Open Source Hardware Enterprise Building Tools for Future On-campus Makerspace

Institution: Michigan Technological University
Funders (7)
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Why This Project Is Important 

The Open Source Hardware Enterprise is a brand-new Enterprise at Michigan Technological University dedicated to the development, advancement, and availability of open-source hardware. Being a new Enterprise, we are lacking in funds to get our projects off the ground. Unlike open-source software, hardware development is costly. Our dream is to open a "makerspace" here on the Michigan Tech campus where students, faculty, and potentially community members have access to open-source prototyping and manufacturing equipment. Open Source Hardware's low-cost rapid-prototyping services support many other Enterprises. Please help us continue to help each other by donating to our cause. A neat example of our work can be found on the International Business Ventures Enterprise page. One of our very first print jobs was the body for their infant heart annunciator, printed in purple PLA plastic. For more details about our work, see below.

Project Description 

Our Enterprise is currently split between managing our growing 3D printing business and constructing the first few tools for our future makerspace. A makerspace is like a community center with tools, where students and faculty can come work on personal or school-related projects. Our end goal is always to promote and speed up the process of innovation. We currently have one small desktop 3D printer, and are in the process of finishing a much larger version. Our other main projects are a large laser cutter table, a small induction furnace, and a physical Bitcoin.

  • The laser cutter table is an open-source design called the Lasersaur. The Lasersaur will be able to cut anything from cardboard to thin sheet metal. Our goal is to have the table finished by the end of the semester, but we are in desperate need of funding to purchase the rest of the components. Developed by Nortd Labs, more information on the design can be found at:
  • The small induction furnace is being designed to melt down aluminum cans and will eventually be used to create material for metal 3D printers still in development. Lessons learned from this small furnace can be applied to a larger scale model later down the line. In the mean time, the small furnace will be an excellent addition to the makerspace.
  • Our last project for this semester is the development of a physical Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a relatively new form of Internet currency that is quite difficult for most people to understand. Our physical Bitcoin will be a large 3D printed coin with a flash drive inside containing the software necessary to use Bitcoin. This enables those less Bitcoin-savvy people to give and receive this secure currency much more easily.
  • Finally, in addition to our projects, we have our 3D printing business. We take orders from other Enterprises as well as individuals. This is how we have funded our projects so far, but we are reaching the practical limitations of our machine. Currently we can only print one order at a time and are very limited in our part size. Your funding will enable us to build another desktop printer with improved reliability and finish our large-scale model. We would also love to expand our available materials and purchase a resin printer capable of printing with much higher accuracy and resolution.

Meet the Researchers

Lucas Wilder

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Joshua Pearce

Richard Witte Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering at the Michigan Technological University. Director of the Open Sustainability Technology Research Group and faculty advisor for the Michigan Tech Open Source Hardware Enterprise.

Questions for the Researcher

J. K . PARK's picture
JI KYNG PARK  November 9, 2014 - 7:51pm
I may be interested in the laser model. Many sleep because of funding and technical concerns. When you donate to you a little time to develop low-cost technological What are the benefits
lwilder's picture
Lucas Wilder (Researcher)  November 9, 2014 - 8:45pm
Hello, I'm not quite sure what your question is. Are you inquiring about our plans for the laser cutter? If so, I can tell you that we plan to allow other student organizations to use it for their projects (for a modest fee), as well as using it ourselves to aid in the design and production of open source hardware. When we open our makerspace, the laser cutter will be one of the main pieces of equipment. If you are inquiring about the laser-cut plaque, that is the top reward for donations, unlocked by a donation of $1000 or more. I hope this answers your question!
J. K . PARK's picture
JI KYNG PARK  November 9, 2014 - 11:00pm
Thank you for answer. If more than $ 1000 Organization some good points there anything to me, thank you specifically.
lwilder's picture
Lucas Wilder (Researcher)  November 9, 2014 - 11:09pm
A donation of $1000 or greater earns you all of the rewards listed on the right sidebar of our page. This includes a laser-cut plaque with your name on it to be displayed in our future makerspace, your name listed on our Enterprise website as a sponsor, a small (<1000 cm^3) custom 3D print, a physical Bitcoin (containing no currency), a 3D printed OSHE keychain, and finally a hand-written thank-you letter. Let me know if you have any more questions!

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of $10,000 fund goal
The average donation for this project is $218
days left
Funding is Closed

What Your Donation Can Help Us Do: 

  • Complete an open-source laser cutter table for use in future makerspace
  • Complete development of a miniature open-source induction furnace for creating feed-stock for metal 3D printing
  • Complete development of a physical Bitcoin
  • Allow us to expand our 3D printing capabilities with new machines

$1+ 7 Funders

Handwritten Thank-You Letter

$50+ 5 Funders

All of the above, plus a 3D printed OSHE keychain

$100+ 3 Funders

All of the above, plus a physical Bitcoin (containing no currency)

$250+ 1 Funder

All of the above, plus a small (<1000 cm^3) custom 3D print

$500+ 1 Funder

All of the above, plus your name listed on our website as a sponsor

$1,000 1 Funder

All of the above, plus your name on a laser-cut plaque in our future makerspace

Physical Bitcoins will not be loaded with any currency, only the Bitcoin wallet software. Thank you letters and all incentive gifts that are 3D printed will be sent as soon as possible after the end of the Rekhi Enterprise Funding Challenge. Gifts that are laser-cut will be shipped by April 2015, at the very latest.

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Gifts to projects listed on SUPERIORIDEAS.ORG are received and processed by Michigan Tech Fund. Michigan Tech Fund is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code acting on behalf of Michigan Technological University. It is the policy of Michigan Tech Fund that a portion of the gifts and/or income therefrom may be used to defray the costs of raising and administering the funds.