24 Mar

Open Source Hardware

Written by
CEB and Bunny CEB and Bunny
The first major open source project that we undertook was our Compressed Earth Block machine aka CEB. The original design comes from the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) which is part of Open Source Ecology(OSE). 

Open Source Ecology's Factor e Farm is based near Maysville, Missouri. Founder of OSE, Marcin Jakubowski, is the center piece around the CEB's design as well as 49 other pieces of equipment that make up the GVCS. The GVCS consists of 50 pieces of equipment that are needed to build civilization without giving up our modern comforts. Each piece is designed to meet or beat its commercial equivalent as far as production goes, be cheaper and designed to last longer. In some cases GVCS can be up to 8 times cheaper. Plus it is all designed for Do it Yourself (DIY) people.

As part of my calling, I felt totally compelled to replicate this work here at Awesome Hollow. I see it as a way to bring production back to the home front and make things locally. Plus it helps our community by lowering the costs of building as each piece of the GVCS is created here. It also helps show that people are able to DIY, even on a large scale. My personal background mainly delved in the software and computer hardware world. Taking on this project with little fabrication skill proved quite the challenge. However, even with the learning curve, we were able to replicate the CEB machine successfully the first try. The debut of the CEB was at Art Outside 2011 held at Apache Pass, near Thorndale, Tx. 

With the completion of the CEB, this crowned us as the first group outside of the Factor e Farm to successfully replicate OSE's design. This opened doors to other folks who are working on this project in their own way and allowed for collaboration across borders. Since completion, I have worked at Factor e Farm during December 2011 on the Christmas Gift to the World project. The result of this project was releasing the Civilization Starter Kit version 0.01 and it was a success.

At this point in time, we are working with OSE on the LifeTrac. The LifeTrac is the GVCS tractor, a skid loader type platform. I helped design the current version of the loader arms and will be retrofitting another LifeTrac here at Awesome Hollow very soon. This will give local folks a chance to actually see a LifeTrac in action as well as use it for some local work. This is all just the beginning of what is to come.

James "Bunny" Slade

Worldbuilder, Flamekeeper of Sustainability
Biography: James "Bunny" Slade