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Portable Proto-Design Cart

Here’s a combination of proof of concept and a usable prototype. We have a large screen now mounted in the ProtoLab but, this portable idea is a great addition to any prototyping space. The main structure started it’s life out as a cart that is used to hang clothes for steam treatments. They are cheap and easy to find.
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I wanted to build something that I could use to print/scan/edit with that was portable. A lot of Dr’s. Offices use similar mounts for their computers but, they can cost upwards of $600+. Rummaging around a local thrift store we were able to find all the parts we needed for less than $10. We bought a 17″ flat screen monitor, a wheeled cart and a few other odds and ends. Using conduit pipe mounts we were able to attach the screen, keyboard, mouse and laptop. I also decided to add a 2 plug power outlet with a 20 FT cord. Eventually I will snag a self roll up cord from an old vacuum but, for now this will work. I also added a Wi-Fi extender onto the back of the media station so signals would be boosted no matter where the cart was.

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This platform is perfect to take between the prototyping lab to the shop which is about 30ft away. I plan to also add a mount for my small 2.5 terabyte hard drive as well as a 4-way USB splitter. I chose this specific keyboard because it is rubberized and can handle greasy hands. It is easily cleaned off with a little soap and water. I will be improving upon this platform as I go but, for how much it cost out of pocket, it was well worth it.

A Week Later
I’ve been using the new setup for almost a week and so far it works excellent. It definitely is a lot more convenient than the old way of doing things. I still need to finish re-installing a scan program for the Kinect. We used scanect in the past but I’m always interested in trying something new. Since my first post I added a four way USB splitter and mounted it near the keyboard. I’ve ran about 5 prints from the new setup with no problems.

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