Thank you to all the people that supported us for the month of October – our transition to support via crowd funding. The October funding and corresponding progress were a major success. Here is the progress report.
Overview: We are on our way to neocommercialization of the CEB press, starting with the building of a flexible, digital fabrication facility. This building addition is planned to feature CEB walls, a living roof, solar design, CEB masonry stove, sauna, and off-grid operation. The month of October was taken up primarily by field testing of the open source LifeTrac/CEB/rototiller/toothbar bucket/backhoe combination – as applied to site and earth preparation for CEB construction. We also built a number of roof trusses.
Funding: Our goal was $3125, and we collected a total of $2705 in value. The highest third-party donation was $600, and the lowest was $5. There were only 17 donations, with an average of $159. We received $240 in direct material/tool donations.
Accomplishments: This month, we completed the entire CEB construction infrastructure. The tractor, tooth-bar bucket, backhoe, and rototiller are in working order for CEB block production. We moved about 60 tons of soil, sufficient for approximately 8000 bricks. We completed several of the 25 total trusses (32 foot long) for the roof and got gravel delivered to the site.
Tooling and inftrastructure upgrades: We received a miter saw for truss construction. We upgraded our acetylene torch setup from a 150 to a 250 lb oxygen bottle. We installed 8 of the 14 solar panels, installed the inverter, and an open source on-demand water heater for our shower. This heater is quite useful, so we documented its construction:
We purchased a larger metal grinder. We also got a stove donated for the Hexayurt, and a hot water heater that we’ll heat with stove flue gases.We also bent out the tines on the tiller, and added a 4th tine set.Funding allocation: The resource allocation is as follows. Initially, we proposed about $2300 in building materials, and $800 in stipends. We received $2725. The stipends were not paid out. Alex left. Bob went away for 2 weeks to work. This money was allocated additional building materials.
Note: items in italics were not yet purchased. The total resources needed (about $500) carry over into the November funding cycle.
Challenges: The main one was the tractor breaking at the main joint. This was fixed. Weight distribution is still poor, because the front loader sticks out too much at the front. It should be closer to the tractor body. Even with 1500 of weights on the back (dead battery banks), the back wheels almost begin to come off the ground when the front loader is filled with soil.
Commentary: The development path is full of challenges and decision forks â€“ constant, on-the-feet problem solving is required. Nothing, outside of the general direction, goes as planned â€“ one can plan only after experience in an experimental program like this. Demoralization for the team is a constant issue, which I address personally by regular meditation and mind-body practice. Indeed, the deeper the challenge, the deeper the solution. Thatâ€™s been the history in my experience â€“ unsolved issues linger for no more than a few days at a time, and typically they are addressed either the same day or day after.
Next month plan: We are in the thick of brick pressing and building. The month of November will be completion of the CEB CSM workshop facility – so we can begin work on the digital fabrication XYZ torch table in December.
We are also planning a sawmill prototype for November as proposed before: . The sawmill is relevant to the replication of the CEB CSM business model – where self-generated lumber allows low-cost construction of facilities. This falls under the scenario of decentralization technology-based Global Village creation.The total budget for November, described on our wiki, is $3400. So please continue your support by donating here – so we can bring a revolutionary, open source business model to life.