Brick Press Workshop

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June 17-19 , 2014

Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, USA

Build Yourself. Build Your World.

This 3 day workshop – led by Marcin Jakubowski, founder of Open Source Ecology (OSE) – shows how Extreme Manufacturing techniques are used to build a complete, automated Compressed Earth Brick (CEB) Press in One Day. Workshop immersion involves concept and practice, and includes crash courses on key elements of design, fabrication, CAD, microcontrollers, hydraulics, open documentation, and open enterprise models. We are inviting entrepreneurs interested in creating Distributive Enterprise: radically open, libre, collaborative, ethical enterprise ecosystems that accelerate innovation. We are also inviting dedicated documentors to participate in documenting the build. As a participant, you will be helping us to improve the machine and produce documentation – to realize viral replicability of our libre hardware.

The overall workshop is designed for people interested in transitioning from Zero to Maker. We will build the complete machine from scratch, with CNC cut parts as the starting material. Most of the build will involve welding, followed by assembly. We will also build the automated controller, and assemble the hydraulic system from components. This workshop is intended for people interested in immersion, hands-on training – and for those who want to: build, build with, or create enterprises around – the CEB Press.

We are glad to be collaborating with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association in co-organizing this event. It will be held at the Mid-State Technical College facility. We will swarm on this build – as an exciting experience that is both social and productive – using 14 MIG welders that will be available during the event. Can’t weld? We’ll give you a crash course. This course assumes no prior skills outside of general body awareness. Some people will be given documentation tasks as appropriate.

If you can’t attend the workshop because you need financial assistance, email us and we will put you on the waiting list. We will select you if a Sponsor provides funding.

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

Learning Outcomes

  • Modular design, test-driven development, and parallel development
  • Design for fabrication, scalability, and lifetime design
  • Computed-aided design – basics of Sketchup and FreeCAD
  • Generation of computer manufacturing files
  • Basic Mechanical Design
  • Fundamentals of hydraulic system design
  • Basics of safety engineering
  • Workshop and workflow design
  • Fundamentals of metal fabrication: welding, torching, and more
  • Electronics assembly
  • Prototyping with a 3D printer
  • Paralle build techniques
  • Hydraulic systems
  • Use of measurement tools, such as temperature and pressure sensors
  • Collaborative editing of documentation using wikis and cloud-based documents
  • Use of Sketchup and FreeCAD for documentation
  • Using Trovebox, YouTube, Blender, and OpenShot for real-time multimedia documentation and instructionals


Typical Daily Schedule

9AM-Noon : Morning Session
Noon : Break for Lunch
1-5PM : Afternoon Session

Note: schedule is being refined and may change slightly.

Day 1 – Introduction, Crash Courses, and Build Beginning
  • 9AM: Introduction, goals, methods, documentation.
  • 11AM: Crash course in metal fabrication.
  • 1PM: Laying out materials and preparing for the build.
  • 2-5PM: Machine build with 14 teams in parallel.
Day 2 – Build
  • 9AM: Machine assembly. Documentation Team produces step-by-step instructionals.
  • 1-5: Machine calibration, first run.
Day 3 – Finishing, Data Collection, Build Review, and Enterprise Discussion
  • 9AM-Noon: Testing and Data Collection. Initial break-in, measurement of compressive strength. Sample brick pressing, production rate measurements, compressive strength testing
  • 1-5: Economic analysis of open hardware. Workshop Model of education and production. Housing production. Distributive Enterprise.


Please plan on arriving to start at 9 AM sharp each day. Refreshments will be provided. We recommend that you bring your own lunch. After the day is over, participants typically go out to dinner together. Participants are expected to cover their own lodging. This is a prelude to the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair, which begins on June 20. Marcin will be giving a keynote presentation at the Fair on June 20, and the machine produced in this workshop will be demonstrated at the Fair.


Registration Fee for 3-day Workshop: $420
Registration Fee for a Single Day: $150
Sponsor another participant: Sponsor $420 to fund attendance of someone who is on the waiting list for financial assistance.
True Fans of OSE: Receive a 25% discount on all of our workshops. If you are not yet a True Fan, you can sign up as a True Fan now to become eligible for the True Fans discount on future workshops.

Donate to OSE: We are a nonprofit organization. You can make tax-deductible contributions to us.

If you would like to attend but cannot afford the admission, we can put you on the wait list. If the workshop does not fill up or if there is someone willing to cover your fee as a donor, we can accept you. Please email us.

Cancellation Policy
If for any reason you can’t attend a workshop you registered for we will be happy to (a) transfer you credit towards a future Brick Press workshop; (b) or equivalent credit towards any other other OSE workshop; (c) substitute the name on your ticket and have a friend take your place.

Pay with Check

For payment with paypal/credit card see below. If you’d rather pay with a check, fill out this form. Please make checks payable to Open Source Ecology, and mail them to PO Box 442, Maysville, MO 64469. Write “April CEB Workshop” along with the type of signup in the memo line.

Pay with Paypal / Credit Card

To pay with paypal/credit card, please use the the Eventbrite form below. Note that Eventbrite charges a fee for the service in addition to the workshop fee – if you wish to avoid this, see check payment instructions above.

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