Circuit Mill + Open Source Electronics Toolchains -Besides 3D printed plastic parts, many consumer goods contain circuits. We will learn how to design circuits with open source software, and how to mill them using an open source CNC Circuit Mill. We will show how to import designs from KiCad into FreeCAD. As 2 examples, we will mill an open source switch mode power supply and inverter for producing useful power. The power supply can take 120AC into an adjustable DC value - such as power supplies for the 3D printer or CNC circuit mill itself - and the inverter can take a 12 v battery and turn it into 120 AC, for example for off-grid energy systems. But that is only the beginning: we will introduce the Power Electronics Construction Set - and explain how simple, scalable power systems can be made with arduinos and transistors. This is relevant to building your own welders, plasma cutters, induction furnaces, wind turbines, electric vehicle controllers, and many other industrial and consumer applications.
  • Day 4 - Laser Cutting + 3D Scanning + Rapid Prototyping - We will learn about the full laser cutter toolchain - using OSE's open source laser cutter head add-on to the Universal Axis system. And then we go deeper: building a simple CO2 discharge tube for a CO2 laser: out of PVC pipe! Then we move on to rapid prototyping and reverse engineering: using pictures of a part taken from all angles, we will reconstruct a part as a detailed 3D CAD file in FreeCAD - using an open source photogrammetry toolchain. With working knowledge of 3D printing, laser cutting, and circuit milling - we will be in a position to design and build many consumer goods.
  • Day 5 - The Open Source Everything Store. Imagine the open source version of Walmart or Amazon: all products are collaboratively designed and open sourced by people all over the world, and the products designed for fabrication in the open source microfactory. Can the next generation of democratic manufacturing bring production back to communities for responsible manufacturing? The key to this lies in developing effective crowd development techniques that leverage collaboration while avoiding the hardware version of Brook's Law. We will practice this on the design and build of a 3D printed cordless drill. We will study how large-scale design and prototyping events can take place in real-time, and how to leverage incentive prizes for such development. We will show an example of collaborative development by designing and building an open source cordless drill with speed control. We will 3D scan an existing drill as a starting point for our design. Together with the 3D printer, CNC circuit mill, laser cutter, and processing scrap plastic into 3D printing filament - and a capacitor-based battery spot welder - we will prototype the cordless drill as a team. This is an experimental day designed to push the limits of collaborative design and prototyping using both onsite and virtual collaboration.
  • Day 6 - Enterprise. Now that we have learned good productivity skills based on open source equipment, we are ready to make economic impact. That is done by entrepreneurship that converts ideas into products of common use. We learn the overview of running an open source hardware and education enterprise. We will learn about open source enterprise software, and how to build a team for a continued and impactful effort of changing the technosphere to open source. Can we make open source product development the norm of how products enter our lives? The reward is a greater distribution of wealth and opportunity, environmentally sound supply chains, and a newly relevant producer culture - that can hope to transcend artificial scarcity.
  • Day 7 - Big Build Day. With the techniques and tools that we learned - we will apply our new skills to building a fully functioning, high performance 3D printer with a 1 cubic meter build volume. The nice thing is - we will do this from scratch and without a prior design. We will simply use the Construction Set approach and our proven design principles. We will use the part libraries, do the calculations, do the cutting, printing, and circuit milling - and build a decent product all by working as a team on the modular design. Our aim is to bring with us a library of common, admissible parts, and build the entire project from metal, transistors, raw circuit boards, and printed plastic - all in one day. We will push the limits of what can be done with the Level 1 Microfactory to build a finished product.

Detailed Curriculum

Note: curriculum is being finalized and may change slightly. Theory Sessions mean primarily presentation format - and Practice sessions are primarily hands-on, but include some background discussion.

Day 1 - Intro, Big Picture + 3D Printer

Mornings: 8 AM Start

  • 1 hr - Introductions and OSE introduction. The world of public domain and open source.
  • 1 hr - Hands-On - FreeCAD - designing parts from sketches. How to Design a 3D Printer, and how to use 3D Printer design libraries in FreeCAD. Part list, build procedure.
  • 2 hr - Hands-On - Building a 3D Printer. We work together on all the parts, then assemble them individually into the finished product.

Lunch presentation: Marlin 101: Everything You Need to Know About Marlin 3D Printing Firmware

  • 2 hr - Continued: Building a 3D printer from scratch
  • 2 hr - Calibration, printing, slicing. Cura, BlocksCAD.
  • Dinner - 6-7 PM
  • Dinner Lecture - The Open Source Ecology Product Ecosystem

7 PM End

Day 2 - 3D Print Cluster + Filament Maker


  • 1 hr - Theory and Practice - How to Set up a Print Cluster Server with Octoprint. Connecting a print cluster and doing production printing
  • 1 hr - Theory - Filament Maker and Extruders. How to design a filament maker and extruder screw. How wo design a 3D printer extruder. Heating Systems for the 3D printing ecosystem. Power supplies, heated beds, Nichrome Calculator, extruder heaters, heated build chambers, filament maker heaters. Insulation, cooling, mechanics, power calculations for scalability.
  • 1 hr - Practice - Making 3D printing filament from scrap plastic (not commercial pellets). Grinding and extruding. Experiment in making metal-embedded 3D priting filament using bronze metal powder.

Lunch Lectures - Conversation with E3D on Extruder Design, Large Filament, and Supersized Extruders. Conversation with Octoprint on 3D Print Clusters.

  • 1 hr - Theory and Practice - How to build and use a filament width sensor with Marlin. This allows irregular, home-made filament to be used effectively in 3D printers, removing the necessity of high quality control during the filament production process.
  • 1 hr - Practice - Making nichrome heaters for the filament maker and heated bed. Printing with Home Made Filament
  • 1 hr - Theory - Parts requirements and part ordering for the 3D Printer and CNC Circuit Mill
  • 1 hr - Practice - Setting up an Online 3D Printing Service on a wiki with Octoprint.

Day 3 - Ciruit Mill + Electronics


  • 1 hr - Practice - KiCAD workflow from basics to using part libraries and design.
  • 1 hr - Theory and Practice - CNC Circuit Mill Design Guide + design with FreeCAD Part Library. Design of 3D PCBs with KiCAD and import into FreeCAD for modification and Gcode generation. Creating a KiCAD Library File
  • 1 hr - Theory and Practice - Designing a capacitive spot welder using KiCAD and FreeCAD.
  • 1 hr - Thoery and Practice - Milling with a CNC circuit mill: producing Gcode files, bed leveling, soldering

Lunch Lecture - Power Electronics Construction Set: How to Design an Efficient, Scalable, Arduino-Based Power Supplies, Welders, Inverters, Converters, Plasma Cutters, Motor Controllers, Transformers, and Transmission Lines.

  • 1 hr - Theory and Practice - Stepper Drivers - how to use RAMPS to drive Stepper Motors of any size using external stepper drivers.
  • 1 hr - Practice - Understanding Power handling devices: PID Controllers, Relays, MOSFETs, rectifiers, PWM, IGBTs, heat sinks, and wiring them for sample applications. Demonstrating how power elements can be paralleled and scaled using an arduino with multiplexed drivers, for building power systems of any scale. Scalability limits.
  • 1 hr - Practice - Designing and making your own coreless and cored transformers.
  • 1 hr - Practice - milling and soldering an arduino-based power supply and inverter circuit board for 100W as an example application.

Day 4 - Small Laser Cutter, Rapid Prototyping, Crowd Development

  • 1 hr - Theory + Practice - How to Design a Small Laser Cutter with FreeCAD Libraries, hands on. Designing a magnetic mount for the laser cutter head.
  • 1 hr - Practice - Laser Cutter Toolchain, from design to cutting or etching. Use cases of small laser cutting.
  • 1 hr - Practice - Building an enclosure for the open source inverter using the Laser Cutter.
  • 1 hr - Practice - 3D Scanning - Reverse Engineering real life objects with Photogrammetry - case of a cordless drill.
  • Lunch Guest Lecture - How to design a Carbon Dioxide Laser Tube from Scratch


  • 1.5 hr - Theory and Practice - building a 20W CO2 Laser Tube from PVC pipe. Hands-on.
  • 1 hr - Theory and Practice - Printing in Different Media: concrete, mud, ceramic, laser sintering, metal (sinter- and weld-based), metal plastic filament. How to make 3D printing filament with embedded metal. Metal part printing. Open source laser sintering in metal. Metal Injection Molding. We will print with bronze-embedded PLA to produce linear motion bushings for the 3D printer. We will also take a stab at mixing finely ground plastic with bronze powder in the filament maker to produce our own metal 3D printing filament.
  • 1.5 hr - Theory: Collaborative Development Method. Swarming on a Cordless Power Tool Construction Set tool. Collaboration ecology.

Day 5 - The Open Source Everything Store: Collaborative Design for Economic Impact

  • 1 hr - Theory - Why Production Has Not Been Democratized - Yet - and the Possibilities. Public awareness of the public.
  • 1 hr - Practice - Setting up an incentive design challenge online - an Add-On to the Open Source Microfactory Challenge
  • 1 hr - Theory - Open Source Product Development - Modular Design and Collaboration Architecture
  • 1 hr - Practice - A Design Sprint for an Open Source Cordless Tool Add-On


  • 4 hr - Applied session of designing a cordless drill. Reverse engineering an existing drill, then using the 3D Printer, CNC circuit mill, battery spot welder, filament maker, and other small tools to build a working cordless drill. The aim is to match performance standards of an industrial-grade cordless drill. This involves parallel work in FreeCAD, KiCad, manufacturing file generation, building a battery pack, milling a control and battery charger circuit, 3D scanning, and 3D printing, and laser cutting + etching to produce a working product. We will use an off-the-shelf electric motor, clutch, and chuck this time, and invite remote collaboration support. In future Boot Camps and immersion programs, we will use a 3D printed open source electric motor and transmission, which also includes 3D printed, nylon-reinforced rubber belts.

Day 6 - The Open Source Enterprise and Organization

  • 1 hr - The Open Enterprise Software Suite: Infrastructure with Odoo Community Edition. We will discuss the needs and best practices of using Odoo: inventory management, payment processing, event registration, event announcement, sales, chatbot, customer service, customer feedback, e-commerce, email marketing, Website Builder, and other modules.
  • 1 hr - Managing an offline and an online 3D printing cluster. Towards a generalized microfactory open software stack for online manufacturing. Print cluster automation: part harvesting using the OSE Robotics platform.
  • 1 hr - Server Admin 101. Shell scripts and Unix Commands 101. Top 12 Principles for Entrepreneurs: what you need to know about installing and maintaining critical infrastructure for a scalable, open source product development process . Why encrypt?
  • 1 hr - Here we discuss going beyond solo development to managing a team. Leadership: best practices for building and leading an effective, open source culture. Operations Manual: How to Run an Open Source Hardware Company. Operations and Growth. This includes R&D, production, marketing, sales, HR, logistics, and finances.

Lunch - Conversation with Lulzbot on open enterprise.

  • 1 hr - Theory and Practice. Massive Parallel Development - setting up modular information architecture and integrated project architecture. Setting up the Development Template. Setting up wiki templates that work for you.
  • 1 hr - The OSE Workshops business model. Leveraging Immersion Training, Crowd Collaborative Involvement with Crowd Incentive Challenges to grow a team.
  • 1 hr - Preparing for a build of a scaled up 3D printer. Rapid prototyping: frame, heat bed, multiple stepper drivers, multiple axes, and 6 mm filament.
  • 1 hr - Final discussion, lessons learned, and open discussion about Open Source Everthing, includig the Open Building Institute with Marcin and Catarina

Dinner - Open Source Pool Party.

Day 7 - Build Workshop

  • Leaving - 8 AM - We will build a 3D Printer with a 3' large bed and metal frame - in 1 day. With all the learnings of the 6 days, it's time for a road trip to a nearby University to experience an extreme Design/Build Workshop in practice. We start - armed with FreeCAD design knowledge and design insights on the Universal Axis System - and design and build a large 3D printer. We will both participate as a team, and guide additional participants who sign up for the workshop. This will be an experimental workshop where we show the power of the Construction Set model in building larger, more powerful machines - while collaborating as a larger team. This is possible because we are using the modular Universal Axis system - where the interfaces between the different components are clear and well-proven, and specific design principles simplify the design significantly to create a product with industry standard performance - while reducing the part count to about 1/2-1/3. We will demonstrate the scalability of the print bed to any size - axis sizes - and show how the simple 8 mm Universal Axis system can be leveraged to make quality machines on a larger scale, at a fraction of the cost of similar designs. The event is designed to be an experiment in working as a team - as we push the limits in terms of the number of participants that can work constructively not only on a design/build - but also the documentation. Our goal is to develop techniques where meaningful collaboration can happen with as many people as can fit in any room. This means that a common understanding of open sourcce design and build techniques matches the availability of open source equipment to build the open designs.
  • Returning - 6 PM.

Scheduled Presentations

Saturday, August 25 (CST Time Zone)

Sunday, August 26


  • 9 AM - Introduction to Open Source Electronics Toolchains: From KiCad to Milling
  • 10 AM - Electronics and Software for the OSE 3D Printer + Elements and Build of the Electronics Control Panel
  • 1 PM - The OSE CNC Circuit Mill: How to Design and Build a CNC Circuit Mill


  • 9 AM - Marlin Firmware and Modification, Printer Calibration, Printer Profiles, Designing Print Files in FreeCAD, Layout on the Print Surface, Slicing, and Production Harvesting
  • 1 PM - Public Product Development: OSHW Taxonomy, Development Template, Design Jams, and Incentive Challenges Towards the Open Source Economy



  • 9 AM - The Open Source Enterprise: Infrastructure
  • 1 PM - Open Source Product Development as the New Norm


  • 9 AM - Scalability: Extending the Universal Axis to Large 3D Printers


See Open Source Microfactory Boot Camp Recordings.


  • Arrival - evening before, with a welcome introduction at 8 PM.
  • Food - food is included in the program
  • Lodging - we have 12 spots available on site in shared-room accommodations, otherwise you can get a hotel in Cameron, MO, or camp on site.
  • Workshop_Logistics_2018





18 builds total - 21 people total

  • Boot Camp - Kyle Tutty, Eric Poliner, Jeremy Lehrman, Jacob Lehrman, Bill Berkowitz, Tu Ngo + Son, Alex Brown, Ryan McMackins, Andrey Bemko, Catarina Mota (documenting), Lyle Bertz
  • Immersion - Alex Au, Sara Bajor, Harman Bains, Nat Grimm; Dixon Nahrwold (7?), Bhakti Kulkarni (3), Shale Lewis (7)
  • Ph.D. Research - Rian (observing + building)
  • Remote - Diderik van Wingerden, Matt Heidrich, Chas Murillo, Pawel Lugowski, Greg Doud, Zbynek Winkler, Dennis Weiss, Milind Gunjan
  • Food - Sarah for 2 weeks?
  • Other - 2 children and a Border Collie


  • Zbynek - Is it happening? I am remote participant and there is nobody at the jitsi room I was told to join. I have been waiting a couple of hours by now. Can anyone help me?
    • in case anyone is wondering, the first day onsite internet failed so there was no streaming on Saturday
    • Sunday should have been at a different location with working internet connection - now we should be half way through the program but again no streaming so far
  • Bhakti - I would love to learn how to 3D print using different materials. Also, the CNC circuit mill is pretty cool. If you can add how to design the electrical circuit for newbies and translate them to the PCB, that would be great. ]
  • Dixon - As for the topics on the schedue, I am honestly most interested in the laser cutter topics, that said the schedule looks pretty good to me anyway.
  • Diderik - Learning about the OSE approach, the people and culture, more than is possible via reading the website(s), gathering input for initiating an Open Source Design R&D Hub in The Netherlands. One of the projects would be to "make a Makerspace" (or "Microfactory").