Mobile Makerspaces – transport

pop-up labs in schools, libraries, events

Low vans (like the Peugeot Partner, VW Caddy, Renault Kangoo, Fiat Doblo, Citroen Berlingo) and trailers that bring fablabs to locations.

With no possibility to work inside, the criterium is: convenient loading, transportation and offloading of the labs equipment. To bring it inside the school, library etc or to an outdoor location.750x423-citroen-nemo-chargements-dechargements-facilites.136691

It is convenient to put the stuff in boxes on wheels, so you can roll it to its location. Especially for larger or heavier objects like your lasercutter. An exhaust tube for the cutter take a lot of space. Also a Glowforge with filter will be a bulky thing.

Flightcases are nice but not cheap. Construct your own boxes tailormade. And make them stackable. The lower boxes with large wheels, of which two steering. Do provide handles. A nice trick is to construct a false raised floor in the van, under which you put two aluminium  loading ramps. And other heavier flat things, like a picnic table, parasols and party tents.

Commercial interior fittings like can be a source of inspiration.
Like storevannederland.nl and Sortimo.de that gives suggestions per marque of van.

If you use boxes without wheels, construct a wooden or metal frame inside that holds them. This can de done low cost and made removable. Start at the bulkhead side.

Check if you can make a false ceiling under the roof for long flat items.

The above applies for small closed trailers too. Outside wheels are no problem here, it is just transport.

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Again, constructing a ceiling from the bulkhead to about 2/3 reclaims a lot op space seldom used. And a simple frame inside the trailer to fixate the boxes.

It is nice to have a rampdoor on the rear for fast and easy loading of equipment on wheels. Especially if you have to move a small but heavy lasercutter like the BRM-4030.

Visit a nearby caravan center to pinch some ideas. Like transverse tubes under the chassis to store long things. Or a bike rack on the drawbar. Or a drawbarlock and wheelclamp to discourage stealing the trailer.

Fablab De Maakschappij in the Netherlands have a small trailer with a top lid to visit schools. It carries boxes with all gear for a full class of makers. If required picnic tables and party tents can be carried on the top rack.

maakschappij1Everything is in boxes that can be lifted out. Notice the fan for the lasercutter with a long flexible tube. Also the spare glass tube, but the lasercutter proved to be very robust when towed around.

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