How To Save Money on STEM, Science, and Life with Open Source
Michigan Tech engineering professor Joshua Pearce has an approach that can help people in the real world save money on STEM education, state-of-the-art scientific equipment and many consumer products we all use every day. Pearce is well known in the research community for savings scientists millions of dollars using open source tricks. Now he is explaining his approach and sharing his tricks for the general public in his new book Create, Share, and Save Money Using Open-Source Projectsfrom McGraw Hill. Designed for beginners it is a guide filled with ways to save money by making use of free and open-source technologies on a wide range of products. The book reveals the potential of at-home manufacturing and recycling and even how to score free big-ticket items, including drones, vehicles and electricity. The book lays out the many ways in which you can employ these resources on a small scale to live a more economical and sustainable lifestyle while helping your STEM career.
“With the maturation of digital manufacturing you can fabricate incredibly valuable STEM tools for the cost of the raw material from open source plans.”Dr. Joshua Pearce
Create, Share, and Save Money Using Open-Source Projects describes how to harness the power of 21st century sharing and digital technologies to create enormous value for your family. Real-world wealth can be had while minimizing dependence on money. Pearce explains, “With the maturation of digital manufacturing you can fabricate incredibly valuable STEM tools for the cost of the raw material from open source plans.” In the book this is done with open source 3-D printers, laser cutters, and CNC mills, which can be purchased or built with only a few hundred dollars. The tools give you access to millions of free designs. “For example, in the not-so-distant past the Mayo family mortgaged their house to buy a microscope, which launched the medical science juggernaut of the Mayo Clinic, which is respected all over the world. You can build a radically superior microscope to what the Mayo brothers had access to called the OpenFlexure Microscope for under $20 if you have access to a $250 3-D printer.”
In addition to free repositories of STEM wonders there are free books, education, movies, how-to’s, GIS, photographs, art, and software that offer everyone with Internet access, historically-unprecedented access to wealth. “We find we can normally produce a custom product for less than the sales tax on a conventional product – all the same function, better custom form, and almost no cost”, concludes Pearce.
Dr. Joshua M. Pearce is the Witte Professor, cross-appointed, in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Michigan Technological University. He is also the author of Open-Source Lab: How to Build Your Own Hardware and Reduce Research Costs. Both books are available on Amazon.
Here’s an example of a cool open-source project – how to build your own 3-D printed lab equipment!