Open Source Microfactory Build Camp – September 2020

6 Days over 3 Weekends starting September 19, 2020

September 19-20, September 26-27, and October 3-4

Happening as a remote event, where we can ship build kits to participants in the USA.

Build Yourself. Build Your World.

Did you ever want to design or build something, but did not know where to start? We are pleased to announce the Open Source Microfactory Build Camp – where you have a chance to build a 3D printer from scratch, where you learn basic electronics and coding as you build a microcontroller from scratch, and build a 3D printed 3 phase electric motor – which you will print with the 3D printer that you built. During all of this, you will have a chance to develop basic proficiency in FreeCAD for 3D design, KiCad for circuit design, Arduino for programming, and 3D printing as you learn to design and print anything that you can imagine. You will learn how to engage in large scale collaborative design. Our focus is on practical skills training and the development of real, open source products. It will take a critical mass of open source producers to reinvent the economy – based on open source microfactories and distributed production.

How It Works

Due to COVID, we are doing a 100% remote event, where we ship build kits to participants. Participation is online via video calls. There are presentations, build sessions, question/answer, and we may collaborate on some designs. Participants can sign up for any of the 6 days just for the Student track, or can take on the Builder track. The Student track is just learning but no builds, unless the participants get materials. We have kits available for sale, which we can ship but only in the USA. For international participation, there are shipping complications – so international participants would have to source parts themselves if they would like to participate in the builds. All of our bills of materials (BOMs) are detailed below. We publish all of our information openly, and the parts can be sourced from common, off-the shelf sources such as hardware stores or Amazon. While the BOMs are intended to be transparent – of course it will take some time to source parts. We are selling our build kits at cost.

Typically, we run on-site events. This is a promo for the on-site events so you can get a feeling for the nature of the physical event. The remote version now will be similar, minus the direct human contact. We will return to on-site events after COVID passes.

The Program

The program is a deep dive into making things: put on your eyewear and get ready to build. It’s a program for the motivated newbie. The experiments are intended to produce real products at the end. The 3D printer can be used to produce parts or larger 3D printers. The Arduino microcontroller clone – the OSEno – is intended to be used for real applications – such as a 3-phase motor speed controller in future build camps. The FreeCAD and KiCad lessons get you to practical design. The geardowns are powerful, and 3D printed 3-phase motor is actually estimated to be 80% efficient out of the box because it is brushless – without any optimization – so this is a solid foundation for a practical open source motor/generator. The skills you will learn are intended to create industrial productivity on a small scale, as we transition to distributed, open source micro-factories powered by the people in a more democratic world.

No skills? No problem. If you see a purpose in learning this material, you will be able to grasp it.

The details of the curriculum are at the OSE wiki – September 2020 Steam Camp Program page.

Open Source Microfactory Parts Kits

Each weekend involves a build kit. This kit of parts can be purchased from OSE, or sourced independently. Or, it can be avoided if one just wants to participate in the lessons. While the information presented is useful, one can learn much more by doing the actual builds – so we recommend securing the parts or kits. The detailed bills of materials for each kit are:

  • 3D Printer Bill of Materials
  • Electronics Bill of Materials
  • Mechanics and 3D Printed Electric Motor Bill of Materials
  • In addition to the parts kits, participants who are doing build will need basic hand tools such as wrenches, a soldering iron, pliers, cutters, sand paper, etc, where we will send out a detailed list upon registration. Further, participants in the 3D printed aspects of the program will need to secure 3D printing filament, as the 3D printer kit comes only with a starter sample, and not sufficient for project printing in the rest of the event.


    Marcin Jakubowski
    Event facilitator

    Marcin was trained as a fusion physicist. He left academia right after finishing his Ph.D. to start a farm – in Missouri – and founded Open Source Ecology. For the last 10 years, he has been working on the Global Village Construction Set – now 1/3 complete – 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 and Global Village Construction Set Ted Talk:

    Mitch Altman
    Event facilitator

    Mitch Altman is a San Francisco-based hacker and inventor, best known for inventing TV-B-Gone, as featured speaker at hacker conferences, as international expert on the hackerspace movement, and for teaching introductory electronics workshops. He is also Chief Scientist and CEO of Cornfield Electronics. In October 2008 he co-founded Noisebridge, which was probably the third hackerspace formed in the US. Since then, Altman has traveled extensively, encouraging the formation of hackerspaces, holding panels and workshops on depression, teaching introductory electronics workshops to people of all ages and visiting electronics enthusiast groups around the world.


    Registration deadline for the 3D printer build is midnight, Friday, September 4, 2020. You can still register for Mitch Altman’s session only – on Arduino and Microcontrollers – up until the event.

    Registration Options
    • Student  – $25/day: There are 6 days total, and you can sign up for any of the days – anywhere from 1 to 6 days. When you register, type in the number of days, and we will follow up on which days you chose. This is tuition only – you will have to secure the kits/materials if you want to do the builds.
    • Builder – $150/one weekend: Only applies to the second (electronics) or third week (3D printed electric motor weekend). This will get you tuition + materials for the second or third week. Choose either or both weekends. When you register, type in 2 to secure both weekends. Note that for the 3D Printed Motor Weekend – you will need to print the parts for the electric motor before the 3rd weekend with your 3D printer (D3D Universal or any other printer, though ours uses a 1.2 mm nozzle so it should be 3x faster), as you will have to perfect your printer, printing skills, and it takes a day to print the parts. Note that you will also need some hand tools, and spools of 3D printing filament if you want to print the projects involved in the 3rd weekend.
    • Full Event  – $899/full event: Includes all 6 days, and kits for all the 6 days. The D3D Universal (v2) 3D printer kit is included in this package.
    • Donate to OSESponsor another participant or Donate to OSE: We are a nonprofit organization with 501(c)3 status, and you can make tax-deductible contributions to us. You can fund attendance of someone who is on the waiting list for financial assistance. We receive low-income assistance requests for all of our workshops. Sponsor by paying the quantity on the order form below. Please email us at that you are sponsoring someone else. We can send you a tax deduction receipt (US customers only). You can also donate via BitCoin:

    Bitcoin Address: ”’166yC48RakrZdtsBj36vY9q29CpzknHbxY”’

    Payment Options: PayPal, Check, eCheck Bitcoin, Money Order, or Wire Transfer

    To register, we use Eventzilla (below) – which accepts PayPal or eCheck options. Using the eCheck option (bank routing + account number) avoids the 3% PayPal fee. To avoid fees, you can send a check to Open Source Ecology, 909 SW Willow Rd, Maysville, MO 64469. We can also accept Bitcoin and and wire transfers. Email us at info at for additional instructions.

    All sales are final, as we are making significant material purchases in preparation for this camp. In case of the unlikely events such as weather or civil unrest, we plan to postpone the event until a more favorable date.

    After registering below, please contact info-at-opensourceecology-dot-org to let us know which event you’d like to attend.


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


    We – the countless collaborators upon whose shoulders the OSE vision stands – imagine a world of innovation accelerated by open, collaborative development – to solve wicked problems. We see a world of prosperity that doesn’t leave anyone behind. We envision a world of collaborative design for a transparent and inclusive economy of abundance – and our workshops contribute to this mission. See what others are saying:

    Your project is amazing. Thrilling, actually… It’s people like you who really give me hope for the future.
    — Chris Anderson, TED Curator

    Interesting ideas. I don’t know of anything quite like it.
    — Noam Chomsky

    This project is truly inspiring, I’ve rarely seen such a purposeful way to react to the challenge our civilisation is facing. Thank you so much for contributing to the world in such a thoughtful way.
    — Pascal Gingras, from a 3D printer build workshop

    Had a really enriching experience. Thank you for doing what you do here.
    — Dustin Hall, from a Tractor build workshop

    Overall, I had a great experience. I think some frustration and difficulty is a prerequisite for true learning, and had that expectation going in. I learned a TON! I was able to get several friends excited about the project, and foresee us participating in future build workshops, and hopefully becoming hosts as some point.
    — Jeremy Drost, from USA STEAM Camp

    Great concept, great work. Thanks for doing this, it helped me a lot!
    — Holger Kienle, from Belgium STEAM Camp


    What preparations should I make prior to attending the live event? Make sure that you have a working laptop with mouse and internet connection. Make sure that your computer can run OSE Linux – the software suite of FreeCAD, Cura, Arduino Environment, KiCad, etc. Registration includes a copy of OSE Linux – so just make sure that it runs on your computer or adjust otherwise.

    What are the technical requirements for participating? You will need a working laptop with mouse and internet connection. For software requirements – you will need to run OSE Linux. You can either download OSE Linux v1.0 and make a live USB – or wait until you receive your copy. Prepare before the event – as we simply will not have time to troubleshoot software issues related to OSE Linux during the event. If you are not able to run the necessary software, your experience will be limited.

    What are the technical requirements for participating remotely? You need to have a decent internet connection, as we will be streaming video from the live event. A webcam is useful so we can see you. For software requirements – you can either download OSE Linux v1.0 and make a live USB – or wait until you receive your Dev Kit, about a week before the STEAM Camp. The Dev Kit includes a copy of OSE Linux v1.0. kit, so you should make sure prior to the event that you can run the OSE Linux. We strongly recommend that you test OSE Linux v1.0 before the event – as we simply will not have time to troubleshoot software issues related to OSE Linux during the event. If you are not able to run the necessary software, your experience will be limited.

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