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Workshop Collaboration
  • Hello! Chris here from Factor E Farm.

    So things are starting to get crazy out here. People are swarming in, and we're working round the clock on the production run.

    While earlier on, it was considerably easier to collaborate with the online OSE community (smaller team, much more downtime)... As Factor E Farm grows we want to maintain and foster that online relationship with all the awesome people in OSE.

    But when we're in the workshop all day, it's can be tricky to spend as much time surfing the forums and connect with you guys!

    So while we're still pushing for as many of you as possible to come by for a Dedicated Project Visit, we've been brainstorming on other approaches that allow everyone to engage. There's a lot of potential solutions, but...

    Here's an idea! How about we wire up the workshop and bring it to you?

    Put in some web cams. Mount a couple pico-projectors to the roof of the workshop. Get our CAD all organized and online. Hook on up on something like . A few jaw-bone headsets (may work in our noisy workshop). A couple more laptops. The idea is that we can be collaborating with people live. So we could call up CAD plans and project them over our work-surface area. Or collaborate live with the online community and we sketch out things together. When multiple fab-shops go online, this also gives a blueprint for collaboration in the long-run.

    Augmented Reality is on the roadmap for long-term GVCS, it wouldn't hurt to experiment with bringing some of it into the picture sooner.

    Anyways, it's all high-level at this point. But what do you guys think?

  • 6 Comments sorted by
  • That sounds pretty awesome! You could imagine a brainstorming session where you pico project onto a wall in the workshop and use IR markers to make on-line shareable notes in real-time. How cool would that be? 

    What is the power situation like at the farm? It seems as we get more people on the farm that the electrical bill will creep higher. Is that acceptable for now? What's the long term plan for powering workshop and collaboration activities?

  • Power Situation
    Short term, we're limited on power provided just by solar (enough for 3 or so people, lights and laptops). So with everyone swarming the farm, we're running 2-3 gas generators full-time to support our 3 welders. We've got a large forklift battery that can store a ton of energy that we charge and draw from. We turn off internet at night to save power :D


    Long-term we do have plans to address this.

    We're doing a massive build-out of infrastructure over the next month or two, (new buildings, power generation, plumbing, etc), including the solar fire project which should go a long way to resolving our power situation. We can generate peak energy when we need to for the moment, but running generators does eat up gas.

    Pico-projectors have a minimal power draw (they want 'em standard in cell phones), and I've been looking for an excuse to experiment with them. We'll see what happens! :D
  • Chris, my only suggestion would be to make sure we don't have to go to yet another website to participate.  Well, ideally anyway.  There are talented web based programmers on this forum that could surely put this functionality on our main website.  Then it would be a great tool that isn't tucked away in a corner somewhere....:)

    Great idea!

    The Dawg
  • Sounds like a great idea. I know you all are busy working from sun up to sun down so its difficult to format and present internal developments out to the world in real time.

  • Pushing the idea further, what do you think about  stablishing "OSE spaces"? Places like the "hacker spaces" where people can work on OSE projects (prototyping, testing, doing simulations, drawing), colaborating on line with the people on the FeF?

  • Lots of good ideas here...very impressed.

    I like the AutoCAD WS idea...that seems like a great solution for the CAD collaboration.

    Saw the video on the Solar Fire project...I think it's great, what about using some fuel cell technology ?....With an electrolyser ( ) for generating hydrogen.

    I just joined the site I didn't have time to look over all the previous discussions, so I was curious if maybe an Electrolyser machine would be something that should be a part of the Tool Set ??? I know hydrogen has it's up's and down's but it seems like a good solution for energy needs, especially when combined with Fuel Cells. Not sure if that was already discussed, or even ruled out as a next possible tool ?

    Tools don't work without power....and hydrogen is a very good clean source.


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