- 1 OSE Proposal - Towards a World Class Open Source Research and Development Facility
- 2 I. VISION
- 3 Footnotes
- 4 II. ECONOMIC BASE
- 5 Footnotes
- 6 III. PRODUCT SELECTION METRIC
- 7 IV. PRODUCT ECOLOGY
- 7.1 a. PRODUCT ECOLOGY: OPEN SOURCE TECHNOLOGY PATTERN LANGUAGE
- 7.2 b. PRODUCT ECOLOGY: SYMBOLIC REPRESENTATION FOR THE 16 TECHNOLOGIES
- 7.3 c. PRODUCT ECOLOGY: INTERACTION OF THE 16 TECHNOLOGIES WITH A LAND-BASED GLOBAL VILLAGE AND WITH THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
- 7.4 i. SAMPLE PRODUCT ECOLOGY 1: ENERGY - SOLAR TURBINE COMBINED HEAT AND POWER (CHP) SYSTEM
- 7.5 ii. SOLAR CONCENTRATORS
- 7.6 iii. TRANSPORTATION: CARS, TRACTORS, AND OTHER SELF-PROPELLED DEVICES
- 7.7 iv. SKID LOADER
- 7.8 v. SAWMILL ECOLOGY
- 7.9 vi. Biofuels: Fuel Alcohol, Compressed Wood Gas, and Biodiesel
- 7.10 d. FLEXIBLE FABRICATION: HOW ALL THE GENERATIVE
- 8 Footnotes
- 9 V. ENTERPRISE MODELS
- 10 Footnotes
OSE Proposal - Towards a World Class Open Source Research and Development Facility
By: Factor e Team
Email: [email protected]
This is a deployment plan for a world-class research center for Open Source Economic Development (OSED). Product line, infrastructure, working questions and decision forking, personnel, budget, timeline, resource development, strategic planning, education, commercialization, and self-replication are covered.
- Clarify vision for research center
- Define metric for product selection
- Rate Global Village Construction Set product line
- Define right livelihood enterprise set
- Specify all working questions on the product line and enterprise set
- Specify infrastructure needs
- List all resource development items
- Specify education program
- Create Powerpoint presentation
- Start resource development
- Economic Base
- Product Selection Metric
- Metric Development
- The Metric
- Specific Product Selection for the Global Village Construction Set
- Product Rating for Components
- Product Ecology
- Product Ecology: Open Source Technology Pattern Language
- Product Ecology: Symbolic Representation for the 16 Technologies
- Product Ecology: Interaction of the 16 Technologies with a Land-Based Global Village and with the Global Economy
- Sample Product Ecology 1: Energy - Solar Turbine Combined Heat and Power (CHP) System
- Solar Concentrators
- Transportation: Cars, Tractors, and Other Self-propelled Devices
- Skid Loader
- Sawmill Ecology
- Biofuels: Fuel Alcohol, Compressed Wood Gas, and Biodiesel
- Solar Power
- Flexible Fabrication: How all the Generative Components are Created
- CNC Multimachine
- XYZ Table
- Plastic Extruder
- Metal Casting
- Circuit Fabrication
- Enterprise Models
- Open Source Model According to OSE Specifications
- Neo-Commercialization Funding Model
- Economic Analysis: CEB
- Sawmill Concept
- Solar Turbine Grid Intertie Concept
- Skid Loader Concept
- Open Source Nursery Concept
- Facility Replication
- Ongoing Costs
- Time Frames
- Facility Self-Sufficiency Program
- Facility Building Plan
- Deployment Strategy for the OSE Product Cycle
- The Challenge for You
- APPENDIX A: GENERAL DEPLOYMENT STRATEGY
- APPENDIX B: EDUCATION PROGRAM
- B1: FLEXIBLE FABRICATION CURRICULUM
- C: TECHNOLOGIES BEYOND THE SCOPE
- D: METRIC NOTES
- E: GRAND CALL TO ARMSBack to Index
Our vision motto and specifications are:
Global Village Construction Set - The Tools, Hardware, and Knowhow for Open Source Villages 
- Program applicable at various scales, from a farm to a small city
- 100% economic sustainability via a robust economic base
- Entirely off-grid and self-sufficient in food
- Miniature city-state
- Our first particular implementation is a world-class Open Source Product Development facility
- Education center for right livelihood and land stewardship
- Viable option for those who want to check out of bondage and to evolve to freedom
Note that our main vision may pertain to two applications. The first is the explicit proposition above - an integrated Global Village community, with a particular flavor of a research, enterprise, and learning community. The second is a subset of the first: enterprise incubation and dissemination for any of the endeavors that are created as a result of our work of developing integrated Global Villages. This dissemination program takes the form of open source business concepts for various integrated enterprises.
Both applications are pointed out in order to in attract a wider support base: those who are not interested in the entire Global Village scenario can still benefit from the enterprise incubation aspects of our work. The enterprises span a broad scope of endeavors (see ii. Enterprise section below), and are focused largely on infrastructure development for living and working. The enterprises are a good starting point for transformative economics and right livelihood, as opposed to mass jobs for the masses.
We are interested in collaborative development of an infrastructure for the Global Villages of tomorrow. At this stage, we are interested in developing not only the infrastructure, but also the means by which others can have access to this infrastructure. This means is distilled to an explicit fundamental end-point for this development project: optimized fabrication or production facilities for delivering the liberatory technologies of interest to a wider audience. This is in addition to open source documentation, with which one may replicate this work independently.
The context for us is the following. We at Factor e Farm  are interested in deploying production capacity for all the 16 technologies of interest at our facility. Why? We are interested in such advanced production as a means to support our R&D program. We are not tied to having all development prototypes produced at Factor E. However, we are interested in eventually integrating all the 16 technologies on our site - as part of our ongoing experiment regarding the limits of localization. The technologies of interest include technological tools and devices, as well as plant propagation, edible landscaping, animal husbandry, land stewardship, and other ecological functions. We are aiming at an integrated ecology for living and working as change agent entrepreneurs. We focus on engineering of technologies because technology is the substance upon which civilization is built. If we address the mastery of material needs provision for people, then we are well on our way to becoming good stewards.
- Global Villages philosophy for physical villages has been articulated by Franz Nahrada: http://www.give.at/ ; http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?GlobalVillages/Definition
- Global Villages are the living communities of the future – such as productive farm/industrial operations, intentional communities, land developments, living/working productive communities (enterprise communities), co-working and living sites, and other villages of the future peer-to-peer economy. Our particular goal is to create a community as described under Vision.
- See blog at http://blog.opensourceecology.org/ . Our name is explained at http://blog.opensourceecology.org/?page_id=2, and our improvement concept is similar to Factor 10 Engineering at http://10xe.com/subpages/tunnel.html
II. ECONOMIC BASE
We are interested in returning to basics as a means to creating advanced civilization. The economy that we propose is one where local provision of needs is a foundation for a prosperous economy. Such an economy is marked by self-determination.
One key to such an economy is flexible specialization and digital fabrication. Such flexible fabrication techniques enable the provision of basic and advanced technology needs for living from the resource base of a localized community. This is called localization, and is the opposite of global supply chain mass production. From the Second Industrial Divide, we read:
Our claim is that the present deterioration in economic performance results from the limits of the model of industrial development that is founded on mass production: the use of special-purpose (product-specific) machines and of semiskilled workers to produce standardized goods.
The alternative approach, according to the same book, is flexible specialization, where "skilled workers used sophisticated general-purpose machinery to turn out a wide and constantly changing assortment of goods for large but constantly shifting markets." It leads to civilization where people gain the capacity to meet their needs without invoking the compromises of mass production. Localization reduces the need for relying on uncontrollable external forces for 100% of one's needs. This system reliance is destructive if it involves the compromise of giving up one's true desires, powers, and freedoms.
Neosubsistence is the term we apply to a lifestyle where people produce tangible (physical) wealth, as opposed to dealing with information in the information economy. We are talking about basics: even though we live in the information economy, we cannot deny the reality that human prosperity is founded on the provision of physical needs upon which the meeting of all higher needs is predicated. Neosubsistence is related to the information economy in that the information economy is a foundation for neosubsistence, in that is provides the enabling knowledge for production processes. Neosubsistence is a fancy word for modern-day self-sufficiency, marked by possibilities such as personal fabrication, reduction of the costs of living by high-tech self-providing, or economic self-sufficiency via digital fabrication for outside markets. Neosubsistence does not stop at self-sufficiency production, but continues to the possibility of trade with the outside world.
The unique contribution of the information age arises in the proposition that data at one point in space allows for fabrication at another, using computer numerical control (CNC) of fabrication. This sounds like an expensive proposition, but that is not so if open source fabrication equipment is made available. With low cost equipment and software, one is able to produce or acquire such equipment at approximately $5k for a fully-equipped lab with metal working, cutting, casting, and electronics fabrication, assisted by open source CNC. It is precisely this ~$5k Open Source Fab Lab equipment package that we are developing as part of this proposal. We are not talking only of the product of small crafty objects or electronics, but of the type of heavy machining required to fabricate heavy equipment.
All kinds of products may be fabricated, and one may claim that one can produce just about anything. A repository of design drawings is the only requirement, if one has access to the OS Fab Lab.
This proposal is an explicit program for deploying the Fab Lab as a foundation, and for deploying a key set of 16 products as a natural byproduct. These technologies serve as the essential infrastructure requirement for building communities by producing food, energy, fuel, materials, housing, transportation choices, electronics, and other devices. The scope of the products includes essentially everything that is required to create as self-sufficient economy focusing primarily on local use of resources. This is our proposition for addressing many structural, pressing world ills.
- Second Industrial Divide: Possibilities for Prosperity, by Michael J. Piore et al., http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0465075614/ref=sib_dp_pt/103-3574943-7841431#reader-link
- Digital fabrication: http://ng.cba.mit.edu/dist/PV.mp4
- For an informative and entertaining video on the externalities of the mass production-consumption cycle, we recommend http://www.storyofstuff.com/ highly.
- We are building a less capital-intensive, more heavy duty version of the Fab Lab cncept developed by Neil Gershenfeld of MIT, by addressing the capitalization barriers.
III. PRODUCT SELECTION METRIC
The chosen product line is selected to be a robust set of tools of great economic significance. It is useful to motivate the value of the particular product line that is chosen for the economic base of the Global Village. To this end, we have created a prioritization metric for collaborative development of open source technology for localization and transformation. Product choice is prioritized simply by the product's measured score.
The economic base for the facility is a small but robust and sufficient economic package of fundamental significance and wide markets. The products include major categories, and are essential to a Global Village infrastructure. Some of the key products are:
- Food - turnkey SolaRoof greenhouses, orchard, edible landscaping
- Power - solar turbine, fuel alcohol, compressed gas, power electronics
- Housing - compressed Earth Block (CEB) press, sawmill, extruder for glazing
- Transportation - hybrid car, hybrid electric tractor
- Flexible and digital fabrication
- Materials - aluminum from clay
Flexible and Digital Fabrication requires special attention. It is a facility, a Fab Lab, for fabricating: machined parts, rotors, heavy machinery, electronic devices, cast metal parts, and plastic extrusion products. These components and devices are essential to the other products in the Global Village economy, especially from the standpoint of Factor 10 cost reduction of infrastructure capitalization. The Fab Lab can also perform various grinding operations to sharpen blades, in particular those for chainsaws and sawmills. Basic workshop hand and power tools, though essential, are not specified here. The major items in the OSE Fab Lab are:
- CNC Multimachine - Mill, drill, lathe, metal forming, other grinding/cutting. This constitutes a robust machining environment that may be upgraded for open source computer numerical control by OS software, which is in development. 
- XYZ-controlled torch and router table - can accommodate an acetylene torch, plasma cutter, router, and possibly CO2 laser cutter diodes
- Metal casting equipment - all kinds of cast parts from various metals
- Plastic extruder - extruded sheet for advanced glazing, and extruded plastic parts or tubing
- Electronics fabrication - oscilloscope, circuit etching, others - for all types of electronics from power control to wireless communications
This equipment base is capable of producing just about anything - electronics, electromechanical devices, structures, and so forth. The OS Fab Lab is crucial in that it enables the self-replication of all the 16 technologies.
We are interested in a metric for selecting products with a particular emphasis on localization - feasibility of production by means of small, local enterprise. We are interested in enterprise with one or few highly skilled, rapid-learning workers. We are interested in a scenario where these workers are capable of producing equivalent technological complexity of yesterday's megacorporations. To this end, the metric for product selection is defined by the properties listed below.
The score should reflect the economic feasibility of Open Source Flexible Fabrication (OSFF) as a means of production. A high score indicates a feature that is conducive to OSFF. Thus, low entry barriers and good market access are conducive to this end. It should be noted, however, that such barriers - in the pre-Open Source Economy phase of human evolution - are high. It is precisely the goal of our work to reduce those barriers - by developing the enabling open source know-how and flexible fabrication capacity to attain Factor 10 reduction in cost.
The metric scores the 16 infrastructure products. Each product may be used in several applications - such as the boundary layer turbine being used in electrical power generation systems, cars, and other hybrid electromechanical devices. The scores reflect the sum of all the applications for a given product.
The metric is:
- Market size - This the value created in US dollars. This is measured by either: (1), the value of goods and services themselves, or (2), the value of goods and services displaced by the given product. This reflects the starting volume of production that may be substituted via localized, flexible production. If the market is large and distributed, then ubiquitous business opportunity exists from localization. Score: 3 points for a billion dollar market, 6 points for 10 billion, and 10 points for a 1 trillion dollar market and higher, and values in between. Note that most of the products chosen fall into the score of 10, because they are essential.
- Livelihood creation - Number of livelihoods worldwide that can be created if localization occurred. Score: 0 point for 1 new job per 100,000 people, 5 points for 1 in 1000, and 10 points for 1 or more in 100, and values between. See Appendix D: Metric Notes, for discussion on Livelihood Creation, to understand why all products manifest the highest score.
- Liberatory potential - This is the fraction of peoples' time that may be freed due to elimination of particular costs of living, by using the specified product. This is due to features of: long product lifetime, items that allow production for self-sufficiency, and Factor 10 cost reduction of the product. Score: This is based on the 9-5 workday standard, which is really 8-6 for travel and recuperation inherent to benign crap jobs. This is essentially 10 hours per day, 5 days per week. Thus, 0 points corresponds to insignificant work time reduction, 5 points is 15 minutes reduction in work time, and 10 corresponds to 1/2 hour liberated per day. If all products contribute 1/2 hour, then they add up, essentially, to the elimination of the need to work, outside of minor expenses. Note that this leaves only the economy of leisure - ie, engagement in only voluntary activity beyond one's need to make a living - as the only valid pursuit in life. This program assumes self-sufficiency in physical needs, and also in political needs (self-governance), security (believing in peace but sleeping with a gun under one's pillow), education (augmented self-learning), and health (via diet, preventive health and fitness practice, and a quality lifestyle). Note also that such a program is unrealistic for many today, but may become feasible for many people in the future. The need to work to make a living will be insignificant if localization contributes significantly to healthful lifestyles.
- Population affected - Fraction of the world's population, outside of indigenous cultures, that uses the product. Score: 0 points for every 1 person per 100,000 that uses the product, up to 10 points for every person on the planet using the product. This includes the industrialized and non-industrialized world.
- Localization potential - The measure of how much likelihood exists that production will be localized, as opposed to produced via global supply chains by large corporations. This is determined by a number of features:
- Fabrication infrastructure cost - Fabrication equipment and tooling required for producing the specified product. The lower the infrastructure cost, the higher the chance of small enterprise startup success. Score: 0 for >$10k capitalization cost, 1 for >$5k, and 2 for =$5k. This reflects the capitalization barrier.
- Labor value - Marketable value contained in labor of production, indicating earning potential in a local economy. This value also includes efficiency - if production takes too long, then the item in question becomes too expensive, and a product becomes unmarketable. Thus, only efficient production, such as utilization of manufacturing automation, has a high labor value. Score: 0 for unskilled labor, or <$10/hour; and 1 for >$10/hour, and 2, $50 and up per hour.
- Material costs - Product cost embodied in materials and wearable supplies involved in the production process. The lower the material costs, the higher is the potential for small enterprise to succeed by virtue of minimizing capital risks of supply chain management. Score: 0 for >$10k material costs, 1 for <$5k material costs, and 2 for <$1k material costs.
- Technological complexity - The number of distinct components or parts that are required for a product. The lower the complexity, the more durable and serviceable the product. Design optimization is based on reducing the complexity to the absolute minimum without sacrificing performance. Low complexity means that the enterprise may be learned readily by producers. Score: 0 for high complexity - requires a year or more of full time training to acquire the skill. 1 for medium complexity - requires months. 2 is for low complexity, such that only a 1-4 weeks are required to learn the enterprise. Note that all products chosen carry the highest score, by design. For example, we choose a Boundary Layer Turbine as the product of choice for power conversion - as opposed to solar cells- which are much more complex to manufacture from scratch in a one or few person operation. We are assuming the training of skilled workers, not naive, clumsy or mobility-impaired individuals.
- Sourcing localization - Local feedstocks reduce cost and enable a secure supply. This is critical for robust supply chain management strategies. At best, feedstocks are to be found on-site - such as solar energy, earth, wood, metal, etc. If they are found within a land-based facility, then they are essentially free. Score: 0 for remote feedstocks, 1 for mixed feedstocks, and 2 for predominantly local feedstocks. Note that in our product list, all products display the lowest score at present - simply because there are no local metal, semiconductor, or other materials producers - as these are procured via global supply chains. Note that this localization may exist in the future - as small scale metal extraction (aluminum from clay), semiconductor purification, biplastics production - may occur on the bioregional or local scale.
- Ecological design - integration of a particular production system with nature (as in a land-based Global Village) and other enterprises in the set of 16 technologies. This ecology is covered in its own section below, IV, Product Ecology. Score: 0 for limited integration, 1 for good integration, 2 for excellent integration.
- Design for Disassembly (DfD) & lifetime design - Durable products are favored for purposes of localization, in so far as they contain maximum value. If true cost accounting is considered, then lifetime products add value based on product lifetime increase. For example, a lifetime car may have the value equivalent to 5-10 disposable (planned obsolescence) cars. Score: 0 for planned or perceived obsolescence, 1 for significant DfD and lifetime features, and 2 for nearly complete DfD and lifetime design.
- Scaleability - The facility with which larger (or smaller) products or yields may be produced, without major design changes, via modularity, and with proportional (as opposed to nonlinear) increase (or decrease) in price. If a flex fab device is highly scaleable by design, then it has a wider range of applicability, and can capture a wider market. Score: 0 for non-scaleability, as in the whole system must be redesigned; 1 for scaleability with nonlinear price increase; 2 for full scaleability and linear price increase.
- Cost of Waste - The fraction of competing product cost embodied in waste, such as intellectual property (IP) and competitive waste. IP spans product, process, and organizational design - which is deemed as waste here because it is generated redundantly by each market player, while costs are passed on to the consumer. The lack of access to product blueprints and design rationales is the most common reason why many producers hold a competitive advantage. This is also the reason for high entry barriers to new economic players - thus fostering centralization. Flexible fabrication is favored when a large fraction of competing product cost is embodied in waste- simply because there is a great business opportunity in reducing this waste. Open source products have the advantage of eliminating the entire cost of said waste, and land-based flexible fabrication facilities owned or co-funded by stakeholders may reduce costs even further. This score is measured qualitatively as: 0 for little or no waste in the mainstream product, 1 for about 25% of the price in waste, and 2 for =>50% waste. In our list of products, the only ones that score low here are alcohol production and metal casting - for which IP is available in the form of widely available or purchased plans.
- Feedstock abundance - The worldwide distribution and supply of feedstocks involved in using particular products- such as abundance of clayey soil worldwide for compressed earth block production. The greater the distribution, the more wealth can be distributed to various communities. Score: 0 for centralized availability, 1 for bioregional availability, and 2 for local availability.
Note that the Product Selection Metric must be considered not for individual products, but for products within a product ecology. Cascading Factor 10 cost reduction occurs when the availability of one product decreases the cost of the next product. This is visible particularly with energy production - the solar turbine electric generator, running on free solar energy, yields drastic cost reduction of any other product where fuel costs are the primary cost. As another example: wheel electric motors - or low-speed, high-torque electric motors are one of the enabling features for low-cost electric cars, tractors, or electrically-driven sawmills. Specifics of cost reduction must be examined on a case-by-case basis.
Note also that our context is a land-based facility. This allows for provision of local, natural feedstocks, and it helps to reduce operating overhead.
The metric score is the total of the 5 main sections, with 10 point maximum for the first 4 sections and 20 for the fifth. The score goes up to 60 for the perfect product.
The metric addresses: (1), Jefferson's formula for democracy by distribution of the means of production, (2), essential tenets of the localization movement, and (3), wide impact for economic transformation via decentralization. We challenge the reader to propose other products that should be on the list based on their score. We include a list of other 'sustainable' products that have attracted much human attention - but are beyond the scope of this discussion because of lower metric scores - in APPENDIX C.
SPECIFIC PRODUCT SELECTION FOR THE GLOBAL VILLAGE CONSTRUCTION SET
Here we present a list of products and ratings, where the products considered are primarily components. These components have many uses, as the building blocks for many other products. It is instructive to consider such building blocks as the generating set for a much larger economic process. In particular, special attention should go to products 12-16, which constitute the Fab Lab. The Fab Lab is used to produce all the other technologies, including the Fab Lab itself. These technologies are described at openfarmtech.org, and here a summary is given:
- Boundary layer turbine - simpler and more efficient alternative to most external and internal combustion engines and turbines, such as gasoline and diesel engines, Stirling engines, and air engines. The only more efficient energy conversion devices are bladed turbines and fuel cells.
- Solar concentrators - alternative heat collector to various types of heat generators, such as petrochemical fuel combustion, nuclear power, and geothermal sources
- Babington and other fluid burners - alternative heat source to solar energy, internal combustion engines, or nuclear power
- Flash steam generators - basis of steam power
- Wheel motors - low-speed, high-torque electric motors
- Electric generators - for generating the highest grade of usable energy: electricity
- Fuel alcohol production systems - proven biofuel of choice for temperate climates
- Compressed wood gas - proven technology; cooking fuel; usable in cars if compressed
- Compressed Earth Block (CEB) press - high performance building material
- Sawmill - production of dimensional lumber
- Aluminum from clay - production of aluminum from subsoil clays
Means of fabrication:
12. CNC Multimachine - mill, drill, lathe, metal forming, other grinding/cutting
13. XYZ-controlled torch and router table - can accommodate an acetylene torch, plasma cutter, router, and possibly CO2 laser cutter diodes
14. Metal casting equipment - various metal parts
15. Plastic extruder - plastic glazing and other applications
16. Electronics fabrication - oscilloscope, multimeter, circuit fabrication; specific power electronics products include battery chargers, inverters, converters, transformers, solar charge controllers, PWM DC motor controllers, multipole motor controllers
It is useful to consider Figure 1, which lists Hardware for Living components, and the Resulting Capacities, or uses, for those components - to show the broad economic range of application for the given components.
Figure 1. The 16 technologies and their resulting capacities are shown to describe the range of productivity that a small set of 16 elements can produce. All but Aluminum from Clay are proven localization technologies.
PRODUCT RATING FOR COMPONENTS
Here we present the ratings for the 16 technologies. Figure 2 shows products 1-16 on top, with product key at the bottom of the chart, and the respective categories on the left:
|1. Market size||10||10||9||10||10||10||10||10||6||10||8||8||10||9||9||9|
|2. Livelihood creation||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10|
|3. Liberatory potential||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10|
|4. Population affected||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10||10|
|5.a. Fabrication cost||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2|
|b. Labor value||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2|
|c. Material costs||2||1||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||1||2||2||1||2||2||2|
|g. DfD & lifetime||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||2|
|i. IP and overhead||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||0||2||2||2||2||2||2||2||0|
Figure 2. Localization metric scores for prioritized technologies, on a scale of 0 to 60. Key: BLT = Boundary Layer Turbine; Solar Conc = Solar Concentrators; Bab = Babington Burner; Flash = Flash Steam Generator; Motor = Wheel Motor; Gen = Generator; Elect = Electronics fabrication; Alcohol = Fuel Alcohol; Gas = Compressed Gas; CEB = Compressed Earth Block press; Extruder = Plastic Extruder; Al = Aluminum Extraction from Clays; CNC = Computer Numerical Control Multimachine; XYZ = XYZ Table; Casting = Metal Casting
All scores are 54 or higher of 60. Note that a perfect score does not occur in Fig. 2 because material sourcing is generally global. Perfect scores may obtain if key industries, such as aluminum production or semiconductor purification, may be performed on a local basis.
To clarify the meaning of the metric as in the table, it is instructive to compare the metric score for a product from the mainstream economy. A good example is cars produced by the modern automobile industry. This is a clear example of a large industry, but its score according to the metric is low. The score for the type of centralized production looks like this:
|Automobile Industry - Cars|
|1. Market size||10|
|5. a.Fabrication cost||0|
|b. Labor value||0|
|c. Material costs||1|
|g.DfD & lifetime||0|
|i. IP and overhead||0|
The total score is 27 of 60. In this example, we observe that the auto industry scores well on market size and population affected, but relatively poorly elsewhere. Its existing livelihood creation is one job per 500 people. Its liberatory potential is nil, as car costs are a liability designed into a planned obsolescence pattern. Fabrication costs involve multi-billion dollar facilities, labor is largely automated, complexity is very high, sourcing is global, eco-design features small or nonexistent, scaleability is largely nonexistent, fuel feedstocks are a strategic resource, and the industry is largely proprietary. The material costs are approximately $5k per car, which is comparable to the open source variant. All in all, the localization metric score is 27, compared to the 50+ range of the 16 items in Fig. 1. Note that a car is not one of the technologies in Fig. 1, but it is a derivative of several of these technologies.
- These include pumps, vacuum pumps, compressors, rotating disks (boundary layer turbines); low-speed, high-torque electric motors; and electric generators
- Includes CEB, Sawmill, tractor, skid loader, cars, and agricultural machinery such as a microcombine and spader.
- These include battery chargers, DC-AC inverters, grid intertie inverters, DC-DC converters, AC-AC transformers, solar charge controllers, PWM DC motor controllers, multipole motor controllers.
- Cast parts such as bushings, rods, pulleys, etc.
- This is for advanced greenhouse glazing and molded plastic objects.
- Open source CNC code is being developed by Smari McCarthy of the Iceland Fab Lab, http://smari.yaxic.org/blag/2007/11/14/the-routing-table/
- This is a step from ‘making a living’ to ‘making a life:’ http://www.yourmoneyoryourlife.org/fom-about-why.asp
- A particular example of waste, one with which the authors are familiar – is the CEB, where it is being demonstrated that a comparable machine may be fabricated at $1k in parts and $3k in total – whereas the competition charges $25k for their product. That represents about $22k of waste that constitutes a business opportunity for agents of the open source production method.
- Band sawmill fabrication would be on this list, but we have switched our technology choice to a swing-blade sawmill, for which designs are not available. See Sawmill Concept under Enterprise Models in this paper.
- See list of 16 technologies at http://openfarmtech.org/
- See Extruder_doc.pdf at http://www.fastonline.org/CD3WD_40/CD3WD/INDEX.HTM
- A $1T market exists for diesel fuel in the united States alone, p.25, of Biodiesel Handbook, by G. Knothe et al.
- Key: BLT = Boundary Layer Turbine; Solar Conc = Solar Concentrators; Bab = Babington Burner; Flash = Flash Steam Generator; Motor = Wheel Motor; Gen = Generator; Elect = Electronics fabrication; Alcohol = Fuel Alcohol; Gas = Compressed Gas; CEB = Compressed Earth Block press; Extruder = Plastic Extruder; Al = Aluminum Extraction from Clays; CNC = Computer Numerical Control Multimachine; XYZ = XYZ Table; Casting = Metal Casting
- http://www.caw.ca/whoweare/ourhistory/cawhistory/ch1/p1c1_1.html states that there are 1/2 M car jobs in the USA
- Figures are extrapolated from the existing USA value.
IV. PRODUCT ECOLOGY
How do the above 16 technologies contribute to a Global Village? They all contribute to the infrastructure and an economic base, while utilizing as many local resources as possible. The productive capacity of the 16 technologies, implied in Fig. 1, is extensive.
Figure 3 shows some of the main proposed physical production relationships and their relationships to natural resources for Factor E Farm in particular. Items in green are generative goods, and items in blue are prosumer goods. Note that the arrow loops indicate self-replicating components: Flex Fab, nursery for generating fruit trees, and self-regenerating sustainable forestry practice.
Figure 3. Generative relationship of select technologies from the 16-technology set, and their relationship to the land of Factor E Farm.
Product ecology is measured in the Ecological Design aspect in Fig. 2. In order to discuss how the 16 technologies fit together, it is useful to return to the previously suggested iconic pattern language for open source technology development, and to update the language for present work. The pattern language icons are shown in Fig. 4.
a. PRODUCT ECOLOGY: OPEN SOURCE TECHNOLOGY PATTERN LANGUAGE
The technological components of interest in the Global Village Construction Set constitute basic building blocks of economies. More complex products and devices may be represented by a collection of icons. We remind the reader that the proposed set is not complete, but sufficient- applicable in a broad range of applications. Other technologies may and should be used where appropriate.
It should be underscored that any community interested in its own self-determination should: (1), have production capacity of the essential components as part of its own infrastructure, or, (2), should have external relations established for providing these technologies without incurring geopolitical compromises. We are talking of basic needs here- and the basics must be provided internally to secure stable society by design.
Figure 4. Iconic pattern language for open source technology development.
Note that not all of the 16 technologies of interest are represented in Fig. 4. This is because some of the 16 are represented by combinations of the above icons. The last 5 icons in Fig. 4 represent the major parts of a flexible fabrication facility.
The difference between the past work and Fig. 3 lies in a few updates that arise from experience gathered since the former report was published. There are 4 main differences.
The first difference is that the new set eliminates the former pulley and the power transmission icons, as well as the electric wheel motor and electric motor (see last footnote) and replaces them with the wheel motor shown in Fig. 4.
Wheel motors are high power, low speed electric motors that may be coupled directly to wheels, or other rotors, for powering vehicles or other electromechanical devices without the need of power transmission. They have no internal power transmission, either - as they are inherently suited to many direct-drive applications by design. The subtlety here is the proposition - known well in progressive vehicle design (such as Hypercars) - that the availability of such wheel motors produces a great simplification in vehicle design. Pulleys, gears, and other power transmission devices - including drive shafts, differentials, clutches, and transmissions - not to mention grease and oil pans - are eliminated for gross simplification in the overall complexity of cars and other electromechanical devices. Moreover, the former electric wheel motor - which was a standard, high speed motor that included gearing in the icon set from 2006 - is eliminated for the same reason, ie, that power transmission has been designed out of the technology set.
The key to this elimination is that advanced electric motor controllers, combined with the new wheel motors (high power, low speed) are able in themselves to produce the necessary dynamic range of speed and power that was formerly achievable only with various forms of mechanical transmission - typically gears and pulleys. Advances in electronics have made the former option obsolete - though the new choice is presently rarely used, due to industry inertia.
The second difference is the elimination of the electrical generator icon, because electrical generators are contained in wheel motors. Wheel motors are electrical motors, and electrical motors operated in reverse (ie., spun externally instead of spun by electricity) function as electrical generators. To eliminate this redundancy, we are eliminating the separate electrical generator icon and replacing it with the wheel motor. This simplifies the set of OS technology icons.
The third difference is the elimination of the 6 hp stationary diesel engine, the 23 hp mobile diesel engines, as well as the steam engine, and replacing them with the boundary layer turbine. Our present research indicates that the boundary layer turbine is a robust, lightweight, efficient, stationary or mobile engine that has the fuel flexibility and application flexibility that makes the former options obsolete. Diesel engines and steam engines are much more complicated to build than the boundary layer turbine, which consists mainly of a shaft with a dozen or so closely-spaced, flat disks acting as propellers for transforming the energy of a working fluid into rotary motion. Since we have verified performance data in the literature, and identified a prototyping firm capable of delivering a working turbine, we decided to pursue it as a short-term feasible item. Steam engines still appear attractive, and are simpler to fabricate than diesel engines, but their low efficiency (approximately 1-8% overall efficiency for a basic system) makes them appear to be an inferior option. Modern gas or diesel engines and standard bladed turbines are avoided due to high complexity.
The fourth difference is the addition of the following icons, which are also components from the 16-technology set: boundary layer turbine, solar concentrators, flash steam generator, plus the tools used in flexible fabrication: CNC Multimachine, XYZ table, metal casting, plastic extrusion, and electronics fabrication.
There are a few minor changes as well. The heat generator now will be made explicit as the Babington burner or other type of fluid fuel burner, and is distinct from the solar concentrators due to the different nature of these two heat sources. One is solar thermonuclear energy, and the other is chemical combustion energy. The heat generator may in principle also be an electric heating element, but it should not include man-made thermonuclear power, for ecological reasons.
Also, the former motor controller icon was renamed as power electronics, which includes the motor controller, and more specifically: battery chargers, DC-AC inverters, DC-DC converters, AC-AC transformers, solar charge controllers, PWM DC motor controllers, and multipole motor controllers. This set of power electronics covers off-grid energy and vehicle propulsion infrastructures.
Last, he fuel icon shall include both fuel alcohol and compressed gas.
b. PRODUCT ECOLOGY: SYMBOLIC REPRESENTATION FOR THE 16 TECHNOLOGIES
To simplify the discussion, it is first instructive to represent the 16 technologies with icons. We have already shown the icons for the boundary layer turbine, solar concentrators, Babington burner, flash steam generator, wheel motor, generator (same as wheel motor), plastic extruder, CNC Multimachine, XYZ table, metal casting, and electronics fabrication. Fuel alcohol and compressed wood gas may be shown by the fuel icon. Only the CEB and Sawmill haven't been shown. The simplified CEB icon set, when the machine is powered by an external power source such as hydraulic takeoff from an agricultural tractor - is:
Figure 4a. Icon for a compressed earth block press.
We basically have a structure, with two linear motors (hydraulic cylinders), which move the compression cylinder and hopper, respectively. Compare this to the actual picture of the machine:
The sawmill is:
Figure 4b. Icon for a sawmill.
The sawmill consists of a wheel motor connected to the cutting blade on a rotor. There is also a structural frame, to support the blade, and to hold the log that is being cut. An electric motor controller controls the cutting speed. The propulsion system (engine) of the sawmill has not been shown for clarity. Our present implementation of a sawmill is:
Figure 4c. Present bandsaw mill prototype.
This leaves aluminum extraction from clay. This is too difficult to break down to an icon, as it is a multi-step process.
c. PRODUCT ECOLOGY: INTERACTION OF THE 16 TECHNOLOGIES WITH A LAND-BASED GLOBAL VILLAGE AND WITH THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
The 16 technologies are building blocks for an integrated infrastructure and productive capacity, as implied by Fig. 3. In this process, local resources are used whenever possible. The 5 last technologies - the Fab Lab for the means of fabrication - may be used to fabricate all the other technologies from scratch - including the means of fabrication themselves. This is what is meant by the closed arrow loop in Fig. 3 for Flexible and Digital Fabrication. The Fab Lab is responsible for technological self-replication. The nursery is responsible for plant self-replication - namely fruit trees. Animals are also self-replicating in a land-based facility, and they are a contribution to an integrated ecology. In this sense, the whole package is self-replicating. Combined with the low cost of the various components, and the documentation and training that Factor E Farm aims to generate, the whole package is meant to constitute a highly-replicable instance of a Global Village.
Food and habitat, a working environment, mobility, and energy are all based on the 16 technological building blocks. This was shown in Fig. 1. Moreover, these building blocks are the foundation for a wide range of possible enterprises:
1. Solar turbine CHP systems 2. Turnkey greenhouse systems: This includes glazing extrusion and fabrication of modular greenhouse panels using dimensional lumber and extruded glazing. SolaRoof insulated greenhouse panels are of particular interest. 3. Hybrid car fabrication - turnkey product, kits, and weekend workshops- come and build for yourself in an extended weekend workshop 4. Hybrid electric tractors - turnkey products, kits and weekend workshops 5. Skid loaders 6. Green building design-build operations - including Living Machines and attached greenspaces. Focus is on shell houses, adaptable living space, and potentially non-greenhouse dynamic liquid insulation. 7. Global Village development companies 8. General custom fabrication and prototyping 9. Flexible and digital fabrication facility construction 10. CEB machine production, brick sales 11. Sawmill production, custom sawmilling 12. Fuel gas and fuel alcohol facility development; mobile rental units 13. Rotor fabrication - pumps, vacuum pumps, compressors, boundary layer turbines, wheel motors, generators, others 14. Remote electric power systems 15. Biodiesel production equipment rental 16. Flooded lead acid battery building
Secondary enterprises requiring know-how more than hardware:
17. Orchard, nursery, greenhouse, dried fruit, plant products, freeze-dried fruit powders, and edible landscaping operations 18. Computing - computer building, software installation, networking, data acquisition, machine control
It should be pointed out that a particularly exciting enterprise opportunity arises from automation of fabrication, such as arises from computer numerical control. For example, the sawmill and CEB discussed above are made largely of DfD, bolt-together steel. This lends itself to a fabrication procedure where a CNC XYZ table could cut out all the metal, including bolt holes, for the entire device, in a fraction of the time that it would take by hand. As such, complete sawmill or CEB kits may be fabricated and collected, ready for assembly, on the turn-around time scale of days. If one were to sell such kits, that leaves room for large profit margins while selling the machines at a competitive price. This is indeed a fundraising model that we're considering for funding further open source development.
The digital fabrication production model may be equivalent in production rates to that of any large-scale, high-tech firms. Moreover, by keeping overhead down via open source design, production can occur essentially at the cost of materials. Digital fabrication product may be able to compete with globalization in terms of price itself, for many technological items. Consider mass production slave goods from China. It is foreseeable that digital fabrication has great potential in transcending the negative effects of globalization - such as returning manufacturing jobs from China to the united States. This type of localization program merits serious consideration.
We do not foresee competition from large firms on goods like sawmills or CEBs, simply because we can compete in price. Digital fabrication may prove so effective that we can be cost-competitive even in the face of slave labor, as practiced commonly in global supply chains. Not only can the price be competitive, but the local service, lifetime design, easy maintenance, and open source documentation simply cannot be matched. Localization has the potential to beat globalization in many areas, but it must be said that brave pioneers are required to lead this movement. It is required that the open source flexible and digital fabrication technology is open-sourced and optimized, and breakthrough economic patterns will emerge. Indeed, reduction of slave labor may occur, as such practice may prove uneconomical in the face of localization.
i. SAMPLE PRODUCT ECOLOGY 1: ENERGY - SOLAR TURBINE COMBINED HEAT AND POWER (CHP) SYSTEM
We now turn to particular examples of product systems that arise as a combination of the 16 technologies of interest. One product is a solar turbine CHP system for our facility:
Figure 4d. Solar turbine CHP system ecology shown using the technology pattern language.
The heart of this system is a boundary layer turbine electrical generator (blue part in picture). This is the heat engine that converts a source of heat into electricity. Heat is used to generate steam in a heat exchanger. This steam spins the turbine. The turbine is connected to an electrical generator, and power electronics deliver the electricity for storage in batteries or utilization in a grid. Three sources of heat that we are considering are solar energy (solar concentrator icon), the Babington burner (green part in picture), or heat storage (heat generator icon).
The solar concentrator is the heat source of choice whenever the sun is shining. When surplus thermal energy is generated, that energy may be utilize to heat a storage medium, such as oil or a salt solution, stored in a leak-proof, insulated CEB cistern of about 2,500 gallons in size (cube of ~2 meter per side). Such storage is sufficient to serve as a heat generator for producing 1 kW of electricity and 10 kW heat continuously for approximately 24 hours. When the sun does not shine for extended periods, the Babington oil burner is engaged as the heat source.
If one verifies the last calculation and understands its significance, then one cannot help but be shocked at the ramifications. Consider this practical application of the conclusion that a 2.1 meter, or 7 foot, cube of heat storage medium can power an average American house for 24 hours as discussed in the last footnote. We cannot speak for others whether they are interested in this proposition taking them off the electrical grid. As for us at Factor e Farm, the conclusion is clear. We could either purchase a 20 kWhr flooded lead acid battery bank for $5k, of build the proposed storage cistern for probably 1/4 to 1/2 the cost using our CEB machine. After careful consideration, it appears that this option is much more attractive than pursuing battery bank additions. The only caveat is that the heat storage medium option requires an integrated, stationary CHP approach. If the storage cistern proves to be practical, that's a resounding success for ecological living.
The solar turbine ecology constitutes a combined heat and power system because the heat generated by the sun, burner, or extracted from heat storage may be used in other thermal applications. These include facility space heating; hot oil cooking; industrial process heat, such as preheating, drying, or food dehydration; steam generation for steam cleaning or sterilization; and other heat-based applications.
The Lister diesel engine is the backup power in this system. A charge controller, battery storage, and power inverter complete the system, for the facility electrical grid or for electricity sales to the grid wherever favorable.
At present, the Lister-generator-charger-battery-inverter system is our core energy system. We provide space heating with stoves. We are aiming to complete the solar turbine CHP system, with solar concentrators and possibly heat storage, by year-end 2008. Presently, we are working on the Babington burner-turbine-generator system. The turbine design has evolved to a simple, scaleable, DfD design, with the only machining requirement being lathing of the disks from steel, shown in Fig. 5. The disks are treated after fabrication for corrosion resistance.
Figure 5. Simplified boundary layer turbine design. Note the entry and exhaust nozzles for the working steam. Drawings care of Dan Granett.
ii. SOLAR CONCENTRATORS
Special attention needs to be given to solar thermal concentrators due to their potential for cost reduction of solar electric power systems. Of particular interest are linear collectors with flat but inclined Fresnel-type collector surfaces composed of mirrors.46 Linear collectors are utilized for the sake of scaleability: the power can be increased by increasing the length of the collector. Scaleability is not feasible in dish concentrator systems, where an individual dish cannot be enlarged easily. Moreover, linear collectors are easily mounted on the ground. Furthermore, if their horizontal length is much greater than their vertical height, they do not need a daily solar tracking device. The only solar tracking requirement would be seasonal solar declination adjustments. For a discussion of concentrating collector types, see Chapter 9 of Power from the Sun.47
Flat, inclined concentrators are proposed instead of parabolic ones for the simple reason of design simplicity. A parabolic surface is not as easily engineered or glazed as a flat surface. Nontheless, many groups interested in low cost solar collectors are using parabolic collectors, such as the MIT solar turbine in Lesotho.48
Optimization of linear Fresnel-type solar collectors indicates that total cost is <$20049 for 3000 Watts of solar collection area, or approximately an 8x4 foot sheet50. This indicates 2000 Watts of usable steam power delivered if we assume a conversion efficiency of ~70% from solar income to usable heat (such as steam).51 This translates to 10 cents per watt of energy collected. Integration with a boundary layer turbine of 25% efficiency52 indicates overall ~18% efficiency. This implies a cost of under 50 cents per watt based on predicted efficiencies, assuming that a large turbine, such as 10 kW, at a cost of ~$50053, is utilized with a matched solar concentrator array. This is even lower than the breakthrough utility-scale solar panels that recently hit the headlines, at $1/watt54.
To understand the simplicity of possible design, consider the concentrator arrays from HD Solar:55
Figure 5a. Simple flat-mounting solar concentrator design with inclined mirrors and a raised collector tube.
This design helps the reader to visualize that the proposed $200/2kWthermal figure is realistic. This constitutes breakthrough price reduction that would bring solar thermal energy into the realm of practicality. For sufficient concentration to be achieved, we will need to use more than the 6 reflector slats as shown in Fig. 5a.
Parabolic solar concentrators have been commercialized in large-scale installations56 in desert areas. If the installed cost of the open source solar turbine with flat collectors is 50 cents/Watt, then areas with half the solar income of the desert are still relevant for solar concentrator electric power. This area of feasibility of neo-commercialization57 is all of North America.58
iii. TRANSPORTATION: CARS, TRACTORS, AND OTHER SELF-PROPELLED DEVICES
Figure 6 shows the technology pattern language for a car.
Figure 6. Open source technology pattern language description for a car or other self-propelled devices.
The central part of a car is its propulsion system. Fig. 6 shows a fuel source feeding a heat generator, which heats a flash steam generator heat exchanger, which drives a boundary layer turbine, which drives a wheel motor operating as an electrical generator. The electricity that is generated may either be fed into battery storage, or controlled by power electronics to drive 4 separate wheel motors. This constitutes a hybrid electric vehicle59, with 4 wheel drive in this particular implementation.
This hybrid electric vehicle is one of intermediate technology design that may be fabricated in a small-scale, flexible workshop. The point is that a complicated power delivery system (clutch-transmission-drive shaft-differential) has been replaced by four electrical wires going to the wheel electrical motors. This simplification results in high localization potential of car manufacturing.
The first step in the development of open source, Hypercar-like vehicles is the propulsion system, for which the boundary layer turbine hybrid system is a candidate. Our second step will be structural optimization for lightweight car design. The present mainstream trend is that advanced composites may capture the vehicle body market.60
It should be noted that an identical icon may stand for a tractor, dump truck, or another self-propelled vehicle. If rotors, hydraulic motors, and linear motors (such as hydraulic cylinders) are added, the vehicle may become a rototiller, a front-end loader, bulldozer, backhoe, tree chipper, agricultural combine, agricultural spader, and many other instances of small or heavy machinery. The pattern language helps one to understand how a small number of components gives birth to a large number of devices. It should also be noted that the 8 distinct icons within the car are also embodied in the solar turbine CHP system. The pattern language helps to explain how a small, generative set of components is combined to form a wide range of devices.
iv. SKID LOADER
A special case of an extremely useful utility device is a skid loader type of device similar to standard skid loaders and CadTrac.61 We are proposing our own version, OSTrac, driven by a boundary layer turbine coupled to a hydraulic pump. OSTrac is a utility vehicle, like CadTrac, with a front-end loader or a grapple. A backhoe and other implements may likewise be added. The device is hydraulically-driven, with hydraulic motors on all 4 wheels.
Several features of OSTrac are noteworthy. First, if the Babington-turbine system is developed, then it requires only a hydraulic pump and 4 hydraulic motors to have a complete drive system. Second, the frame could be xyz-box beam construction, which is absolutely simple. In terms of structural integration, OSTrac could be scaled by linking two machines in line. Third, if open source hydraulic pumps and motors are developed, then we are talking of complete localization of key component fabrication. Fourth, OSTrac may have a multitude of applications. It can be used in ground preparation for building, or earth digging for CEB work. If it has a rototiller, it can be used for pulverizing the soil for CEB building. If it has a grapple, it can be used in log handling in forestry. It is a versatile device because of its small footprint. It can also be battery driven, either with battery-electric62 or battery-electric-hydraulic drive trains. The heavy weight of batteries is an advantage for traction.
v. SAWMILL ECOLOGY
A sawmill is an essential part of a localized economy. With abundant trees at Factor e Farm, we can engage in sustainable forestry by doing selective cutting that improves the quality of the forest over the long term. At the same time, we would be producing dimensional lumber for roofs, wood floors, door and window framing, raised growing beds, fences, and other household trim. 4 by 4 inch dimensional lumber is particularly useful in XYZ contstruction63, and especially in the types of adaptable, modular housing units proposed by the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems.64 This combines with other roundwood utilization, such as turning bowls on a lathe, making tool handles, growing bamboo for stakes, Osage orange fenceposts, LPSA65 construction, and others.
vi. Biofuels: Fuel Alcohol, Compressed Wood Gas, and Biodiesel
We are considering fuel alcohol and compressed wood gas as our medium term (after 2008) fuel provision strategy. We are considering both fuel alcohol and compressed wood gas for vehicles, and wood gas for cooking. Our immediate fuel production strategy (for 2008) is to build a dedicated biodiesel production facility. Our long-term goals are to produce algae66 for combustion in hybrid steam-electric turbine vehicles. All of this is in addition to our immediate (2008) strategy for fueling all non-solar electrical power generation and vehicles with the Babington-steam-turbine-electric system. Our biofuel strategy is summarized here:
Note that all biofuel sources come directly from our facility or from the waste stream. Waste vegetable oil is still widely available for free in the united States of America. Sustainable forestry trees from our facility, or woodchips, trim, and sawdust from external sources - may be utilized in compressed wood gas production. Fuel alcohol will be derived from waste fruit, as part of our perennial orchard strategy. Ponds will be utilized for algal production.
Waste vegetable oil (WVO) is a noteworthy fuel because it is energy-rich and free. To date, we have been running our Lister engine successfully on waste vegetable oil (WVO) after purification. We have not seen any detrimental effects on the engine after 2 years of operation. Carbon buildup that we removed during yearly servicing may or may not have been due to the vegetable oil. We start and stop the engine on diesel in order to purge fuel lines of oil.
Our next step with WVO is to utilize the Babington burner as a clean and simple way to combust the fuel. We aim to determine the practical feasibility of Babington-fired boundary layer turbines for electricity generation. We aim to utilize the Babington in the same areas where gas would otherwise be used: cooking, metal casting, bakery, pottery kiln, sauna, space heating, hydronic heating, and hot water.
We have also produced a 10 gallon sample batch of biodiesel. We are ready to set up a dedicated facility for biodiesel production as part of the 2008 building program. We will create a dedicated space for a mobile, 300 gallon fuel production plant. The mobility is desirable for education, demonstration, and leasing purposes.
We are focusing on proven technologies for our program. Fuel alcohol is one of them. We will start with a Babington-fired distiller and move into solar heating assist. A solar alcohol distiller prototype has already been demonstrated for Missouri via a SARE grant by Dan West67. We are collaborating with Dan, who is using waste orchard fruit, and is building a waste fruit picker and juicer under a continuing grant.
Another proven technology is wood gasification. We are interested in compressing wood gas and storing it in gas bottles under medium pressure of about 500 psi. This is a technically feasible proposition, and we are aiming to produce our own cooking gas by utilizing small-scale, mobile equipment. Once again, we'll be producing a mobile plant for education and demonstration purposes.
vii. Solar Power
The biofuel program should be placed into perspective with our solar power program:
The key point in the diagram is the solar turbine electric power, which has already been shown in Fig. 4 as the heat source of choice on clear, sunny days. Energy produced by the solar turbine may be used to charge electric vehicles. When surplus solar heat is available, that heat may be stored in thermal storage cisterns. This storage may be tapped on demand to cook food, or to generate power with the turbine by using a heat exchanger to boil water using the stored heat. Heat exchangers may be used for other thermal applications, such as solar drying or distillation of fuel alcohol.
d. FLEXIBLE FABRICATION: HOW ALL THE GENERATIVE
COMPONENTS ARE CREATED
Now we turn to the 5-item flexible fabrication subset as the most distinct and important part of the 16 components. This subset is the most important because all the other components, including this subset itself, are generated by using flexible fabrication.
Flexible fabrication refers to a production facility where a small set of non-specialized, general-function machines (the 5 items mentioned) is capable of producing a wide range of products if those machines are operated by skilled labor. It is the opposite of mass production, where unskilled labor and specialized machinery produce large quantities of the same item (see section II, Economic Base). When one adds digital fabrication to the flexible fabrication mix - then the skill level on part of the operator is reduced, and the rate of production is increased.
Digital fabrication68 is the use of computer-controlled fabrication, as instructed by data files that generate tool motions for fabrication operations. Digital fabrication is an emerging byproduct of the computer age. It is becoming more accessible for small scale production, especially as the influence of open source philosophy is releasing much of the know-how into non-proprietary hands. For example, the Multimachine69 is an open source mill-drill-lathe by itself, but combined with computer numerical control (CNC) of the workpiece table70, it becomes a digital fabrication device.
It should be noted that open access to digital design - perhaps in the form a global repository of shared open source designs - introduces a unique contribution to human prosperity. This contribution is the possibility that data at one location in the world can be translated immediately to a product in any other location. This means anyone equipped with flexible fabrication capacity can be a producer of just about any manufactured object. The ramifications for localization of economies are profound, and leave the access to raw material feedstocks as the only natural constraint to human prosperity. 71
What is this flexible fabrication subset? It is essentially the 5 items, shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7. The open source technology pattern language icons for the 5 components of flexible fabrication.
1. CNC MULTIMACHINE
The first icon is the CNC Multimachine.72 It is a high precision mill-drill-lathe, with other possible functions, where the precision is obtained by virtue of building the machine with discarded engine blocks. It is noteworthy that a high-quality, high precision machine may be made with discarded materials at a much reduced cost compared to the competition.73 The Multimachine is an open source project. You can find out more about uses and construction in the downloadable, 100 page manual,74 and our webpage has just a few more notes about it.75
The central feature of the Multimachine is the concept that either the tool or the workpiece rotates when any machining operation is performed. As such, a heavy-duty, precision spindle (rotor) is the heart of the Multimachine - for milling, drilling and lathing applications. The precision arises from the fact that the spindle is secured within the absolutely precise bore holes of an engine block, so precision is guaranteed simply by beginning with an engine block.
If one combines the Multimachine with a CNC XY or XYZ movable working platform - similar to ones being developed by the Iceland Fab Lab team76, RepRap77, CandyFab 400078 team, and others - then a CNC mill-drill-lathe is the result. At least Factor 10 reduction in price is then available compared to the competition. The mill-drill-lathe capacity allows for the subtractive fabrication of any allowable shape, rotor, or cylindrically-symmetric object. Thus, the CNC Multimachine can be an effective cornerstone of high precision digital fabrication - down to 2 thousandths of an inch.
Interesting features of the Multimachine are that the machines can be scaled from small ones weighing a total of ~1500 lb to large ones weighing several tons, to entire factories based on the Multimachine system. The CNC XY(Z) tables can also be scaled according to the need, if attention to this point is considered in development. The whole machine is designed for disassembly. Moreover, other rotating tool attachments can be added, such as circular saw blades and grinding wheels. The overarm included in the basic design is used for metal forming operations.
Thus, the Multimachine is an example of appropriate technology, where the user is in full control of machine building, operation, and maintenance. Such appropriate technology is conducive to successful small enterprise for local community development, via its low capitalization requirement, ease of maintenance, scaleability and adaptability, and wide range of products that can be produced. This is relevant both in the developing world and in industrialized countries.
2. XYZ TABLE
The XYZ table79 is a computer numerically controlled (CNC) platform for holding tools or workpieces, and for moving them in the X, Y, and Z directions. When we are discussing the XYZ table, we are interested in two types of applications. One is a large-scale surface, such as 4 by 8 feet, where the XYZ platform moves a tool, such as an acetylene torch for cutting metal or a router for doing cutouts in other materials. The second one is a small platform used in holding the workpiece, such as a piece of metal in a milling operation.
The notable feature of the CNC XYZ table is that a number of groups worldwide80 is developing an open source implementation of the XYZ table hardware and the controlling software for toolpath generation81. This implies that drastic cost reduction is forthcoming in the area of XYZ table equipment.
The concept of a CNC XYZ table is powerful. It allows one to prepare all the metal, such as that for a CEB press or the boundary layer turbine, with the touch of a button if a design file for the toolpath is available. This indicates on-demand fabrication capacity, at production rates similar to that of the most highly-capitalized industries. With modern technology, this is doable at low cost. With access to low-cost computer power, electronics, and open source blueprints, the capital needed for producing a personal XYZ table is reduced merely to structural steel and a few other components: it's a project that requires perhaps $1000 to complete.
For example, with an XYZ table and the toolpath files for the CEB, and an acetylene torch tool head, the fabrication process is simplified in a major way. One has to load all the steel on the table in designated locations, and then the torch is put to work while one can do other tasks. Then one returns to examine and unload the steel. If this process is refined, it is foreseeable that all the steel may be prepared in one shot, including bolt holes for the current CEB design. Attention to the Z axis must be given according to the reality of metal geometry, if one is not working with flat metal.
3. PLASTIC EXTRUDER
The plastic extruder82 (fourth icon in Fig. 7) is a device for extruding objects from molten plastic, just like a pasta maker extrudes spaghetti from dough. We are interested primarily in long sheets, for purposes of greenhouse glazing. Other applications may include thicker sheets of appropriate materials for wear plates, electrical insulators, and safety shields. If the extruder dye is selected accordingly, pipe and tubining may be extruded for water conduits and other purposes. Composite feedstocks, such as plastic and sawdust, may be used for making plastic lumber. If the extruder is used with an injection mold, then three-dimensional objects may be produced for countless applications.
An ecological feature of the extruder is its compatibility with various feedstocks. Recycled resins from the waste stream may be utilized, such as local recycling center plastics. Mixed resins may be used for plastic lumber. Once we develop bio-plastic technology at OSE, we will use bioplastic from our own site, such as cellophane83 greenhouse glazing from trees.
The noteworthy feature of the extruder is its ability to produce high-tech glazing at an affordable cost in a localized facility. We thus may be able to address the prohibitive cost issue for durable glazing systems. If the feedstock is a resin such as polycarbonate, then we can produce long-lifetime (20 years), high-performance, UV-stabilized glazing. If the extruder is an open source design, in the $1000 price range, then we are talking of producing single wall, 2 mm thick glazing at a material cost of 10 cents per square foot.84 For comparison, the industry standard, double-wall polycarbonate Thermaclear85 is about $2 per square foot delivered.86 This price difference opens many enterprise opportunities for local economic development.
It is especially interesting, from the localization perspective, that access to such low-cost glazing systems is a significant contribution to enabling the production of turnkey SolaRoof87 building systems. In particular, structural insulated SolaRoof panels may be constructued. These consist of a sandwich of two sheets of glazing with dynamic liquid insulation between the two sheets. These panels could utilize lumber, milled on-site, for the frames of these panels. If these panels have an interlocking mechanism, they can constitute a turnkey, SolaRoof greenhouse building system.
The SolaRoof system may be combined with CEB stem walls and CEB water reservoirs. This constitutes a super-insulated, high tech, affordable, and ecological greenhouse and living space building system. The materials cost is under $1 per square foot for engineered88 structure shells. This is possible due to utilization of onsite natural89 and external recycled resources - if the enabling CEB, extruder, and sawmill technology is available for fabricating the engineered building materials. Ramifications for localized food production and for affordable house construction are profound.
For purposes of education, demonstration, and leasing - the extruder may be built as a mobile demonstration unit. Potential earnings may arise from the rental of such units to builders, family farmers, and others. We are considering building a mobile unit at Factor E Farm as part of our education and earning models.
iv. METAL CASTING
Metal casting is an important component of flexible fabrication. For example, low melting point aluminum-nickel alloys may be cast to generate low-cost parts for the Multimachine. Metal stocks for casting may be extracted from the waste stream, so they contribute both to low cost and resource reutilization.
A small metal-casting furnace may be made cheaply, for under $50 for melting 10 pounds of metal. The Babington burner may be utilized to provide the heat.
If casting molds can be produced readily from casting sand, or from open source blueprints by utilizing XYZ machining, then production of 3D forms can be shared readily across the globe. This is interesting from the standpoint of decentralized manufacturing and localization.
Thus, it is of prime importance to open-source a robust furnace design, burner system, and all the techniques and insights of casting in various metals. It is also important to generate a repository of designs that can be produced on emerging open source 3D printers90, which can be used in mold-making for the casting process.
v. CIRCUIT FABRICATION
Circuit fabrication is important because electronic devices are a critical part of a technologically-advanced society. Electronic circuits of interest to us include wireless equipment,91 power electronics, and circuits utilized in CNC controls. Power electronics include motor controls for cars, battery chargers, power inverters, grid-intertie inverters, AC-AC converters (solid-state transformers), DC-DC converters, and any other ancillary uses for mobile and stationary electric systems. Sensors, data acquisition modules, timers, and monitoring equipment are among other circuits of interest.
To fabricate these circuits, a basic infrastructure for chemical etching or mechanical routing has to be engaged to produce circuit paths on a circuit board. To test these circuits, a multimeter and oscilloscope is useful. A soldering iron and micro drill are also desirable.
For producing circuits on demand, one may start with a circuit layout image, and proceed to etching. Then component holes are drilled on the circuit, and components are soldered to the board.
State-of-art circuit fabrication can occur by using integrated circuit (IC) chips and other advanced components that are simply soldered onto a circuit board. The beauty of this is that one does not need to understand what is in the black box of an integrated circuit: only the resulting function is important, and the resulting function is typically comprehensible.
Open source design is the key enabling feature. If a repository of scaleable circuit designs were available, then one could produce all types of circuits - for example for power inverters. If multifunction IC chips were available, then one could put together all kinds of devices readily. This is essentially the state of modern technology - but most people don't participate in circuit making. This is because there are still many technical details to understand, and much of the information is still hidden or proprietary.
We propose the open-sourcing of circuit designs and components, such that people could plug-and-play with advanced electronics. This is already doable with computers - one can build a computer from scratch today. If enabling information were available, this would be feasible with a large array of useful equipment.
Such useful equipment includes the motor controllers, grid intertie inverters, and chargers. These are still rather expensive today, and add thousands to the price of electric cars and off-grid power systems. These electronics should be available essentially at the price of components, and it's our goal to develop such items in the open source context.
Imagine if you could build or buy a solar turbine and grid-intertie inverter at essentially the cost of parts. Then you can start selling power to the grid, not to mention that you wouldn't have to pay any more electric bills. If you can't do it yourself, get together with some friends and do it in a group. That's the kind of possibility that emerges if the enabling know-how is made available to everyone.
- This is the present facility for OSE. http://blog.opensourceecology.org/
- Please see past work on the technology pattern language at http://ose.noblogs.org/post/2006/04/15/ose-yearly-plan-april-2006-april-2007
- Rice, Warren, "An Analytical and Experimental Investigation of Multiple-Disk Turbines", Transactions of the ASME, Journal of Engineering for Power, Jan. 1963, pp.29- 36.
- Granett Engineering, http://proto.dangyro.com/
- This is a type of heat generator, and is used for efficient burning of various waste oils, from crankcase, vegetable, to hydraulic oils. This type of burner was chosen specifically because it can burn widely available and typically free (in the USA) waste oils. Note that oil fuel is merely transitional, and will be replaced with other alternatives.
- Compare this to the CEB icon for a machine with a built-in power source, shown in http://ose.noblogs.org/post/2006/04/15/ose-yearly-plan-april-2006-april-2007 . This is one of the many simplifications and refinements to the technology base that we have produced since two years ago.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery; http://www.anti-slaverysociety.addr.com/clab.htm
- The Babington burner burns heavy oils effectively. It consists of two rotors: an air compressor for atomizing the fuel oil, and an oil pump, for delivering the fuel. The rest of the burner is a tubular structure, and power electronics for ignition.
- One needs to step out of ignorance and consider a basic heat calculation to comprehend the large amounts of energy that may be stored in heated liquids. Consider salt solution temperature at 200C, such as that heated by solar concentrators, dropping down to 100C, or a change of 100C – which is an easy, practical scenario that does not require any high tech equipment. Approximate that the enthalpy of water is the same as that of salt solution. The amount of energy released by 2500 gallons of hot salt solution in this temperature drop is 10,000 liters x 100C x (1000g/liter) x (1 cal/gC)x(4 cal/J)=4x106 kJ. Consider that 1 kWhr = 3600 kJ ~ 4x103 kJ. Thus, 4x106 kJ = 1000 kWhr. Assume a very conservative overall conversion efficiency of 2%, and the result is 20 kWhr! That is approximately sufficient to power an average American household for a whole day (average consumption is 1 kW)
- One may ask, if this really works, why don’t we see it around? Good question. Our conclusions are that integrated systems as such are expensive. There is no small-scale, off-the-shelf turbine available for such a purpose, and solar concentrators are expensive. We are addressing these two issues in our program. The bladeless turbine appears to be proven, but cost reduction of solar concentrators is not yet proven.
- The Gaviotas community has such solar cooking in Colombia: http://money.cnn.com/2007/09/26/technology/village_saving_planet.biz2/index.htm
- Design for Disassembly
V. ENTERPRISE MODELS
To summarize until the present point, we have so far discussed:
1. The concept of Global Village infrastructures, and implications for a wide array of applications, from individual households, to eco-enterprise facilities, to whole Global Villages 2. A choice of technologies for meeting infrastructure needs 3. Motivation for why certain technologies were selected on grounds of localization agendas 4. A pattern language for clarifying relationships between technology components 5. Possible enterprise applications of the technology set
Now we turn to a more rigorous economic models by which various enterprises may be introduced and replicated. Our focus is on breaking new ground in open source economic development of small enterprise. We aim to achieve this by utilizing drastic, cascading92 cost reduction that arises from the open-sourcing of the critical components and fabricating them via flexible and digital fabrication.
To date, we have solid experience only with the CEB machine.93 Thus, we have firm understanding of the bill of materials and fabrication procedure, such that we have a solid foundation for building an open source enterprise for CEB machine production. This concept is in section c. below.
We also mention other enterprises that we are developing in 2008: sawmill, grid-intertie turbine, skid loader, and open source nursery. Our experience with these is not based on working prototypes. We mention these enterprise ideas anyway, to provide the general index of possibilities regarding open source enterprise, and what limited experience we do have should still provide economic insight to the reader.
a. OPEN SOURCE MODEL ACCORDING TO OSE SPECIFICATIONS
We need to emphasize the definintion of what it means to open-source a product according to OSE specifications.94 It means to produce openly-accessible:
1. Designs, documentation, definitions, requirements, features95 2. Physical prototypes 3. Fabrication procedures (instructions) 4. Physical production facilities for demonstrating optimized production, 5. Demonstration and documentation of a working business model by which a certain good or service can be provided to others. 6. Training programs for users and entrepreneurs
These six steps guarantee the replicability of enterprise, and serve as a basic validation of the open source development method. If OSE's aim is accountability in terms of producing worthy and replicable results, then it is imperative that we take product development from beginning to end by pursuing steps 1 through 6 above. These steps may be carried out in-house or remotely.
Regarding Step 4, Factor e Farm aims to be the host for the demonstration production facilities of the 16 technologies and resulting enterprises. The demonstration facility does not have to be located at Factor e Farm, but until someone else volunteers a location, Factor E is a good site. We are attached only to making sure that thorough documentation of the ergonomics and economics of production is produced, and the product meets OSE Specifications.
OSE is also committed to optimized production as mentioned in Step 4. To this end, we will employ CNC-controlled Fab Lab procedures whenever suitable. For example, we aim to automate CEB machine production by using an XYZ torch table. All the metal, including bolt holes, can be prepared right on a torch table for the CEB. This is an example of utilizing bolt-tegether (DfD) construction with CNC procedures to optimize production ergonomics. We are already collaborating with the Iceland Fab Lab team to deliver a working implementation of XYZ table-assisted CEB production, and aim to deliver the world's first high-performance, open source CEB machines to market by October, 2008.
XYZ table-assisted digital fabrication of CEB machines may be one of the first breakthrough examples of open source production in appropriate technology products for sustainable and just living. This may have cascading effects, as the same XYZ table may be utilized in the production of agricultural machinery, heavy equipment, and many other items, at the click of a button, if open source designs are available. Serious attention should be given to the XYZ table to make it well-documented and affordable ($1k range).
In order to complete the process of product open-sourcing, we will be documenting the economics and ergonomics of production in order to promote enterprise replication. This information will be part of an integrated business model, which will be published openly. We are interested in wide distribution of production capacity, according to principles of Jeffersonian democracy.96 We are also interested in training others to become producers and users of the technologies, which is the last of the 6 steps.
The CEB press is a good example of a work in progress with reference to the 6 steps. Conceptual designs have been posted at the Worknets site.97 Fabrication of the protytype has been documented largely on the Factor E Farm weblog, where one can trace the daily progress of the 35 working days that it took to make a successful prototype.98 Presently, we are working on producing the second prototype to verify fabrication procedures and to make some optimizations. Michael Koch,99 a senior undergraduate in mechanical engineering from U. Missouri, Columbia (UMC), will be producing the second prototype with his team. The aim is to produce CAD100 drawings, build the machine, perform testing, and do finite element analysis101 for structural studies. The UMC team will be iterating steps 1-3 of the open-sourcing procedure. Steps 4-6 are addressed by neo-commercialization, defined in the next section.
Our program of enterprise creation and replication is called neo-commercialization. Neo-commercialization means that we can both 'commercialize' a product - make it available for sale at competitive prices to others - and help others replicate the enterprise itself. We are interested not only in production, but also in business replication by others, because it's good for the world. The replication goal is grounded firmly on the open source nature of the entire development program.
The concept of neo-commercialization embodies both our own ability to produce and earn from the products, as well as our interest to disseminate the products via open franchising. Open franchising means that our products and production processes are under an unrestricted, open license, where users are free to decide for themselves as to how they will use, develop, or market the technologies. There are no strings attached. It is our private interest to have people contribute back to open production capacity, but we are not interested in policing the use of our creations. We are interested in maximum dissemination, because we believe that our products have a beneficial contribution to society. People are free to make living from our products, and modify them how they choose.
We can earn ourselves by producing the product, or by providing training and other associated services. Information is free, but physical products and our time are not. For example, we may offer free training materials online, but if we spend our time teaching producers or leading workshops, then we should be compensated.
An apparent criticism of this technique arises to many in that giving away the enterprise concepts eliminates one's competitive advantage. In the context of the open source economy of interest, standard competitive advantage - in the form of dog eats dog or GNP- is irrelevant. It is replaced by quality of life102 or Gross National Happiness103 as the economic success metric. Quality of life is founded on the effective meeting of needs and wants, and open enterprise supports this foundation. Open enterprise has the following qualities:
1. Shared development of optimized products, combined with digital fabrication, promotes cost-competitiveness even with centralized, mass-production industry for many products 2. Lifetime design, product service, and easy maintenance are unmatched by design 3. One may serve a localized market without competition from remote producers by virtue of quality service 4. On-demand production capacity reduces overhead costs 5. Capacity to produce a large array of products from open source blueprints allows for the diversification necessary to survive hardships 6. Low overhead and entry barriers allow for economic feasibility by many producers 7. Low entry barriers provide for diversified economies on an increasingly small scale 8. Open enterprise phases out monopolies, which have a tendency to disservice the buyer
c. NEO-COMMERCIALIZATION FUNDING MODEL
In order to address steps 3-6 of the open-sourcing process, we are designing an explicit funding mechanism. This funding model is aimed at turning the concept for an open source enterprise into reality by providing the capital to fund an optimized production facility. This production facility is used to prove the economic model of production for OSE and others. We believe that this model stands without precedent: we know of no significant, optimized physical production facility that was funded by distributed volunteers. The goal is to produce a significant contribution to the peer-to-peer104 economy, and extend this concept to physical production. We aim to produce an alternative route to corporate product development that can take a significant foothold in how people meet their needs, for those who like to think of what can succeed 'after intellectual property.'105
The key to proving the feasibility of such a funding model is to perform the due development diligence that brings about credibility and makes the deliverable realistic. It is useful to return to the CEB machine as a case in point.
We have done the due diligence on the CEB machine that we believe warrants bounty-based funding support from distributed stakeholders. Bounty refers to the clearly-defined deliverable that stakeholders are interested in funding.106 Stakeholders are those people who are interested in buying a product at a predicted cost estimate, or those who are interested in becoming producers themselves. We have accomplished the following to date: (1), we produced a working prototype and are currently testing it for durability. (2), we are currently beginning the second prototype to demonstrate replicability and to optimize construction, and (3), we have defined the basic requirements for an on-demand production facility that can produce CEB machines within a 5 day turnaround time.
To realize the bounty-funded mechanism for funding the production facility, the general OSE program is to:
1. Produce a clear proposal for the equipment and infrastructure requirements for a production facility 2. Produce an enterprise economic analysis 3. Utilize Factor e Farm as the facility location and as the facility leadership 4. Utilize the CEB machine itself to build the facility 5. Set up a social enterprise website with a donation collection mechanism 6. Communicate a clear definition of the bounty product of interest 7. Communicate the due diligence that has been performed 8. Recruit a qualified fabricator 9. Identify stakeholders and direct stakeholders to the social enterprise website 10. Collect voluntary contributions via the website 11. Execute deliverables 12. Make a product available
The bottom line of this program is presenting a compelling case whereby contributions to build the production facility are collected from stakeholders. Note that the fabrication expertise has to be provided by Factor e Farm, and day-to-day operators of the fabrication facility must be recruited and trained. As such, fabrication capacity is deployed to meet orders for on-demand fabrication. The price structure is such that high earnings on the order of $50/hour are collected for funding OSE developments. At the same time, the production process is so streamlined that the buyer receives superior product at competitive cost.
Collection of a large number of voluntary contributions allows for a high level of risk-sharing in the development process. It also promotes wide collaboration. A large number of collaborators can direct traffic to the funding website to assist in project deployment. The freeloader dilemma107 is addressed somewhat by the fact that production for the stakeholders is not begun until after the funding for the fabrication facility is collected, and if the desired sum is not collected, progress is delayed. This is an incentive for the stakeholders to donate money or equipment.
As a byproduct of deploying and proving the economic model for fabrication, OSE will enjoy production earnings to fund further product development. It is an earned funding model, and it also benefits others because they are free to replicate the model as soon as it is developed. Great potential exists for creating a robust funding mechanism, if: (1), digital fabrication measures are applied for rapid fabrication, and (2), a significant number of orders can be filled.
Our policy is to 'publish early and often' according to the open source software development model. We are committed to keeping absolutely no secrets regarding fabrication procedures or any other enabling details, and to publishing developments as soon as they are available. Our goals are far larger than economic success of any single product. Our goals are to develop an entire array of products, starting with the 16-point focus in this proposal. We believe that the more open we are, the more resources will avail themselves to make further developments possible. We believe that that failure of many do-gooders lay in their inability to give up possession of things so they could profit greatly. We are much more interested in the societal change that occurs when self-sufficiency becomes accessible as a result of certain key, generative, lifetime-design products. Our goals are to transcend material constraints by making survival a trivial task. Our goals are spiritual, in that we want to remove material constraints from dictating the course of civilizations, which has been happening for the past thousands of years.
The summary of our funding model is:
1. Product prototypes are developed. 2. Once sufficient development has occurred, the funding website is deployed 3. Economic analysis is provided 4. Resources are gathered to build and deploy integrated production capacity - this is the heart of the funding process 5. Products are delivered via on-demand fabrication a. Production method is verified b. Others are encouraged to replicate the model c. Earnings provide further support to OSE for developing other products
c. ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: CEB
The heart of the neo-commercializatoin funding model is economic analysis. Here we present a sample economic analysis for the CEB machine as a case for motivating the economic feasibility of open CEB machine franchising.
Here is the bill of materials (BOM) for the CEB prototype:
ITEM QUANTITY PRICE (US $) 6" channel, 7/16" thick 20 feet 182 Grade 8 bolts, washers, nuts, 1/2"x2" 48 20 Main cylinder108, 5", surplus 1 125109 Hopper cylinder, 1.5"x15"110 1 65 Control Valve, open center, 2 spool111 1 75112 Hopper sheet metal, 3/16" 24 square feet 62 Hydraulic fittings various 81 Hydraulic hoses113 4 61 Cylinder mounting metal rods and angle various 46 Main press plates, 1"x6", 1"x8" 3 pieces, 3 feet total 47 Pressing plate sides, 1/2"x6" 3 feet 18 Nylon 6/6 liner 5 square feet 50 Rubber for press plate114, 6"X12" 1 7 Hopper table 1/4" steel: 2" tubing and plate 10' & 6 square feet 60 Hopper alignment rail: 2"x1/4" angle 2 feet 4 3-point mount for a tractor, 2"x4"x1/4" tubing 4 feet 50 Legs, 2"x1/4" square tubing 12 feet 40 TOTAL
Table 1. Bill of Materials for the first prototype CEB machine built by OSE.
This BOM does not include the outsourced cutting of metal pieces to size, which can be done readily in house.115 Also, the main cylinder and control valve used were from surplus, so this price may rise by about $250 for the cylinder and $100 for the valve, for a total of about $1350 in readily-accessible parts. The total number of hours spent building this protoptype was about 140 hours. The time expected for fabricating the second prototype is 40 hours. Production runs are expected to take about 20 hours per machine, using an XYZ torch table for fabrication assist.
Here are the capitalization requirements for fabrication capacity. The Cost column reflects the price structure if off-the-shelf tools and materials - and proprietary development procedures - are utilized. This cost is conservative, as intellectual property costs are probably higher than the $10k that was specified. The alternative route, or the Open Source Cost, is that which utilizes open source know-how and is built on a land-based facility. The open source option means that certain equipment may be fabricated readily from available components when a design and bill of materials is available.
ITEM Cost ($) Open Source Cost XYZ CNC table116 with controller117 8400118 <$900119 Wire feed welder 1050120 1050 Acetylene torch 500 500 7" angle grinder 150121 150 Hoist (3 ton) 100122 100 1000 sq ft workshop123 5700124 1000125 Intellectual property 10000126 0 TOTAL 25900 3700
Table 2. Costs for erecting and equipping a fabrication facility for the CEB machine.
In particular, the great cost reducer in the open source route is the availability of: (1) a low-cost XYZ table, (2), low cost workshop building, and (3), absence of intellectual property costs. In total, the price of putting together a fabrication facility is only $3700 if one has access to land, some kind of tractor or skid loader for material handling, and utilizes onsite building materials (CEBs and milled lumber) to construct the workshop space. It should be added that more labor will go into building an XYZ table than buying one, but not much more, if a transparent bill of materials and fabrication procedure is available. Workshop building time may also increase over the off-shelf option.
The XY table is a pricey solution if obtained off-the-shelf. New kits cost $8k at the low end for an industrial duty, 4x8 foot table. We should note that, as expected from the open source development method, ridiculously low costs are feasible with the CNC table.127 The electronics of a CNC XY table are inexpensive. Three stepper motors plus controller and power supply cost $45.128 Rails may be the expensive part, and other than that, it's mostly a structure that can be fabricated via xyz bolt-together design. The CNC table should be accessible at <$500 plus structural steel at approximately $400.129 That is a Factor 10 reduction over the competition.
The cost structure for building a physical production facility for the CEB will be documented fully with forthcoming experience in 2008. We will be building this facility at Factor E Farm. Part of the development will be deploying an open source XYZ table, which we expect to cost <$900 in parts. There may be additional costs involved in finalizing a simple design for the XYZ table. The goal is a facility that can produce 1 CEB machine every 3 days with 1 fabricator working full time.
We will set up a social enterprise website to raise between $3700-5000 for deploying CEB machine fabrication. This site will designed to motivate the minimal funding of the facility, by directing as many potential stakeholders to the site as possible. Stakeholders include owner-builders interested in natural building, building organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, disaster relief organizations, building contractors, and a wide range of others. We are asking for collaboration in directing potential stakeholders to the funding website.
In summary, this is our first experiment of co-funding a significant production facility. Deployment funds will be used to build the facility, procure some tools, and build an open source version of the XYZ table. Utilizing existing collaboration, we will use up to $3k from the budget to design, build, and deploy the XYZ table. Together with Factor e Farm contribution of facility space, a fabricator who has already been recruited, and utilization of onsite materials for facility construction - we believe that we have an attractive package that can be funded. Costs and risk are distributed, and low overhead makes the entire project dirt cheap for the significance of the promised deliverable. It is a pressing issue130 for us to deploy CEB machine production with 3-5 day delivery time - for proving a novel, state-of-art peer production mechanism. We are interested in machine production times- in our small workshop- similar to or faster than that of any any larger, competing industry - to demonstrate the power of flexible fabrication.
d. SAWMILL CONCEPT
Figure 4c showed the sawmill prototype that we fabricated at Factor E Farm. Further design details and material costs are at found at Worknets.131 The prototype in Fig. 4c is a band sawmill (band sawblade is not mounted in picture). After further consideration of sawmill technologies132, we decided to pursue a swing-blade circular sawmill.133
Our decision is based primarily on two features: speed and blade maintenance. First, the rate of lumber production is twice that of a comparably-priced bandsaw mill. This is because the swing-blade mill cuts lumber in both the forward and backward motion of the cutting carriage. Second, blades can be sharpened on the mill in a few minutes, as opposed to more extensive blade maintenance requirements for the band sawmill.
The blade issue is central to informing our choice against the band sawmill. In practice, we would be spending between 1/2 to 1 hour sharpening a blade with a manual sharpener once a bandsaw blade dull, and one may go through one or more blades in one day of cutting. One may be able to sharpen in less than 1/2 hour with some sharpeners,134 but bandsaw blades also need tooth-setting, or bending of individual teeth slightly outwards, if the tooth set is corrupted. With a manual device, that is another 1/2 hour or so of time, and it should be done once for every 2 sharpenings. This story changes if one procures professional, automatic sharpeners and tooth setters, but those cost thousands of dollars. All in all, present practical considerations mean that we would be sharpening blades manually, and we are interested in designing evenings of maintenance time out of our milling operations.
Swing-blade circular blades last much longer and require much less time sharpening.135 This means that blade costs are about 10 times lower for swing-blade mills. This is a good point for localization, as long blade lifetime minimizes external dependency. Moreover, blades for circular mills could be fabricated locally.
Swing-blade mills are attractive from the opensourcing perspective due to their price: they are expensive. The lowest cost band sawmill can be obtained for $1600 new for a mill that can cut up to 18" trees. The smallest swing-blade mill, the Skillmill, costs $3900.136 Larger manual mills start at about $8k.137 Since we expect fabrication costs to be similar to bandsaw mills, there is a larger cost reduction possible with the swing-blade. This is valuable to pursue from the standpoint of human benefit, as the swing-blades produce lumber faster than bandsaw mills, and are in our opinion, the superior choice from the standpoint of localization.
As such, we are pursuing the swing-blade mill for our 2008 building program. We will utilize our existing track and carriage for the prototype, since we already have these built. We will have to build a swing-blade cutting head and replace the bandsaw head, which is feasible because of our bolt-together design for disassembly. The technical challenge is deploying the 90 degree swing mechanism for the circular blade.
We are inviting others to join this opensourcing effort, as it is our next current project. We are expecting to have the CEB and sawmill in full operation by the time we can start building in April. We are interested in people who can help in building additional prototypes to document the fabrication procedure. As of this writing (1/08), we are designing the swing-blade cutting head.
e. SOLAR TURBINE GRID INTERTIE CONCEPT
An interesting route for promoting the boundary layer turbine developments is to produce the turbine and add grid-intertie capacity. This would allow for sales back to the electrical grid. A good strategy may be to produce a waste-oil fired generator, sell power to the grid, and with the proceeds, capitalize the development of a solar power generation capacity. The pattern language diagram for this endeavor is:
Figure 8. Grid intertie turbine technology pattern language.
From prior discussions in the Product Ecology section, we have the following open source cost estimates for materials:
ITEM Material Cost ($) Returns ($) Burner 200
Steam generator (20 hp) 300
Turbine (20 hp) 500
Generator (10 kWe) 500
Grid-intertie inverter 500 700/month
Total $2000 $700/month
Solar concentrators (4 kWe) $2000 $70/month
Table 3. Materials costs for grid-intertie turbine and solar concentrators.
A proposed business model is to develop a not-for-profit fabrication facility for producing the turbine electric system, such that this system can be produced at essentially the cost of materials. The trick is funding the facility with voluntary contributions, and selling products at cost. At cost means that the enterprise remains afloat financially, but it simply does not charge a lot for its product.
In the first implementation, the turbine system is $2000 in parts. The beauty is that a grid tie system could produce electricity for the grid. At 10 cents per kilowatt hour, that means $1 sold to the grid every hour. For an entire month, that yields over $700. This could be fed at a rate of 1 gallon of waste vegetable oil per hour. This implies that a dedicated person could seek out 5 or more restaurants, to get a 55 gallon drum of waste oil every two days. With this earning, the system pays back for itself in approximately 3 months. In another 3 months, enough money could be earned to pay for a solar concentrator array of 4 kW, such that from then on, the individual would earn $70 per month in electricity credits - assuming an average insolation of 6 hours per day. This is the average power necessary to take an average American household to self-sufficiency in electrical production.
There is not so much waste vegetable oil available to power many 10 kW burners running 24/7, but there is enough for about 300,000 people.138 Even if this .1% of the population were to switch to renewable solar energy - by funding its solar concentrator arrays by selling WVO electricity to the grid - that would be a great contribution to ecology. Collecting the WVO necessary is not a trivial task, so we would recommend that people do that for only a few months, until they finance their own solar concentrators. After that, they could pass on the WVO task to other adopters of this technology. Note that a 55 gallon drum of oil is required every 2 days for this adventure.
Such a proposition is valuable at face value. Even at $4000 for the entire package - without using the WVO electricity sales - there could be many potential adopters of the turbine-grid intertie system. It's one of those investments that last a lifetime, as one could gather free electricity for as long as the system is in working order.
The grid intertie concept is an interesting one because it relies on an untapped waste product, oil. This is just one application for motivating the turbine development. Other motivations are various enterprises in stationary and mobile engines.
We are currently working out the bill of materials for the turbine itself. We are looking for other fabrication bids. We need collaborators on the grid intertie aspect. There may be significant costs involved with certification of the open source grid intertie equipment, but that can be funded collaboratively as well.
This turbine-grid intertie project is hard core development from the start, since the turbine, burner, concentrator, and inverter cost predictions need to be verified. We are considering fabricating turbine rotors with a lathe, such as a CNC Multimachine.
f. SKID LOADER CONCEPT
We have mentioned the skid loader, OSTrac, as one of the product ecologies. It is useful to consider the OSTrac after the turbine system is developed as its engine. Skid loaders are expensive - at least $5k for one that is used and in decent working order - and an open source version would make access to a skid loader more palatable. If lifetime design is included with local fabrication capacity, then it's a great success for localization.
We may rely on hydraulic motors from the proprietary economy at the beginning. Eventually, it would be a good idea to open-source hydraulic motors. Another option may be developing wheel motors that are sufficiently high in torque to satisfy skid loader requirements.
g. OPEN SOURCE NURSERY CONCEPT
To provide abundant plant stock for local economies - orchards, edible landscaping, wineries, etc. - we are proposing a bioregional, open source nursery at Factor e Farm. The nursery is dedicated primarily to useful and edible perennials. The nursery is to:
1. Provide access to low-cost plant materials, on an exchange basis or for pay 2. Serve to distribute, share, and collect plant material 3. Provide workshops on plant propagation 4. Serve as a genetic repository for plant diversity and preservation 5. Be a one-stop-shop for all the types of plants that can be grown bioregionally 6. Serve as an incubator for other nurseries and enterprises, in the spirit of localization
The primary objective is to collect and distribute a diversity of economically significant plants. This means that we:
1. Maintain a supply of propagation stock, including entire plants for cuttings, seedlings, rootstocks, scion wood, seeds, stool beds, layering beds, plants for collecting seed, etc. 2. Engaging in regular propagation of existing stock for planting out on approximately 20 acres of land. Plantouts include productive orchards and berry patches, display material, and future propagation material. 3. Encourage exchange of plant material by various means, including but not limited to: a. Website - participants, what they have, and what they need b. Free exchange for onsite plant material c. Exchange of seeds and plant materials through the mail d. Sweat equity propagation- where a participant takes what they want from us while propagating a certain quantity of plants to leave with us e. Propagation workshops f. Sale of onsite materials g. Mail order 4. Seek out sources of rare, unusual, or old varieties for genetic diversity 5. Test and adopt nonlocal species 6. Breed varieties by selection for various improvements or local adaptation 7. Maintain a website for documenting propagation and other cultivation experience 8. Produce economically significant information for incubating enterprise related to plant propagation and fruits - such as nurseries, plant product enterprises, dried fruit, or freeze dried fruit powder producers, and others
This nursery is dedicated to the common benefit of all. It may also be used as a mail-order and local nursery for funding futher Factor e Farm developments.
Regarding economics, nurseries and orchards are a great long-term investments. They do take several years to become established, though, so we aim to assist people in that process. Orchards, for example, are great sideline enterprise if one then does u-pick operations that require a limited amount of time from the orchardist.
Another business opportunity for the orchardist that requires special mention is freeze dried139 fruit powders. Freeze drying is the most effective preservation method for retaining nutritional content, and it results in high quality powders that could become the mainstream of the soft drink industry. Localization potential lies in having a large number of producers supplying diverse markets, if open source freeze drying equipment is widely accessible. This has the potential of replacing billions of dollars of junk food colas with high quality, healthy drinks. Freeze dried fruit powders should be taken seriously as the next step in the evolution of human softdrinks. Carbonation may be added to these, if necessary, with a small home appliance.
Plants such as grapes and raspberries may be propagated readily from hardwood cuttings or root cuttings, respectively, and could be ready for sale after one season. Rootstocks for apples or peaches may be grown out so that they are grafted after 1 year, and a tree may be sold for $10-20 each after 2 years. If one has abundant propagation stock, then it is easy to propagate with limited costs. The primary cost would be the preparation of nursery beds.
Figure 9. Peach rootstocks after 1 year of growth, with 1.1 inch (2.8 cm) thickness at the base.
The unique feature of this nursery concept is its aim to self-replicate. As with other open source enterprises, we are interested in sharing the information, simply because orcharding and plant propagation are fundamentally important to human health.
VI. FACILITY REPLICATION
It is instructive to describe the costs involved in replicating self-sufficient, off-grid productive enterprise communities as put forth in this proposal. Table 4 shows the cost for ground-up building of a facility's most important infrastructure features. This does not include land costs. The costs are shown for three scenarios. The Cost column reflects the business-as-usual scenario where one buys the entire infrastructure from the outside, in a pre-open source economy. The Open Source Cost is one where we begin with access to low-cost open source equipment140 and where we utilize as much of on-site resources as possible- such as the soil, trees, and solar income of the site.
The third option refers to our facility replication program, which is under development.141 It occurs for people who study in a 2-year long immersion replication program with us at the Factor e Farm facility. As part of their learning eperience, participants produce some of the infrastructure necessary to start a new facility. Participants engage in the following:
1. propagate plant material for orchards and landscapes 2. breed necessary livestock, such as goats, chickens, fish, and bees that they can take to the next OSE Facility 3. produce technological items in our Flex Fab Lab 4. are entitled to lease our equipment at cost 5. can earn while at Factor e Farm by participating in any of its on-site enterprises
This means that expenses embodied in the OSE-Assisted Cost may be offset by earnings that are part of the training program, such that capitalization becomes a non-issue for stewards interested in our program. OSE upholds this commitment to capitalization assistance, as we are interested in qualified individuals to step into stewardship roles, and not only individuals who can pay for the replication costs. This philosophy underlies all of our cost reduction efforts, and helps to explain why we are putting so much attention on the cost aspects of this adventure. We believe that this attention to cost is a foundation for transcending the money issue that is involved in all kinds of good work.
Item Cost Open Source Cost OSE-Assisted Cost CEB press 25000142 1000143 0 Mobile Sawmill 8000144 1000145 0 Chainsaw 500 500 500 Renewable energy system, 4 kW146 30000147 4000148 3000 Living space, 1000 sq ft 50000149 2000 2000 Workshop and storage, 2000 sq ft 12000150 2000 2000 Advanced greenhouse, 1000 sq ft 20000151 1000152 1000 Plastic extruder 10000153 1000154 0 Skid loader/tractor 10000155 4000156 4000 Car 10000 4000157 4000 Edible Landscaping158 2000 100 0 Spader159 5000 1500 1500 Rototiller160 1200 500 500 CNC machine shop161 10000 1000 1000 XYZ table162 8400 900 900 Metal casting equipment163 1000 200 200 Power inverter, grid tie, 10 kW164 8000 1000 1000 Battery bank, 20 kWhr165 3000 3000 0 Battery charger 500 100 100 Electronics fabrication166 2100 300 300 Well drilling167 10000 1300 300 Vehicle fuels168 4000/year 1000 1000 Cooking gas 500/year 1000 1000 TOTAL $221,500 $31,200 $24,100
Table 4. Captalization costs for building a living-working Global Village facility.
There is an approximate Factor 7 cost reduction in building a new facility in the open source context: $222k is reduced to $31k. We are assuming that the low costs are obtained by one building certain machines from scratch with the sweat of one's brow. This means that labor is not included, and high skill is required. This eliminates all but perhaps 5% of the population form achieving such a program. We mention such a program as the highest form of self-sufficiency foreseeable, if one is interested in buying out at the bottom.169 By this term, we mean that one does not wait to save big cash for retirement, but can quit compulsory labor early, because of the attraction of independence and the low capital cost (minus labor) for doing so.
A particular enabling feature for buying out at the bottom is to produce turnkey generative technologies for producing necessities: fuels, building materials, food, energy, machinery, etc. That is precisely the aim of our technological developments. All the technologies are available.170
It should be noted that the Global Village facility of interest is entirely sufficient in food, energy, fuel, cooking gas, housing, and earning potential. Earning may be accomplished by flexible fabrication, self-employment, orchard and nursery operations, power sales to the electric grid, organizational work, or anything one chooses. One's bills in this scenario include only land taxes. Beyond these, one is free to pursue a life of creative pursuits.
It is important to understand the context for the open source cost and OSE-Assisted Cost. The first thing to be said is that there is no free lunch, in that equipment is available, but it takes operator labor and skill to utilize the equipment for productive purposes171. We are assuming the availability of CEB, sawmill, and plastic extruder for all building applications. We are assuming an energy infrastructure, for stationary and mobile power, is based on the boundary layer turbine. We are assuming a nursery for generating plant materials. We are assuming that the general tools of the Global Village Construction set are available, so that one can basically provide all infrastructure needs. We assume especially that with a flexible Fab Lab at low cost, and a repository of open source designs, we will be able to create anything. With the OSE-Assisted Cost, we are talking about students, or Fellows, which we invite to our facility for the explicit purpose of learning to be independent entrepreneur land stewards. As such, we are interested in sharing our resources to make replication of our facility feasible. This includes at-cost leasing of equipment and propagation of our genetic stocks, on top of the immersion experience that we will offer.
One major enabling feature of our aims is simplification without reduction of quality. By simplification, we mean particularly in the way to produce the items of interest. If production of some items takes a long time, that is a waste of life's precious hours, and is a good start of enslavement to the technology. This is precisely the reason why we want to design optimized fabrication procedures, and use any means necessary to achieve this - such as digital fabrication - without leaving the realm of appropriate technology. That is a great challenge that Lewis Mumford172 - the great critic of inappropriate technics - would readily endorse. A good counterexample is the Ronja project,173 where one can fabricate an open source wireless bridge, at reasonable materials cost ($100) but with 70+ hours of labor. Even at minimum wage, that brings total cost to $450+. We are suggesting that various facilitation mechanisms should be put in place in open source process to facilitate replication - such as availability of complete part kits, prepared components, hands-on workshops, or many others. These services also constitute business opportunities at the interface of information work and physical production, and are fuel for a radically different economic process.
We are not discrediting Ronja here, but pointing out the importance of alternative facilitative mechanisms. These are critical if one is shifting away from mass production. Moreover, it should be emphasized that the bulk of OSE's work lies in developing these mechanisms, to make active Global Village creation an easier - and perhaps even mainstreamable - choice.
b. ONGOING COSTS
It is also important to mention the ongoing yearly maintenance costs for managing a land-based facility of 12 people, minus its fabrication capacity. Here are some of the main costs:
Item Cost Open Source Cost Chainsaw 100 100 Living space, 1000 sq ft 100 100 Skid loader/tractor 3000 100 Car174 3000 100 Rototiller175 100 20 Grid-tie inverter, 10 kW 100 10 Battery bank, 20 kWhr 200 0 Battery charger 50 0 Vehicle fuels 3000 0 Cooking gas 1000 0 Food 12000 0 Interest 10000 100 TOTAL $37,550 $530
Table 5. Ongoing maintenance costs for a living-working Global Village.
The main costs are food, equipment maintenance, fuels, and interest. We are assuming that the 'standard' route of operation is to buy, not grow, your food. Tractors and cars take about $3k/year in maintenance costs. Vehicle fuels are also significant, depending on one's travel distances. Housing costs are negligible in both cases, as both scenarios have access to a sawmill for lumber and brick from the CEB press. In the open source cost, we should virtually eliminate vehicle costs, if we are fabricating our own parts. We will be producing fuel alcohol or algae fuel, as well as cooking gas, once our facility is up to full performance. We may safely add $10k in 5% debt service to the standard cost scenario, as people typically take out loans to cover capitalization expenses on the order of $236k.
f. TIME FRAMES
The replication time for a facility is 2 years, if we start with 2 individuals of above-average abilities and a deep interest in pursuing a program of right-livelihood Global Village creation. We propose 2 individuals as a nucleus from which a whole community can grow. The table below shows the proposed timeframe within which projects may be completed. Note that this time is based on the availability of the full infrastructure of a seed facility, including all the open source know-how and optimized production facilities. The times shown are a double of what we predict it would take for a skilled person, since the Fellow-in-training will not be able to complete projects effectively the first time in a learning process:
Item Time CEB press 1 week Mobile Sawmill 1 week Renewable energy system, 4 kW 4 weeks176 Living space, 1000 sq ft 4 weeks Workshop and storage, 2000 sq ft 4 weeks Advanced greenhouse, 1000 sq ft 4 weeks Plastic extruder 1 week Skid loader/tractor 2 weeks Car 2 weeks Edible Landscaping 1 week Spader 2 week Rototiller 2 week CNC machine shop 2 weeks XYZ table 1 week Metal casting equipment 1 week Power inverter, grid tie, 10 kW 1 week Battery charger 2 days Electronics fabrication 1 day Well drilling 4 weeks Vehicle fuels 1 week yearly Cooking gas 2 days yearly Animal husbandry - fencing 1 week TOTAL 40 weeks
Table 6. Time requirements for immersion learning and production for replication.
A total of 40 weeks - of which 16 are 2 person operations - for a total of 56 weeks, or a little over a man-year, is sufficient to produce all the hardware for living, working, and thriving, including self-sufficiency in food, energy, housing, water, technology production, and self-employment abilities. It includes lifetime cars and tractors, ability to produce all necessary building materials, and the most advanced agricultural equipment.
The above man-year involves only about 24 man-weeks in direct preparation and fabrication (at Factor e Farm) for a future facility, where the rest of the facility building and well-drilling occurs at the new site. This means only about 6 man-months are required in direct fabrication duties. If we are talking about a couple taking on this program, then only 1/8 of the immersion program of 2 years is spent, per person, directly on fabrication/replication duties. The rest may be stent in theoretical preparation, book learning, earning, or other associated endeavors. In other words, replication is feasible as a result of a 2-year immersion program, and made even more fun when engaged as a couple on a path to freedom.
This program eliminates the carrot-on-a-stick driver of most peoples' typical American dream: a dream house, car, and a full belly.177 Costs of a house, car, utilities, food and fuel - are literally eliminated when one has generative building equipment, an ability to fabricate, and an ability to dig in the dirt. Recall that personal fabrication carries a promise of being easy, if design files for Fab Lab operations are readily available, and other aforementioned facilitation mechanisms are in place. Then the only skills required are assembly178(bolting, fastening, welding, etc.), digging in the dirt, playing with computers, and other tasks as needed. We should recall from Table 4 that the capitalization requirement for this adventure is under $25k. In other words, one can buy out at the bottom for less than $25k in this proposition. The catch is that one would have to have land, but dirt cheap land still exists,179 and we aim to work with Fellows on land acquisition via earnings. We propose this program as an alternative to a crap job till 55 and retirement. We are interested in fostering peoples' creativity by liberation from the necessity to make a living.
In summary - it's $25k, minus on-site earnings, plus 2 years in time - and you can buy out at the bottom. The rest is under your control.
VII. FACILITY SELF-SUFFICIENCY PROGRAM
We have alluded to self-sufficiency possibilities in the previous section, as a stepping stone to pursuit of happiness. The following diagram is the proposed neosubsistence180 strategy of Factor e Farm:
Figure 10. Components of Factor e Farm neo-subsistence strategy.
As of this writing, the CEB is well on its way to neo-commercialization. The Babington heat and solar turbine are our next major projects.
It should be pointed out that aluminum extraction from clay is a worthy proposition, but has not been placed in the diagram because we have not yet evaluated the feasibility. We are not talking of the typical, high-temperature, energy-intensive smelting processes characteristic of those using aluminum oxide (bauxite) as the ore. Such processes require approximately the equivalent of a liter of fuel per kilogram of aluminum produced181. We are nstead talking of using regular clays, or aluminosilicates. Imagine: the same material from which we make compressed earth blocks is used to make aluminum. This is not science fiction, as there is a patent182 for extracting aluminum from clays using baking followed by an acid process.
Why should we care about aluminum? At one point, it was a strategic resource. Today, it retains an essential role in a high-tech economy. It is superior to steel in its weight-to strength ratio, it is easier to machine, and it does not rust like steel. If aluminum could be produced locally, steel would probably be phased out in many applications. The influence on global geopolitics could be profound.
VIII. FACILITY BUILDING PLAN
The present facility, not drawn to scale, is:
Figure 11. Diagram of existing facility.
We are planning to add a kitchen and living quarters, plus a pantry, root cellar, and walk-in cooler, as well as bathroom, shower, library/computer room, multipurpose room, sauna, workshop, and biodiesel facility. We will build an internet hut for housing our present internet equipment, and equipment storage facilities for heavy equipment such as tractors and implements. We are also moving 3 silos from the next door neighbor for storage.
Kitchen space proper will include washing space, cooking space, preparation table, masonry oven, and dining space. Most of the additions are planned to occur behind the greenhouse. Figure 12 shows a diagram of proposed housing additions for this year, where the existing greenhouse is the front of the structure. Figure 13 shows the proposed workshop and storage facilities.
Figure 12. Proposed living space additions for 2008.
Figure 13. Proposed workshop and storage for 2008.
These plans are only in their conception, and we will be refining them until the weather becomes suitable for building in April.
IX. DEPLOYMENT STRATEGY FOR THE OSE PRODUCT CYCLE
It is a great challenge to design a collaborative development program for creating a world-class facility for open source economic development. The first natural challenge is that we are asking remote co-developers to take interest in the project, without enjoying the full benefit of seeing the integrated fruits of the effort - namely, the building of the facility itself. We address this point by motivating the development of each of the 16 key technologies for infrastructure building as products in their own right. We divide and conquer, and propose the development of the 16 technologies through the avenue of explicit products that utilize these technologies. As such, we can attract stakeholders interested in particular products, and develop the key generative technologies as part of that process. We already mentioned that our endpoint is optimized production facilities for products.
The above paragraph begins to address the issue of gathering stakeholders for the development process. However, it does not addressed the various challenges that lie in the path of deploying the 16 technologies- the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS)- via a distributed, open source pathway. The key challenges and some solutions are proposed in Figure 14.
The points of Fig. 14 are several:
1. Synthesizing the entire Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) is an ambitious endeavor. 2. If we are talking about 16 technologies, and perhaps a 6 month development period until optimized production for each, then there is no way that we could deploy the GVCS, and build a world-class open source research and development facility, within our proposed time frame of 3 years. 3. The only way to meet the timeline goal is to proceed with parallel development of the technologies. 4. In order to pursue parallel development, funding must be available to accelerate progress. 5. We will pursue a bounty funding mechanism based on attractive product packages and clear definitions of deliverables.
A detailed, step-by-step process, or deployment strategy, emerges out of Fig. 14. for rapid deployment of essential technologies for Global Village construction. It relies on distributed stakeholder co-funding cycles of approximately 1 month in duration, utilizing a social enterprise internet platform.
Figure 14. Challenges and solutions for deploying Global Village Construction Set component production for internal and outside markets.
This OSE Product Development Cycle is:
1. Assemble a core development team for each product. This team must serve the functions of: (1), social enterprise website development and fundraising management; (2), technical development; (3), strategic development; (4), review team. 2. Publish Ecological Review on website. This review introduces the product of interest and all its attributes, and requests feedback on product choice for meeting a particular service. For example, for renewable energy production, the boundary layer turbine with solar concentrators is considered. In this technology choice, we propose a certain set of deliverables, and challenge the audience to come up with a better solution based on ecological design and localization agendas. We provide the Ecological Review as a motivation for certain products, which is our marketing effort to attract stakeholders to our technology choice. After considerable review, we believe that our product choices represent the best available technology for meeting certain needs, as supported by the Product Selection Metric in this proposal, and as motivated by ecological features, ease of replicability, and localization potential. 3. Beyond the Ecological Review we define the Product Specifications of the Deliverable. This fills the clear deliverables requirement of Fig. 14. This includes a timeline and budget for product delivery. 4. Next, we produce a Design, BOM, Sourcing Information, and Fabrication Procedure. This is published on the enterprise website. 5. We then send the information from step 4 out for review. The first level of review is a technical review team. This team of about 5 qualified people reviews the (1) technological aspects, (2), social merit, (3), P2P economy effects, (4) Quality of Life merit, (5), merit from the standpoint of liberatory technology if production time is counted183, (6) ecological and regenerative merit, (7), dissemination and replication potential. The results of this review process are then sent out to an external, distributed review team, to verify whether the technical expert opinion holds merit with non-experts in any of the fields. 6. Three bids are requested from prospective fabricators for prototype fabrication after the design has been agreed upon. 7. Now the fundraising cycle proper begins. The first step is to recruit a fundraising team. This team of 10 or so individuals who will lead a publicity effort to direct others to our social enterprise site to request funding. We are looking for a large number of stakeholders to share the development risk, with small donations, and a possible funding collection tool such as Fundable.org.184 8. The role of the fundraising team is to identify potential stakeholders, contact them, and direct them to the website. We propose a week of conscientious fundraising by this team to collect the necessary funding. After 1 week, progress will be evaluated to update fundraising strategy. Details of disbursement upon successful funding are determined on a project-by-project basis, and are to be documented in the deliverable definition (step 3). 9. After a successful funding cycle of approximately 1 month, the building of a prototype (or other deliverable) is funded and product is delivered to Factor e Farm. 10. The funding cycle is repeated for every step of the product development process. The step after an initial prototype is product testing. This may require certain infrastructure or outsourced testing procedures, and if costs are associated, this step will cover them. 11. The next funding iteration is to deploy an optimized prototype. This includes any redesign, and involves the fabrication of an entire device, from gound-up if needed, to document the ergonomics of optimized production. 12. The next iteration is to deploy an optimized fabrication facility. This is probably the major cost step for all the technologies, unless the infrastructure and machining requirements are already satisfied by the existing flexible fabrication capacity at Factor e Farm. The goal is to have optimal production capacity for several or all of the products being fabricated at the same time. 13. Factor e Farm will provide an in-house fabricator (person) at the outset of a particular production effort. New people will be absorbed into the operation as soon as possible so that the Factor e Team could proceed to other products. This requires preparation of training materials and training time for the new participants. 14. After a fabrication facility is tested, production results are replicable, and quality control requirements are met, optimizations are made to the production facility itself. This may include installation of additional equipment or reorganization of the work space. 15. Once step 14 is complete, production can begin in full. Orders may be accepted and filled at this point.
We will test the above 15-step strategy immediately by applying it to:
1. The CEB machine fabrication facility development, with XYZ table developed as part of the program (components: CEB, XYZ table) 2. Solar Turbine electrical generator prototype fabrication (components: Babington burner, steam generator, turbine, solar concentrators, Multimachine, electronics fabrication) 3. Swing-blade circular sawmill prototype fabrication
These 4 projects are prioritized to meet our building (CEB and Sawmill) and energy needs. The Multimachine will be applied in the solar turbine fabrication for producing the turbine disks. These four projects cover 9 components of the GVCS. That is 9 of the necessary technologies already, and we are aiming to complete these by year-end 2008.
X. THE CHALLENGE FOR YOU
This writing has outlined the first step in our course of action for transforming the world's economic system via localization. A robust technological solution set was presented and motivated. We ask you to pursue the questions proposed in the Appendix. This is a serious task. We believe firmly that the program of attaining decentralization via open source economic development is not only feasible, but likely to succeed because of its potential to produce material abundance. People are tired of business as usual and compromises inherent to centralized systems of global geopolitics, and here is an alternative path - free of compromise. We challenge you to take this on, in terms of opensourcing critical technologies, and helping us build a world-class research and development facility for taking this task to a higher level. We are talking about developing an economy that truly serves human needs. This is both idealistic and realistic, in that the tools to do so are here in the computer age. In any case, this task is of immediate and imminent importance in today's world.
APPENDIX A: GENERAL DEPLOYMENT STRATEGY
General Deployment Strategy
1. Define a technology set 1. ‘Top 10’ economic transformation items for the world 1. Sufficiently comprehensive to create a package, 18 items total in practice 2. Determine ecology (interrelations) of technology set 3. Include flex fab as an important metacategory 4. Status: technologes pretty much identified; some implementations unevaluated 2. Deploy neosubsistence operation to minimize overhead 1. Organic farm volunteers for facility management, and food, energy, housing provision 2. Small enterprise is a byproduct- helps in economic self-sufficiency 3. Status: neosubsistence operations well under way: 100% housing, energy, workshop sufficiency; 50% food sufficiency 3. Rate the technology set 1. OSE Specification is baseline 2. Create prioritization metric 3. Prove degeneracy of set 4. Status: work in progress 4. Determine cost of acquiring technologies from various sources 5. Propose Budget vs. Time timeline 1. Status: conceptualized 6. Hire full time resource developer 1. Grants 2. Fundrasing from Street Performer Protocol and Fundable.org 3. Utilize charitable and in-kind contributions 4. Status: in negotiation 7. Acquire donations by those who have experience with technologies 1. Utilize in-kind charitable contributions 2. Factor E Farm donates its results (CEB, etc.) 3. Status: beginning charitable contribution route 8. Buy out technologies from those who won’t donate 1. Set up Foundation funding mechanism 2. Status: needs cash 9. Determine cost reduction potential: 1. Cost of IP 2. Overhead 3. Transportation 4. Labor 5. Middlemen 6. Taxes 7. Status: requires documentation for each technology 10. Motivate contributors 1. Visionary PR 1. Lifestyle 2. BOAB 3. Peaceniks 4. Environmentalists 2. Global Warming PR 3. Engineer PR 4. Lost college students PR 5. Status: PR to be written 11. Continue publicity, education, and volunteer efforts 1. Blog is main publicity 2. Openfarmtech is main technical development 3. Open Source Ecology University 1. Full immersion theoretical and hands-on training 4. Youtube documentation 5. Organic volunteers and volunteer workers 6. Invite point individuals 7. Smari’s Open Engineering E-Zine 8. Status: ongoing; needs 12. Deploy voluntary fundraising efforts 1. Street Performer 2. Grantwriting 3. Fundable.org 4. Stakeholders 5. Charitable contributions 6. Personal 7. Status: ezc, ezg ongoing 13. Contract additional resource developers when funds allow 14. Commercialize and Decommercialize 1. Coin decommercialization metric that acknowledges: 1. Contral bank funny money and interest via low cost and bootstrapping apprenticeship 2. Colonialism via localization of supply chain 3. IP via open source 4. War = commerce via Evolve to Freedom 2. Publish an open enterprise and fabrication model 3. Develop flexible fabrication capacity in a self-replicating fashion 4. Status: CEB will be first commercialization attempt 15. Education develeopment 1. Outline of curriculum 2. Background reading 3. Student housing development for immersion program 4. Hands-on workshops 5. Standards and certification development 6. Status: a-c in progress 16. Replication and self-replication 1. Status: the holy grail
APPENDIX B: EDUCATION PROGRAM
Here is an outline: For each line, a reference is to be included.
K Through Ph.D. Renaissance Freeholder Education for Evolution to Freedom
1. Literacy 1. English 1. Letters, words, and sentences 2. Vocabulary 3. Grammar 4. Semantics 5. General Semantics 2. Learning languages 1. Integrated learning resources 2. Translation resources 2. Numeracy 1. Counting, calculation, orders of magnitude, and estimation 2. Physical quantities – general physics, engineering disciplines, materials, economics, biology, chemistry, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, mathematics 3. Graphs 4. Statistical analysis 3. Computer literacy 1. Building a computer from components 2. Installing software (open source) 1. Operating systems 2. Computer to computer networking 3. Internet protocols 3. Wikis, Blogs 4. Programming 1. Computer architecture 2. Markup languages 3. C 5. System administration 1. Databases 2. User accounts, domains, and hosting 6. Wireless systems 7. Computer control and data acquisition 8. Software 1. Office, MindMaps, cMaptools 2. Graphing, diagramming, presentations 4. Superlearning 1. Logic 2. Memory 3. Speed reading 4. Calculation tricks 5. Meditation, NLP, altered states of consciousness, focusing 6. Various mind hacks 5. Structural Engineering 1. Masonry 2. Wood 3. Metal 4. LPSA 6. Applied science 1. Physics 2. Math 3. Chemistry 4. Materials science 5. Biological sciences 7. Energy 1. Quantities 2. Solar Turbine 8. Product Design and Fabrication 1. Isometric drawing 2. Technical drawing 3. CAD/CAM 1. Architectural 2. Engineering 9. Enterprise 1. Energy system packages and installation 2. The Design-build operation 3. Turnkey greenhouse, edible landscape, and organoponic raised bed systems 4. Living machines 5. Permacultural CSA 1. Orchard 2. U-pick 3. CSA 6. Fruit tree nursery 7. Animal products 1. Milk, eggs, meat, venison, cheese, and honey 8. Food processing 1. Bread 2. Canned goods 3. Freeze-dried fruit powders 4. Dried goods 9. Car kits 10. Electric tractors and implements 11. CEB and sawmill machines 12. Flex fab 1. Electric motors, generators, chargers, charge controllers, inverters, and motor controllers 2. Multimachine and Flex Fab turnkey package 3. Burners, turbines, and power generation 4. Compressed wood gas 5. Glazing extruders 6. Fuel alcohol 7. Compressors, pumps, and other rotors 8. Metal Casting setups and Plastic Extruders 13. Consulting, engineering, and design services 1. Product, landscape, architectural, and community design 2. General engineering 14. Education centers 15. Product development 16. BOAB right livelihood package 10. Integrated Agriculture 1. Greenhouse systems 1. Plastic extrusion 2. Greenhouse construction 3. SolaRoof systems 2. Edible landscaping 3. Forestry 4. Plant propagation 11. Health and Healing 1. Ego 2. Expanding consciousness 3. Food as health 4. Lifestyle 5. Health practices 12. Infrastructures 1. Food, energy, water, housing, transportation, and technology 2. Integrated design of communities 13. Personal and Political transformation a. Maslow’s Pyramid b. The Banking System c. The Legal System d. Global Governance 1. World of Commerce 2. History of the education system 3. Propaganda and Media 4. Imperialism 5. Bohemian Grove, Council on Foreign Relations, and other thugs 6. New World Order e. Enterprise 1. Private enterprise and legal form 2. Financial privacy and asset protection 3. Nonprofit organizations g. Small scale democratic republics
14. Flexible and Personal Fabrication 1. From Consumerism to prosumerism and neosubsistence 2. Flexible and digital fabrication systems 3. Right livelihood 4. Feedstocks and import substitution 15. Land stewardship 1. Use of various tools 1. Tractor, backhoe, sawmill, CEB, chainsaw, chains, jacks, welder, torch, workshop tools, rope, wire 2. Sustainable forestry 3. Permacultural design 4. Permafacture – things that don’t break 5. Animal husbandry 6. Construction and fabrication skills
APPENDIX B1. FLEXIBLE FABRICATION CURRICULUM
1. Logic 2. Memory 3. Speed reading 4. Calculation tricks 5. Meditation, NLP, altered states of consciousness, focusing 6. Various mind hacks
2. XYZ structures 1. How to Build Your Own Living Structures
1. Box Beam Sourcebook 2. Green Forms, by CMPBS 3. OSE Proposal 2006 4. OSE Proposal 2008
3. Modular Construction 1. CMPBS website select reference 2. Find other references 4. Flexible and Personal Fabrication 1. MIT course summary 2. Short video on Fab Labs 3. Second Industrial Divide book 4. Fab, book by Gershenfeld 5. RepRap website 6. Fab Lab primer by Smari 7. From Consumerism to prosumerism and neosubsistence 8. Flexible and digital fabrication systems 9. Right livelihood 10. Feedstocks and import substitution 11. Permafacture 12. 2008 OSE Proposal 5. Machine shop 1. Multimachine book 2. References from MM site 3. Leading book on machine shop 4. Select readings from AT sourcebook 1. Construction 2. Blacksmithing 3. Casting 4. Workshop 5. Etc. 5. Look at others from big AT site 6. Numeracy 1. Counting, calculation, orders of magnitude, and estimation 2. Physical quantities – general physics, engineering disciplines, materials, economics, biology, chemistry, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, methematics 3. Graphs 4. Graphing software 5. Statistical analysis 7. Applied science basics 1. Physics 2. Math 3. Chemistry 4. Materials science 8. Structural Engineering 1. College textbook on Structural Engineering, summary 2. Masonry 3. Wood 4. Metal 5. LPSA 6. Finite element analysis 9. Mechanical Engineering 1. College text summary 10. Electronics and Electrical Engineering 1. Art of Electronics, by Horowitz and Hill 2. Summary of college text 11. Physics of quantities and calculations 1. Physics 2. Math 3. Chemistry 4. Materials science 12. Energy 1. Quantities 2. Solar Turbine analysis 1. Water energy calculations 2. Heat exchange calculations 3. Enthalpy calculations: fuels and fuel storage 4. Efficiency calculations 5. Angular motion calculations 6. Electrical calculations 7. Solar calculations 8. Grid sales earnings 13. Product Design and Fabrication 1. Summary of key topics from Product Design college textbook 2. Isometric drawing -Sketchup for Dummies 3. Technical drawing – OpenCAD 4. Architectural drawing 14. Production 1. 16 products via personal fabrication 2. Flexible fabrication facility requirements
APPENDIX C. TECHNOLOGIES BEYOND THE SCOPE
Other valuable technologies that are presently beyond the scope:
1. Algae for fuel oil - Ommitted due to significant technical barriers. May be revisited in the medium term (>5 years from now) 2. Bioplastics - Omitted due to technological complexity. The potential for using local feedstocks (biomass) in bioplastic production makes this a worthwhile endeavor, to be pursued in the near term (>3 years) 3. Solar cells - Omitted presently due to technological complexity, feedstock insecurity, or significant intellectual property requirements. All issues may be overcome, and this project should be revisited in the medium term. 4. Hydrogen fuel - Omitted due to technical barriers, primarily storage, and current availability of more robust solutions, such as compressed gas, fuel alcohol, or oil palm. 5. Fuel cells - Omitted due to technical barriers and easier alternatives such as boundary layer turbine electrical systems. 6. Microelectronics fabrication - omitted due to technical barriers, and relatively cheap present supply of components. 7. Palm oil as fuel - Large yields are possible in the tropics (10 times greater than the most productive temperate crops), but we are located in the temperate zone, so we cannot grow this locally at present. 8. Wire and metal extrusion - wire extruded metal is used everywhere, such as electronics, structures, and fencing. We will return to this after developing metal casting.
APPENDIX D: METRIC NOTES
General Notes - Market Size The general comment on market size is that we are taking on the order of 1 Billion people worldwide. If each such human spends $1000/year on a given item, then the global market is $1 Trillion. Most of the services covered by the 16 technologies, such as housing, energy, and transportation - are costs that easily reach $1k/year worldwide, so most of the market sizes score a 10 because of the services that the technologies are capable of providing or replacing. It should be noted that these costs are recurring - for example, one keeps paying rent or mortgage year after year. Once the 16 technologies are made available, then costs of the services provided are eliminated. This leads to:
Liberatory Potential. For example, the sun sends no bills when electricity is obtained with a solar turbine. As another example, when someone procures a CEB to build their own housing, housing costs are reduced or eliminated. When one procures a DfD, lifetime car, then maintenance costs are reduced or eliminated. Car operating costs are eliminated when one can produce their own fuel, and can fabricate their own parts from online blueprints with a flexible Fab Lab. Particularly interesting is the option of producing one's own metals - from scrap via metal casting - or from clay if extraction of aluminum from clay is perfected as a home-scale technology. Liberatory potential refers to the elimination of the costs of living. The 16 technologies are chosen so that they provide $500-$4k of expense saving per year. That's approximately $30k/year, or the elimination of just about all the costs of living.
Livelihood Creation Livelihood creation calculations rationale is as follows. If one assumes a thriving, technologically advanced society, then it follows that one is interested in division of labor to allow specialized advancements. Specialization is desirable only in so far as it does not lead to bureaucracy, unaccountability, centralized control, closed systems (proprietary information flows), and other forms of waste. With this in mind, we propose the following regime for the division of labor.
First, we assume, according to principles of permaculture, that stable civilization may be produced at an organizational unit level of up to 10,000186 people. That population constitutes a functional, as opposed to dysfunctional, city, living in harmony with its surrounding life support system. For practical purposes, we are making a claim that the minimum community size that allows for the absolute highest level of societal progress, spiritual and technical, may occur at the level of 100 people. Here is our reasoning for this claim.
In any human settlement, there exist both basic needs - such as food and shelter - and higher evolution functions, such as personal, political, spiritual, and technological advancement. This is borrowed from the concepts of Maslow's Pyramid187. If we consider the provision of basic needs, then we are talking about food, energy, shelter, water, clothing, and the technologies that convert natural resources into human-usable form. In today's society, some consider computers and communication as a 'need.' A desirable advanced technology program revolves around the electronics behind the global internet infrastructure, plus the tools and know-how that make the provision of basic needs a trivial task. It should be underscored here that with all of today's advanced technology, the promise of meeting basic needs effectively for all humans has not been achieved. Indeed, those in advanced countries today spend increasing, as opposed to decreasing working hours.188
Other human enterprises that contribute to healthy societies include education, governance, health services, means of exchange (commerce and money), and creative and spiritual pursuits.
We are proposing a reality of small-scale, autonomous republics with the proverbial everybody gets along. Such communities are self-governed, by means of voluntary contract,189 with personal freedom bounded by the respect for the freedom of others. Contract refers to the voluntary interaction, where a community enforces its own agreements by whatever means necessary, congruent with maxims of natural (human and divine) law. Such a contract, in a self-determined society, is by nature conducive to peaceful, freedom-loving, truth-seeking intercourse between communities.
Note that armies were not mentioned nor recommended in advanced cultures. We believe that the above republics will be safe by design. If they are autonomous in the provision of their needs, then they have no innate and uncontrollable impulse for pursuing resource conflicts, also known as wars. At the very least, a standing army should not be present, as suggested by the leadership in the newly-born American states,190 and volunteers should rise to any real, as opposed to engineered, challenge. Engineered challenges are harder to support, if propaganda mechanisms are weakened by a culture of truth.
The proposed communities of interest, by design, eliminate the need for bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is a byproduct of large-scale, centralized systems - which are nonexistent in a community of 100 people. Small scale and a transparency promotes personal accountability, and eliminates most of the fuel for bureaucracy. Political-legal-financial top-down control systems are obsolete in this scenario.
Education is provided via self- and home-learning of literacy and numeracy, followed by experiential learning of becoming a productive individual in a wide range of endeavors. Further theoretical developments - such as pure scholarship and research careers - may be supported via economic surplus in the community. The norm in such a community would be indeed the farmer-scientists: applied scientists who also contibute at least somewhat to their own subsistence. Such subsistence could be as easy as harvesting apples or installing solar turbine electric capacity.
Health services are provided via a healthy diet and meaningful lifestyle. This eliminates 99% of life-threatening personal and iatrogenic dangers, and leaves about 1% rightful hospital function to life-threatening accidents.191
What is the largest single occupation in America? It is salespeople. In the 100 person community, those do not exist. There is no need for marketing or market expansion when one is largely self-sufficient, as pursuit of aggrandizement is replaced with higher pursuits related to voluntary action and leisure. Leisure is that time beyond the time required to produce a livelihood. Aggrandizement loses its attraction in a community of meaning.
To sum up, we propose that a 100 person community is sufficient in size to allow for its own survival, thriving, and contribution to human progress and evolution. Above considerations indicate that 100 people are sufficient to cover basic needs - food, shelter, housing, so forth, up to flexible fabrication techniques for producing advanced technology. This includes the extraction of basic resources, such as production of fuel, cooking gas, building materials such as CEBs, mining and metallurgical operation, all types of chemical synthesis, electronics production, lumber, food, and fiber production. Given the proposed irrelevance of armies and complex policital-legal-financial systems, the only remaining endeavors that must be taken care of in a community are provision of needs. Advanced technology, which allows for the effective provision of needs, must be covered. Education is self-contained, and does not require heavy investment, if open source programs of learning exist. Cultural and scientific creation is supported. Governance is minimized by virtue of appropriate scale. Commerce occurs by trading, and printing of individual or collaborative currencies backed by physical products. Advanced technology can provide for computer and communications infrastructures, as well as for advanced medical procedures.
These considerations cover just about everything under the sun for allowing a community to thrive, and thereby contibute to advancing civilization. One need not be concerned with absolute centralization agendas at this point, when funding for such begins to evaporate in the presence of a strong localization movement.
A sample population of a thriving community may be embodied in the following enterprises, which inherently include the possibility of excess production for market. It should be considered that these roles can and should be dynamic, in that the roles may be shared and transferred between members.
- 1 general manager to clarify focus and set direction of community
- 10 people responsible for agriculture, food processing, and feeding of the community. This includes a garden, greenhouse, field crops animal husbandry, orcharding, nursery, aquaculture, and mushrooms. A significant portion of energy goes to food processing for 100% food sufficiency, year round. All needs are covered, and wants may be covered by trade if they can't be provided locally.
- 5 builders for natural building, greenhouses, and other features of the built environment. They produce brick, lumber, glazing, tubing, and other building materials.
- 1 land steward- one who informs the community about sound land use, and is responsible for site maintenance
- 1 manager for water and other plumbing systems
- 1 person for providing electricity, power, and maintaining the electrical grid via CHP, solar-integrated systems
- 1 person for maintaining the internet and computing infrastructure
- 2 mechanics to maintain cars, tractors, agricultural and heavy equipment. This is before optimized, open source design is available, where one feauture of such design is the feasibility of maintenance by non-specialist users.
- 1 fuel producer for vehicle fuels and cooking gas
- 1 communication and PR person to publish information, recruit volunteers and members
- 1 educator, developing 'K-through Ph.D.' Renaissance Freeholder Education for Evolution to Freedom, to be undertaken as self-learning or as a more organized program in a group setting
- 5 health practitioners - for preventive medicine including yoga, meditation, mind-body work, psychology, dance, herbology, healthy diet, massage, and other natural and technology-assisted augmentation practices
- 1 general resource developer for fundraising, donations, and recycling
- 1 recycling center operator for producing mulch, woodchips, metals for metal casting, useful plastic products such as composite lumber, plastic forms, and glazing
- 5 fab lab operators - essentially to produce just about anything
- 2 testing, materials science, lab operator
- 1 product certification developer, user educator, standards-developer, and quality control manager
- 1 general product designer and planner, spanning housing, facility design, landscaping, and physical products
- 1 expert in law - to interface with an external legal system, if any
- 1 expert in financial matters of exchange - to maintain smooth flow of trade and commerce with other communities, and accounting
- 1 medical practitioner
- 1 veterinarian
- 1 governance developer - to make sure that the voluntary participant contract is maintained, updated, and that violators are ejected from the community after ample chance to reform or comply
- 1 replicator - a person who deals with acquiring land and forming new communities
That is a total of only 46 people. In that number, we already include full sufficiency in food, energy, housing, transportation, and technology, as well as legal, financial, governance, research, education, health, and replication functions. This leaves 54 people for all types of other pursuits. The community should be so small that everyone who participates makes a significant contribution to the community - without being a burden - and that interpersonal relationships are so mutually-reinforcing that each participant has a self-interest to help others. Each should be literate, numerate, and continuing in their self-education to become the most competent, judicious, and wise. The latter promotes smooth community operation - according to the maxim that the best form of governance is individual responsibility.
Summa summarum, the above case indicates that 100 people are more than sufficient to promote the highest level of civilization, as all types of essential pursuits can be embodied in such a population. One may argue against this program in that such is feasible only when the individuals selected are all renaissance people. This is possible, and replicable - if education is reinvented in society, so that people are able to learn to their maximum potential, from an early age, in an open and experiential learning system, without being dumbed down into subjection. One may also argue, that it may be impossible to produce raw resources with so few people. This is not true in agriculture. It is also not true for high-tech items if one has access to flexible and digital fabricatin fueled by open source designs. It may be more difficult to extract and process raw, natural materials- especially geological mineral resources- on a small scale. However, this also does not have to be so when judicious design allows for other alternatives. Examples may be solar turbines instead of nuclear power, or aluminum extraction from clays instead of bauxite.
We base our calculations for livelihood creation a 100 person societal unit. In our 16-fold product line, we selected such enterprises that are so essential that all small communities should have them in-house.
Notes on Feedstock Abundance Solar energy-related devices, fuel crops, CEBs, lumber score well on Feedstock abundance. These feedstocks are widely available. Metals (and plastics) desirable in flexible fabrication may be obtained from the waste stream if they are recycled, so these are also relatively abundant. Moreover, if bioplastics, semiconductor refining, or aluminum extraction from clays is made available locally, then potential exists for largely self-sufficient and technologically advanced societies. This is quite feasible if enabling knowledge flows are available - as these enterprises are complex and information-rich, and marked by proprietary technique. Such high-tech items are of particular interest to the open source econmic development (OSED) movement.
Sample discussion for one product - Boundary Layer Turbine - BLT 1. Markets for the BLT include stationary and mobile power generation in cars, tools, home energy systems, heavy machinery, tools, power plants, and others. Energy conversion could be from solar concentration, chemical fuels, or falling water as working media that power. Assuming that roughly 5 billion people use electricity, cars, and other services which may derive from the BLT, this is $1k+/person infrastructure investment - w 2. Livelihood creation includes people involved in the auto, machine tooling, heavy cottage industry, electricity production, and others. This is at least 1 per 100 people in an open source economy scenario. 3. Liberatory potential. Main costs of living, outside of subsistence cultures, are: taxation (15192-50%), housing (20-25%193), cars (15%), food (15%194), communications (5%), education and recreation (10%). From these amounts, approximately 20% of the costs is eaten up by debt interest,195 in addition to about a 3% inflation rate.196 We estimate 10% reduction of labor (1 hr). This is from avoiding electricity costs in housing (via solar concentrator turbines), for a saving of $500-1000 per year, and a $500-1000 per year saving in car costs if the turbine is the engine in a lifetime-design car. 4. Population affected. Everyone uses electricity, means of transportation, and other machines, both directly and indirectly. 5. a. Fabrication infrastructure costs involve primarily a lathe and drill for fabricating the rotor. The casing may be cast or made from a tube. Dynamic balancing requires an oscilloscope, strobe light, piezoelectric element, and minor electronics work. No special space requirements exist, ourside of a workshop. b. Labor costs - No involved procedures are required, as the device is a cylindrically-symmetric stack of flat disks. The primary task is fabricating a set of disks to be mounted on a shaft. Note that the disks are flat, and not precisely shaped as in standard power plant turbines or jet engines. Machining, assembly, and balancing are the three tasks required. Machining of the shaft may be done with computer numerical control (CNC) assistance. Disks may be fabricated by: (1), outsourcing laser cutting, or (2), lathing. Total material cost is ~1/2 of the total costs. c. Material costs for a 5-10kW turbine are <$500, or approximately 1/2 the cost. d. Point 5.b. explains the low complexity of the device. e. The sourcing for metals is remote. The working fluid, water, is local. If the energy source is solar energy, then the solar turbine is quite attractive from the ecological standpoint. f. Electricity is required to run machining tools. g. Absolute disassembly and replaceability of parts is designed into the turbine. Individual disks may be replaced. Bearings may be the only wearable part. h. Full scaleability is feasible by virtue of running individual turbines in parallel. Additional power sources, such as solar concentrators, may be added as needed. Additional disks may be added to a shaft to increase power output. i. IP and overhead costs for competing devices - namely standard steam turbines or internal combustion engines - are in the billion dollar range for large facilities and development engineers. We may reduce this to a few thousand dollars with flexible fabrication and open source knowledge flows. j. Presently, feedstocks are aluminum or stainless steel, which are centralized commodities. In the future economy, aluminum extraction from clay should provide a local feedstock.
15. Markets for solar concentrators include any arena where stationary power generation is involved. That is a $1T197 global market. It also includes process heat (industry, cooking) markets. This is under the assumption that a solar economy is adopted by virtue primarily of cost reduction and secondarily of new ethics.
Given all that was said regarding the program for building the world’s first open source village – organizing around the concept of a world class research and development facility for open source economics - here is a program of action, broken down by product. GENERAL
1. Identify grant writers who work on a contingency basis 2. Identify and contact people interested in working on any items in this proposal 1. Technical expertise is required 2. Pester others for collaboration and resources 3. Identify stakeholders and send them to the funding sites 4. Simply spread the word about a world class open source village in the making 3. Publicize this call to action on their blogs, wikis, websites, and other venues 4. Provide assistance in organizational strategy, resource development, business form, asset management, interfacing with the legal system, and other organizational issues 5. Create and manage a social enterprise website for reporting on the progress of Factor E from the outside perspective outside of our own blog. This includes eplication of its technologies, and new Open Source Ecology movement locations 6. Promote in-depth study and development of the OSE and allied organizational model to students and scholars of: organizational theory, open source economic development, flexible fabrication, and other aligned disciplines. 7. Explore effective online mechanisms for collecting voluntary donations, such as www.fundable.org, and adapt them to project funding for Factor E or allied efforts. 8. Utilize a bounty type of fundraising mechanism, also known as street performer protocol. Refer to openfarmtech.org main page for a diagram of the engineering and deployment cycle.198 1. Adapt Steet Performer Protocol199 2. Identify and recruit a project leader 3. Create a social enterprise website with funding basket 1. Drupal is a good candidate 4. Project leader manages website 5. Project leader performs due technical diligence 1. Collect designs and parameters 2. Perform economic analysis 3. Identify people who can deliver a product 6. Project leader contracts with people to deliver a product based on a donation quota being reached 1. Process is iterated until replication is feasible and production optimization is complete 7. Fundraising continues via simple donations 8. Project participants are encouraged to recruit donors 9. Motivation for donors is a specific product delivered at a promised cost 10. Project leader organizes production mechanism for delivering said product at said cost 11. Factor E Farm is available as a production facility 12. Infrastructure is build to deliver the product 13. Fabricators are brought in and trained at Factor E 14. Upon successful funding cycles, product optimization, recruitment, training, and facility building, product is ready to be delivered 9. Utilize Factor E Farm blog, Worknets, and any other allied blogs to have workdays on the 199 items on a daily basis. 10. Visit Factor E Farm as a participant 1. Join our team on a long-term basis 1. Technical, agricultural, organizational, or other skills are required 2. If you can fit the role of one of the community members, as indicated generally in the list of community roles in Appendix D, you are welcome to participate 3. Visiting scholars, researchers, and fabricators are welcome on a rolling basis starting October, 2008 11. Help refine and organize this document 1. Revise and edit this document, and provide additional references or support 2. Generate Gantt charts, project management, and project planning resources online 3. Drupal site 12. Find some other qualified person to write a 1-2 page introduction to this proposal. 13. Find editors to help refine and clarify the messages in the proposal 14. Find students at universities who are interested in further theoretical development of the open source economic development model 1. Particular need for innovative business students to study the neo-commercialization model 2. Philosophy students to study the peer-to-peer economy model 3. Good material for industrial, electrical, mechanical, and other engineering disciplines who are interesting in sticking their neck out into appropriate technology 4. Good material for computer science students, particularly the development of innovative software platforms for collaboration 5. Good material for rural sociology, as all revolutions start in the countryside
15. Electric motor-generator-controller (wheel motor type) for electric vehicle application 1. This is an enabling technology for simple, battery powered vehicles 1. Tractors, skid loaders, and electric utility vehicles are prime targets, where added weight of batteries is a benefit 2. This could be linked to university projects 16. Open source hydraulic pumps and motors 1. This is a great intrusion into a world of heavy industry, for which I know of no existing open source products 2. Simple hydraulic motor can enter the realm of appropriate technology 3. Applications include high-torque, low-speed drive: skid loaders, sawmills 4. Definine university student material 17. Open source Skid loader with grapple 1. Grapple (for handling forestry logs) and front end loader are two primary implements 2. Other implements are feasible: tree cutters, rototillers, spaders, posthole diggers, wood chippers, stump grinders, etc. 3. Articulated design, box beam DfD construction 4. Definite university student material 18. Optimization of linear Fresnel-type solar collectors. 1. Goal is <$200 for 3000 Watts of solar collection and 2000 W of steam power delivered: 10 cents per watt of energy collected 1. ~70% overall efficiency from solar income to usable heat (such as steam) 2. Integration with boundary layer turbine (25% efficient) indicates overall ~18% efficiency 1. This is 40 cents per watt based on predicted efficiencies 3. Collaborate with Florida A&M’s concentrator developer team200
19. Off-grid generators: Babington-fired steam boundary layer turbine 1. Waste vegetable oil, crankcase, and other oils are available to fuel perhaps 1 million of these units 2. Small enterprise opportunity for localization 3. Scaleable design: turbine design is essentially scaleable 4. Training, fabrication, and further developments at Factor E 20. CNC Multimachine – CNC XYZ Table grant 1. Link Multimachine and XYZ torch/table for a robust fabrication capacity 1. Sawmill parts, CEB parts, turbine, and other parts doable with a click of a button 2. Proposal may be broken into two parts: Multimachine and Torch table 1. Each is extremely valuable 2. Former Saudi funders may be interested in this 3. Include Smari’s team 4. Include Pat Delaney’s team 1. Create a design for adapting the central spindle to any engine block bore and length by using bushings and other details 2. Focus on a standard, ~13 inch industrial lathe size, approximately 2 inch spindle bore 3. Publish design and fabrication procedure 4. Procure 3 bids 1. Have spindle fabricated for pay, trade, donation, or tax deductible contribution 5. Include CandyFab 4000 team201 21. Write a grant proposal for chainsaw-driven band sawmill 1. Utilize XY table to cut out all parts, including bolt holes, at the tap of a button in a few hours 1. Only difficult part is keeping track of procedure and material loading on the XY table 2. Produce the item in the form of a kit 1. Huge localized enterprise opportunity 3. Rock bottom price via flex-fab DfD design 4. Produce toolpath files for xy-table fabrication of kits
Sell optimized kits – huge business opportunity, as this type of mill becomes affordable to casual users CEB – within 2008
22. Get other people interested in replicating the CEB machine– university students, interested groups, etc. 1. Write demonstration grants 2. Publish performance studies and data 23. Collate all existing material into an educational/documentation package for producing the CEB 1. Publish a PDF document 2. Include bill of materials 3. Transfer content to openfarmtech.org – as a know-how repository 24. Set up social enterprise website with a funding basket for collaborative funding of fabrication facility. Sam Rose202 is developing this. 1. Include a mechanism where we can point people to donate to the project based on a bounty 2. The bounty is a machine at a promised cost, and donations are allocated so that the optimized fabrication facility can be built in a timely fashion. The fabrication facility will not be completed until the resources are gathered. 3. Website should have a transparency mechanism where people can see how much resource has been collected. Live updates and progress reports should be present. 25. Start and manage a dedicated website/wiki/social platform for the open source CEB, and its evolution. 26. Upgrade to all the equipment necessary for streamlined fabrication of the CEB at Factor E: 1. MIG welder 2. Plasma cutter 3. Heavy duty drill press 4. Acetylene torch 5. Welding table – good working surface 6. Vise, various types of vise grips for holding work pieces 7. 5 inch grinder – for grinding down metal edges and welds 8. CNC XY torch table – for cutting out metal parts automatically 9. Old laptop for computer control, including necessary interface 10. Cold cut saw 11. Energy sytem- 10 kW inverter and battery bank capable of running welder and cutter 12. Tractor with front end loader and rototiller for demonstration purposes 13. Skid loader for ground preparation 14. Shop press with gauge for pressure testing 27. Write grants for the open source CEB as a social enterprise model, which can be replicated in many locations. Practical details may include: 1. Training at Factor E 2. Resource pooling to generate a fabrication facility 3. Using the CEB itself (one is built during training) to build the facility 4. Partnering with community development organizations 5. Low-cost, high quality housing opportunities 28. Perform extensive testing – up to a million bricks – to determine wear issues 1. Wear plates 2. Machine structural integrity 29. Perform finite element analysis for structural optimization, collaborate with Mike Koch (mechanical engineering student) 30. Produce refinements in details, material choices and sourcing, adaptations to different parts of the world. 31. Document fabrication process carefully 32. Produce a protocol for brick structural strength testing
TURBINE, BABINGTON BURNER, SOLAR CONCENTRATOR – by end of 2008
33. Verify 25% efficiency of turbine 1. I found only 1 reference so far with hard data on turbine efficiency: Rice, Warren, Transactions of the ASME, Journal of Engineering and Power, January 1965, pp. 28-36. 2. Follow up with Warren Rice, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz,. Mem. ASME, for any other references 34. Organize and update all relevant information on the openfarmtech.org website. 35. Refine turbine concept, with dimensions – approximately 12 inch diameter for 3600 rpm 1. Finalize design drawings from Dan Granett Engineering 2. Prepare bill of materials 3. Prepare fabrication procedure 4. Procure 3 bids 36. Produce design drawings for the burner 1. Prepare bill of materials. Focus on a replicable ball source. 2. Prepare fabrication procedure 3. Procure 3 bids 37. Produce design drawings for the steam generator 1. Focus on 10 hp steam output to drive a 5 kWe generator 2. Prepare bill of materials 3. Prepare fabrication procedure 4. Procure 3 bids 5. All bids by mid-January, 2008 38. Make design drawings for the burner-turbine-generator system 39. Procure lathe 40. Procure dremmel drill, small drill bits for Babingto n203 burner 41. Procure hollow, brass doorknobs for burner ball 42. Design a 10 hp flash steam generator, preferably linear 43. Procure an air compressor 44. Procure 3600 rpm generator head 45. Procure all other materials, and wait till October, 2008 to fabricate 46. Build the burner 47. Build flash steam generator 48. Contact and recruit others who have built the burner, steam generator, or boundary layer turbine, and attempt to get another one made by these people, for free or for pay. Let us know if someone is available to build the pieces, and how much it would cost. 1. Status – Tom at [email protected] contacted 2. Solar turbine – contacted Michigan group, so far no response; Amy Sun of MIT – does not respond; MIT solar turbine in Lesotho – contact them again 49. Produce a dedicated development site for the solar turbine CHP system, as defined in the pattern language 50. Identify people competent in linear fresnel-type solar concentrators 51. Produce a design for the above solar concentrators 52. Procure materials for the solar concentrators 53. Build a single 8x4 foot panel concentrator, Oct. 2008 54. Take temperature data and steam generation data for single concentrator panel 55. Analize and test economics of the OSE solar turbine CHP 56. Write grants to develop the solar turbine. Notable points: 1. System cost a fraction of the MIT solar turbine in Lesotho204 2. Turbine costs of ~$1/watt predicted 57. Develop capacity to fabricate simple, dedicated generator heads for integration with turbine 1. Find developers 2. Produce design 3. Produce prototype 4. Develop working model 58. Extend flex fab facility to produce burner/flash steam/turbine/generator package 1. Build additional facility space as needed 59. Recruit CHP system fabricator/s to Factor E Farm 60. Interest students and other groups in further development, testing, analysis, and documentation 61. Develop an education/documentation package for the CHP system
WHEEL MOTORS – by 2009
62. Identify students at universities who may be interested in designing and building wheel motors for a senior or Master’s thesis 63. Identify professionals who have experience and draw them into the open source development project 64. Produce an open source design 65. Identify 3 entities capable of fabricating an open source version 66. Set up an online project funding basket for the wheel motor 67. Fund the building of a prototype 68. Document and optimize fabrication process 69. Design a fabrication facility for Factor E Farm 70. Build facility 71. Recruit wheel motor fabricator 72. Produce wheel motors for onsite use and for sale
FLEX FAB LAB
73. Study the Opensourcemachine.com documentation, and work with the user group on developments 1. Adopt and destill available documentation to a Factor E implementation 2. Design an adaptable spindle that can be utilized in any engine block 3. Produce spindle 4. Add spindle and Multimachine sales to Factor E product line 74. Recruit someone to build a sample Multimachine. 75. Document the building process. 76. Visit Factor E Farm for two weeks and build the machine here in October, 2008. Work with us to prepare for that time. 77. Continue working with Smari’s group on the open source XYZ table. 78. Set up social enterprise funding basket: 1. Contact a number of stakeholders interested in an XY table, and raise donations based on a promised delivered product cost 2. Compete with TorchMate by how quality at lower price.
79. Upgrade diagrams of planned facility additions for 2008 to 3D, isometric drawings. 80. Procure reliable tractor with front end loader 81. Procure PTO rototiller 82. Procure a second CEB machine 1. It appears that U. Missouri, Columbia, engineering team will deliver this 83. Recruit a volunteer fabricator for 2 weeks in October to build a 4 wheel drive articulated skid loader similar to CadTrac205, and call it OSTrac. 1. Build on Babington steam turbine to do vegetable oil propulsion 2. Utilize hydraulic pump coupled directly to turbine 1. Follow the vehicle pattern language as in Figure 6? 2. Replace electrical generator with a hydraulic pump 3. Use hydraulic wheel motors 3. Prepare design drawings and procure parts 4. Set up a bounty social enterprise website for the OSTrac 84. Continue discussion with David Lienau on insulation and heating issues 85. Find supporting information about well drilling with the Rockmaster Drill 1. Identify people who bought the machine and dug wells 86. Dig a well in the center of the planned kitchen
87. Upgrade present sawmill to a chainsaw-driven band sawmill. 1. Procure Stihl chainsaw from major national chain via donation, motivating donation via production of these sawmills in the future – therefore chainsaw sales 88. Set up social enterprise funding basket 1. Landowners, organic farmer are audience 2. And woodlot owners may be empowered for side income from custom milled lumber
89. On-site: propagate our own stock and other plants: 1. Raspberries, grapes, elderberries, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus 2. Procure various perennial vegetables 3. Graft more apples, peaches, and apricots 4. Plant out peach, apricot, chestnut, hazelnut, and others from last year 5. Graft more black and English walnuts onto existing trees (2 have survived to this point from last year) 90. Begin online/physical facility for Open Source Nursery for Continental America 1. Online presence is the virtual component of this program 2. Factor E Farm serves as a gene bank and propagation stock bank 3. Trade, exchange, and propagation program 1. Free participation based on exchange or sweat equity propagation of plant material 2. Primary focus is local exchange; remote exchange is suggested to occur essentially at-cost (shipping and packing costs) 3. Member and plant directory is available online to participants 4. Voluntary donations on website fund plant material acquisition programs or research programs for economic production techniques 4. Document propagation technique that works best for each plant 5. Work with NAFEX, Seed Savers, and other networks 6. Prepare propagation workshops for next year 1. Business model: $20-50 workshop cost, you take home 10 of your choice of apples, pears, peaches, apricots, and plums, plus 5 each of grapes, elderberries, raspberries that you propagated. 7. Business incubator for nurseries, where we provide startup plant stock 1. Explicit business plan, based on plant-by-plant analysis, needs to be drawn up 91. Mill lumber and produce raised beds for nursery and permanent growing 92. Move erosion soil to expose fertile soil 93. Do terracing for erosion control 94. Dig small ponds with backhoe and tractor 1. Stock with fish 2. Utilize for orchard irrigation 95. Prepare goat fencing 96. Plant out bamboo for stakes and structures
OTHER SPECIFIC FACILITY WORK
97. Trench the cable for the internet 98. Move 3 silos from the next door farm to our location 99. Main year for building: build kitchen, living, bathroom, workshop, root cellar, walk-in cooler, and biodiesel facility 1. End point is to absorb 12 people by October, and from that point, absorb any further participants or researchers on demand
1 Global Villages philosophy for physical villages has been articulated by Franz Nahrada: http://www.give.at/ ; http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?GlobalVillages/Definition
2 Global Villages are the living communities of the future – such as productive farm/industrial operations, intentional communities, land developments, living/working productive communities (enterprise communities), coworking and living sites, and other villages of the future peer-to-peer economy. Our particular goal is to create a community as decribed under Vision.
3 See blog at http://blog.opensourceecology.org/ . Our name is explained at http://blog.opensourceecology.org/?page_id=2, and our improvement concept is similar to Factor 10 Engineering at http://10xe.com/subpages/tunnel.html
4 Second Industrial Divide: Possibilities for Prosperity, by Michael J. Piore et al., http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0465075614/ref=sib_dp_pt/103-3574943-7841431#reader-link
5 Digital fabrication: http://ng.cba.mit.edu/dist/PV.mp4
6 For an informative and entertaining video on the externalities of the mass production-consumption cycle, we recommend http://www.storyofstuff.com/ highly.
10 We are building a less capital-intensive, more heavy duty version of the Fab Lab cncept developed by Neil Gershenfeld of MIT, by addressing the capitalization barriers.
11 These include pumps, vacuum pumps, compressors, rotating disks (boundary layer turbines); low-speed, high-torque electric motors; and electric generators
12Includes CEB, Sawmill, tractor, skid loader, cars, and agricultural machinery such as a microcombine and spader.
13 These include battery chargers, DC-AC inverters, grid intertie inverters, DC-DC converters, AC-AC transformers, solar charge controllers, PWM DC motor controllers, multipole motor controllers.
14 Cast parts such as bushings, rods, pulleys, etc.
15 This is for advanced greenhouse glazing and molded plastic objects.
16 Open source CNC code is being developed by Smari McCarthy of the Iceland Fab Lab, http://smari.yaxic.org/blag/2007/11/14/the-routing-table/
17 This is a step from ‘making a living’ to ‘making a life:’ http://www.yourmoneyoryourlife.org/fom-about-why.asp
18 A particular example of waste, one with which the authors are familiar – is the CEB, where it is being demonstrated that a comparable machine may be fabricated at $1k in parts and $3k in total – whereas the competition charges $25k for their product. That represents about $22k of waste that constitutes a business opportunity for agents of the open source production method.
19 Band sawmill fabrication would be on this list, but we have switched our technology choice to a swing-blade sawmill, for which designs are not available. See Sawmill Concept under Enterprise Models in this paper.
20 See list of 16 technologies at http://openfarmtech.org/
23 See Extruder_doc.pdf at http://www.fastonline.org/CD3WD_40/CD3WD/INDEX.HTM
24 A $1T market exists for diesel fuel in the united States alone, p.25, of Biodiesel Handbook, by G. Knothe et al.
25 Key: BLT = Boundary Layer Turbine; Solar Conc = Solar Concentrators; Bab = Babington Burner; Flash = Flash Steam Generator; Motor = Wheel Motor; Gen = Generator; Elect = Electronics fabrication; Alcohol = Fuel Alcohol; Gas = Compressed Gas; CEB = Compressed Earth Block press; Extruder = Plastic Extruder; Al = Aluminum Extraction from Clays; CNC = Computer Numerical Control Multimachine; XYZ = XYZ Table; Casting = Metal Casting
26 http://www.caw.ca/whoweare/ourhistory/cawhistory/ch1/p1c1_1.html states that there are 1/2 M car jobs in the USA
27 Figures are extrapolated from the existing USA value.
28 This is the present facility for OSE. http://blog.opensourceecology.org/
30 Please see past work on the technology pattern language at http://ose.noblogs.org/post/2006/04/15/ose-yearly-plan-april-2006-april-2007
32 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D-uhKHy7mk 33 Rice, Warren, "An Analytical and Experimental Investigation of Multiple-Disk Turbines", Transactions of the ASME, Journal of Engineering for Power, Jan. 1963, pp.29- 36.
34 Granett Engineering, http://proto.dangyro.com/
36 This is a type of heat generator, and is used for efficient burning of various waste oils, from crankcase, vegetable, to hydraulic oils. This type of burner was chosen specifically because it can burn widely available and typically free (in the USA) waste oils. Note that oil fuel is merely transitional, and will be replaced with other alternatives.
37 Compare this to the CEB icon for a machine with a built-in power source, shown in http://ose.noblogs.org/post/2006/04/15/ose-yearly-plan-april-2006-april-2007 . This is one of the many simplifications and refinements to the technology base that we have produced since two years ago.
41 The Babington burner burns heavy oils effectively. It consists of two rotors: an air compressor for atomizing the fuel oil, and an oil pump, for delivering the fuel. The rest of the burner is a tubular structure, and power electronics for ignition.
42 One needs to step out of ignorance and consider a basic heat calculation to comprehend the large amounts of energy that may be stored in heated liquids. Consider salt solution temperature at 200C, such as that heated by solar concentrators, dropping down to 100C, or a change of 100C – which is an easy, practical scenario that does not require any high tech equipment. Approximate that the enthalpy of water is the same as that of salt solution. The amount of energy released by 2500 gallons of hot salt solution in this temperature drop is 10,000 liters x 100C x (1000g/liter) x (1 cal/gC)x(4 cal/J)=4x106 kJ. Consider that 1 kWhr = 3600 kJ ~ 4x103 kJ. Thus, 4x106 kJ = 1000 kWhr. Assume a very conservative overall conversion efficiency of 2%, and the result is 20 kWhr! That is approximately sufficient to power an average American household for a whole day (average consumption is 1 kW)
43 One may ask, if this really works, why don’t we see it around? Good question. Our conclusions are that integrated systems as such are expensive. There is no small-scale, off-the-shelf turbine available for such a purpose, and solar concentrators are expensive. We are addressing these two issues in our program. The bladeless turbine appears to be proven, but cost reduction of solar concentrators is not yet proven.
44 The Gaviotas community has such solar cooking in Colombia: http://money.cnn.com/2007/09/26/technology/village_saving_planet.biz2/index.htm
45 Design for Disassembly
48 See page 5 of this MIT Techtalk bulletin: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2006/techtalk50-29.pdf
49 Glazing cost is $30 per 8x4 foot sheet. Structure is five 1.25 inch, 12 gauge steel frame members for $60 – where this cost may be eliminated by using lumber beams. The collector tube, and insulation compose the rest of this price.
50 Assuming a general figure of 1000W/m2 solar insolation.
51 95% collector efficiency for solar thermal energy has been demonstrated in a Master’s thesis at Florida A&M University, http://www.redrok.com/NewtonSolarSteamManuscript.pdf
52 Rice, Warren, "An Analytical and Experimental Investigation of Multiple-Disk Turbines", Transactions of the ASME, Journal of Engineering for Power, Jan. 1963, pp.29- 36.
53 Study the design in Fig. 5 to calculate that material costs are approximately $200. Fabrication cost, utilizing XY-table CNC procedures, is negligible, such that overall cost is about $500, including labor.
54 http://www.celsias.com/2007/11/23/nanosolars-breakthrough-technology-solar-now-cheaper-than-coal/ . Note: even though these came out, will the consumer ever be able to buy them? Right now, only utility companies are privy to the technology.
59 The latest on hybrid electric vehicle design is the Hypercar, http://www.rmi.org/sitepages/pid191.php
62 This requires high-torque, low speed electric motors to be developed.
63 How to Build Your Own Living Structures (see review at http://www.letsremake.info/the_books.html) , Box Beam Sourcebook (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1510/is_n83/ai_15770317)
64 See GreenForms: A building System for Sustainable Development, at http://www.cmpbs.org/publications/BuildingProductDesign/index.html
67 Look for Dan West at http://www.sare.org/2008Conference/breakouts.htm
68 Refer back to section II, Economic Base.
70 Iceland Fab Lab project, http://smari.yaxic.org/blag/2007/11/14/the-routing-table/
71 It is at the point when digital fabrication has become the standard form of manufacturing - that attention should shift to the localization of feedstocks - if human prosperity is one’s interest.
72 Multimachine, www.opensourcemachine.org , with CNC capacity added to it.
73 Parts for a multimachine cost approximately $500 for a 3/4 ton Multimachine, compared to thousands for similar commercial mill-drill-lathe capacity.
74 Downloadable manual is at http://opensourcemachine.org/node/2
80 See last 3 references.
82 see Extruder_doc.pdf at http://www.fastonline.org/CD3WD_40/CD3WD/INDEX.HTM
84 We begin with $2/kg cost of recycled polycarbonate resin crumbles. Polycarbonate has a density of ~1/2 kg per liter. One ends up with a material cost of $2 for 1 square meter of sheet with 2 millimeter thickness. This is about 10 cents per square foot.
86 Quote from Regal Plastics, KC, MO, from 2005.
88 Engineered means that structural calculations may be made, as the building blocks themselves are uniform and their properties can be measured.
89 If the particular location has lumber combined with clayey subsoil.
90 Such as RepRap
91 Such as the open source bridge: http://ronja.twibright.com/
92 Cost reduction in one component brings about cost reduction in other products that use this component, and the cost reduction is additive.
95 We adopt the 3 features of a satisfying project from http://ronja.twibright.com/satisfying.php
96 Distributed means of production was included in Thomas Jefferson’s ideals - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffersonian_democracy
100 Computer Aided Design - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAD
106 Mechanisms such as http://fundable.org/ (disadvantage: Fundable takes a 7% cut), and other co-funding options are being explored.
109 Gotten from surplus.
112 Gotten from surplus.
113 Item # 905-12120 and 905-1236 at http://surpluscenter.com/
114 Item 8609K13 at http://www.mcmaster.com/
115 Outsourced, this added another $160 to the cost of metal
117 Does not include the control computer.
118 Torchmate 3, http://www.torchmate.com/overview/index2.htm
123 Not including land costs.
125 Using CEB construction with on-site soils, plus site-milled lumber leaves only doors, windows, foundation, and electrical costs of building
126 This is difficult to estimate, but here we will include 200 hours of development work at $50 per hour- for producing 2 prototypes and testing prior to production runs.
127 For example, a small CNC mill is under $200 - http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-to-Build-Desk-Top-3-Axis-CNC-Milling-Machine/
128 http://bluumax.com/ - Note - these stepper motors are half the required size, so we expect the real price to scale accordingly.
130 no pun intended
138 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetable_oil - 11 billion liters/year in 2000 in the USA – would fuel about 5 million cars. This would run about 0.3 million 10kW turbines 24/7 for 3 months.
140 under the assumption that skilled operators of this equipment are available
141 Our goal is to start accepting Fellows for this program at the end of 2010.
143 This document, section on bill of materials for the CEB
145 This paper.
146 4 kW is energy production; with storage, such as batteries, we are capable of delivering power limited by how fast we can extract it, such as via the inverter – which is 10 kW in the case of this economic analysis.
148 See Solar Turbine Grid Intertie Concept section.
149 $50/sq ft is a cheap estimate for housing; http://www.b4ubuild.com/faq/faq_0002.shtml
151 For advanced, turnkey SolaRoof greenhouse systems. Personal conversation with Rick Nelson, inventor.
152 Breakthrough cost reduction via plastic extruder (10 cents/sq ft polycarbonate glazing from waste resins, see product ecology for Plastic Extruder). Greenhouse assumes self-milled lumber.
154 Check discussion on Flexible Fabrication, Plastic Extruder
155 Check Ebay for used skid loaders.
156 Check discussion on Skid Loader product ecology
157 $1000 in propulsion system, $1000 in motors, $1000 in structure, $200 in electronics, plus other items
158 25 edible trees planted by someone, vs. self-propagated from own nursery stock
159 $5k - http://www.marketfarm.com/cfms/celli_spading_machine.cfm ; OS version is a 30 HP hydraulic motor ($250) with reciprocating mechanism for spades (see working mechanism: http://www.timmenterprises.com/machines/spader2.htm ); a walk-behind spader attachment for a small tiller ($5k) is $2k: http://www.earthtoolsbcs.com/
160 Tractor-driven, http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_48257_48257
161 Capacity of milling, drilling, and lathing. CNC mills range from $1500 to $50k+: http://www.5bears.com/cnc01.htm
162 Torchmate 3, http://www.torchmate.com/overview/index2.htm
166 This includes primarily a PC oscilloscope and a circuit etching mill such as http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-to-Build-Desk-Top-3-Axis-CNC-Milling-Machine/ ; the professional version of the latter is much more expensive. Learn more about circuit fabrication at http://www.thinktink.com/stack/volumes/volvi/etching.htm
167 Average well drilling cost is $10k: http://www.h2owell.com/faq.htm
168 http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/average-missouri-family-may.html . Thus, the average household spends twice as much on feeding cars as feeding people: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3765/is_3_23/ai_75835521
169 Vinay Gupta (http://hexayurt.com/ ) coined this term. Read about it at http://www.bfi.org/our_programs/who_is_buckminster_fuller/design_science/spaceship_earth/the_unplugged_a_speculative_fiction_by_vinay_gupta
170 Quit school or your job and start working to make the early retirement option possible, and the world will be a better place.
171 It may be that it’s difficult to organize and align even a small group who has all this necessary skill, but that is only according to current, disciplinary (disintegrated) thinking models. In the context of real education for open source economics, one will be encouraged to learn useful skills from early on, instead of being deskilled and dumbed down in public schools. This discussion is beyond the scope of this paper and shall be revisited in the future.
172 He wrote Technics and Civilization, among others. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Mumford
176 Turbine – 2 days; burner – 1 day; steam generator – 2 days; generator – 2 days; solar collectors, 1 kWelectric, is 5 panels of 8x4 feet – or 5 days.
177 A caveman would probably laugh at the fact that a house should be a ‘dream’ for people. In other words, there should be higher aims in life than buying that dream house.
178 This should not be that difficult, if semi- or un-skilled slave labor is capable of doing assembly today.
179 Check out this fine deserty land in northern California, where a well may be dug, for under $9k for 20 acres: http://cgi.ebay.com/20-Acres-of-Northern-California-Land-near-Susanville_W0QQitemZ200181858700QQihZ010QQcategoryZ15841QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
181 Compare energy content of liquid fuels (~4x107 J/l for diesel) to energy requirements of aluminum production (~5x107 J/kg from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminum ), and you get the answer.
183 Does the technology actually make life easier, or does one have to spend a significant number of hours paying for that technology? For example, if an average family spends ~$4k on car costs per year, that is approximately 400 hours of labor at $10/hour. That is 2 1/2 months of work to earn for the costs of driving a car. It is not clear whether such costs are liberatory or enslaving to a family.
184 Note that Fundable charges a 7% fee based on the sum collected.
185Smari McCarthy, Small Scale Democracy, work in progress
186 From Bill Mollison, Permacultur, http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0908228015/ref=sib_dp_pt/103-3574943-7841431#reader-link
187 See the writings of Abraham Maslow, which constitute seminal work on human evolution.
188 Maximum quality of life has been achieved in the 60’s, according to:
189 See seminal work on voluntary contract communities by Spencer MacCallum:
190 Article x in the Constitution for the United States
191 see the movie, Sicko, by Michael Moore:
195 This is counting only credit card debt. http://www.newstepsolutions.com/debt-statistics.htm and http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html
198 Direct link thereto.
201 Wired magazine reference
202 Sam Rose websites
203 Aipengineering.com link
204 Lesotho solar turbine link in MIT Tech Notes205 CadTrac website
- Smari McCarthy, Small Scale Democracy, work in progress