Archive for Dedicated Project Visits

6-in-60 Video Update and Optimizing the Development Process

For an exciting taste of the action at Open Source Ecology’s HabLab, follow the ups and downs of the 6-in-60 Campaign in our no-holds-barred video update, part one. Watch Dedicated Project Visitors (DPVs) from Berea College help us to take new OSE machines from Open Source CAD designs to functional machines. Then confront, with our team, the problem that turned 6-in-60 into 6-in-90.  (Be sure to stay tuned for our second video update, now in development. We’ll fill you in as to how we turned challenges into opportunities in revising our plan for the 6-in-60.)


Despite delays caused by supply issues, there have been some great successes so far: The Ironworker prototype went together in about 12 hours; the backhoe’s pivot, stick, boom, and bucket all went together well; and we have made good headway with the tread for the Microtractor. Meanwhile OSE’s new prototyping tool, the HydraFabber, is being put through its paces. John Stager, a member of Team HydraFabber, began testing its 3D printing capabilities on August 1.

HydraFabber Test

John Stager, assisted by David Preiss, tests the HydraFabber as Lucas Warner observes.

DPVs Target Engineering Development Processes

During the first week of August, we welcomed Scott Eisele and Jonathan Miller as DPVs. Both Scott and Jonathan come to us from Vanderbilt, where Scott is a graduate student of Electrical Engineering and Jonathan is a student of Manufacturing Engineering. Their arrival at OSE could not be more timely and helpful, as the OSE team, with their input, maps out an improved and robust product design and prototyping process.

Scott will be developing a two-month schedule to build LifeTrac 6, along with necessary protocols and templates to apply/evaluate elements of our new development processes. Scott and Jonathan will be collaborating with OSE on integrating advanced engineering analyses of our product design process via new software in development at Vanderbilt University’s Institute of Software Integrated Systems–the META Tool suite. The META Tools are a development effort funded by DARPA, whose ultimate goal is to improve the existing systems engineering, integration, and testing process.

This analysis has the potential to assist us in achieving OSE’s rapid engineering and prototyping goals. Results will help OSE plan/schedule, streamline operations and resources, communicate, track, and document projects effectively and efficiently. An optimal development process can address the kinds of real-world challenges projects encounter. Though this aspect of our work may sound a bit dull compared to watching steel cut on a torch table or cool machines roll out, it is the refinement of an optimal development process that makes exciting results possible, not only for Open Source Ecology, but for anyone who delves into developing and producing open-source hardware to help build a better world.

Coming soon: More on the MicroHouse.


True Fans Microfunding Development


My name is Jacob Dalton, and I’m about to hit the road for Missouri. Along with Brad Lewis and Aaron Makaruk, I’ve been developing a True Fans microfunding web application. This week I’m going to Factor e Farm for a Dedicated Project Visit with the goal of releasing the True Fans application before Christmas.

We’re not the first to try and build such an application—previous work on the wiki has informed ours. We’ve listened to those that went before us, we’ve made some adjustments, and now it’s time share that work with the community for feedback and input.

So what is this application? What does it do? Take a look:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (3)

Ironworker Blade Design Help

For those of you who do not know, I’ve been hard at work on the design of the open source Ironworker Prototype II and plan on building it this winter at my grandfather’s fabrication shop, Enniss Inc. I’m calling out to fellow fabricators and engineers to help with the Ironworker design, so we can place the design of this very important tool into the repository of common knowledge. For those of you not familiar with the importance of an ironworker machine – it is the heart of any custom metal fabrication shop – a shop that can build any of the mechanical devices of the Global Village Construction Set.

This prototype will be the second version of the Ironworker. As well as having the 120T punch, this prototype will be able to shear 1”x12” flat and 6”x6”x1/2” angle steel. There will be a “tool cavity,” a space below the punching arm to which many accessory tools can attach. This will enable the machine to not only have the features above, but also attachments like brakes, notchers, and rod shears.

Scotchman 120T Ironworker

Scotchman 120T Ironworker

I had another design nearly developed using a vertical shear, but trashed it when I realized how much better it could be with optional attachments. And now, I’m stuck.

The first design version (1.0) of Prototype II

I need help designing the lower arm and flat shear. Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (2)

Dedicated Project Visit: Tom Griffing

My background is in Computer software & development, Technical writing, Hydraulics and electrical power control systems.  I have a small software consulting business in Dallas.

I found out about OSE mid 2011 and found their “Open Source” principles intriguing, as I have been a proponent of Open Source software for decades.

After corresponding with Marcin, I arrived Thursday, August 4, 2011 to start a Dedicated Project Visit, with focus on Power Cube documentation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (3)

Factor e Farm Documentary Forthcoming

Comments (7)

Open Source Chicken Incubator – Working Prototype Complete

Last year, we have begun work on the automatic, open source chicken incubator – Hexahatch. It did not work well, primarily because the big rotor was too heavy. This year’s design – Hexahatch v2.0 – was changed to a simpler, still-air design, with a flat disk as the rotor for turning the eggs. We finally have a working prototype, after replacing a faulty thermostat and after upgrading the motor to a stronger one. See the incubator in action:

Here is an explanation of the build and issues involved: Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (7)

Open Source Tractor Update

William has been here for 2 months already, and here’s his second Dedicated Project Visit report. Don’t miss this video if you want to see 3D models and a time-lapse video of LifeTrac II – the second prototype of the open source tractor – coming together. You can read about our first prototype here.

The Bill of Materials for the frame, plus most of the hydraulics, are up on the wiki development page, as is the frame fabrication procedure. Regarding the hydraulics, we are building upon the past experience from LifeTrac I, and simplifying the design significantly. See the LifeTrac prototype II wiki Category page for other supporting information, and the Open+Pario repository for the Blender 3D files and .dxf files for loader height analysis. Here are a couple more videos explaining the hydraulics: Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (2)

Will’s One Month Report

So I’ve been here at Factor e Farm for 1 month. I am living and breathing the Open Source Ecology lifestyle and working on different projects. When I arrived at the start of May I had a little Q&A session with Marcin to talk about ideas, visions and how I was going to help out. In this short video we talk about the last months progress and what we look forward to achieving in the next month.

Comments (2)

William Arrives from the UK

I finally arrived at Factor e Farm for my dedicated project visit. Meet me – and find out why I came here and what I will do in the next 3 months.

As an initial overview for me, and for the rest of the audience – Marcin takes us into the Factor e Farm One Room Schoolhouse and gives a lecture on where Factor e Farm is at the moment and what its plans are for the future. This short lesson provides a breakdown of the inspirational vision of the Open Source Ecology movement:

Factor e Farm One Room Schoolhouse from Marcin Jakubowski on Vimeo.

Comments (4)


Comments (4)

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »