3D Printer Construction Set Workshop

December 16, 2016

Hamburg, Germany – specific location to be announced

Note: we also have remote participation options – see under Registration.

December 18, 2016

Ghent, Belgium – specific location to be announced

Note: This workshop has been reschedulued for December instead of September, to coordinate with the Germany offering.

Build Yourself. Build Your World.

The Open Source Ecology 3D Printer Construction Set Workshop is an immersion experience where you participate in a build of the world’s first 3D Printer Construction Set. You also have the option to build this 3D printer during the workshop to take home with you. This is also the first workshop outside the USA.

This 3D Printer Construction Set is a set of building blocks that allows you to build a 3D printer of any size – and also – to build other machines including a CNC Torch Table, a CNC Router, and a CNC Laser Cutter.

The basic printer concept looks like this, and is an option for what could be built in our 3D Printer Workshop:


To create a Construction Set – we designed a small set of identical parts that can be reconfigured. The core part is the axis module – with the same axis module used in the x,y, and z directions – which is used to create the x-y-z motion system associated with an automated machine:

In the above example, we are using 12 mm rods (about 1/2″) – but the rods/sizes can be larger or smaller – such as 1″ rods for heavier duty applications. The same axes as used above can be joined, lengthened, or stacked to build a much larger machine – such as this 4’x8’x1′ CNC Router:


Note how the basic axis unit and its ability to connect to other axis units allows for a wide range of design variations, putting the ability to design CNC machines within the hands of ordinary people. Depending on the tool head that is used – the machine can have the functionality of the corresponding tool head – whether a 3D printer extruder, a router, a laser cutter, a cutting torch, or many others.


Parts can be stacked in multiples, as in this 9-headed production 3D Printer shown printing more parts for the axis unit:


The beauty lies in an absolute minimum number of parts that are used to build an infinite variety of CNC machines – depending on size, axis configuration, and tool heads.

This workshop builds upon OSE’s Extreme Manufacturing approach of rapid building with multiple teams working in parallel on modular components. By simplifying the design and streamlining the build with digitally-fabricated, open source parts – people are now able to build a high quality 3D printer in record time at low cost.

We are also developing an open source enterprise model for how to run such workshops anywhere in the world. We are publishing our enterprise model openly, with all supporting information that helps people in a successful startup – without reinventing the wheel.

This workshop is intended for those people who don’t have the time to build a printer themselves – or who don’t think they have the skills to build one – but who are interested in an extremely streamlined and efficient process. The intended audience is also anyone who would consider running Extreme Manufacturing 3D printer workshops as part of their livelihood.

Participants will gain an appreciation for the productivity that happens when we break down the design into clear modules, such that multiple components can be assembled rapidly or in parallel based on clearly defined boundaries. This is an application of OSE’s radical modularity, just like we are applying to the heavy machines of the Global Village Construction Set:

We are guaranteeing that as a result of the 1 day immersion – the participants will walk away with a basic understanding of how to design and build their own 3D printer – as well as other machine variations – using the OSE 3D Printer Construction Set, including software setup. We can provide parts for a 3D Printer build at the cost of materials (parts are NOT included in the basic admission to the workshop) for those who would like to walk out of the workshop with their own 3D printer. However, we are not guaranteeing that participants will finish their 3D printer build during the workshop hours – and may have to stay after hours – as the focus of the workshop is on learning the design and build methods. Once these methods are learned, it will be straightforward to complete a build, where we estimate that the entire build should take 4-8 hours with one person – without requiring technical savvy from the participant. If participants decide that they would like parts for their own build, they can order them either for this workshop as part of their registration – or we can ship them after the workshop. Parts cost will be $300-700, depending on size of the desired machine and features.

We are offering a 2-for-1 offer if you would like to bring a friend or family member with you for free.

The end point of the day will be a successful print.

Workshop immersion involves concept and practice, and includes a crash course on Open Source Ecology. Participants become engaged in a part of OSE’s development process, where we produce open source blueprints for the infrastructures of civilization. Participants are introduced to basic principles of collaborative literacy – how the collaborative mindset can be used to solve wicked problems.

This workshop is intended for people interested in immersion, hands-on skills training and practical results. This immersion course may be especially useful to people who would like to make their livelihood by using open source enterprise. We are especially seeking participants with an entrepreneurial mindset to expand open source production into the mainstream. We are exploring the potential of open source economics by determining the limits of social production: can distributed, collaborative, community supported manufacturing (CSM) be an alternative to centralized factories?
The overall workshop is designed for people interested in transitioning from Zero to Steward and Maker. We welcome both complete novices and those with experience, as those with experience will also learn a number of skills. The critical part is willingness to learn.

By joining this workshop, you have an opportunity to be part of a community interested in developing products collaboratively, so that everyone can benefit. OSE’s goal is to promote right livelihood using open source – and part of that is starting enterprises – whether in 3D printing or in other productive areas. From OSE’s perspective, the ideal outcome would be finding more core collaborators who walk the road of open source product development with us.

For this workshop, we will also organize a remote documentation team – such that a group of remote collaborators will produce a build instructional at the same time as we complete the build in real life. We will use open source desktop publishing software in this process.

Have questions? Drop us an email: info at opensourceecology dot org



  • Marcin Jakubowski (USA)- Marcin was trained as a fusion physicist. He left academia right after finishing his Ph.D. to start a farm – in Missouri – and founded Open Source Ecology. For the last 7 years, he has been working on the Global Village Construction Set – a set of enabling tools and machines for building regenerative infrastructures. Marcin is passionate about creating the Open Source Economy – a new operating system for Earth. See Marcin’s bio.


  • Michel Dhoore (Belgium)- Michel is a self-taught proponent of the Open Source Society, with broad technical insight from working in printing, stage building, as a theater technician, and as a entrepreneur / contractor mainly in ecological insulation. For the last two years, he has been focussing on 3D web visualization as a learning tool using 100% Open Source tool-chains. His virtual content may be found at http://3dcontent.be , and his passion aims at producing tangible goods in a totally Open Source workshop.

Learning Outcomes

3D Printing
  • Basic working principles of a 3D printer
  • Different types of 3D printer applications
  • How to build a 3D printer
  • How to calibrate a 3D printer
  • How to run software to control a 3D printer
  • How to find objects for printing and how to design them yourself in FreeCAD
Collaborative Literacy
  • Basic principles of Open Source Ecology
  • The concept of Open Source Product Development (OSPD)
  • The meaning of Distributive Enterprise
  • Basic collaboration principles of open source projects
  • How to engage in a collaborative documentation process
  • The concept of module-based design
Distributive Enterprise
  • Business model for Distributive Enterprise
  • Extreme Manufacturing
  • The meaning of Viral Replicability Criteria


Note: schedule is being refined and may change slightly. The full program goes from 9 AM to 6 PM, though people can leave at 5 PM if they don’t want to stay for dinner and the Learning Session.

Day 1:

  • 8: OSE Introduction
  • Morning: How to Design and Build a 3D Printer. Materials Organization and Beginning of Build. Distributive Enterprise and Design Challenges. Applications of the 3D Printer Construction Set. Beginning of build.
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon: Afternoon Build Session. Documentation: Producing a 3D Printer Design and Build Guide in Scribus. Control Software and Calibration for the 3D Printer Construction Set. Electronics Build. First Prints. Design Software for the 3D Printer Construction Set. Review and Discussion


Early Bird Registration: $400 (does not include taking a 3D printer home with you)

Early Bird Admission ends on December 2, 2016 at 7 PM CST USA time. The registration is $500 after that.

2-for-1 Discount:Take advantage of our 2-for-1 offer and bring a family member or friend with you for free.

3D Printer Parts Kit: Build your own 3D printer during the workshop.

Group Rate: Email us if you would like to bring a group.

Remote Participation: To make the learnings from this event accessible remotely – we will be connected via a Google Hangout web connection – so you can listen to all the presentations via a screenshare, and so you can observe the main build area throughout the process. You will be welcome to ask questions throughout the event – so that this would be as close as possible to the real build without you actually being at the workshop. The cost is $120 for this option (does not include the 3D printer kit).

True Fans of OSE: As supporting members of OSE, True Fans receive a 25% discount on all of our workshops. Email us for redemption details. You can sign up as a True Fan now to become eligible for the True Fans discount on future workshops.

Sponsor another participant or Donate to OSE: We are a nonprofit organization with 501(c)3 status. You can make tax-deductible contributions to us. Sponsor $400 or $500 to fund attendance of someone who is on the waiting list for financial assistance by making a donation.

Workshop fee does not include food, but snacks will be provided. You will be responsible for your accommodations during this 2 day workshop.

Payment Options: PayPal, Credit Card, Dwolla, Bitcoin, Check, Money Order, Wire Transfer, or Cash

Registration for the choices above is found on Eventbrite, but Eventbrite accepts only PayPal or Credit Card. If you would like to pay by other means you can select that option at Eventbrite, but then you have to submit your payment independently of Eventbrite. We accept Dwolla, Bitcoin, Check, Money Order, or Cash. Your registration is complete upon receipt of payment. If you pay with Dwolla – Dwolla charges lower transaction costs than PayPal. If you are paying by Dwolla, register at Eventbrite and select the Dwolla option, then pay independently via Dwolla (Dwolla is not currently integrated into Eventbrite). Use Open Source Ecology or ops@opensourceecology.org as the Dwolla recipient. Bitcoin is a decentralized payment system. You can pay via a bitcoin amount translated by the current bitcoin exchange rate on the day that you register. OSE’s Bitcoin Address is 166yC48RakrZdtsBj36vY9q29CpzknHbxY. If you are paying by check, please make checks payable to Open Source Ecology. Our mailing address is OSE, 909 SW Willow Rd, Maysville, MO 64469. For mailings, please write “3D Printer Workshop” in the memo line on your check. For wire transfers, please email us at ops@opensourceecology.org for further directions.

Cancellation Policy
If you need to cancel for any reason, we will be happy to (a) transfer you credit towards another workshop in the future; (b) substitute the name on your ticket and have a friend take your place.

Registration on Eventbrite

Please use the the Eventbrite form below to pay with PayPal/credit card. Eventbrite charges a 6% fee on top of the ticket price.

Hamburg, Germany Workshop Registration:

Ghent, Belgium Workshop Registration:


  1. Trane DePriest

    I am in Columbus, Ohio…What is the deadline for remote participation registration? Also, can you provide the parts list for the lower cost 3D printer build? Do you prefer purchasing of the parts through you, or may I shop the parts locally?

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  6. Esben Mortensen

    I have registred as a True Fan. How do I get the discount?