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Why does teknow exist?

I have been designing and building something for almost as long as I can remember. Many early projects were too ambitious or I was too clueless and failed. My first live steam locomotive only produced a cloud of steam but didn’t move. The submarine only dived once. The self-reloading multiple mousetrap was also not used at the front. I could hardly work on metal – the woodworking workshop in the basement didn’t allow that. Before the internet and in the countryside there was a lack of role models.

The idea

The specific idea for a construction platform goes back to my time as a research assistant at the Free University of Berlin. For my experiments, I designed a number of devices myself, built them and developed them ready for use. In the end everything worked well. Then I was finished with my work, the successor set up a new experiment, and my work disappeared into the laboratory cupboards. I thought we should publish the CAD plans, pictures, descriptions and reports online. Anyone who wants to carry out similar experiments in the future can copy the devices directly or develop them further based on the designs. From this initial idea, teknow emerged in 2018, almost 20 years later.

The implementation

With teknow I am gradually implementing what I would have liked back then: a platform for people who like engineering regardless of their training. For this target group, teknow is intended to be a working environment in which someone can quickly and easily draw and order a single sheet metal blank, but later also in which a group of people can design a complex machine together. I see a focus on the exchange of knowledge – everyone should really be able to adopt the detailed technical solutions published by other users as a CAD component in their own design, and not just have to rely on approximate textual descriptions of how this or that problem was solved. The second focus is on easy access to industrial manufacturing services, even for laypeople. The online ordering process includes a CAD editor, with a wizard for manufacturing rules, and is continually being expanded to include new manufacturing methods.

There is still a way to go until everything works the way I imagine. We’re on board with anything that isn’t going well yet. And we look forward to suggestions.

contact details


teknow GmbH

Nestorstraße 36a
10709 Berlin
Tel: +49 30 6293149 – 0