CEB Machine Production: Rocket Fuel for Post-Scarcity Economic Development?

We have our first sale of The Liberator CEB press. Maureen, one of our True Fans, will get her hands on an automated version of The Liberator – The Liberator Beta v2.0. We are expecting 8-12 bricks per minute for this machine. We’ve also discussed collaborating on hands-on CEB construction workshops – which is especially attractive for a machine of this caliber. Thus, Maureen is both a supporter and co-developer of the CEB enterprise.

This marks a historic moment for free enterprise development (see last post for what we mean by free enterprise). To my knowledge, we are demonstrating the first case of free enterprise in the world for high-performance, economically-significant, modern technology. If you know of others, please let us know – and we’ll be quick to collaborate and push forward the frontiers of post-scarcity economics.

Our goal is to develop the CEB free enterprise to the point of $6-8k of earnings per week per person from an optimized production process. At best, that would mean that one could generate this much value from 40 hours of absolutely streamlined enterprise. Such earnings are well-proven in engineering and other production or design work. We aim to demonstrate the power of flexible fabrication for achieving the same – and creating a foundation for Industry 2.0. For us, that means that we would have the option to bootstrap-fund our post-scarcity, resilient community development toolkit.

We’ve got the open source collaboration working for us, as well as ethical support engendered by ‘giving it all away.’ Combined with simple design, optimized tooling, evolved fabrication ergonomics, and fabricator skill – we’re on a good footing for economic significance. This is not to mention that the potential market for housing is large. Also, this is not free lunch. It’s extreme performance, and it requires skill on many levels.

At about 72 million new people per year – the global market for new homes is conservatively $100 billion. This assumes $5k per house built.

How much of this market will CEB construction capture? Note that worldwide, earth construction is the building choice of about half the world’s population. If the market penetration of a low-cost ($5000 range) high-performance (10 bricks/min range) is 1 percent for all new construction, that’s still a $1 billion global market. These are just guesses. We can’t really assess the market share when disruptive economics are in play.

Now, who is interested in fabricating CEB presses? Contact us, and we’ll teach you, and you will teach us about how to teach. Or, you can get a CEB press right now for the next building season. The price structure for the automated version of the CEB press will be comparable to but higher than the manual Beta v1.0 release. See price structure in specifications.

Right now, we’re building a lathe and an ironworker machine to help with fabrication. On the ironworker – we’re looking for dies for the hole punching function and the thick metal shearing function. We’re looking for components for a 100 ton machine – sufficient for shearing 12 inch wide, 1/2″ steel, and punching holes about 1″ in diameter in 1″ metal. Machines like this cost over $10k. If we have the shearing element assembly and hole punching assembly, we can put together a machine like this for a few hundred dollars in parts. We have hydraulic power available, so it makes sense to build our own ironworker.


  1. Rob

    Maureen, we would like to hear of your experiences using the machine!

  2. […] we are still working on getting our first order of The Liberator high performance, open source, Compressed Earth Brick (CEB) press out the door. We […]

  3. […] are the initial CAD drawings for the CEB press, The Liberator Beta v2.0. You can download these drawing interchange format (dxf) files at the Open+Pario project […]

  4. Fabrication Ergonomics | Open Source Ecology

    […] took 11.5 hours to cut the steel for The Liberator Beta v2.0 open source, Compressed Earth Brick (CEB) press according to this cut list. This involved punching […]

  5. […] CEB automation for the Liberator Beta 2.0 open source CEB press builds on other open source projects. We are using: (1), power drivers from […]

  6. […] modest funding level is responsible for our modest results. We have just begun to tap the power of product sales with the CEB press, but it’s too early to tell what results this will bring. We should know […]

  7. […] Things are looking up on the fully automatic, open source, CEB press – The Liberator¬† Beta v2.0. […]

  8. […] field testing of The Liberator Beta v2.0 is complete. If you look back at the 8-12 brick per minute goals in the last link, you’ll […]

  9. […] existing physical and organizational infrastructure, if we had additional resources. We hope that CEB sales may provide such fuel to our operation, but we are not intending to monopolize production – as we have an open […]

  10. […] 2010. Design work is occurring in the background. We need to build another CEB press, since we sold our first one. We have had a number of apparently serious inquiries, but so far, no money has crossed the table. […]

  11. Robert

    I am interested in your Liberator-M machine
    what size of CEB does it make and what size of hopper does it have. The automatic machine would be to fast for my purposes–building a small adobe home in a dying rural town with no young work force and most of the work done by myself.
    Could you sent me more information to
    Robert/P.O. Box 186-Mills,NM 87730
    Also if you happen to have plans for the power pac–could I purchase these parts from a Northern catalog (16-20hp Kohler engine what size of hydraulic pump. Hard copy by USPS service would be best my comuter skills are lacking and I cannot download you CAD files.