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  • Current world military spending - $1.8T - [1]

Technology Roadmap and Rationale

Factor e Farm Agriculture Roadmap

Site Development Roadmap

3 Year Technical Roadmap

This is the roadmap towards the completion of basic heavy machinery using already-developed library parts. This roadmap phase ends with a robust rapid prototyping infrastructure:

  1. OSE Linux Distribution
  2. Open source CAD, CAM, CAE based on FreeCAD and the Open Cascade Technology kernel.
  3. Open source physical prototyping using CNC torch table, 3D printer, 3D scanner, CNC router, laser cutter, CNC circuit mill, and CNC heavy duty mill.
  4. Strategy

Key concepts: once the concept, design rationale, and requirements are stated, and acceptable parts are specified, a massive parallel effort of design can begin. To this end, a design guide is the most important asset - how to interpret ose spec, ecology, simplicity, allowable complexity, allowable tool choice (examples of proper tool use - ex IRONWORKER = 5 sec for cut and mark vs 3 minutes for torch - a factor of 60 time savings). Thus a critical initial piece is the OSE Design Guide.

Overall Roadmap

Milestone Areas

Communication Levels

Team Development

Two parallel efforts - R&D Team plus Dev team. Latter is primarily tech lead, project manager, and facilitator. 3 people. Tech lead understands direction of technology. Project manager manages and follows up with tasks. Facilitator trains, motivates, rewards, and does HR functions of hiring and firing. Facilitator can do 1 or more teams. Tech lead is one project only.roject manager is one project, assuming that a time of 5 hours per week is required.

PM manages and actively follows up on commitments, and provides transparency on dcocumentation. So development is the tech lead, documentation is the PM. One big aspect of OSE is following up on documentation.

Facilitator is the outreach guy who gets new people in, and interacts with other communities, so they have to be trained in Ose culture and tech literacy.

Project manager needs to be trained in tech basics, to understand if things are being delivered to spec. Facilitator oversees cultural literacy of manager and tech lead. Facilitator does outreach, so initial reporting on project progress via FB. FB feed role.

Technical Areas of Endeavor

Meta: the audience for this writing is to expose a detailed technical rollout plan for 2016-2026, which is the time allotted to Full technical development of an autonomous infrastructure construction set known as the GVCS, and implemented in the form of OSE's first full Campus. This is OSE's current plan, and is constantly up for review under agile development methodology. This writing assumes technical expertise in specific areas of endeavor. For a popular overview of this work, please see the GVCS TED Talk, GVCS in 2 Minutes, the MIT Innovations Journal article, the New Yorker Article, and a recent interview at the Permaculture Voices Podcast.

Tractor Construction Set

Tractor Construction Set - a set of multipurpose, scalable, Design for Manufacturing modules that can be used to build any heavy machine at 2-10 times lower cost compared to industry standards by using an open source fab lab model of distributed production. The power level of this set spans from fractional horsepower to 168 horsepower machines and above.

The machines of interest span any mechanical heavy machine, such as a backhoe, tractor, bulldozer, cement mixer, sawmill, well-drilling rig, agricultural combine, seeder, baler, mower, Hammermill, Pelletizer, etc.

The component modules being developed to create any mechanical device include:

  • Power Cube - a multipurpose, modular power source, also overlapping with the gasifier which allows the mechanical infrastructure to be powered by locally-derived, Pelletized biomass
  • Universal Rotor - a multipurpose drive rotor that can be used as a drive wheel, a drive track, a chain drive, a sawmill, a Pelletizer, a Hammermill, cement mixer, or any rotor-based machine
  • Pivot joint - a modular, bolt-together pivot structure that may be used as a pivot with heavy shafting, such as with 3" shaft. It is used wherever an articulated joint is required, such as on a backhoe, Ironworker Machine, or articulated steering of a tractor.
  • Articulated cylinder module
  • Clamp module -

Open Source Fab Lab

Immediate term goals are to implement a rapid prototyping infrastructure primarily for the Tractor Construction Set and other construction sets of the GVCS. The open source Fab Lab is an open source industrial upgrade of Neil Gerschenfeld's Fab lab concept, spanning a broader range of more powerful tools focusing on localized industrial production capacity.

Currently the open source CNC Torch Table is the most important tool. Near-term goals include capacity to forge and roll steel into tubing, to induction melt and alloy steel followed by hot rolling to generate virgin steel from scrap, and to precision machine steel - culminating in the manufacture of ball bearings.

A full range of supporting material feedstocks, such as cutting, heating, and heating gases is also required, and our approach to these is likewise via the use of ubiquitous resources. Charcoal generated from pelletized biomass will be used for generating fuel gas for space heating, running internal combustion engines, and oxy-fuel cutting, as well as to provide an important industrial feedstock (carbon). Water will be used to generate cutting oxygen and fuel (hydrogen) for oxy-hydrogen cutting.

Effectively, the goal is to enable the creation of advanced civilization using an integrated workshop facility on the scale of 400 square meters (civilization which uses a level of technology up to precision machined metal objects, such as engines) in any location where scrap metal is available as a feedstock.

Project Management

General Strategy

  • Create Roadmap for 3 years
  • Start by 1 project complete at a time? Completion definition: workable enterprise model - production and workshop.
  • Start with production machinery - CNC Torch table.
  • Approach from Pit Crew appraoch - support team of generalists but with specific skills and tasks
  • Focus is on building stable bootstrap economics
  • Focus on staffing for needs, with replaceable people (SOPs on wiki)
  • Create vetting SOPs
  • Create HR team first
  • Team funnels to technical development - on 4 priority modules/topics
  • Alignment must be done by clear communication of Product Lead
  • Profile of person: SME in a small area
  • Distinction between Pit Crew and SMEs. Distinction needs to be made very clear, and SOPs needed for each.


  • Create training materials for critical skill sets - FreeCAD, Kdenlive, Sketchup, mysweethome 3D, tool path workbench, Blender, YouTube interactive, Development spreadsheet, wiki, Kicad, laser scanning, reverse engineering 101, hydraulics (army manual), video production, Powtoons, screen casting, diy film studio, Natron, sound spectrum analysis (velocity), arduino, BBB, 3D printing enterprise ($5/print). Open source lab, open source product development
  • create teaching curriculum with certain leaders, focusing on specific subject matter
  • Teams: IT, syndicated news show (studio content feed), enterprise development team, Aquaponics team.
  • Each team progression: methodology, tasks and roles defined, recruiting + charter with a project leader and project manager. Vetting involves a person who has experience within area of interest
  • Another approach is Defining Methodology; developing a business plan; developing a business strategy; determining projections; running a crowd funding campaign to support the documentation of a startup. This is based on presenting what is already available, and filling in gaps to what is missing. Some gaps are crowd funded, and others are work exchange funded. Funding funds a project manager. If 5 hours per week, then who is the full time manager? Can a solid team operate as 5 hour commitments? Quick to fire May be a good strategy. Specific deliverables outlined for each project. To be scalable, this process must be under a set of SOP guidelines, which points back to Dvelopment Spreadsheet - with a development on-ramp - with funding via a bootstrapping model.