Michael SWITLICKI: Inventor of the J-BAR

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  • Tell us something about yourself, your background:

Well, my name is Michael Switlicki I was born in Detroit Michigan. I was later adopted into a wonderful family and lived in a rural area for a while until we moved to Troy, MI. This is where I attained the rank of Eagle Scout through the Boy Scouts of America, I also started a boy’s rugby team and became a certified rescue diver. As a young teen/adult I took classes in construction as well as got my certification as a Heavy Equipment Operator. My father was a certified pipe welder and when I was a young boy, he taught me how to weld, a skill which still serves me well to this day. Growing up knowing I was adopted made me want to not let my parents down or waste the second chance I was given. So I live my life to the fullest.

  • Tell us about the product you invented with a brief explanation:

I am the proud inventor of many things but the one I am pursuing currently is called the J-BAR. It is a patented construction tool used for cutting sheet material such as plywood, sheet metal, cement board, or drywall. The tool is like a third hand when cutting sheet material, it safely supports both sides of the cut giving you a hands free, safe cutting platform. It is a two piece design that is compact and lightweight that can be used with any sheet material up to ¾” in thickness. It can be used as a stand-alone product on the ground or in conjunction with a tailgate or sawhorse.

  • How/Why did you start inventing, what set you off?

I suppose it stems from growing up as a kid in a rural area where you had to make do with what you had. We did not have close access to stores, so you had figure out solutions to problems in the moment with the tools and materials available. So ever since I was a child I grew up inventing solutions to problems. I suppose I was adopted into it a young age and it just stuck.

  • How did you get from idea to finished product?

I used the same method of invention from my first idea to this current one, sketch it out on paper. The sketch is the first way to really visualize what I see in my head. From there I can tweak the sketch to better fit the parameters of the problem. I then created a prototype to be able to run tests to make sure the idea will perform as expected and finalize any tweaks that are necessary. From that point I had a basically finished product that I took to a prototyping company that then turned my prototype into a 3d cad rendering to expedite manufacturing. Large scale manufacturing is expensive so we currently have a steel version we are selling.

  • What resources helped you?

The resources I used was mostly the internet to be honest however the knowledge and support of my family and friends was absolutely necessary for my success.

  • Where are you with your product? Where can we buy your product?

The J-BAR is currently for sale. The only flavor we have currently is our steel version but we are hoping to soon be able to get the more affordable plastic version underway shortly. We are also working on accessories to go with our steel and plastic models for the future.

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