Open Source Ecology

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13 Dec 2012: Several blown-out parts have been replaced in the Induction Furnace.

Next steps: Here is a step-by-step process for working on the Induction Furnace (critique welcome):

 > Get permission before starting.
 > If in doubt, ask.  
 > The Induction Furnace is an advanced project, not for beginners.
 > Minimum age 18 with exceptionally good EE skills.  
 > You must carefully read the Fluxeon 1200 web site, including their safety writeup.
 > You must be able to explain the schematic. 
 > For this project, it helps to have a Masters in EE and years of on-the-job experience.
 > The Induction Furnace kit is not isolated (i.e. it does not have a power supply transformer)
 > The variac does not provide isolation.
 > Test equipment must be:
     (1) checked before being used, 
     (2) used, and then 
     (3) checked again to ensure it still works 
     This methodoogy is abbreviated + - +.
 > Only work on the Induction Furnace at the big desks in the back of the electronics room.
 > The "qualified" person is the one who is in charge.  
    He/she must be fully alert (e.g. not sleepy, ...)  
    Remove all jewelry.
   The qualified person needs EE knowledge, awareness of the specific tasks to be 
   performed, and assertiveness skills. 
  > The qualified person must have a buddy.  Three rules apply:
   (1) voice communication distance away,
   (2) buddy must know where the power disconnect switch is,
   (3) the buddy cannot leave the qualified person alone. 
 > The qualified person owns-the-hazard and controls accesses.
 > The qualified person can authorize "authorized people" to enter the 
   "limited approach zone."
 > For work between 51 and 750 V, the "limited approach zone" shall consist 
   of a physical barrier that goes at least 3.5 feet in all directions. 
 > Use the yellow safety chain in the electronics room up against the left wall.
 > Before starting, use a GFCI Receptacle Tester to verify the AC line and GFCI
    are working correctly.
 > There are caution signs against the left wall.
    Use them anywhere there is an energized circuit lacking a guard.
 > There is a 1 inch "prohibited approach area" on circuits below 300 V.
    E.g. voltmeter probes must be insulated so skin is at least 1" away.
    No one can be inside the prohibited approach area.
 > Be safe and alert at all times.
 > Use these rules on other projects besides the Induction Furnace.

06 Aug 2012: Now that we had a successful landing on Mars, it's time to start an OSE movement there! Here's an amazing youtube video about it: 7 Minutes of Terror, indeed.

Here's a brief video explaining what OSE Flash Mobs are:

Here's the link to become a flash mob Subject Matter Expert:

26 Jul 2012: Brianna, who solves Rubic's Cube while hand gliding, decided to leave Factory E Farm to return to school in San Diego. Almost teary-eyed "Bye Brie":

OSE has some awesome volunteers -- here's news about the Cold Saw:


12 Jul 2012: Continued progress. A Raspberry Pi is in the OSE top tote (next to the sand in the warehouse). If anyone wants to experiment with it, please do. Just don't lose the instructions.

09 Jun 2012: Here's a status update on the Induction Furnace project and it's 2 pound melt Roy 1200 kit:

Next, a 20 pound unit will be built.

22 Mar 2012: A Yahoo Group has been set up for the Induction Furnace Project. Here's the link:

Planning has begun. The actual project starts in May 2012.

19 Mar 2012: Marcin Jakubowski posted a youtube status update:

Wow: $1M + $300K/3 years.

01 Mar 2012: Here's a link explaining WikiSpeed: a way to design cars with 7 day design-change cycles:

Today, you can order a 100 mpg car for $25K:

19 Feb 2012: Here's a link to a National Public Radio report entitled "Building A Village Starts With Building The Tractor"

15 Feb 2012: Here's a youtube video introducing Brianna Kufa, a maker who built four Compressed Earth Brick Presses:

Here she is solving a Rubic's cube while paragliding: ... and to think I was worried about texting while driving!

Open Source Ecology status update video:

The four machines that were finished in time for the Gift to the World 12/2011:

  • Compressed Earth Brick (CEB) Machine
  • Tractor
  • Soil Pulvizer
  • Powercube (converts 18 HP gas engine into 3500 psi hydraulic fluid)

OSE has raised ~$0.5M USD and plans to release by April 2012:

1. Microfactory package consisting of:

  • Ironworker
  • CNC torch table
  • CNC multi-machine
  • Induction furnace
 Goal: by end of December 2012, build a tractor from scrap steel for $500.

2. Power infrastructure package consisting of:

  • Modern steam engine
  • Pelletizer
  • Solar concentrator
  • Heat exchanger
  • Power inverter

3. Construction package consisting of:

  • Well drilling rig
  • Sawmill
  • Backhoe
  • Bulldozer
 Goal: a total of 17 products by the end of 1Q 2012

To learn more about the Shuttleworth Fellowship, visit:

Here are some useful links pertaining to the Open Source Ecology Project:

Main page:

The Global Villiage Construction Set:

Marcin Jakubowski's (OSE's leader) on Wikipedia: