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The "Liberator" Compressed Earth Block Press is a machine that makes compressed earth blocks (CEBs). The CEB Press takes earth/dirt/soil and compresses it tightly to make solid blocks useful for building. Compressed earth blocks have many advantages as a building material: by making the building materials from the readily available dirt on the building site, they eliminate the need to transport bricks from elsewhere, reducing the financial cost and environmental impact of transport. Compressed earth blocks are very strong and insulate well against both heat and sound, making for very energy-efficient building (especially combined with the energy savings from not needing to transport them from offsite). Best of all, the material they use is already on-site and does not need to be purchased -- quite literally, dirt-cheap!

The Liberator has been fully designed and tested by the Open Source Ecology team. Because the Liberator is an open source technology, you can freely download instructions to build your own from materials you can obtain yourself, or contact opensourceecology[at]gmail[dot]com to buy a kit or a finished machine.

Building a machine yourself might seem intimidating, but every step of the process is fully documented and the OSE community is available on our discussion forum if you need help, advice, or a little hand-holding.

Using the CEB Press, two people can build a 6 foot high (1.83m) round wall, 20 feet (6.1m) in diameter, 1 foot (30cm) thick, in one 8 hour day, though construction time will vary somewhat depending on preparation time, what equipment is available (tractor to prepare the ground and move the blocks where they need to go), the quality of the soil, and other factors. The bigger the block size, the faster a wall can be erected, but at the cost of heavier blocks that are more of a strain to work with. Blocks from The Liberator average 25 pounds (11.3kg).

Build a CEB Press

Block Image

Structural Components

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Soil Loading System


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Hopper and Grate

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Machine Core

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Main Frame

Main Frame Preparation

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Main Cylinder Preparation

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Main Frame Assembly

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Final Assembly

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Learn More about CEB Press

This version of the CEB Press is based on Open Source Ecology's Prototype III.

The introduction to CEB page contains introductory information on compressed earth blocks.

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