Last year I bought a Printrbot LC on behalve of the school where I teach. After building the kit and a summer-vacation for figuring out, and getting used to, the machine it was time to let the beast out in to the wild. Because it can be quite risky to let my middle school students around something rather fragile en expensive I decided it needed some sort of protection. Besides it had to be portable so my colleagues and me could use it in different classrooms around the school and bring it back to the storeroom after use.
I first made a kind of "Microwave" box around it but, however it was good for transporting the printer to the school, I realized this wouldn't work with storing the rolls of filament and the PC connected to printer.
If you are familiar with education you will know that (no) low costs and quick solutions are primal. So when the people from the school cleaning company disposed an old cleaning trolley I took it and used it as a start to build this car. Some plywood, tie-rips and phillips screws completed the thing in two or three free hours in my teaching schedule.
It is far from perfect, let alone complete but I made it sketchy on purpose (yeah right...) so it can be adapted when needed and it isn't a catastrophe when it is abused.
This Instructable isn't really a step by step because I didn't documented the steps and only took pictures afterwards. It is merely a collection of construction idea's which you might find useful as an inspiration for your own projects.
Step 1: The Start; Clean Up the Parts.
This was my startpoint (well, sort of, this is just a kind of resembling car. My car didn't have any garbage-bags and such, luckily). The other picture shows the " microwavebox".
After stripping the car as much as possible I measured all the spaces between the tubes and made some quick sketches (no longer exist) and started to use the big circle saw we have to cut some 6 mm birch plywood in pieces that would fit.
Step 2: Overview
This is the end-result. You can see it quite a compact car. I'm pretty happy with it however the wheels sometimes are to small and hard which can result in unwanted vibrations if I push it through the school.
The open design helps very good to make students curious about what it is and the students who already know what it is I can hear say: "Hey that's that teacher with his 3D printer again" when I push it to classroom (Almost as if I'm driving a Ferrari through the halls, haha).
Step 3: The Workspace
I tried to make a compact car with just enough space for working. So the desk for the keyboard can be slided out and in for convenient storage.
Step 4: The Electronics Space
To keep it all save and tidy I thought out a solution which still provides easy acces to the computer and power.
Step 5: The 3d Printerspace
Because I want the possibility to quickly change some colors of filament and because It is best to feed the printer plastic from above I made this simple rack.
Step 6: The Storage Space
The trolley has enough storage room for extra tools and stock of plastics.
Step 7: Use It!
The daily experience with this car proves it was a cheap but sufficient solution for my problem. It works!
Third Prize in the
Portable Workstations Contest