We’re pleased to announce design completion of Prototype IV of the Compressed Earth Brick (CEB) Press. The machine has come a long way since Prototype I. The main changes since Prototype III - part of our Christmas Gift to the World of 2011 - includes redesign of the hopper, a stronger frame, the next iteration of the automation controller, and general streamlining of the design for fabrication.
Below is a video history of the Liberator from 2007 until present :
We’re in the middle of a production run, so we’re working pretty much round the clock. What’s cool is that as we’re building things, we’re finding all these things to improve about the process. There’s a lot of room to grow, and we’re pumping out a lot.
We have finally started construction after spending most of the year developing equipment. We finished the CEB press on Tuesday. The open source Tractor, CEB press, Power Cube, and Soil Pulverizer are now in action. The main obstacle of soil handling has been declared solved.
We have until November 14 before we cut off our building experiments due to weather. We have an open invitation to anyone who wants to help. We will be out there until Nov. 14. By then, we aim to complete 2-4 modular sections, 16×16 feet each. We have the concrete pads already prepared. Whatever we don’t finish we will take up in spring starting April 1, 2011 – towards a complete workshop as in the former post.
We still need materials for the remailing 3 truss sections and 4 roof sections. We reported that the trusses total $250 per section ($750 total). Sheet metal roofing is $300 per section, for about 400 square feet including 3 foot overhangs ($1200 total). This covers over 1000 square feet of floor space, and the entire workshop will be three times this size – to allow comfortable production of 4 CEB presses or tractors at one time. The workshop is intended to help fund the revolution, under the assumption that we get our ducks in a row with marketing.
The interesting part is that we aim to demonstrate that it takes only 3 full days per 16×16 foot section with only 2 people working, including roof and columns, but no infill walls. We aim to get to this point as a result of the next 9 days of practice. We’re shaking down all the parts of the method, and so far the soil pulverizing workflow is solved. Our optimization includes installing the automatic controls for the CEB press by Sunday. Chip in:
Fabrication optimization for The Liberator open source CEB press involves designing and deploying four, heavy duty, open source fabrication tools: (1) drill press for drilling 1″ and larger holes directly in metal without pre-drilling; (2) 120 ton hole puncher/ironworker for punching up to 1.5″ holes in 1″ thick metal, and shearing up to 12″ wide slabs of 1″ thick steel; (3) torch table for cutting meta via computer control; and (4) heavy duty lathe for making motor couplers. The reason for the above developments is a significant reduction in fabrication time – such as a second to punch a 1/2″ hole in The Liberator frame, as opposed to a minute required for drilling. And, where we do have to drill 1/2″ holes, the time is reduced by avoiding switching of drill bits for pre-drilling of starter holes.
We have completed the initial prototype of the heavy duty, open source drill press. We are glad to report encouraging results, and a good addition to RepLab – the open source Fab Lab. It contains a hydraulic motor for the drilling and a hydraulic cylinder for the down pressure – so this is a literal press, and it is not short on torque or power as the motor can sustain up to 20 hp. We are using our Universal Rotor for the motor. This same rotor was already used for the lathe, tree auger (report forthcoming), and honey extractor (report forthcoming) – as it’s part of our LifeTrac infrastructure. This is part of our modularity concept in action – a key feature of the Global Village Construction Set.
You can see our wiki work page for the design and bill of materials, and the .dxf design file is at the Open+Pario repository. See the video of the build with explanation, plus demonstration of drilling a 1″ hole, without pre-drilling, in a 1″ steel slab. The workshop fireworks are extra, as we just passed the Fourth of July in these united States.
Sean is here for a part of the summer to gather footage for his documentary on the beginnings of Factor e Farm. The time lapses in the last blog post are also part of his work. Here is a 3 minute video about Factor e Farm and The Liberator open source CEB press.
We are planning on putting together a powerful documentary on the core message of OSE – distilling key concepts and filling in with our work as the evoloving substance. We feel that our message is still poorly communicated, largely because we are too busy at work creating the substance to make the message compelling. We may not get around to this documentary until we complete the tractor prototype II, soil pulverizer prototype II, torch table, hole puncher, drill press, and lathe – all open source, of course. The constructions/fabrication that we’ll do with these tools should complete the package of initial results on the Global Village/Resilient Community Construction Set – such that we’ll have plenty of compelling material for an interesting video. We’ll see when we get around to it. In the meantime, if you want to see our work go faster, subscribe to the True Fans.
[Open Source Ecology] is yet another example of the many efforts underway to accelerate DIY technology development for Resilient Communities (The RC). As personal fabrication improves, these tinkering efforts will become MUCH more sophisticated at an ever decreasing cost. We (collectively, those of us engaged in decentralized thinking/action) are in the process of reinventing how the global economy is structured at a root level — good thing we didn’t ask permission. — John Robb, Global Guerrillas