It is interesting to see the progress on the Compressed Earth Block (CEB) press from prior art:
to our own conceptual and design drawings:
to raw metal as shown at http://blog.opensourceecology.org/?p=36
and to reality:
Now we take a mound of dirt and get to work:
Here’s the prototype in action – the very first and raw run – working with some of the dirt from the semi-frozen pile:
Muddy bricks are born, as the soil is wet:
Nonetheless, the proof of concept of the entire machine, including automated hopper assembly, is complete. No structural issues, just a few details to finish. We can test for machine durability by simply pressing a brick a large number of times – perhaps ten thousand – without ejecting – so we obtain firm data on durability.
Field testing requires dry soil and mounting the CEB on a tractor 3 point hitch. When the weather allows, we’ll get to it. All in all, it seems that a high performance building method is around the corner. This is exciting for global village construction.
Circulate this widely. A great step has been taken for the world’s first, high-performance, open source CEB machine. The next steps include building the second prototype, followed by open franchising. That’s right. The plans are 100% open – and we’ll be demonstrating step-by-step fabrication. Our endpoint is a working business model and a flexible fabrication facility. The essence is one thousand dollars in parts; throw in a drill press, torch, and welder; plus labor – and there’s a real, economically significant product. By the way, it’s also design-for-disassembly (DfD) construction – with bolts as the main means of structural integration – for all but the hopper and a few welds. All parts are readily accessible, and wear plates are readily replaceable. I can take apart the entire machine to all its metal parts in about 15 minutes. That is pure passion – if one is interested in easy maintenance and lifetime of service. Stay tuned for developments.