So here it is. November 1, 2009 is the day of Product Release.

Factor e Farm announces its first Product Release in the form of The Liberator high-performance, open source, Compressed Eearth Block (CEB) Press – Beta Version 1.0.

Let’s go back a little in history. In the end of December, 2007 – we pressed the first brick – with The Liberator Prototype I. We got the first prototype into full operation by year-end 2008 – and pressed over 5000 bricks to build the workshop addition. In 2009, we were busy completing the CEB Prototype II and supporting equipment like the pulverizer-loader. Add the soil shaker in the last post, and we’ve got product.

You can have a working copy for $3,500 – if you are a True Fan. If you are not, the price is $5,500. See the product specifications.

This is our Thank You to the True Fans – who supported this work in development over this year. For others, this is motivation for subscribing to the 1000 True Fans – 1000 Global Villages campaign – for discounts on future products after the CEB press. Let’s just say – it will be a good return on investment.

At 9 bricks per minute demonstrated production rate using LifeTrac as a power source, this is about 3 times better than we predicted almost 2 years ago. The True Fans price is factor 10 reduction in price for comparable performance. We have a serious piece of equipment on our hands. We are now taking orders.

Who will be the first buyer?

This is a limited production run release – only 3 copies. We are currently going through fabrication optimization, in conjunction with the local fab shop – and the rest of the world. The value generated will be used to optimize production and work out the bugs. We’re far from a stable release. The fab shop says that it takes years for their products to stabilize – where none come back to the shop any more for repair. Will the price of the stable version be higher because it is guaranteed to work for many lifetimes over? Lower because the fabrication method is lean and optimized? You never know what turns out with open source economics.

We decided to sell kits as our enterprise strategy – since this is most consistent with the open source method of development. We also decided that the core strategy is eliminating scarcity – and transforming the economic system. The way to that is by optimizing production, via open source methods. This is the only way I conclude that has the capacity to bring optimal product – thereby bringing the economic playing field to a different level. I see true hope for post scarcity – the buck stops here and we’re committed to that.

Kits are inherently the lowest-cost option – as the user ends up putting in labor to put the product together. If the business model is completely open source – meaning that we publish the fabrication procedure and enterprise strategy as well – the playing field is flattened completely – and opened to non-monopoly – or free enterprise competition. This is our intent, because it is the only route I see to optimal production. Because the producer captures a lower fraction of product value, economic incentive to producers is lowered – thereby addressing the open source freeloader dilemma. Freeloading parasites – preying on the sweat of others to develop open source products – are demotivated. This is because in free enterprise, and I mean free enterprise – they then have to make an honest living by capturing the value of their labor, not the value of their competitive advantage. I think this actually works out beautifully for the open source, physical production business model – and implies a route to a post-scarcity economic system. That’s why we need to give the enterprise away. It’s good for the world.

We then, still, capture the value of our labor – and you get optimal product. That’s the name of this product release. The cash goes back 100% to further product development. If the product is good for the world, then everybody feels good.

There’s a number of questions, still. First, is license. It has to be defined. Then, it’s the open callaboration method. It needs to be developed. Moreover, it’s all the other items surrounding product release – documentation, training, OSE Specifications refinement, Proposal 2010.

On the license – that’s the main topic of this week’s OSE Global conference call. The call is at the usual time on Friday – 11 AM (GMT-6). See conference call policy and RSVP if you’d like to participate. We’re focusing on the product license- OSE Post Scarcity Enterprise license. We are considering a free download, with small royalty for anyone going for market production.

And, as always – this is only the beginning…


  1. Toke

    Congratulations on your first product release. Well done.

    You may have an error in item 12 in the
    product specification. It states that the reduced price is available for true fans prior to 1. November 2010.

    Best regards

  2. Aigars Bruvelis

    I am a bit upset. I thought you will release plans and design, so people can replicate it. I understand – you are selling the equipment to those, who don’t want to construct it themselves, but what kind of Open Source is this, if plans are withheld?

  3. Marcin

    All the work up to date is available for The Liberator II.

    3D design model in Blender, including downloadable design file, is on the wiki.

    The complete hydraulics design for The Liberator II and Power Cube, including part sourcing, is found here.

    Other than this, you’re right. We still need to publish complete set of technical drawings. If you would like to volunteer for this job, please email us at opensourceecology at gmail dot com.

    This request goes out to all readers – if anyone would like to volunteer for the technical drawing, lets us know. However, we are are making a total of 20 minor modifications to streamline machine operation and fabrication. Thus, the drawings would have to be redone within a few weeks.

    The documentation part is the key to open source – and we’re far from a complete job. Our goals of an open source business model include publishing not only technical drawings, but fabrication procedure, fabrication drawings, and CAM files, if relevant. We are still not sure whether the torch table will be used in fabrication assist, since fabrication tools will focus on cold cut metal saw, hole punching, and drilling – in the DfD design.

    We will use Open+Pario for our hardware project management and design repository. We’d like to explore the potential of Open+Pario for project scaling and acceleration.

  4. Marcin

    Toke, thanks for the correction. The date should read November 1, 2009.

  5. links for 2009-11-05 « brentcu

    […] Product | Open Source Ecology Congratulations, folks. They shipped the Beta of their Compressed Earth Block Press. […]

  6. Thomas Loos

    I think Aigars post should be rewritten as follows:

    “Thank you Marcin for inventing an incredible machine that is going to build many homes in the future. I know you have spent hundreds of hours and much sweat and toil building it. I will buy a machine from you sometime in the future when I have a need. I can then copy the design or improve it freely thanks to your open license. Maybe you can possibly give me a discount if I spend tens of hours creating new documentation for you on my home computer!”

    There. That sounds better.

    Seriously now. This machine is an incredible first step. Marcin, don’t stress on the documentation. It will come together in time.

    Maybe there should be a time limit for projects like this (like a year or so) before documentation gets released. This gives the inventor time to recoup his LABOR and MONEY investment from equipment sales.

    If the inventor sells one or two machines and feels compensated, then he or she could release the docs early. It’s really up to the project inventors. It’s Marcin’s game. he gets to set the rules.

    When you buy a car, you don’t complain to GM about not getting the blueprints. I know, closed source vs. open source blah blah.

    This is the 21st century. People need to get fairly compensated…PAID for their ideas and labor….upfront.

    Go down to MO and check out the machine for yourself. Buy one. Be happy the Marcin gives you license to replicate and improve the machine. There’s your open source.

    Buy a GM car, then try to sell copies of it.

    Bah, enough of all that.

    Marcin, congratulations on the product release! I live in the land of Adobe brick. A few commercial machines are made here. They seem to be nowhere near what you have developed. I will be purchasing one of yours as soon as I get the cash together. In the future when I own some property locally I will only be building with Adobe. It’s the only real human way to build.

  7. […] “Inventing a New Civilization on a Shoestring Budget” and their newest announcement, a Compressed Earth Block (CEB) Press, could definitely start the process here in the Southwest, Latin America and Africa, maybe even the […]

  8. Aigars Bruvelis

    I apologize. I did not mean to be discouraging. Its just that I have seen so many times things, that has potential to benefit society, ending up transforming into self awarding businesses.
    I can do 3D Blender, but no technical drawings… yet.

  9. Pawel Sroczynski

    What software are you going to use in making technical drawings (as we all know, open-source AutoCAD-clones sux!) ? Will they go in modification-ready files (.dwg, .dxf ?) or fixed .pdf ?

  10. bob

    wow that machine has came aways in a year. way to keep on it. i gotsta come try it out.

  11. Report From FSCONS 2009 | Open Source Ecology

    […] have a couple more True Fans signed up from the conference. Combined with new interest from the Product Release, we have 6 new True Fans since Nov. 1, and an overall total of […]

  12. […] reduction is feasible via open source development – RepRap has shown 66, The Liberator has shown 10, and many […]

  13. […] is captured in this brick production rate table, featuring manual and automatic control runs for The Liberator Compressed Earth Brick (CEB) […]

  14. […] of the Free Press Free Enterprise, and a call-out to co-developers. Abstract: We have achieved product release of a manually-controlled, high-performance, hydraulic Compresssed Eearth Brick (CEB) press, The […]

  15. troy davies

    Wow! I’m impressed! I will be in the near future building CEB/Strawbale Houses with my friend and mentor (Henry) up here in Canada. CEB is fairly new to my so I’m fairly green. Henry tells me he has had 2 machines and like the secongd one ALOT better (although it cost almost twice as much.. $70.000) because it produces a much more consistanly sized block. As this is not ‘masoned’ together (allowing forgivness) I can see this being very important. My question is what seems to be the typical size difference with your blocks? Thanks.

  16. Wood-Fired Automobile « permatechie

    […] worlds most sustainable and appropriate solar battery- wood and to run mechanized machinery like open source compressed earth block presses, open tractors and community buses. Open GEK Gasifier ▶ No Responses /* 0) { […]

  17. […] Product | Open Source Ecology […]

  18. […] to Prototype II, to the soil pulverizer, to the first prototype of the automatic CEB controls, to beta version product release with manual controls, to the second prototype of automatic CEB controls, to initial results for the […]