About this project
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?
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.
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?
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.