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Seed Factory http://www.seed-factory.org The next step for manufacturing Sun, 22 Jun 2014 18:09:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 Early 2014 Report http://www.seed-factory.org/news/early-2014-report/ http://www.seed-factory.org/news/early-2014-report/#respond Sun, 04 May 2014 12:35:25 +0000 http://www.seed-factory.org/?p=302 I’ve posted a project status report for the first 4 months of 2014 to Wikibooks.  Previous reports can also be found on that page. Last year was the first year for the project, and was aimed at developing a technical … Continued

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I’ve posted a project status report for the first 4 months of 2014 to Wikibooks.  Previous reports can also be found on that page.

Last year was the first year for the project, and was aimed at developing a technical foundation for our ideas.  2014 is a transition year, as we move from ideas to the physical.  This centers around a research and development location near Atlanta.  We have started a search for a location and are developing an equipment list to outfit it with.  Other items to report include:

 

* Funding towards the R&D location is up about $6,000

* We are starting to get technical help from people besides myself

* I completed organizing the technical library.  It is backed up and available for project members to use.

* We further developed the distributed “MakerNet” concept, which lowers the start-up barrier.

* We are launching our web address (seed-factory.org).

 

Dani Eder

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Scaling http://www.seed-factory.org/factory/scaling/ http://www.seed-factory.org/factory/scaling/#respond Fri, 14 Feb 2014 02:35:26 +0000 http://www.seed.notbitcoin.com/?p=221 Produces parts for larger versions of existing equipment.

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Produces parts for larger versions of existing equipment.

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Replication http://www.seed-factory.org/factory/replication/ http://www.seed-factory.org/factory/replication/#respond Fri, 14 Feb 2014 02:34:23 +0000 http://www.seed.notbitcoin.com/?p=219 Produces copies of its own parts so as to eventually copy the entire set.

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Produces copies of its own parts so as to eventually copy the entire set.

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Diversification http://www.seed-factory.org/factory/diversification/ http://www.seed-factory.org/factory/diversification/#respond Fri, 14 Feb 2014 02:33:26 +0000 http://www.seed.notbitcoin.com/?p=217 Diversification in terms of manufacturing is essential for long term sustainability and continued use. Here is an example why this is important. In when resources run out or interests change this factory can change to meet the changing demand.  

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Diversification in terms of manufacturing is essential for long term sustainability and continued use.

Here is an example why this is important.

In when resources run out or interests change this factory can change to meet the changing demand.

 

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Starter Kits http://www.seed-factory.org/featured/starter-kits/ http://www.seed-factory.org/featured/starter-kits/#respond Sat, 08 Feb 2014 22:35:22 +0000 http://www.seed.notbitcoin.com/?p=152 The “Seed” part of a Seed Factory is a starter kit of automated machines.  They can help make useful products, and in addition make some of the parts to copy themselves, add new types of machines to the factory, or … Continued

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The “Seed” part of a Seed Factory is a starter kit of automated machines.  They can help make useful products, and in addition make some of the parts to copy themselves, add new types of machines to the factory, or make larger versions of what they already have.  A starter kit will not be able to make every kind of part or use every kind of material.  Whatever it cannot make itself will have to be supplied from outside.  As the factory grows over time, it can make more items internally, and need fewer items from outside sources.  So where does the starter kit come from, and what is in it?

The design of the starter kit depends on the mature factory you want it to grow into.  That includes where it will be built, who will operate it, and what products it will make.  We have identified four kinds of mature end-points so far: Community Factory, Industrial Factory, Distributed Production Network, and Remote Locations.  For each of these, we will identify smaller growth steps between starter and mature, and then what new machines need to be built in each step.  If you already have lots of automated factories, you can feed them the designs for a starter kit, and have it produced and delivered ready to start work.  However, that does not work for the first Seed Factory.  To build that first one, you need to use conventional tools.  So our project will be setting up a location with conventional workshop tools, where we can build and test prototype versions of the machines, and them make the designs available for other people to use.

Our designs are not finished yet, so we cannot say for certain what will be in a given starter kit.  We do have a preliminary list of items that are strong candidates, though.  That list is based on satisfying the basic factory functions, and flexibility to do multiple tasks.  We will describe these machines in more detail in later articles, but the current list and what they are used for is as follows:

(1) Solar Furnace – A concentrating solar furnace can supply heat to generate electricity, and for a wide variety of industrial processes that need heating.  In general you will have several such furnaces for different jobs, but the targets at the focus are designed to be swapped out to change jobs as needed.

(2) Modular Robotics – This consists of sets of mobile vehicles, robot arms, and detachable tools and implements.  In combination they can do the same variety of jobs that farm tractors, construction machines, and factory robots can do.  The robot arms can also be installed in stationary locations or moving gantries within a factory.

(3) Process Plant – Many products need physical or chemical changes made to the raw materials.  This “machine” consists of simple modular units that perform one task each (grinding, mixing, drying, etc.), and flexible connectors between them to move items from one step to the next.  As a whole, the process plant can be programmed with a “recipe” for a given product.

(4) Bridge Mill – This is one of three basic parts-making machines.  A bridge mill moves a horizontal beam (the bridge) vertically, while a sliding table moves forward and back underneath, and a tool head moves sideways across the bridge.  This gives three axes of motion (XYZ).  In our design, the tool head can be swapped out to do different things (milling, 3D printing, etc.)

(5) Lathe – This machine rotates the workpiece with a powered spindle, and then a tool is applied to it.  Lathes are most useful making round parts.  Our version has a 4-rail bed.  The main spindle and workpiece supports are over one pair of rails, while different types of tool holders slide along the second parallel pair.

(6) Hydraulic Press – This consists of lower and upper slotted plates for mounting a variety of attachments, sturdy posts at the corners for the upper plate to slide along and keep it parallel to the bottom plate, and one or more powerful hydraulic cylinders to drive the upper plate down.  The attachments allow molding, shearing, rolling, bending, and shaping.

(7) Electrical Shop – Many products need electrical and electronic parts.  This “machine” consists of devices to produce circuit boards and electrical chassis, and then robotic installation of a variety of parts from inventory.

(8) Modular Building – The building provides protection from weather for most of the other machines, plus storage and assembly areas.  It also includes gantries and cranes for moving heavy items, and utilities connections.  Since the factory will be expanding, the building is modular so it can be easily added to.

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Thank you Bitcoin http://www.seed-factory.org/bitcoin/thank-bitcoin/ http://www.seed-factory.org/bitcoin/thank-bitcoin/#respond Tue, 28 Jan 2014 06:36:09 +0000 http://www.seed.notbitcoin.com/?p=97 Thank you bitcoin community for helping make this project happen. Not only did we achieve our goal but we doubled it from a very generous individual . The project we are undertaking is huge and but this was a big … Continued

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Thank you bitcoin community for helping make this project happen. Not only did we achieve our goal but we doubled it from a very generous individual . The project we are undertaking is huge and but this was a big step forward and is really making this project possible.

starbitcoin

We raised a total of 20 BTC for the project.

 

As the project progresses we will be updating you here.

https://bitcoinstarter.com/projects/18

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What is a Seed Factory? http://www.seed-factory.org/featured/seed-factory/ http://www.seed-factory.org/featured/seed-factory/#respond Mon, 27 Jan 2014 07:18:56 +0000 http://www.seed.notbitcoin.com/?p=92 The Seed Factory Project is a new kind of production system with an ultimate goal of ending material scarcity and bringing about a better quality of life for everyone.  The “Seed” is a starter kit of about 8 different machines … Continued

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The Seed Factory Project is a new kind of production system with an ultimate goal of ending material scarcity and bringing about a better quality of life for everyone.  The “Seed” is a starter kit of about 8 different machines that grows into a mature factory, in the same way a plant seed grows into a mature plant.  Living plants use local energy (sunlight) and local raw materials (soil, water, and air) to expand themselves.  Similarly, a Seed Factory will use local energy (solar, wind, and other renewable sources) and local raw materials to expand itself and make everyday things. 

seed

Seed growing to a plant

Each part of the factory contributes to several goals:

  1. Producing a variety of products people need and want
  2. Replicating existing parts
  3. Producing new parts to diversify or enlarge output

The design concept follows modern sustainability principles.  Using local resources to produce the products eliminates multiple stages of shipping items over long distances.  Because of this we are able to eliminate much of the energy and excess packaging in conventional production and final delivery. Using a large amount of renewable energy (solar, wind, and biofuel) drastically reduces the footprint of producing and distributing these items.

 

Low cost and efficiency are not only about the products, they are also about expanding and maintaining the factory itself. Many of the parts that the mature factory uses will be made by the seed kit, and the growing assortment of expansion equipment added to it over time.  Since the factory can copy its own parts, it can make spares and replacements as needed.  These feature make the factory inexpensive to build, repair or even copy itself (for the most part).

 

The final piece of the puzzle is computer-driven automation.  Since multiple stages of production are gathered in one area, you can not only automate each process, but also handing off items from one step to the next.  Automation also increases productivity (more stuff for less human work).  By leveraging all these advantages, Seed Factories should be much cheaper and more efficient than conventional factories.  If a mature factory is able to produce more starter kits, the number of factories can grow to whatever level required to satisfy people’s material needs. This is especially helpful in parts of the world that lack basic needs. Note that at current levels of technology, we don’t expect to reach 100% automation or be able to make 100% of parts internally. We expect we can reach high percentages of these, but still need some human labor, complex parts and materials.


We began the Seed Factory Project because we think automation and robotics is at a level where such factories are now possible. The benefits to humanity are so large as to make the effort worthwhile. Our goal is to develop the technology, build working prototypes, and demonstrate that self-expanding factories in fact work.

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