Dear True Fans: Construction Shall Move Forward

Dear True Fans, thanks for your support. The Recovery Plan for continuing construction has yielded $15k in 3 days of crowd funding, and we are 75% of our goal. Chip in if you haven’t:

(Others have made direct donations) There are 4 days left in the Chip In, which will be taken down on Sep. 15. Yes, construction will go on.

See the updated video on our construction and 10 living units:


and more videos on David Ihnen’s YouTube channel.

Our goal is superinsulated housing at $2 per square foot using primarily local materials. How? We have huge progress on the world’s first, open source dimensional sawmill:

See more info on the Dimensional Sawmill wiki page. Basically: the materials cost for this is $3k, and industry standard machines cost $35k for this performance. Plus, it can be automated fully with Arduino for about $1.5k more.

Cutting our own lumber is realistic for this season. Plus, we are preparing to bale hay with the hay baler you saw in the video above. Add CEB floors – and we’ve got floors, walls, roof, and insulation covered – from local materials – using our CEB press, tractor, open source sawmill, and industry standard baler which we are studying for open-sourcing.

Meet David Ihnen, responsible for designing and managing the Replicable Habitat (RepHab) platform that we’re developing:

Thanks to David’s countless hours, we are closer to a comfortable living/working infrastructure at Factor e Farm.

Moreover, on the 15th, we’re planning to spawn our Kickstarter campaign to go the Last Mile on this construction toolkit – namely extensive field testing of our methods and full documentation – to deliver this as part of our Christmas Gift to the World.

The above is all good, but as always, there are snags in the way. One is the CEB controller – I have been unable to secure more controller boards from the Detroit Fab Lab, so we are moving back to our former, more cumbersome design, at a loss of about 3 days – which we can’t afford because winter is coming. This reinforces, once again, the need to be in control of our supply chain – in this case the CNC circuit mill – and in general – developing a microfactory that produces everything, anywhere, on demand.

If anyone can help us build the CNC circuit mill with which we can mill the Detroit Fab Lab solenoid driver board, let us know. We need to add this to our capacity as we move towards our Christmas Gift to the World.

In the meantime, please pass on the Chip-In to your friends. The show goes on. Thanks for your support. I look forward to many replications of this work…

Check out this video from Brianna – she just completed her stay at Factor e Farm, and is asking you to chip in as well. She’s coming back in a few months after a semester at the institution.


  1. anon

    I think I probably saw this blog about 6 months ago, it’s amazing to see so much progress in this time. A lot of people think these kind of ideas/projects are just too idealogical and are doomed to failure.

    I’m glad to see this project proving skeptics wrong.

  2. Marcin

    Dear True Fans and Supporters – Major Success – $19.7k of $20k as of 2 PM, Sep. 15, 2011, a little under 7 days from emergency campaign start.

  3. dukejer

    I saw the video with Margaret Ida and the HabLab. You can use a Rocket Stove Mass Heater to heat the HabLab which works like a masonry Stove but less expensive and would also tie into the CEB press.
    See and and watch?v=hmYaIrHRMLM?.