We have just received a $100k award letter from The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. This means significant acceleration of prototype deployment of the Global Village Construction Set – making open blueprints accessible to everybody. Terra Foundation is our fiscal sponsor for the nonprofit sector. You can see more info on the proposal on the wiki.
With additional resources coming in, this is turning out to be a winter convergence at Factor e Farm as we prepare the OSE Christmas Gift to the World. James Slade is already here taking the tractor apart and making improvements:
We have more people descending onto Factor e Farm to work and publish. Luke Eisman and Jason Aramburu, CEO and CTO of Re:Char,will be joining us for initial documentation of existing OSE CNC Torch Table work. He has already replicated the OSE torch table rail drive system, I just found out. Our current direction is to replicate a DIY table from another fellow in Texas, a tested system that does production work. This has hundreds of hours of development, including automatic height control and a 3/8″x4″ main rail – making this robust enough for use as a router table. It was already used to cut out the hopper for James’ CEB press:
Our strategy is to familiarize ourselves with the above as a device with industry standard components, and then proceed quickly to opensource the stepper motors, height control, controllers, and document milling of gear rack as we develop the open source CNC Multimachine. As you can see, the above machine meets our criterion of simple design. Our goal is $2k for a 6×10 foot machine comparable to industry standards costing about $40k. This requires toolchain integration of toolpath g-code generation and use with an open source CAM package such as LinuxCNC. Our last experience with the tool chain was messy, so if you are a Python programmer, help us integrate existing modules into a killer Open Source CNC Torch Table Control Software package. See previous work here and referring page here. Considerations include height control feedback integration, piercing strategy, and tool width corrections.
On the open hardware front, help us to develop open source stepper motors, open source stepper motor controllers equivalent in power-handling ability to Gecko G540 drives, and a height sensor mechanism. Then, help us develop a procedure for milling our own gear rack and pinion.
This will be followed by reducing the price further to about $500 for the CNC Torch Table after we melt our own steel with an open source induction furnace. The ergonomics of production are to be explored carefully to determine whether this deep level of technological recursion will also be economically significant.