Industrial Productivity on a Small Scale
Lets face it. Many people on the planet don’t have access to tools they need to build and live sustainable lives. But necessity is the mother of invention and “reinventing the wheel” can mean creating new versions of tools that already exist but are unaffordable to purchase and maintain. Marcin Jakubowski, who trained in fusion energy, started a farm in the US Midwest and quickly found himself with a broken tractor. After spending a significant amount to buy the tractor in the first place, spending money to fix it was an unforeseen “road bump” and when the tractor broke again, Jakubowski was in trouble.
Machines Designed for a Lifetime, Not Obsolescence
In thinking about what he really needed he came up with the following criteria: low-cost, robust, modular, efficient, optimized and made from local, recycled materials. Jakubowski began to design, build and test the farm machinery. He needed and found that building affordable and sustainable machines for small-scale farming was possible. With this, Jakubowski decided on an open source model and began sharing his 3D designs, schematics, and instructional videos and started a group called Open Source Ecology” (OSE). Suddenly, Jakubowski had visitors to the website from around the world, who began to help him design and prototype new machines.
If You have Simple Tools, You Can Build It
According to Jakubowski, designs for 50 farming tools that can be built inexpensively and with readily available materials “can help people lead self-sustaining lives without sacrificing their standard of living.” Open Source Ecolocy’s designs are simple enough for people with no building experience and minimal access to affordable tools at a fraction of the cost of current versions available on the market. The “Civilization Starter Kit” includes designs for tractors, bread ovens, circuit makers, brick makers, etc. Typical tractors cost from $25,000-$120,000; Jakubowski believed he could a build suitable for less than half the price of the lower range, or $12,000.
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