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Proposal: Design Categories
  • I have been exploring the Wiki over the last few days and I've come up with what I think is a good idea. I would like to propose that we adopt a strategy of outputing our designs in two forms. We could call them Category 1 and Category 2 designs.

    Category 1 designs would be the simplest version of an item. This version would be tailored to the needs of the every day consumer with basic mechanical skills. The average "Joe" if you will. A minimal selection of tools and abilities would be necessary to complete these projects. Many design compromises would typically be made to satisfy this criteria. Naturally these machines would just function well enough to get the job done and nothing more. "lego" bolt together construction would be the norm. Very little energy would be put into form. This is radical simplicity. Basic functioning.

    For example, we could design a version of the CEB press that could be manually operated. Even people powered. No hydraulics, no micro controller, no welding. A lever or ACME screw system would take the place of the gasoline powered machine we have now. In fact I have a very simple design that has been forming in my head that might be just the thing.

    Category 2 designs would be more involved. They would make use of more sophisticated manufacturing methods. What we call Best Practices. Emphasis would be on quality, longevity, all out performance and even form. Compromises would only serve to follow our core values. So, no torching when a band saw should be used, only enough bolting to allow some disassembly, welding for strength and rigidity, bushings or bearings at pivot points, machined parts. General efficiencies and performance would be the goal.

    In the case of the CEB press, we would have more welded assemblies, ability to computer control, various attachments to aid in productivity, ability to adjust operating parameters like brick size, compressive force applied to brick, speed of process, multiple hoppers. We might want to build the press on a trailer with a hitch so it can be transported easily. I was thinking of a trailer that would house the press and a small version of the tractor so you could just roll up to a site and get right to work. The "trailer" could even be a motorized platform that would scoop up it's own dirt and spit bricks out the back.

    Anyhow, the particulars aren't important. It's the general concept that I'm trying to convey here.

    What do you all think?

    The Dawg
  • 5 Comments sorted by
  • @Dawg First, I like your idea. I think that the community would appreciate if, after developing our core designs, we made a basic and advanced section for each project. Then we could have the "normal" project, but also a very scaled down one and a more advanced one. It is my hope that once we develop the backbone, the project will take off and innovation and sharing will be the rule. As to each part of the GVCS, I wonder if the process of building each tool might not have an incremental impact. In better terms, building one project helps an individual develop the skills to build the next. For example, I doubt I could presently build most of the projects on the GVCS, but I think I could handle a few parts of it, that would give me the skills necessary to build others.
  • One of the reasons I'm suggesting this is that in the process of going over the Core Values located here:

    I found an impossible set of parameters to follow. In preparation for contributing some of my design skills I was examining these design guidelines to insure that I stayed on track. In my opinion, there is no way to accomplish this as written.

    I see statements like LOW COST and SIMPLICITY being bundled with SCALABILITY and HIGH PERFORMANCE.

    We need to soften the language in this document. We need to use phrases like BEST PRACTICES and OUR GOALS ARE, rather than this example: "Performance standards must match or exceed those of industrial counterparts".

    I have no idea how to design anything that will meet all these strict parameters. The only avenue left to me is to disregard many of the Values in preference of the practical ones that are attainable.

    On the other hand, if we had these Categories as outlined in my previous message, we could come much closer to satisfying the Values over all.


    The Dawg
  • The core values document is definitely a bit of a rambling draft, rather than a well thought out manifesto that is appropriate for public release and defense. Maybe we could create a draft Core Values page and try to edit the original, then have it vetted by the leadership team. I honestly haven't read it thoroughly but I will this weekend.

    Hmm, I know what you mean. There has been some talk of recursive development; with each successive build of a GVCS tech the design is refined and improved on. At some point it may make sense to fork the designs into different categories. This is related to the debate over reliance on existing off-the-shelf products built and used from existing capital. At this stage OSE cannot really expect to self-manufacture all of a given technology's pieces. For example, the hydraulic valves, pumps, and Arduino micros are purchased off the shelf and assembled. Perhaps the categories could also be a rough designation of how many facets of the tech are scratch built and how many are purchased and assembled as well as the complexity. It isn't a crime to use cheap parts that already exist, there was some negativity on these boards in regards to using existing capital structures to buy components. I disagree, I see this as a leapfrogging effect. Who cares if we can't make hydraulic piping right now, enough of it already exists in the world and is cheap enough to be acceptable.

    Category 1 (or whatever) could be the simplest procedure, with the fewest manufactured components. It would use basic raw stock supplies to manufacture, and need fewer specialized skills. So, a manual CEB press, etc.

    Category 2 could use more complex parts and off the shelf components with specialized to make (probably vast) productivity improvements. So, automation for the CEB, and so on.

    I see this being useful for both a development position and an educational one. Building a powercube, lifetrac and CEB press is a daunting task for even a reasonably competent 1st world DIY-er. Having a stripped down category 1 implementation would be a perfect entry point. As well, in less developed countries with no access to world markets and advanced components, a more simple design may be the only one reasonably built.

    This may not be possible for all technologies, but I think it's worth pursuing now.

  • @eBell I like your use of the phrase "leapfrogging effect"

    @Dawg As always, I have respect for what you have to say. It might be worth making up a more concrete proposal for changes, then the community could hash it out. I think it would help create a cohesion of vision and effort.
  • Yes, right on! One of the main reasons I've chosen OSE is that the goals seem, for the most part, very doable. Doable RIGHT NOW, with the infrastructure that is currently in place. Making baby steps now and leapfrogging later is what I'm all about.

    This will really work!

    The Dawg

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