After attaining a PhD in fusion energy, Marcin Jakubowski found that he was capable of many things, but “had no practical skills.” This revelation inspired him to buy a farm in Missouri and get “hands on” by exploring the economics of farming. The challenges of the farming lifestyle quickly became apparent. “I bought a tractor and it broke,” says Jakubowski. “I paid to get it fixed and it broke again. Pretty soon I was broke, too.”
Jakubowski began to realize that the appropriate, low-cost tools needed to start a sustainable farm did not exist. If he wanted tools that were robust, modular, highly efficient, optimized and made from locally-sourced and recycled materials, he would have to build them himself. And that’s exactly what he did.
At the completion of his project, Jakubowski published 3D designs, schematics, instructional videos and budgets for his projects as a guide for others who felt compelled to take on a DIY project of their own. Within weeks, contributors from around the world began popping up, prototyping new machines based on the original plans.
Today Jakubowski is driven by a purpose to explore what we can collectively do to make a better world through open source hardware technology. He believes that hardware has the ability to change people’s lives in tangible, material ways, and by lowering the barriers to farming, building and manufacturing, we can unleash massive human potential.
The goal of Jakubowski’s project, Global Village Construction Set, is to create a repository of open-source published designs so clear and complete that anyone can build and maintain tools and machines at a reasonable cost. The set will ultimately include plans for 50 of the most important machines in modern life, everything from tractors to bread ovens. Check out one of his instructional videos here: