For those that have followed the developments in CubeSpawn: I'll give a brief introduction to the current request for support,
For folks new to the concept: I'll give a short overview and describe what I see as the benefits to this approach over the current, unstructured approach to Open Source Hardware
I have placed an Entry in a NASA TechBriefs contest and at least at the moment only need about 78 more votes to be the #1 project, I am asking for your vote on my project.
For Folks New to Cubespawn
CubeSpawn is an Open Source Hardware project.
Its an attempt to establish a framework for a small-scale, affordable Flexible Manufacturing System.
CubeSpawn's main strength lies in its simplicity:
It is a series of Cubic frames made from Aluminum extrusion:
these are simple to make and are fairly low in cost (as of this writing a 600mm Cube frame costs about $65 USD to build)
*for Americans: 300mm is VERY close to 1 foot
Each Cube can contain any of a number of "modules" that can perform one step in an industrial process.
The frames sizes scale up in 300mm increments
Each frame has a connector for Ethernet and electrical power in a mechanical latch on one or more sides, so that multiple cubes can be attached together (think BIG Lego’s) this allows assembling a manufacturing process from generic machines.
The intelligence in the system are “recipes” of instructions so that the assembled cubes can make a desired product, this could be a shoe, or a hammer. A pump for your aquaponics system or a spare for your auto. It could also be components for an additional machine for the CubeSpawn system.
This then, puts the full capability of WHATEVER the system can do into the hands of ANYONE at the cost of materials and energy.
CubeSpawn has been in development for the last 3 years and has been informally reviewed by a number of engineers and production technicians, and so far, no-one has pointed out omissions or made significant suggestions on improvements, which to my mind imply's that its relatively solid approach that covers all the basics of an FMS (Flexible Manufacturing System).
To a man, however, they are baffled about why I want the design to be open source: until I explain that by MAKING it Open Source I can benefit from a pool of knowledgeable people, who perhaps know much more than I do adding designs and refinements to a system to manufacture material wealth in an increasingly uncertain world.
Having the means to make the things you need locally out of recycled materials will be a major transfer of wealth to individuals and sharing in the knowledge accumulated by that group can have a profound effect on participating members.
I WILL have this system, but my individual efforts are too slow and limited for it to be generally useful anytime soon. With a community of users it could potentially be producing anything available today (or an Open Source equivalent) within 10 years.
Thanks For Reading!
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