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Open Source Bulldozer

A radically modular, multi-functional machine for construction and
agriculture.

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Taking Open Source Hardware to a new scale, the OSE Bulldozer will make serious earthmoving accessible to any community, enterprise or individual with access to a workshop and a few basic tools.

This machine is part of OSE's Global Village Construction Set (GVCS), a development project that aims to open source the 50 key technologies needed for a modern civilization, allowing for a radically decentralized and democratized economy. See my 2011 Ted Talk for more on this: http://www.ted.com/talks/marcin_jakubowski?language=en

The Bulldozer enables the earthworks needed for sustainable construction and regenerative agriculture, from grading roads to laying foundations, from building ponds to subsoil plowing. Costing 5 - 10 times less than commercial equivalents, this project will lower the very high barriers that exist to doing this kind of work.

We invite you to join us in creating the first Open Source Bulldozer: contribute to the development process here, or come build the first prototype with us in our upcoming workshop.

This project builds on the success of our Microtrac prototype, which forms the base module of the Bulldozer. You can get a taste of how we built it, download the CAD file, and see the results (moving 8,000 lbs in an initial test).

The OSE Bulldozer is:

Fully Open Source
- collaborative design, anyone can contribute
- full documentation released, including detailed instructionals that make replication a realistic option
- CC-BY-SA license

Meets or exceeds industry standards
- 18,000 lb torque
- 4.4 mph speed
- 168 hp

Radically modular
- for scalability: 2,000lb Microtractor base module is stacked to make a 13,000lb bulldozer
- for flexibility: add or exchange modules
- for interoperability: modules are shared by other machines in the GVCS

Fuel agnostic
- the PowerCube engine module can be built to run on any fuel
- we've already prototyped a charcoal gasifier which has successfully run the PowerCube on pyrolysed biomass from our farm

Easy to fabricate
- designed for manufacture with a minimal tool set
- built from simple assemblies of off-the-shelf parts

Designed for lifetime use
- all modules are accessible for repair or replacement.
- bolt-together, easily disassembled construction

Multi-functional
- unlimited potential to add new modules
- designed for easy attachment of new tools and functions anywhere on the machine

Part of a whole ecology of tools
- The GVCS includes Open Source versions of machines that can build the bulldozer, as well as tools that complement its functionality.
- For example: our Metalworker lowers the cost of building the Bulldozer. The Bulldozer can grade a foundation site for a building, then the Compressed Earth Brick Press creates the walls of the building from on-site soil. All of these tools are powered by the same PowerCube module.

We publish our design work online as we go - you can follow along on these two Google Docs:

Working Document

Modules

  • 6 × Power Cube Module
  • 6 × Track Chain Module
  • 4 × Lift Arm Module
  • 1 × Universal Implement Attach Module
  • 1 × Blade Module
  • 2 × Swing Module
  • 1 × Rotary Pivot Module
  • 1 × Control Module
  • 12 × Idler Module
  • 3 × Track Tensioner Module

View all 12 components

View all 8 project logs

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Discussions

frankstripod wrote 08/13/2015 at 20:39 point

I am really hoping you will have pictures and videos posted here from the fun at http://opensourceecology.org/bulldozer-workshop/ starting this weekend. I really wish I could help your project, but I lack the mechanical design experience you are looking for. Thank you for the invitation.

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marcin wrote 08/10/2015 at 23:28 point

Starting hydraulics design. Soliciting feedback on hydraulic controls - https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1te4FEz6WHGGgXWV5b0dSjA18Ip5IAe2-bEmjg001_oQ/edit#slide=id.ga53ccd312_0_35. You can use our feedback form or comment here. http://opensourceecology.org/wiki/Review

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