When Marcin Jakubowski’s tractor broke down, the physics-trained PhD in fusion energy didn’t go out and buy a new one, he built one. Then he decided to put together simple plans for 50 machines any group might need.

The plans are free. Go to to get the “Global Village Construction Kit,” an open-source guide to making cheap modular machines. There’s an odd-looking car, a self-replicating cutting table, a drill press, a 3D printer, an aluminum extruder, a brick maker and dozens of others. The brick maker lets you load raw dirt at the building site to make 16 bricks a minute.

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