This is a brief re-hash of the basic premise, assumptions, and intents relating to the "CubeSpawn" project.
is an open source, Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS)
The fundamental premise is two-fold:
1) To provide a hardware framework to encapsulate other open source manufacturing technology.
2) To accelerate the adoption of a System
for manufacturing that combines the advantages of modularity, interchangable processes and automation.
The first goal is accomplished by the physical design, Aluminum extrusion cubes, based on the "metric foot"
are the basis for a Cartesian grid, yielding cubes of 300mm, 600mm, 900, 1200, 1500, etc. the smaller cubes will be built with 25 mm aluminum t-slot extrusion.
These frames then contain whatever mechanism is appropriate to a given step in an industrial process.
The frames provide 5 resources to an open source builder.
2) Standard Power Connection
3) Standard Data Connection
4) Pallet Mover System
5) Management Software
The second stated goal is based on the execution of the first, having a framework of standards can strongly contribute to combining various existing open source resources into viable manufacturing systems, with all the social consequences that adoption implies.
The introduction of a standard framework allows for the consolidation of disparate developments in open hardware into a system for small scale production.
Interchangeability and automation make for the possibility of machine managed production, configuration, and extension of the system.
Status & Intents
At the time of this writing (12/23/2009) the project is 3 months old.
A single 1 meter cube has been constructed and (3) 500mm cubes exist, they are being used to prototype the 600mm cube, whose plans will be released on or about march 1st 2010
an ongoing effort at funding this initial stage is being undertaken on Kickstarter.com
and the objectives, timeline and goals for this effort are here.
If you see merit in the idea, why not put in 5-10 bucks?