MicroCar Workshop

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August 1-3, 2014

Factor e Farm – Maysville MO, USA

Build Yourself. Build Your World.

This 3-day workshop – led by Yann Lischetti, founder and lead engineer of Velocar; and Marcin Jakubowski, founder of Open Source Ecology – engages workshop participants in a complete, rapid, hands-on build of the Velocar – a high-performance, tilting, electric trike. The Velocar is Open Source Ecology’s first prototype of the tilting microcar – one of the 50 tools of the Global Village Construction Set. Velocar is a minimalist machine, with a top speed of 100 km/hr, range of 100 km (extensible by that much with each additonal 5kg battery pack), an equivalent mileage efficiency of over 1000 mpg, and human power assist. With its radical design-for-simpicity, the Velocar is designed to provide 80% of personal mobility needs at 20% of conventional costs.

The central activity of the workshop is the construction of the complete Velocar, without aeroshell, including a build of carbon fiber wheels and other precision components. The workshop features immersion, experiential learning reinforced by concepts of eco-design, flexible fabrication, super-efficient automotive design, and mechatronics. Extreme Manufacturing concepts of parallel design and prefabrication are applied to achieve a rapid build. Philosophy of open source development is also covered, and the participants become not just builders – they become active collaborators in the MicroCar evolution.

For the workshop, we are building upon the past 2 years of design effort to produce the first functional alpha prototype. We intend to include the Velocar as part of OSE’s working mobility infrastructure. For the build, we are using off-shelf components and machining the remaining parts. Our goal is to develop techniques for distributed production of Velocar, including open-sourcing of critical components such as the electric motor and control system – and eventually – the ball bearing.

Our goal is to build a Construction Set – for the most replicated MicroCar in the world – using libre technology and open collaboration.

*Registration options:

  • 3 Day Workshop: $225. Workshop starts at 3 PM on Friday, August 1, 2014. Early Bird Discount of 20% applies if you sign up by Friday, July 25, 6:30 PM.
  • 1 Day Workshop: Participate in any single day at $75/day. Early Bird Discount applies as well.

The program includes pickup from the airport (Kansas City International), lunch and dinner, and an option to camp on site. Otherwise, you are responsible for your accommodations – hotels are found 15 miles away in nearby Cameron, Missouri. Bring full-bodied clothing suitable for a workshop, eye protection, and work boots.

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

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

Learning Outcomes

  • Fundamentals of super-efficient vehicle design and human-hybrid drive
  • Carbon fiber composites
  • Tilt-steering mechanisms
  • Modular design, design-for-simplicity, and design-for-fabrication
  • Battery system and power management
  • Open source development philosophy
  • Mold making for carbon fiber layup
  • Build techniques of precision and high performance parts
  • Suspension and tilt mechanism
  • Light-weight structural frame building
  • Electric motor and battery system
  • Light-weight wheel and brake systems
  • Collaborative editing of documentation using wikis, cloud-based documents, and Rizzoma
  • Use of FreeCAD for documentation
  • Using Trovebox and YouTube for real-time multimedia documentation and instructionals


3 Day Schedule

Arrival: Please plan on arriving no later than 1 PM on Friday if you are getting picked up from the airport, or no later than 3 PM if you are arriving at Factor e Farm. The program starts at 3PM sharp.

3 PM, Friday: Program start. Introduction.
4 PM: Design of ultra-efficient vehicles. Collaborative Development methods.
5 PM: Carbon fiber layup workshop – hands-on build of a Velocar wheel.
7 PM: Dinner and social time

9-12 AM, Saturday: Introduction to fabrication and precision machining techniques for the Velocar. Production of several machined components.
1:30-6:30 PM: Disassembly of complete Velocar down to each component.
7 PM: Dinner and social time

9-12 AM, Sunday: Ground-up assembly of Velocar using both off-shelf and fabricated components. Documentation of build.
1:30-5:30 PM: Initial test drive, filming, and data collection.
5:30-6:30 PM: Design review, documentation of improvement suggestions.
7 PM: The Last Supper and Celebration.


Registration Fee for 3-Day Workshop: $225
3 Day Option – Early Bird Discount – register by Friday, July 25, 6:30 PM: $180, or 20% off, any of the full 3 Day workshop options. Use Promo Code EarlyBird on the Eventbrite registration site.
Registration Fee for any single Day: $75.
Student and Low Income Discounts: Work exchange is available if you arrive on site early.
2-for-1 Discounts: Select any option, and bring a family member or friend with you for free. Email us to let us know who you are bringing.
Group Rate: If you can bring a group of 3 or more people with you – your total cost is $450. Early Bird discount applies.
True Fans of OSE: Receive a 25% discount on all of our workshops (on top of any other discounts). 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.

Please bring work boots and protective clothing.

Cancellation Policy
If for any reason you can’t attend a workshop you registered for we will be happy to (a) transfer your credit towards any future MicroCar 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 OSE, 909 SW Willow Rd, Maysville, MO 64469. Write “MicroCar Workshop” along with number of days 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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