Open Source Microfactory Boot Camp 2019

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In 2019 we are offering an experimental, public-interest design, STEM boot camp Summer Camp that combines both well-prepared builds and time for experimenting with design and prototyping. The first 3 days cover building 3D printers and learning to design objects using open source FreeCAD software. The remaining part of the Summer Camp involves experimentation with a wide variety of CNC machines, 3D printed electric motors, 3D printed geardowns, and electronic controller for the 3D printed motor. We focus around OSE's Universal Axis System - a scalable and modular plantform for building CNC machines based on a common set of parts. Participants have a chance to build a 3D printer on the first day to take home with them - and to use this printer in prototyping throughout the week. We will build 2 more CNC machines in the week: a metal 3D printer and a heavy duty CNC mill for manufacturing engine parts. We will also do a prototype build of a 3D printed cordless drill including 3D printed battery pack and motor - as a test of the collaborative development methods. The goal of the week is to equip participants with a wide array of skills that allow replication of OSE's modular build techniques.

General Schedule (to be finalized)

On day 1 - we build the OSE D3D 3D printer - a 3D printer that is intended for unleashing industrial productivity on a small scale. We will build our latest version - D3D v19.04. We feature silent operation, the Titan Aero extruder with Volcano nozzle for printing deposition rates up to 5 lb per day, and a PEI, insulated heat bed that heats faster and uses less energy than any other comparable 3D printer.(*show data on heat time and graphs of bed energy use). We are using our scalable Universal Axis motion system, which means that you will learn how to build larger machines using the same basic building blocks. The design is fully open source and intended for widespread replication.

On day 2 - we will teach you the basics of design in FreeCAD using a simple but powerful workflow that allows you to design just about anything - and can be taught in one hour of time. We will spend the day practicing CAD design skills, and we will teach you how to use the OSE Part Library to design variations of the 3D printer of any size or shape.

On day 3 - the scalability magic of the Universal Axis comes to life as we built a 1 cubic meter and a 6 foot tall 3D printer to print furniture and plastic lumber using the SuperVolcano Nozzle with a deposition rate of 20 lb/day.

On day 4 and 5 - we will build 3D printed brushless electric motors and 3D printed planetary geardowns. We will also build the control electronics for the motors using simple circuit production techniques that combine 3D printing with laser printer based circuit fabrication. Our goal is to demonstrate that we can get practical power levels from the 3D printed motors - and that we can apply these homebrew motors to drive high torque devices such as the Precious Plastic Shredder by using high-torque, planetary geardowns.

On day 6 and 7 - we will apply our collaborative development methods to the build of a 3D printed cordless drill entire from scratch.

On days 8-9 - we go to heavier industrial applications. We are also dedicating 2 days for exploration of a heavy duty CNC mill using the larger 2" Universal Axis. If more than 12 people register for the workshop (our ideal number is 24) - then we will split to a second group which builds a metal 3D printer using the 1" universal axis. This is nothing more than mounting a 200 amp MIG welder torch head as a toolhead instead of the plastic filament extruder - so we print in solid steel. This requires a design where the motion components are hidden from the weld spatter - which is easy to do using our modular Universal Axis system.

Overall Goals

The focus is around gaining decent understanding of the tools and techniques necessary to build small mechatronic devices - such as 3D printers or cordless drills as the cases in point - with fully open source tool chains. This includes developing open source motors, electronics, heating elements, drive systems, and geardowns that can be applied to building many other types of products. We focus around the 3D printer as a universal prototyping tool, and teach Open Source Product Development techniques that we have been developing at OSE to leverage open collaboration for open source product design.

We are preparing to deploy an Incentive Design Challenge in 2020 - a global collaborative development challenge aimed at producing a professional grade cordless drill. We are planning on leveraging a significant reward ($250k) to engage wide participation - but the rules are different. We will reward collaboration - where building upon other contributors' work is required to solve a challenge greater than any single person could do. We are focusing not only on the design of the cordless drill - but also the design of an enterprise infrastructure such that these open source drills can begin filling the shelves of local hardware stores. If this works out, we will have laid a milestone in human economic history by democratizing production. We will have demonstrated the true power of open collaborative development for creating transparent and inclusive economies of abundance - by using fully open source toolchains. Our goal is putting open source hardware on the index of human economic possibility.

Time and Place

  • June 29 - July 7 - 9 day total.

More Schedule Details

  • Day 1 - Build your own 3D printer - the latest version of D3D v19.04 with the Titan Aero high performance extruder and Volcano nozzle that can handle faster print rates with 0.25 mm up to 1.2 mm nozzles. V19.02 is easier to build and align, removing the need for welding if you don't have a welder or don't want to mess with JB-Weld epoxy. Choose from 6", 8", and 12" print bed versions. Cost is $799, $899, and $1299 if you want to take the 3D printer home with you.
  • Day 2 - Learn to use your 3D Printer and to design objects using open source CAD. This will be the foundation for doing useful design in the remaining days of the Boot Camp. We will teach you how to use FreeCAD to do simple and complex design so you can create and modify 3D printing files using a completely open source toolchain. We will teach you a basic, but powerful workflow that can be learned in 1 hour of hands-on practice - so that you can add effective CAD design to your skill set as one of the core outcomes of the Boot Camp. To test the accuracy of your printer, we will 3D print calipers that have up to 50 micron accuracy. We will teach you how to switch to different nozzles for printing - depending on if you want high detail or fast prints. We will teach you how to design printable objects, and how to prepare them for successful printing.
  • Day 3 - Large 3D Printer. Today we will build 2 large printers - one that has a 1 meter bed, and another that is a 6' tall 3D printer. To do this, we will use the 1" size Universal Axis in the larger printer. We will print with large printing nozzles of 80W - which can print up to 20lb of plastic per day. This means that 3D printing of large objects such as furniture or building materials such as plastic lumber now becomes feasible.
  • Day 4 - 3D Printed Motors - 1. Halbach Array motor. 2. Axial flux motor of 73% efficiency. We will build a simple electronic controller for speed control using a 555 timer chip. 3. Motor Stack - because the motor that we build can have a has a shaft that sticks out from the front and back - several of the motors we build can be connected in line for scalability.
  • Day 5 - geardowns. Planetary, split ring planetary, and stacked geardowns to connect our new motor to drive a Precious Plastic Shredder. Planetary geardown for a Nema 17 motor. Large geardowns. We will experiment with how to make efficient geardowns for attaining high torque using 3D printed parts, and will measure the practical limits that can be achieved. Split ring planetary geardown with a Nema 17 Motor for 100x higher torque. People have used planetary geardowns for 600 lb winches - so there is room for exploration.
  • Day 6-7- We will explore open source product development by collaborating on an a 3D printed, cordless drill. We allocate multiple 3D printers for real-time, on-demand prototyping without long wait periods for parts. We will design and build various geardowns, battery packs, and simple 3D printed circuits (component holder structures for soldered components), and put together a functional cordless drill. Here we let the creativity of the group take over - for applying CAD design rapid prototyping. We will provide crash course tutorials on cordless drill design, electric motor design, battery pack design, and controls, building of 3D printed planetary gears, and other topics relevant to making a cordless drill. We will aim for building a 3D printed cordless drill motor, but will have off-the-shelf electric motors to experiment with as well.
  • Day 8-9 - We get industrial! We will work with the 2" Universal Axis to build a heavy duty CNC machine with a goal of 200lb of tool force at 10 micron resolution. We will build on our past work with the Universal Axis to produce a much stronger version with 36x the motion force than the 3D printer - by using 50 mm steel rods instead of 8 mm rods as the basis of the motion system. We will also build a 3D printer that prints in solid metal - by using the 1" universal axis and a 1 meter print bed - where we simply hang a MIG welder gun on the tool head instead of using a plastic filament extruder. This gets us to printing fully solid, functiuonal steel objects. We will start by 3D printing heavy duty drive sprockets for the MicroTrac tractor.


  • 3D printed geardowns
  • 3D printed electric motors
  • heating elements for large 3D printer heat beds
  • Functional 3D printed cordless drill
  • Building a 1 meter print bed 3D printer. Stationary bed with 4 Z axes raising the XY gantry
  • Building a 2" universal axis with heavy duty CNC milling head - 200 lb of cutting force at 10 micron resolution
  • Building a 1 meter 3D printer for printing with metal


  • $99 - live remote participation. Join us on our new 1 Gbit fiber connection - participate remotely, and ask us questions during the presentation sessions. We will record 2 presentations each day, and leave the video link live throughout the rest of the builds. We can now broadcast to the world - no more agony of a 4 Mbit internet line!
  • $899 for the 9 day immersion, but you don't take a 3D printer home with you
  • $1399 full week experience, plus take a 8" bed printer home with you
  • $899 3D printer kit only. Includes access to the live remote presentation.


  • Want to take a kit for the Plastic Extruder?
  • Want to take a kit for the Plastic Shredder home with you?
  • Want to take a kit for the CNC Circuit Mill home with you?
  • Need to print larger, more functional items? Participate in the Boot Camp - and take a 3D printer with a 12" heated bed home with you - $1599.
  • Need to go industrial? We are offering the first ever public production run of the D3D Mega - with a 3' by 3' print bed, and Super Volcano nozzle - that can print up to 20 lbs of plastic per day! Now you can start printing furniture and construction materials. First time special offer of $_______ (including heated bed) - this is our largest printer option, with heated bed, depending on options. We are offering this build after the Boot Camp - as 3 extra days of build. Now this can get expensive fast if you are buying commercial filament - so that is where you want to start thinking about making your own 3D printing filament to print products with feedstocks from the waste stream.


  • $99
  • $699
  • $1399
  • Donate for extras