Common Goods

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  • This program must be consistent with the core mission of OSE, and the program must involve participants in a tangible way which also helps the design effort of OSE
  • Raise awareness of open source, self-determination, and people creating the life and world that they want to live in.


Public Design refers to collaborative design in which the resulting designs are publically accessible and open source. It is a design paradigm that transcends proprietary development - as an evolution of the economy to a transparent and inclusive economy of abundance.

Collaborative product development that involves students, teachers, educators, librarians, designers, hackers, and the general public.

We design simple, common, practical goods that anyone can build and use at a fraction of the cost of store-bought goods. We don't focus on trinkets, but useful things.

This is a way to get involved in becoming a producer and creator, not a consumer who takes the choices that are already given.

Our curriculum is intended to provide the learning materials and tools that allow anyone to become involved in design and creation of the world around them - by producing real things that they use.

In addition to learning how to design things, how to think like an engineer, how to use CAD software, how to collaborate in teams, and how to build the things that one designs - we give everyone an opportunity to take part is something much bigger than themselves. We are an organization dedicated to creating the open source economy - an economy based on collaboration where people really work together without trade secrets to make a better world.

We are thus inviting your classroom to become a Public Design Center that collaborates with the greater world.

You have options in terms of how you can get involved:

  1. Start a Public Design Club or group at your school, library, community center, or university. This is like a Linux User's Group in open software - but we work here on open source hardware and public design
  2. Every Saturday we participate in a Design Sprint - where we design some useful thing
  3. Every semester we offer a Design Challenge on a specific project
  4. Join our ongoing Development Team for Public Design


Our curriculum has a number of modules that are part of the thematic whole of design thinking - and particularly Open Source Product Design. The focus is on both theory and practice. Theory will be presented, and students will take an active part in exercises that test the concepts presented - with builds of real products. Projects are documented - and then successive classes build upon the existing work to improve designs. Work can be done in classes over multiple sessions. OSE is able to offer immersive build experiences of complete products or machines that we guide participants in one day builds - or we can provide the full kits for independent builds. For all the different builds, we offer annual incentive design competitions where students submit their designs to HeroX, where they can win prizes while contributing to the common good.

  • The Open Source Economy
  • Global Grand Challenges and ways to solve them
  • The material basis of global issues
  • Converting abundant materials into modern day civilization: basic material flows
  • The infrastructures of modern civilization
  • Efficient production: what goes into a modern standard of living
  • Collaborative vs proprietary development
  • The history of open source: from the steam engine to China
  • How to design things: Public Design
  • Basic conceptual design process and tools used
  • How to turn conceptual design into technical design
  • How to translate physics and engineering principles into the practical aspects of your design
  • How to do calculations: basics of physical quantities that underlie the real world
  • Exercise: how to design a Cordless Drill
  • Incentive challenge: the Cordless Drill on HeroX
  • How to Engage in Large Scale Collaboration for the Common Good
  • Tools: wikis, docs, CAD files, part libraries, repositories
  • A common operating system: OSE Linux
  • The design process - Development Template
  • The keys to a Scalable Process
  • Collaboration Architecture: how to get many people to work effectively in parallel
  • Documentation: how to keep track of many development items and how to find everything again
  • Mass collaboration: How to get 100 people on the internet to design something in parallel in one day
  • Extreme Design: How to design a tractor completely from scratch in one day with 1000 People
  • Extreme Documentation: How to coordinate 10 teams of 100 People to document a build completely in one day.
  • The Final Report: how to make sure that you document everything for your project
  • How to Design and Build a 3D printer with the Universal Axis System
  • How to use the 3D Printer Part Library
  • How to desing a 3D Printer from scratch
  • Designing part modification in FreeCAD.
  • The Universal Axis Motion System
  • Useful upgrades
  • How to design an extruder
  • Programming
  • Python 101
  • HTML and CSS 101
  • Wordpress 101
  • Programming in Arduino Environment
  • FreeCAD programming: Command Line
  • FreeCAD programming: Macros
  • FreeCAD programming: in C
  • How to Recycle Plastic and Make 3D Printing Filament
  • The design of the Lyman Filament Maker
  • The build of the Lyman Filament Maker
  • The design of a plastic shredder
  • The build of a plastic shredder
  • How to recycle plastic from the waste stream
  • The design a plastic bag recycler
  • The build of a plastic bag recycler
  • How to print with recycled filament
  • How to make new formulas for 3D printer filament
  • How to make metal-embedded 3D printing filament
  • How to Design Simple CNC Machines of Any Size and Shape
  • The 8 mm Universal Axis and how to use it for design
  • How to design a CNC Circuit Mill
  • How to build a CNC Ciruit Mill
  • How to run a CNC Circuit Mill using a fully open source toolchain
  • The 1" Universal Axis and how to build medium size machines with it
  • How to design a CNC Torch Table
  • How to design an Oxyhydrogen Cutting System
  • How to design a Metal 3D Printer that uses welding wire
  • Heavy machining: the 2" Universal Axis
  • How to design a 2" Shaft Lathe
  • How to design a Heavy Duty CNC Drill
  • The 3" Universal Axis: how to design super heavy duty machines.
  • Construction: Open Building Instititutet: The Seed Eco-Home and Aquaponic Greenhouse
  • How to design a house of sticks
  • How to design a house of brick
  • The OBI Part Library
  • How to design Houses in Sweet Home 3D
  • How to design a Model Kit for the Sweet Home 3D House
  • How to design homes with the OBI Model Kit
  • How to design and build electronics from scratch using an open source CNC Ciruit Mill
  • How to design a CNC Circuit Mill
  • The CNC Circuit Mill Part Library
  • KiCAD and Circuit Design
  • How to Build an Open Source Oscilloscope with Arduino
  • Designing a Power Inverter from Scratch: application of the CNC Circuit Mill
  • Social entrepreneurship: how to change the world through open source enterprise
  • Disciplined Entrepreneurship: the steps that every enterprise must make
  • Movement Entrepreneurship: how to select problems that matter
  • How to build a team: selecting your co-founders
  • What is Public Development, Open Source, and why is Open Source important?
  • The Open Source Enterprise: Values and Requirements
  • The Open Source Hardware Enterprise: Possible Business Models
  • Materials Lab
  • How to produce cement
  • How to produce charcoal
  • How to produce hydrogen
  • How to recycle plastics and make 3D printing filament
  • How to make silicate mineral paint
  • How to produce plastic lumber
  • How to produce 3D printed glazing