Evo is about designing a new generation of manufacturing machines that evolve with their user
Evo has been developed by Mekanika, a company that aims at getting manufacturing accessible to everyone by developing open source machines and sharing free technical knowledge.
It is an affordable and user-friendly CNC milling machine that can grow with its user: it is shipped as a kit to be assembled by the user, it features a very intuitive control unit to get milling right away, and it can evolve with the user by changing in size and/or production capacity thanks to upgrade kits. When using those upgrade kits, the user can unmount parts of the machine, send them back to Mekanika for refurbishing and mount the new elements on the machine.
The machine was successfully launched on Kickstarter on February 2021. It is produced in Brussels, Belgium by Mekanika. Most components of the machine are standard and can be sourced anywhere in the world, and specific parts are produced in Belgium by local partners (steel and aluminium parts), using recycled materials when possible.
cnc milling, manufacturing, design, open source
- Does your design take social and cultural challenges and human wellbeing into consideration?
Our machines are produced in Belgium, working mostly with Belgian partners with great working conditions. We also partnered with local workshops employing disabled people, and with Brussels local job agency to hire people with low working skills and train them.
- Does your design support sustainable production, embodying circular or regenerative design practices?
Our machines are designed for disassembly: nothing is welded or glued and every part can be unscrewed and replaced to lower obsolescence.
We have tried to lower "use" obsolescence by making our machines evolutive and allow the user to grow with them without the need to buy a new machine of their project grows.
When offering upgrade kits to users, we take back their unused components for free in order to refurbish them and create affordable B-stock machines intended for the education sector.
- Does your design use principles of distribution and open source?
Everything we do is open source: we share the plans of our machine on our Website and Wikifactory. We're also starting to structure the knowledge we gained designing machines to allow others to benefit from our learnings.
Our machines are designed specifically using a maximum of standard parts and a minimum of specific interface parts that can be done with Fablab technologies (milling, bending and 3D printing).
We use very accessible technologies like Raspberry Pi for the control system of our machines when numerical control is needed.
- Does your design promote awareness of responsible design and consumption?
We believe in the leading by example principle: by showing it is possible to design and produce machines in a responsible way, we encourage people to use those machines to produce their goods responsibly. And by highlighting the best production processes of our users, we prove to others that it's possible to produce and consume better and encourage them to change.
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