Open Source: The Global Village Construction Set

People around the world have aspirations to create happily sustainable, affordable communities, but often the lack of construction grade tools and vehicles derail their efforts: enter the Global Village Construction Set. The project was started by Open Source Ecology, a network of farmers, engineers and supporters. Together they are bringing to life a modular, DIY, low-cost, open source, high-performance platform that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 different industrial machines that it takes to build a small, sustainable civilization with modern comforts. That’s a mouthful, but this big project is making great progress and getting much deserved attention.

The Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) is like a life-sized Lego set: it uses interchangeable parts, motors and power in its construction, lending reliability, redundancy and simplicity to the designs. Thus far, 8 of the 40 machines deemed necessary to create a small society have been designed. The remaining 32 are in the works and extensive real-life testing is underway on the machines completed thus far. Excitingly, the average cost of building the machines is 8 times less than buying them from a conventional manufacturer… that’s many tens of thousands less when you’re looking at a new tractor.

The projects completed construction manual will include 3d designs, schematics, instructional videos, budgets, user manuals and more. Founder Marcin Jakubowski says of the final product: “Our goal is [to create] a repository of published designs so clear, so complete, that a single burned DVD is effectively a civilization starter kit.”

In a world, increasingly dependent on large corporations to make things happen, Open Source Ecology hopes to foster a “newly relevant DIY, maker culture, that can hope to transcend artificial scarcity.” Find out more by checking out their recently funded Kickstarter project then head to opensourceecology.org for more.

A quick, 2-minute video about the project:

Marcin Jakubowski’s TED Talk about the project:

Below, the “backbone of the system,” the Lifetrack Multi-purpose Tractor


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