MAKERKAR – Library Makercart


Why the Makerkar?
Our libraries have (roughly) redefined their function as: making knowledge accessible and offer digital literacy to empower people in their community with 21st century skills.
[In Dutch 'Het gaat om: lezen, leren, informeren, kunst en cultuur en ontmoeting en debat met als doel om mensen te ondersteunen in hun persoonlijke ontwikkeling. Kennisoverdracht kent vele verschijningsvormen. Het concept van een FabLab is er één van.' (WSOB nov. 2014)]

For that role I set out to develop a generic Library Makercart  that:

  • would pass through a standard door
  • could be taken to locations by existing transport
  • could be tailored to groups
  • could be adapted to machines
  • is parametric
  • Open Source is the spirit of FabLab
  • replicable for any library or school worldwide.

We constructed a frame from 30x30 aluminum extrusion profiles.

The MAKERKAR Library Makercart is a fablab on wheels for indoor use with on board:

  • lasercutter with air filter
  • 3D-printer
  • vinylcutter/plotter
  • electronics
  • sewing machine
  • soldering iron, drill
  • drawers for tools
  • drawers for material like wood, vinyl, cardboard, paper etc

The MAKERKAR is designed for locations where there will be no fixed fablab, but where you nevertherless want to be able to 'make': libraries, schools, hospitals, community-centers etc.

Here is an Building instruction for anyone that wants to build a Makerkar. With a Bill of Materials.
A self-employed has offered the cart for € 2400 ex VAT, offers a full set of equipment for € 8600 ex VAT.

all set
Frame of prototype
Frame of prototype


Yes, the MAKERKAR carries a lasercutter. The educational ambition is more elevated than the fostering of creativity with the simpeler carts one can see in many American library makerspaces.
The laser itself will be in the top compartment of the cart. All existing and announced desktop lasers are under one meter in length and will fit: the FullSpectrum 5Gen, Glowforge, MUSE, Dremel LC40, but also diodelasers like the MrBeam II and Emblaser 2.

The MAKERKAR can be envisaged as a mobile version of the Maakplaats021 makerspaces of the OBA Public Library of Amsterdam.

Air filter

As the cart is aimed for indoor use, there is space for an air filter. The prototype carries a FullSpectrum on the top shelf and a Canyson air filter underneath. Plus a watercooler and the air assist compressor.
If you do not want a filter, you can exhaust to the outside with a tube as usual.

When later in 2018 the Glowforge with its attachable filter becomes available, it could be put on the lower shelf. The Canyson filter is then no longer required and its space reclaimed for more drawers or even a small CNC-mill.

Other equipment

Under the lower shelf there is space for one or two Ultimaker2Go 3D-printers and the Cameo3 vinylcutter.
And there are drawers for tools and materials.
On both sides a panel can be flipped down for the laptop to control the laser and for an Ultimaker.

The cart can be closed by a standard 1 meter roll-up banner. The cassette is 101,5 cms long, which makes the total length of the cart 117 cms. The cart is 128 cms. high and 72 cms wide, so passes through doors. It can also be carried on an Europallet.
A library can conveniently personalize the cart as the roll-up banner can be printed with any design they choose.

How to build one.

A MAKERKAR can be constructed anywhere in the world out of 30x30 T-slot aluminum profile.
No welding or drilling, just bolting things together. The 9 mm plywood panels can be cut on any lasercutter that handles 120 cms. Only the banner needs to be drilled. Here are the Building instructions with a Bill of Materials.

Photos of the prototype