A newly formed company called ZPM Espresso is creating an open source espresso machine featuring a PID controller and new thermoblock design. They plan on manufacturing and selling the machine for a mere $400 USD.
It’s not clear from their Kickstarter page exactly what they mean by “open source” since the term could cover anything from the electronics to the entire hardware design. It’s also unclear what license they’re using.
Regardless it’s great to see a PID controlled machine for such a low price. Hopefully other manufacturers take note. I’m eager to see if their new thermoblock design works as advertised. It always seemed to me that thermoblocks were a good idea for home espresso (because they heat up quickly) but so far they’ve always disappointed with poor temperature stability.
I wish these folks the best of luck, and I look forward to seeing reviews of their new machine!