All that orange stuff and a lot of the foam inside the machine when you get it has good reasoning. If the car hits a bump or goes around a corner it puts forces about that can damage the machine. Also on a scary inside the car, you will want to have Bungee chords at least so it does not get extra forces it is not designed for as well.
Beyond that with large enough lockable wheels on a big enough cart and some sort of seat belt or bungee cord holding the machine to the cart, and a plan to not take it anywhere too hot or too cold or too humid, and a way to ventilate or eat the fumes in a filter. Then you should be ok.
Just remember that the Glowforge is an inside pet that feels apprehensive about strange movement or weather.
I really love this folding cart that works 3 ways.
It holds a lot of weight and folds up compactly to toss in a car. The flat bed form with the toe plate down (not deployed) would hold the GF box sticking out a bit in the front. With GF properly packed in its original box with all the foam and bits you’d be able to stack the air filter on top.
Cosco Shifter 300-Pound Capacity Multi-Position Folding Hand Truck and Cart, Yellow
I feel like this one might be easier to secure it safely, but I don’t know. The idea of lugging it around makes me cringe. I’m sure some people can do it just fine.
I wonder how well it would work if you set up the minivan to have a very safe, super secure way to house it there during travel. Remove all the foam and protective pieces, then just leave it in the minivan to use it, venting really well, obviously. I don’t know, still triggers some anxiety thinking about it. lol
First thing that comes to my mind is an ambulance gurney style cart that the machine is mounted to, but the cart itself folds when going into your van. Could also be a jobsite table saw adapted stand with two wheels that you transport the machine on ‘wheelbarrow’ style. And I would definately outfit pneumatic tires on it either way.
Using it in a sheltered location outside would be great, no filter needed, or in a woodshop / metal working space where they already have exhaust fans you can utilize. I personally would be extremely hesitant to transport mine on a regular basis. But it did make the trip to Alaska, with UPS no less, and still works. So it is doable.
You may have trouble with anything that “folds up” as a Glowforge is really, really heavy. I think if I was going to go mobile with it, I would find someone who makes tour cases for music equipment. They would have the skills to make a reliable (and well padded) road case.
I used one of those (or at least very similar) with the PRU when I would take it to MakerFaires. Worked like a charm. And I didn’t lock it down with the orange bits or foam - just used the knobs/bolts into the rails to keep the carriage from sliding around and a small clamp to keep the head from sliding back & forth.
If I get one second hand I’m sure this would be it. My concern is that to carry it in my van I will have to fold my seat down. I would rather have a folding cart. But it might not be an option. Thanks!
Tape the heck out of that thing with some heavy-duty packing tape and save it, even if you don’t use it for moving it around with the students. You’ll need that box and all the packing bits if you ever need to send it back for repair/exchange and they charge $250 for a new box kit .