Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 19, 2011.

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Sharing the world's first low-cost, DIY, open-source Tractor, Compressed Earth Brick Press, Power Cube, and Soil Pulverizer.

Open Source Ecology is a network of farmers, engineers, and supporters building the Global Village Construction Set - a modular, DIY, low-cost, open source, high-performance platform that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 different industrial machines that it takes to build a small, sustainable civilization with modern comforts.

The aim of the GVCS is to lower the barriers to entry into farming, building, and manufacturing. Its a life-size lego set that can create entire economies, whether in rural Missouri, where the project was founded, or in the developing world.

So Far we’ve prototyped 8 of the 50 Machines and we’ve been expanding rapidly. We are 100% crowd-funded. We have 400 True Fans that support our work monthly.

Please watch these videos if you are new to the project:

What Makes the Global Village Construction Set so special?

Open Source- we freely publish our 3d designs, schematics, instructional videos, budgets, and product manuals on our open source wiki and we harness open collaboration with contributors.
Low-Cost- The cost of making or buying our machines are, on average, 8x cheaper than buying from an Industrial Manufacturer, including an average labor cost of $15 hour for a GVCS fabricator and using mail-order parts.
Modular- Motors, parts, assemblies, and power units can interchange.
User-Serviceable - Design-for-disassembly allows the user to take apart, maintain, and fix tools readily without the need to rely on expensive repairmen.
DIY - The user gains control of designing, producing, and modifying the GVCS tool set.
Closed Loop Manufacturing - Metal is an essential component of advanced civilization, and our platform allows for recycling metal into virgin feedstock for producing further GVCS technologies - thereby allowing for cradle-to-cradle manufacturing cycles
High Performance - Performance standards must match or exceed those of industrial counterparts for the GVCS to be viable.
Flexible Fabrication - It has been demonstrated that the flexible use of generalized machinery in appropriate-scale production is a viable alternative to centralized production.
Open Business Models - We encourage the replication of enterprises that derive from the GVCS platform as a route to truly free enterprise - along the ideals of Jeffersonian democracy.
Industrial Efficiency - In order to provide a viable choice for a resilient lifestyle, the GVCS platform matches or exceeds productivity standards of industrial counterparts.

Why should I help fund this project?

This Kickstarter push is aimed at the full testing, publishing, and deployment of the construction toolkit - the Tractor, Compressed Earth Brick Press, Soil Pulverizer, and Hydraulic Power Unit.

This toolkit will establish a new high benchmark of efficiency for green, low-cost housing construction - making natural building FAST and CHEAP, rather than SLOW and EXPENSIVE. During field testing, we aim to demonstrate $5 per sq. foot building costs, while staying within industry standard construction schedules.

The library of instructional material that we produce will make replication a straightforward task. A first time fabricator with 3 days of training will be able to build this toolkit - empowering this individual to transform the dirt beneath their feet into the material needed to construct a home, school, store, hospital, office, etc...

The following table demonstrates our radical cost reduction vs. industry standard equipment.

What will you do with the $40,000?

Half of our Kickstarter funds will go directly to producing high quality, clear, and comprehensive documentation of how to build these machines. For each machine, this will include the design rationale, A to Z instructional videos, 3d CAD files, 2d fabrication drawings, exploded part diagrams, CAE analyses, machine-readable CAM files, circuit diagrams, control codes for automated devices, scaling calculations, the physics of why it works, and the cost + performance comparisons to industry standards. We’ll also provide a user manual that includes the operation, safety, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair. 

The second half of the Kickstarter funding will go to rigorous field testing. We will be constructing a 5000 square foot fabrication facility and 10 living units at Factor e Farm in Missouri. We’ll publish a full energy accounting report, including embodied energy estimates for materials and the “joules per day” of both biological (food calories burned by humans) and electromechanical systems (fuel burned by hydraulic power units) during the construction phase.

Should I keep funding you after you meet your goal?

Absolutely! The next stage of development for the Global Village Construction Set is the rapid, open development of the next 8 prototypes. The Open Source Microfactory is the 8 machines that it takes to transform scrap metal into products of advanced civilization. The Open Source Microfactory is a flexible fabrication platform that enables a wide range of precision machining, cutting, welding, melting, casting, grinding, and forming operations as well as the creation of electromechanical devices. The Microfactory will allow for the efficient DIY manufacturing of entire machines such as tractors and brick presses - as well as the underlying components - such as hydraulic motors, modern steam engines, electrical generators, nuts and bolts, and microcontrollers.

Where Can I find out more?

http://opensourceecology.org

http://opensourceecology.org/wiki

How will we finish this Kickstarter?

Update: It is now about 24 hours left - what mark will we reach? We have already reached our goal - thanks to everyone. If you still want to back us - this is your last chance - or if you would like to provide long-term support, please consider supporting us through the 1000 True Fans campaign - with a small monthly contribution each month for 2 years.

FAQ

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  • Pledge $8 or more
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    593 backers

    Beta Access. Receive weekly status updates with video blog of progress + honorable mention on the Kickstarter Supporters page on our wiki.

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    121 backers

    Represent. Get Beta Access + a GVCS sticker + a personal video thank you message from the OSE Founder published on this page.

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    84 backers

    Back It - Back the project on your own back with the first edition of the Global Village Construction Set T-shirt, in addition to the Represent Package. New reward, added by demand, at the 2-weeks-left mark.

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    287 backers

    Taste the GVCS. Get the Represent package + Punchout Magnet + deluxe data DVD of complete resource library for easy replication of the 4 machines, including instructional videos. The Punchout Magnet is a refrigerator magnet made from 3/4” punch-outs from the world's first, open source, 150 ton hole puncher - punched with tons of love during CEB Press and Tractor fabrication.

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    34 backers

    Visit the GVCS. Taste the GVCS package + admission to Factor e Farm for a visit on Visitor's Days to see the action with your own eyes.

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    11 backers

    Use the GVCS. Taste the GVCS package + Visit the GVCS + a solenoid controller board for the CEB press, including un-soldered components, milled on our own open source CNC Circuit Mill

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    21 backers

    Build Naturally. Admission to a one-day Natural Building workshop at Factor e Farm in 2011 + DVD documenting the natural construction with CEB, Straw, and Lumber, including modular house and workshop designs that can be adapted based on our designs. Includes hands-on experience: brick laying with CEBs and square bale insulation; assisting with lumber production with the Dimensional Sawmill, and square bale making with the Baler.

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    12 backers

    Consult. Build Naturally package + personal consultation regarding the Civilization Starter Kit applications with the Founder + reservation to a weekend retreat where you can experience the life at Factor e Farm.

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    4 backers

    Produce. Build Naturally package + an immersion experience of one day of personal coaching for you to do brick pressing, lumber production, or baling at Factor e Farm. We provide you with technical support, you do the actual work, with possibility of taking home the product.

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    0 backers

    Housebuild. Produce package + 1 month of access to CEB press, tractor, pulverizer, and power units as a 'productive vacation' get-away at Factor e Farm. You get a chance to produce the materials to take with you.

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    0 backers

    Go Deep. Access to user training workshops for any of the 50 GVCS machines as they become available + fabrication training workshops + other workshops as they are offered at Factor e Farm. This is for responsible individuals committed to re-skilling themselves in a deep way.

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Funding period

- (40 days)