Replicator Survey 2012
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TimestampNameDateCityStateCountryEmailWhat machine(s) have you replicated?How much did it cost you to fabricate?How many hours did it take to fabricate?How difficult was it to use the documentation provided by OSE?Why are you replicating the machinery?Are you seriously considering starting a GVCS-based enterprise?How could the GVCS designs be improved?Do you have any photos or videos of your replication?How can Open Source Ecology make improvements?
2/21/2012 14:16:32Adam Messer21/02/2012LondonAlabama Englandmesserad@gmail.comAttempted the Power Cube£2,000 or $3,000I didn't complete it.3A little background: 24 year old guy from London, England - recently left University studying accounting and am currently trying to avoid the corporate climbing rat race - working part time in online advertising and sales in the meantime.

I'm becoming involved because I want to achieve the following:
-create a business selling open source hardware to support myself so that I don't have to keep a corporate job
-use the profits from this to buy my own house/land
-use further profits to build a workshop on that land, develop further products
-possibly become involved in a creating a UK OSE community
Not yet - but semi-seriously considering it - more of a failed attempt at the moment. Here's the details of what I've done so far:

I had a go at building the Power Cube but I stopped after I realized if I invested my money into developing the Power Cube, then upon completion, it would most likely just sit there and not be of any use unless I developed the tractor as well - which would require a much larger investment of capital.

First, I started to learn welding (using the equipment at the London Hackspace which was of great help) and then began calling up suppliers for the steel frame. However, none of the companies could take my orders since they didn't deal in imperial - only metric. So I downloaded Google sketchup and started learning how to use it with online tutorials so that I could rebuild the design in metric. I did realise these were rough figures but I wanted to make sure things were going to fit - and being accurate is necessary on the smaller parts.

Whilst doing this I began speaking with some other replicators and they said their budget was around $1,500 and suggested getting the engine first, instead of going about it by building the frame first. I'm glad I did this because when I looked at buying the suggested Briggs & Stratton engine unfortunately it wasn't/isn't sold here in the UK. I then emailed and called up some engine suppliers and gave the details and listing of the Briggs & Stratton and asked if they had anything equivalent and for what prices. All of the quotes I received for the engines suggested that to have a UK equivalent would cost over £1,000 (about $1,600) for the engine alone which is above what USA replicators are spending on the whole project.

It was at this point that I realized that the capital required for this project was a lot more than I had originally though. I can't really justify spending over $2,000 on a Power Cube that by itself, wouldn't be that useful or easy to sell unless I invested in also building the larger equipment as well.

So I stopped working on it for a bit but I haven't totally given up.

Here's what I'm thinking for next steps:

-Create a website accepting preorders for the Power Cube / Tractor
-Pay for targeted online traffic from Google Adwords to the website
-Test this to see what the response is like (this is my day job so I know how to test demand)
-If I receive enough interest/enquiries/preorders then go about developing the product
-Even if I could get this to break even then I'd give it a shot
-In the meantime, continue researching for a cheaper UK equivalent engine
-Top of the list should be metric vs. imperial measurements. Both need to be included because the whole world is using the metric system apart from America. I encountered this problem when trying to order the angle irons - the ones I called couldn't take my orders as they only used metric and the converted imperial measurements came out with odd figures such as 67.3 mm figures which were also not supplied - this is why I started looking at rebuilding the designs in Sketchup.

-Using engines/materials which are more internationally available would also be of help.

-Focus on designing the smaller, simpler cheaper tools which can be more easily replicated and require less equipment, skills and capital. Replication is then more likely to become widespread as the barriers to entry for a DIY hobbyist are lowered.
No - I've detailed what I've done in question 2.
As a replicator, you need help with the following:

1) You need to have the *Skills*

-I came into this not really having any practical skills and so far I've had to learn welding and also how to use CAD software (Google sketchup). Letting people know the required skills for the replication of each product would help.

2) You need to have the *Equipment*
a) Tools
I'm lucky here because I live in London and am nearby a great hackspace which provides most of the tools I need. Having the right tools could be a stumbling block for a lot of people, also it would increase their costs. Listing the required tools for each product would be useful.
b) Materials
Finding the right supplies could be much easier if there were an bill of materials that I could just order all at once instead of having to search around for all the parts from separate places.

3) You need to have the *Capital*

Details of the estimated costs would help. Also, details of where to find cheaper/recommended suppliers for materials.

At the moment, the 4 tools that can be developed are just outside of the DIY hobbyist's budget. As I said earlier: Focus on designing the simpler & cheaper tools which can be more easily replicated and require less equipment, skills and capital. Replication is then more likely to become widespread as the barriers to entry for a DIY hobbyist are lowered.
2/26/2012 20:04:11James Slade2/26/2012Cedar CreekTexas United StatesJamesslade@creationflame.orgCEBUnknownMonths4Because proving it can be done and sharing this tech with everyone I can reach with it, is vital to the world as a whole. I see this project as a solution for post scarcity and bringing empowerment back to the local people.Absolutely. Up front finding funding to replicate the project here in Texas and putting it to the test is a major goal. Using the tech to replicate itself and share it with others via workshops, selling it, and using it. Working on distributive enterprise.By building each and testing it in a real world environment in a variety of locations. Keeping it simple is a priority, and adding in accessories for those who want them would be an improvement. Example, lights for the LifeTrac, foot pedals, etc. building, Communication and funding assistance for those who wish to replicate for testing and promotion. :)
2/27/2012 19:03:08Andrew Spina2/27/2012BaltimoreMaryland USAaispina@gmail.comPart of a Powercube 4$1365 so far. Most major parts bought. Records available here: man hours so far. This includes time in the shop only (excludes shopping, and reading). Records available here: want a tractor and I want independence. On top of that, the scale of our society is too great. Small is Beautiful right? On a smaller scale I think many of our wrongs could be abated. I hope to start/join a community base on local, appropriate living. Right now I'm training for such an experience-- learning skills that will make me a valuable member/founder.I believe that OSE/GVCS will have a part to play in my long term well being. I'll be writing about my long term plan at My plans aren't firm at all, but right now center on the idea of going into pellitized fuel production.First off, every design should have a unique name (eg. Powercube 4). This includes each prototype. It would be beneficial to have a sort of semantic naming scheme. Perhaps Saw Mill P1 for Prototype 1 and Saw Mill 1 for the released design. This will let people talk un-ambiguously about the various designs. This is an important part of developing a global community.

It will also be important in the long run as the number of variations on a particular design grow. It may even be worth having a notation that refers to a particular tool in general. That way someone could talk about the requirements for 'Power Cubes G' (where G would mean General) or the requirements for 'Power Cube 5'. On the other hand this might be too heavyweight all together.

I also think it's very important to focus on layers of complexity. I've been following Tom's work and think he's making lots of improvements to the Power Cube design. But as he does this certain features cost in complexity. For example, the temperature sensor on the hydraulic radiator may be better represented as an 'add on', than a core part. This would allow a novice producer to get up and running with lower cost in time and money (with the ability to add it later).
OSE is great keep it up, you are changing the world.

Eventually the documentation should include discussion of tools and processes. Novice fabricators may have physical skills, but may not know enough to select efficient fabrication strategies. For example, I spent many hours doing TIG welding on tasks (like the Hydraulic Reservoir) that were better served by MIG. Some way for geographically disperate people to chat about these things would be great. There are lots of options-- a stack overflow like site, or a forum, or something else...

It would also be great if there were some way to easily attach expertise to a particular part or process in making or using a GVCS tool. For example, my blog includes a detailed account of my progress on a Power Cube 4. If another person is making a Hydraulic Tank, they're likely to go to the instructions to read what to do. The instructions have to be digestible, so probably won't include as verbose a description as I've written. Some fabricators may need more extensive help and would benefit from a centralized list of outside sources. Note that this list should probably be curated (for quality and correctness), versioned (Power Cube 4 may have different footnotes than Power Cube 5), and deep (it should include post on the Power Cube 4, as well as posts on welding technique for a Power Cube 3 Hydraulic Reservoir.
2/28/2012 18:44:22Andrew SpinaAlabama (My third submission) It would help to have a master summary of what each tool is capable of, and what is different between the current version and the previous version. This will really highlight the progress and improvements coming from the process. It will also allow people to do back of the envelope calculations when deciding whether an OSE tool (as designed) would cover their needs.

Software frequently comes with lists like this, and it's very valuable for expert users.
3/11/2012 20:11:51Tom Griffing3/11/2012DallasTexas USAtom.griffing@gmail.comPower Cube$2,100Not sure31. To prove it can be done from OSE documentation
2. To improve on OSE designs
3. To contribute enhancements back to OSE
4. To enhance OSE documentation
Yes - Initially, I was thinking of a business building Power Cubes.The designs will be enhanced with more prototyping and collaboration.

This would help from the earliest phases of CAD to generating the BOM to the fabrication and testing.

As with many technologies, the earlier the input, the better.
Have someone to review progress and offer suggestions. Marcin has been doing this, but his time is getting very limited.
3/13/2012 19:03:32dorkmo3/13/2012TulsaOklahoma usadorkmo@gmail.comceb press electronicsUS$150 approx20 approx3see if i could do it.ive thought about it. maybe just certain parts of general i'd like to see some of the skilled work minimized. aka less welding.
maybe we could have a weekly wiki page/topic that the whole community works together on cleaning up? or something like that. get everyone working together.
3/17/2012 0:47:01Alex Rollin3/17/2012BogorAlabama Indonesiaalex.rollin@gmail.comNone, yetn/an/aFor demonstration of the model
For use to build what is needed for our village(s), partners, and client projects
For sale
Full scale production of all GVCS machinery. Early on we will focus on a couple of other technologies needed here for Indonesia; something for municipal drinking water and sewage, as well as something with bamboo and hand tooling.Change this form to allow for international sites?
7/24/2012 16:52:45KEANU HU7/24/2012chicagoIllinois United Stateskeanuparty@gmail.comStarting on LifeTrac IVIn processIn Process4To use along with many other OpenSource Machines in building homes/restaurants/hotels and aquaponics farms. It's an investment for the world to demonstrate that inexpensive and awesome homes can be had in expensive Cities and surrounding areas such as Chicago.As a high school math teacher with a background in mechanical engineering, I plan to create machines with students to engage them in the future. The open source dimensional drawings need updating. I am not sure if the intent is to keep all details from the public, but I am having a difficult time finding all drawings.As soon as I am confident that I have all detailed drawings and my own BOM, I will begin my work. I plan to share many pics and video.We shall see.
5/4/2013 15:58:41Sannuto AndreaLunelWyomingFrancekradsmit@gmail.comWe want to start replicate the CEB followed by power cube, the Wind turbine and the tractor. then proceed with the other tools of the GVCS.

Medium term goal is to build a community using the technology toward the improvement of the quality of life, looking for self susteinment within the community and its network.
A cooperative based on open hardware. Offering DIY Kits, Assemblement service, postsales assistance, upgrade assistance, renting of OSHW machines or selling of their subproducts (while heading toward the community self sustainment)Probably the ability to recreate an information network.
Wimax technology would be great ...
not yetyou are doing great !!!
documentation really need to be better organized (I know it can be a pain)

Thanks Marcin, thanks guys!!
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