Power Cube Workshop

July 10-12, 2015

Maysville, Missouri, USA

Build Yourself. Build Your World.

This 3 day workshop – led by Marcin Jakubowski, founder of Open Source Ecology (OSE) – and Thomas Griffing, OSE Power Cube Lead Developer, shows how Extreme Manufacturing techniques are used to build a complete Power Cube – in One Day.

Workshop immersion involves concept and practice, and includes crash courses on key elements of fabrication, hydraulic power unit design, CAD, open source hardware documentation, and open enterprise models. As a participant, you will be helping us to test the OSE collaborative production model, which we see as the future of bringing production and skills back to communities.

The three day workshop includes a one day build of the structural Power Cube – a 28 horsepower, hydraulic power unit. The first day includes crash courses in welding, torching, and other tool use. The build will involve fabrication followed by assembly. The workshop features use of OSE’s open source machines – including the open source 20-ton hole puncher and ironworker machine. OSE’s open source CNC Torch Table will be used for the first time in a workshop setting. This workshop is intended for people interested in immersion, hands-on skills training and practical results. This immersion course may be especiallay useful to people who would like to build their own machines, such that they can maintain them for a lifetime.

We will use structural steel tubing which creates a structural frame around the Power Cube (note that the video above uses angle, not tubing, for the frame). This allows the Power Cube to be used standalone or as part of another machine. We will also be running a MicroTractor workshop right after the Power Cube workshop – where participants build a MicroTractor using the Power Cube as a core, structural component. See the MicroTractor announcement. Further, we will build a charcoal gasifier after the MicroTractor workshop – so that the Power Cube, or MicroTractor – can be run on locally-produced, carbon-negative biomass resources.

We are inviting those individuals who are interested in building their own Power Cube – or entrepreneurs interested in starting a business. OSE’s goal is to create open, collaborative, ethical enterprise ecosystems that accelerate innovation towards a better world. We are also inviting dedicated documenters to participate in documenting the build.

The overall workshop is designed for people interested in transitioning from Zero to Maker – but is also full of learning for those with experience. 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 if appropriate.

This is the first OSE workshop where participants can purchase and build their own 28 hp Power Cube kits (limit of 8 kit builds).

As a bonus, we are also screening a pre-release of a documentary film on one of OSE’s collaborations, Reversing the Mississippi.

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.

  • Weekend Workshop (July 10-12): Design, Build, and Get Skills.
  • Documentation Track (July 10-12): Document for replicability.

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



  • Marcin Jakubowski was trained as a fusion physicist. He left academia right after finishing his Ph.D. to start a farm – in Missouri. 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.
  • Thomas Griffing has a background in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Technical Writing and Hydraulics. He runs a small computer consulting business, instructs Tai Chi classes and also teaches “online” computer classes for a community college in Dallas. He has a farm in East Texas with a shop where he practices permaculture farming, works on projects of interest and sells Power Cube kits, parts and other items. He has also led OSE workshops on fabricating the Power Cube and Micro Power Cube. Tom Griffing is OSE’s Power Cube Lead and has been in Power Cube development since 2011.

Learning Outcomes

  • Design for fabrication, scalability, and flexibility
  • Frame construction
  • Computer-aided design – FreeCAD basics, warehouse parts for design, and file manipulation for documentation purposes
  • Computer manufacturing file generation
  • Basic Mechanical Design Calculations
  • Fundamentals of hydraulic system design
  • Basics of safety engineering
  • Power/fluid flow calculations for horsepower and hydraulic fluid power
  • Workshop and workflow design
  • Fundamentals of welding and custom fabrication – drilling, metal shearing, shop press, other tools
  • Use of MIG welder, torch, and angle grinders
  • Using the open source holepuncher, ironworker, CNC Torch Table
  • Parallel build techniques
  • Collaborative cloud editing, use of wiki
  • Collaborative data collection, video, and picture uploads
  • FreeCAD documentation basics
  • Realtime video and instructional production


Note: schedule is being refined and may change slightly.

Day 1 – Introduction and Crash Courses
  • 8AM: Workshop Introduction, OSE Presentation, Site Tour
  • 9:30AM: Introduction to the Power Cube Design and Hydraulics
  • 10:30AM: Break
  • 11AM: Using FreeCAD for viewing design, Documentation Procedures, Contributing to OSE Development
  • 12:00PM: Safety and Workshop Introduction
  • 1-2PM: Lunch
  • 2-5PM: Workshop + custom fabrication tools training. Welding, torching, grinding, drilling, CNC Torch Table. Making sample parts. Understanding small engines. Understanding hydraulics. Engine electrical systems. Measurement and data collection.
  • 5-6:30PM: Dinner
  • 6:30-7:30PM: Build Workflow and Quality Control Presentation. Team Role Allocation.
  • Day 2 – Power Cube Extreme Manufacturing
  • 8AM-Noon: Extreme Build: Parts Inventory and Layout; Pre-cutting; Fabrication
  • Noon-1PM: Lunch
  • 1PM-5PM: Extreme Build:Assembly; Quality Control Checklist
  • 5-5:30: Workshop Cleanup
  • 5:30-6:30: Dinner
  • 6:30-8:30: Movie Night Bonus – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QptwPscErCY“>Reversing the Mississippi – a pre-release screening of a documentary on the collaboration and tractor build with the OSE and Our School at Blair Grocery projects.
  • Day 3 – Finishing + Testing + Data Collection
  • 8AM-Noon: Finishing assembly, Filling fluids. Measuring RPM, Hydraulic Flow, Temperature, and Pressure. Adjusting the control panel. Powering OSE’s machines: welder, ironworker, LifeTrac open source tractor
  • 1PM-5PM: Stacking 2 or more Power Cubes for Combined Power
  • 5-6:30PM: Dinner
  • 6:30-7:30PM:Discussion, Feedback, and Closing
  • Workshop Start and Contingencies

    The workshop starts at 8 AM sharp on Saturday morning. Presentations and workshop activity will continue rain or shine. In the event of bad weather, we will do what we can in terms of the site tour. If rainy weather is in the forecast, please bring rain gear.


    Registration Fee for 3-day Workshop: $350

    Power Cube kit: If you are interested in taking a Power Cube home, you can pay ~$2500 in parts – (in addition to Registration Fee). Please email us if you would like to do this. Must purchase 30 days prior to workshop.

    Registration Fee for Documentation Track (3 days): $250

    Sponsor another participant: Sponsor $350 to fund attendance of someone who is on the waiting list for financial assistance.

    Discounts for Students and Low Income Individuals: If you are a student or in need, your cost is 50% off for any of the options. If this is still beyond your means, we can consider Work Exchange, where you arrive a day early to help with cleanup. You pay a deep discounted rate of $15/day. Email us for details.

    2-for-1 Discounts: Select 1 or 2 day option, and bring a family member or friend with you for free.

    Group Rate: If you can bring a group of 3 or more people including you – we can give you a discount.

    True Fans of OSE: As supporting members of OSE, True Fans receive a 25% discount on all of our workshops – on top of the discounts above. 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 with 501(c)3 status. You can make tax-deductible contributions to us.

    Workshop fee includes workshop tuition. We can pick you up from the airport, Kansas City International (about an hour away). Participants may secure a hotel in Cameron, Missouri, (15 miles away). Participants are also welcome to camp at Factor e Farm. We have a camping location which includes a composting toilet. Showers and a bathroom are located in our main house, HabLab. Meals will be done as a combination of catered dinner and potluck lunch. For lunch – bring your own or bring some to share. OSE will provide continental breakfast and make-your-own sandwiches for lunch. A kitchen is available for basic food preparation. We also have a swimming pool that is open during daylight hours for relaxation.

    Payment Options: PayPal, Credit Card, Dwolla, Bitcoin, Check, Money Order, 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 will be confirmed upon receipt of payment. Please make checks payable to Open Source Ecology. Our mailing address is OSE, 909 SW Willow Rd, Maysville, MO 64469. For mailings, please write “Miracle Workshop” along with number of days on your instrument of payment.

    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 another Power Cube workshop in the future; (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 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.

    Pay with Bitcoin

    Bitcoin is a decentralized payment system. You can pay via bitcoin for your particular choice via a bitcoin amount translated by the current bitcoin exchange rate on the day that you register. OSE’s Bitcoin Address is 166yC48RakrZdtsBj36vY9q29CpzknHbxY

    Pay with Paypal / Credit Card

    To pay with paypal/credit card, please use the the Eventbrite form below. Eventbrite charges a 6% fee on top of the ticket price.

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