From Open Source Ecology
Jump to: navigation, search

Good examples of open-source hardware documentation:

Every Internet success story - Wikipedia, YouTube, Google, FaceBook - have something in common: none of them have given people content; they have given people platforms on which they can build content. If OSE is to be a successful open-source hardware project, we need to stop focusing so much on creating content, and start focusing on building a platform.

My take on the GVCS

I was pleasantly surprised to find that once you get clarity on what tools are needed, open-source or DIY designs can be found online for the majority of them. The task of the Open Ecology Network, as I see it, is as much about collecting and organizing existing solutions as it is about inventing new machines. We need to take existing instructions and turn them into out-of-the-box solutions. This is true especially for food/agriculture. In the digital manufacturing area, some open-source designs still have to be done from scratch, but several of them are already under development by other people, like Lasersaur.

  • First, we get a clear list of the GVCS tools
  • Then we pick a development strategy for each tool
    • Some will be developed at Factor e Farm, like the CEB Press and LifeTrac
    • Others will be developed by other open-source groups, like OScar and RepRap
    • Some can be developed by expert members of the OSE community, using OSE funds. For instance, some people on the forum are very knowledgeable about CNC; it may be that the most efficient way to develop a CNC tool is to throw a few thousand dollars at one of these people and ask them to take the lead on development. Get them to document the build early and often and get online feedback. The wind turbine should probably be built this way, the laser cutter (if Lasersaur isn't up to specs), aluminium extractor, robotic arm etc.

It is important to realize that if there are to be replicable ecovillages, they will each have different requirements. So some may use wind turbines, while others use solar. Some may farm hydroponically while others use permaculture. Some will be urban and some rural. So the toolkit is to be used on a pick-and-mix basis. We can't say that all 40 tools and 40 tools only will be needed to build a particular village.

Each of these tools must fulfil the following requirements.

  • Open documentation
  • Instructional videos or similar
  • Bill of materials with sourcing info
  • Low cost
  • Lifetime design
  • Modular design for easy disassembly and repair
  • Energy
    • Microbial fuel cell.
    • Run-of-the-river hydroelectric generator.
    • Geothermal. SHPEGS heat pump can be adapted for geothermal use
    • Steam engine
    • Inverter
    • Battery
    • Stirling engine. In alpha phase
    • Electric motor
  • Digital fabrication
    • CAD software
    • 3D scanner
    • Laser cutter.
    • 3D printer. RepRap
    • CNC torch table RepTab
    • CNC drill-mill-lathe MultiMachine
    • MIG welder
    • Spectroscope
    • Induction furnace
    • Plasma cutter
    • Waterjet cutter. To attach to the RepTab
    • Multimeter / Computer oscilloscope.
    • Robotic arm
    • Metal saw
    • Metal roller
    • Metal press, shear and hole puncher