Build Your Own Hot Rod

Post from Jeffrey Winters: 

Jeffrey Winters

From time to time I check in on what the team Open Source Ecology is up to—it’s not cutting edge engineering, but the concept of making modern agriculture and manufacturing accessible to everyone is exciting. Recently they put up an announcement that a pair of high school students from Pasadena used the open-source designs the team published to build their own tractor. It still has its rough edges, but it works. 

As a culture, we’re used to teenagers creating stuff out of information—everything from rock songs to computer programs. And certainly modifying machines used to be a common activity, back when high school boys were turning old junkers into hot rods. But with the rise of desktop-size 3-D printers and open-source hardware, it’s not hard to imagine a time in the not too distant future when teenage boys and girls will be showing off homemade machines the way they might trade, say, guitar licks or rap lyrics today. (I hope I’m not showing my age too much here.)

Any time you put powerful tools in the hands of infinitely creative minds, you can expect (some) amazing stuff to happen. Maybe the long-awaited hoverboard will be built by a teen who wanted to make something cool to ride to school.

3 Responses to “Build Your Own Hot Rod”

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The Editor

John G. Falcioni is Editor-in-Chief of Mechanical Engineering magazine, the flagship publication of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

September 2012

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