STEAM Camp 9 Day Curriculum
For context, read the blog post - https://www.opensourceecology.org/ospd-and-steam-camps/
The Open Source Microfactory STEAM Camp is a crash course in collaborative, open source design which provides a broad survey of experience related to consumer and mechatronic products. We focus on a basic skill set for open source product development using 100% open source toolchains from open source CAD design to builds. The course contains theory but focuses on the hands-on imperative. In the first 4 days of the camp, every participant builds and takes home a 3-in-1 CNC machine with quick-exchange toolheads. We also build a cordless welder prototype. This is possible by using a modular approach with proven, open source modules, and the lowest unique part count of any CNC system in the world. We rely on the Universal Axis with the Universal Controller to build a 3-in-1 machine with quick-connect toolheads. The toolheads are a 3D printer, plotter, and CNC mill. These tools are used to make 3D printed parts and electronic circuits (plotter). We include other builds that show a vast diversity of builds: brushless motor, Arduino Uno, charge controller, battery packs, and power electronics controller – all built from scratch. Combined with learning a basic design workflow in FreeCAD - students learn a robust skill set that can be applied to many products - and scaled to larger builds.
The 5 project days include and a choice of (1) aerial drone, (2) Raspberry Pi tablet, or (3) vacuum robot. We will move on to other builds in successive events and diversify to the Extreme Manufacturing of larger goods – such as electric vehicles or micro-houses. These builds are to be completed in a short time frame by careful selection of robust design, simplicity, modular components, low parts count, and pre-made parts – while using quality documentation. We work from well-prepared kits – but the kits consist of basic parts that go deeply into the underlying design: rods, bearings, belts, wire connectors, bolts, stepper motors, etc. Because our design features high modularity and the lowest unique part count of any CNC machine in the world – rapid builds become possible. With the 3 tools, derivative products can be made from scratch by 3D printing, making circuits, using basic jigs, and using common off-the-shelf (COTS) parts. The combination of digital fabrication, modularity, common off-the-shelf (COTS) parts, and robust design makes practical products feasible. The goal is to deliver industrial productivity on a small scale as the new engine of the productive economy.
The goal of the STEAM Camp is to provide an introduction to the 6 critical ingredients that enable students to begin a pursuit of the open source economy. From the perspective of OSE, the ideal outcome is a student not only learning Open Source Design Thinking, but starting a sideline enterprise based on collaborative material production of common goods for their local economy. This is consistent with our mission of creating collaborative design for a transparent and inclusive economy of abundance.
- Collaborative Literacy - psychological and spiritual tools beyond the reptilian brain that allow for the open source, growth mindset. The seed of the collaborative cortex, which does not yet exist. STEAM Camp Content: Introduction to OSE and open source product development (1 hr); How to Start an Open Source Project (1 hr). Hands-on demonstration of product stacking: larger 3D printer, stacked motor, stacked batteries - which are all symbolic of greater collaboration. Collaboration between 12 teams remotely will be ongoing, and will be designed into the program specifically for inter-team collaboration on the 5 Project Days.
- Collaboration Toolset - sofware and processes to translate collaborative literacy into collaboration for product development. STEAM Camp Content: Intro to complete toolchain used for design and prototyping. FreeCAD, KiCad, FlatCAM, Inkscape, Kdenlive, WebGL, Marlin, Cura, Wiki, Work Log, Realtime Collaborative Docs, OBS Studio, JitsiMeet, Modular Breakdown, Part Libraries, repositories, taxonomy, genealogy, critical path, and licenses.
- Hardware Tools - OSE Dev Kit. This is a development, education, production kit of a 3-in-1 CNC Machine that facilitates the production of 3D printed electric motors, circuits, and cordless welder - and which allows bootstrapping to larger tools such as industrial 3D printers, a CNC torch table, and heavy duty machining center. Content: each person builds the 3-in-1 CNC machine, Universal Controller, 2 power electronics circuits up to 6kW, a temperature logger, electric motor, welder, mini drill, hacksaw, and then the Project such as the Raspberry Pi Tablet. Combined with the Collaboration Toolset, you will be able to go from KiCad and FreeCAD to common products via 3D printing, milling, and circuit-making.
- Learning Community - STEAM Camp participants gain access to a larger community via the Forum, Askbot, Wiki, FB page, Meetups, Open Source Everything Store, Extreme Builds, Incentive Challenges, Annual Event, and sites of the Open Source Production Network - a proposed network of land-based facilities for regenerative development and open source ecology. STEAM Camp Content: access to Forum, Askbot, Wiki, FB group, and with Dev Kit - ability to continue as OSE meetups for development. We would like people to continue contributing to the Open Source Everything Store as a marketplace that provides sideline revenue, and with automation, passive income for economic freedom.
- Ecology - design for an open source, circular economy, based on lifetime design. STEAM Camp Content: The essence of all open source products is that they can be fixed and improved for a lifetime, especially if easy-to-source parts are used. OSE focuses on multipurpose modularity, which when combined with lifetime design - can yield a 100x improvement in resource efficiency. Part of the materials ecology involves developing recycling machines for making 3D printing filament.
- Enterprise - joining the Open Source Everything Store community, for ongoing, collaborative development of products and Distributive Enterprises. STEAM Camp Content: we emphasize throughout that the Camp is about learning to collaborate to produce real things. Each camp starts where the last Camp left off - until economically viable open source products are developed and production is democratized. We are planning on 2 days committed to enterprise development: productization, packaging, fulfillment, production engineering, marketing, website development, production facility, quality control, automation, logistics, business models, business development, revenue models, and other topics related to bringing open source hardware to market. The STEAM Camp serves as a Boot Camp for open development - which feeds talent into Incentive Challenges - and Extreme Builds are used as rapid prototyping swarm-based builds.
The course is designed so it can be taught to both beginners and advanced students. No knowledge of open source product development is required: just an interest in learning. However, you do have to have at least some practical experience: how to use a cordless drill or basic hand tools like a hammer.
Beginning and advanced students will go through the same training, and follow directions to achieve desired builds. Both beginners and advanced students have the opportunity to achieve the same level of build. We will teach basic literacy, so nobody is left behind. For example, having learned how to design things in FreeCAD - one will be able to design anything. How far one takes this in terms of producing finished products is simply up to the student.
We follow the 80/20 rule: accomplishing 80% of results with 20% effort. This means that we teach very basic processes that just about anyone can learn. Complete novices may function up to the 80% competency level - whereas advanced participants will function at the top 20% of competency in the tasks that we do. But both skill levels are designed into the overall build process, with a focus on collaboration, learning, and teaching between all participants.
The event is structured for team work. For example, multiple projects can be combined. For example, 4 3D printers can be combined to make a larger printer. This is unheard-of in standard design - but the design modularity in our case allows this to be perfectly achievable - even within the short time frame of the STEAM Camp. The key is well-refined interfaces that allow smart and quick interconnection (like the concept of Wrapper on software).
The design skills that we are teaching apply at 2 levels: making engineered parts, and combining engineered parts into new creations. The advanced student will probably be more skilled and making new engineered parts, while the beginning student can excel at using the parts as building blocks. Both are critical aspects of overall design - and these 2 aspects are intended to be synergistic in our events.
Thus, throughout - the audience is ANYBODY who is is interested in building their world - as each person can enter at a level appropriate to their skill set - and still make meaningful contributions. We combine effort as teams - so this process pushes the limits of both individual ability and the collaborative literacy to work as a team. If a person is lagging behind, then another person who finishes first should help.
The course allows students to enter into industrial productivity on a small scale, but only to a certain extent. With the skills gained in the STEAM Camp, the goal is to enable the use of the the modules to bootstrap to higher performance machines. However, for things that are produced in the STEAM Camp at a high level of finish - such items may be ready for full replication such that even a novice can begin production if they put the energy into it. If products are refined in successive STEAM Camps, this means that it continues to get easier to get into further development and production. It's about developing a good user interface to the technology, such that entry barriers are lowered.
And this productivity, for students entering without any prior experience - will not be achieved without studying supporting materials further. These materials will be provided for further study. This is like school: you can only get so far by attending class. The rest happens if you do your homework or have genuine interest. If you already have experience, then it's your opportunity to share that with others during the Microfactory Camp.
Day 1 - OSE Intro and Collaborative Development of Technology That Matters
Level of Completion:
- Content known
- Build prototyped
- Content written down
- Content recorded (video of curriculum and build for online course)
OSE Intro, Collaboration, FreeCAD, and Universal Axis.
- 9 AM OSE Introduction: Collaborative Design for a Transparent and Inclusive Economy of Abundance
- Review of OSE Workshops FB page for introductions
- 10 How to Start an Open Source Project to change the world with Collaborative Literacy and Open Source Product Development.
- Skills, Incentive Challenges, and Extereme Build Events for Extreme Manufacturing. Dev Kit + Meetups + Open Source Everything Store
- Open source project infrastructure concepts: module-based design, work logs, wikis, project dev template on wiki, Forum, bug tracker, FAQ, Wiki Taxonomy, Infobox, FreeCAD, Comments (to OSE Workshops FB), cloud editable Google Presentations, Gitlab. Roadmap, critical path, repos, versioning, version history, part libraries.
- Open Source Boot Camp Universal Axis Tools: 3D printer, circuit plotter, cnc mill.
- OSE Dev Kit - Universal Axis Tools + OSE Linux, FreeCAD, Cura, Arduino IDE, OBS Studio, Kdelive, KiCAD, Blender, FB, Twitter, Forum.
- Open Source Everything Store - the Open Source Amazon
- 11 FreeCAD. Learning the basic FreeCAD workflow for design in 45 minutes + Test. Embedding 3D WebGL and part library into the Wiki
- 12 Universal Axis, Universal Controller, and Marlin CNC Control
- 3D Printer Design Workbench in FreeCAD
- Understanding how to use each as building blocks for different applications.
- Scaling with TB6600 external drivers
- Quick connection (of Axes into different geometries) and toolhead quick-connect for different applications: 3D Printer, Plotter, Mill.
- Cura to Marlin - Understanding the software workflow and its modification
- 1-2 - Lunch
- 2-6 PM - 3D Printer Builds
- Build Overview of D3D Simple
- Universal Axis Build
- Universal Controller Build - for printer, plotter, cnc mill, welder, battery charger, temperature logger, and motor controller.
- Simple Extruder Build - build of a simple extruder that anyone can build from 3d printed parts, and off-shelf stock parts by cutting and drilling
- Wiring build
- First Run - and 3D Printed Hacksaw or Mini Drill
- Scalability Fun - using a longer version of 3D printer by combining 4 printers into 1
Day 2 - Making Circuits and Electronic Devices
- 9 AM - Reflections and Learnings from yesterday. Background 3D printing of Circuit Plotter Parts.
- 10 - Modular Electronics: Intro to Designing like a Pro by Treating Everything as Modules
- Brains (controllers) - Arduino and its performance specs to understand its capacities, sensors available, output devices, wireless devices, key relevant shields
- Power Electronics - Intro to handling power with power elements. Hands on with an Arduino AC Light Dimmer with only a single opto-isolated MOSFET using the Universal Controller
- Sensors and displays - Hands-on RAMPS Temperature Logger - using the RAMPS LCD by reprogramming the Universal Controller
- Wiring, Connector Types, and Communications - Wire Ampacity, MTA-100, Ferrules, IDC, D-Sub, Jelly Crimp, Phoenix, Dupont, Ethernet, Wireless RAMPS
- 11 - Designing in KiCad: an Arduino Uno
- KiCad 101. Circuit making process with KiCad and part libraries. Designing an Arduino around the Atmel 328 chip.
- Generating toolpath files for plotting
- Importing electronics from KiCad into FreeCAD.
- Using FlatCam, post-processing, and importing into Lulzbot Cura
- Noon - Building a Circuit Plotter - basic and ecological circuit making at your fingertips
- How to design a modular, quick-connect XY plotter tool head for the Universal Axis
- How to etch circuits in an environmentally friendly way
- Pen holder build
- Building the quick mount
- Modifying Marlin Software for a plotter application including bath agitation on bed.
- 1 PM - Lunch
- 2 - Plotting and Etching an Arduino Uno: circuit plotting for practical results
- 4 - Soldering the Arduino Together
- Soldering components
- Programming the arduino with Arduino IDE. Sketch and upload.
- Test run with Reprapdiscount Full Graphic Smart Controller - Hello World: Open Source Rocks!
- 9 AM - Reflections and Learnings from yesterday.
- 10 - Designing Brushless Electric Motors - going brushless for life
- Axial flux vs radial flux motors
- Design of a simple coreless Radial Flux motor. FreeCAD Motor Designer.
- Design of a brushless motor controller
- 11 - Electric Motor Build: Building a 50W stackable axial flux pancake motor
- Coil winding using a winding jig
- Magnet attachment to cnc cut disks
- Motor assembly with 3D printed parts
- 1 PM - Lunch
- 2 - Motor Controller Build - starting from etching of circuit boards for a simple control circuit based on PWM motor controller.
- Soldering components and wiring up the system
- 3 - Making a CNC mill from the Electric Motor
- Mounting the motor and attaching a 2 mm milling bit
- Making a Quick-attach mount for the Universal Axis.
- Wiring the motor
- 5 - Using Marlin for CNC Milling with auto bed leveling
- Mounting a work piece
- Sample CNC Milling of aluminum
Note: we can combine the Battery Charger, Cordless Welder Controller, Light Dimmer, and DC Electric Motor Power Supply to one Universal Power Supply with the Universal Controller and Power Stage. Thus, we should generalize the control code and power stage to be able to handle all of these functions. This makes it manageable - turning this into a question of coding the different functions, using the same generalized power stage. This is possible because all these power devices are simply DC power sources. We can potentially use the DIY arduino as the brain.
- 9 AM - Reflections and Learnings from yesterday.
- 10 - Battery Packs for Just About Everything - using ubiquitous 18650 cells
- How to design battery packs. Scalable, parametric battery holder in FreeCAD with interconnects. FreeCAD Battery Designer.
- How to design a RAMPS battery charger for 18650 cells
- 11 - Building a 24V battery pack - from a prepared and 3D printed kit
- Building Battery Holder
- Interconnecting batteries
- Adding a state of charge indicator light
- 1 PM - Lunch
- 2 - Arduino-controlled Battery Charger - we learn how to charge batteries - with a scalable smart charger controlled by the Universal Controller. We do a sample prototype build.
- Hardware build
- Software and its logic
- 3:30 - An Arduino-Controlled Cordless Welder - Did you know that Cordless Welders exist? We will stack battery packs to make a cordless welder
- Circuit Build of power stage - understanding how to switch large amounts of current with an Arduino brain
- Connection to Universal Controller - to provide current control, selectable through the LCD screen
- Programming the Arduino controller - controller logic
- How to program the Reprapdiscount Smart Controller LCD screen
- Doing a sample weld
Day 5-9: Project Days
The Project Days combine product and enterprise development. Days 5-7 involve collaborative builds of a product, and the last 3 days focus on enterprise development, where we explore strategy, production, distribution, and marketing. The last 2-3 days are a Startup Camp environment - except that we are all collaborating on makig one product better, as opposed to pursuing competing pitches.
The goal of the STEAM Camps is to create an infrastructure for open source product development as a means to eradicate artificial scarcity. The goal is to promote innovation and solving of pressing world issues by making material production easy and accessible. The big picture goal is helping humanity towards pursuit of self-determination (freedom), as opposed to material survival. The implications are increase human consciousness towards personal and political evolution - as material constraints to thriving are removed from the equation. This boils down to efficient production in communities, with zero competitive waste.
There are 3 options being developed currently as small desktop projects, though we will move on to larger things such as electric vehicles, housing, and other topics:
- Aerial Drone - Use your smart phone (or Raspberry Pi Tablet if you have already built one) to fly your drone, using your own battery packs, ESC, and 3D printed parts. In successive camps, we will use our own 3D printed axial flux electric motors to make advanced technology down to earth.
- Raspberry Pi Tablet and Video Production Studio- make a fully functional computer tablet with phone from a touch screen, a Raspberry Pi, and a 3D printed case printed with your own printer, and a circuit board for the camera and charger. You will also make your own battery pack from the popular 18650 lithium ion cells. The special purpose of this tablet is documentation: taking video and picture instructionals. Thus the Tablet comes with interchangeable lens, wireless mike, and a tripod, and we will be building an entire open source sound/video studio around it - including augmented reality instructional creation. See Raspberry Pi Specification
- Cordlesss Drill / Vacuum Robot - Refine the battery pack, make a charger, refine the electric motor, add a geardown and chuck, and there is the world's first open source, practical cordless drill or Vacuum Robot.
In these days, we'll be doing collaborative production of documentation. We will work on the business models that arise from the products that we are developing.
- Open source economics - philosophy, branding, case studies, and growing the pie for everyone.
- Business models - business model options for open hardware, revenue projections and scenarios for sample products; revenue model case studies.
- Product Strategy - how to design an irresistable offer; education products; bootstrapping products. Actual products, production, and education as products.
- Production Strategy - How to design and operate an on open source microfactory. Startup budget. Production tools, layout, parts inventory, workflow
- Production Engineering - Detailed ergonomics of production and revenue per microfactory per hour.
- Packaging - shipping options, labeling, packaging. Flat rate, envelope, and custom shipments. The USPO mailbox.
- Sales funnels - designing a sales funnel for your open hardware business, and leveraging collaboratively-developed marketing assets.
- Franchising - What does an open source franchise look like? Franchise agreements.
- Producer Training and Certification - OSE Certified.
- Distribution Channels - How to set up an Amazon or Etsy store. Setting up kit sales on Kit.com. Setting up a Crowd Supply channel. Kickstarter campaigns. E-commerce, m-commerce, and an OSE Everything Store app.
- Product Support and Warranties - How to leverage an online community for support. Forums. Askbot. How to leverage lifetime design for a warranty
- Product Photo Shoot - How to do a product photo shoot, and doing one for a product
- Open Source Everything Store - On-demand production infrastructure for microfactories. Required uniform infrastructure, delivery time, and producer certification. Open Source Everything Store templates on the wiki.
- The Open Source Film Studio - making and preparing education products for YouTube, live streams, webinars, and podcasts. Combining the Open Source Film Studio for product photo shoots, promotional materials, and instructionals. How to script and produce an explainer video, a blackboard video, and a whiteboard video.
- Product Templates - embeddable website product page templates with 3D visualizations and product reviews for e-commerce
- Collaborative Video Editing - using the Open Source Film Studio and Collaborative Video Editing, we will produce an instructional video with multiple editors collaborating in Kdenlive at the same time. We will do a 1 hour experiment on editing an entire video via parallel collaboration, essentially packing 12-24 hours of video edit into 1 hour. The key here is once again - modular breakdown of the video into steps. This includes Blender renders, FreeCAD explosions, and more.
- Collaborative Documentation - This involves a Production Guide, Build Manual, Product Guide with Troubleshooting and Repair information. Doing a Documentation Sprint to produce a product manual with a Remote Team using realtime collaborative editing.
- Augmented Reality - creating augmented reality applications using the Raspberry Pi Tablet.