Use in a mobile makerspace

I have a mobile makerspace (it’s on a bus) that I use to classes for homeschool children, charter schools, scout groups, etc. Is it possible to install the laser in a mobile environment where I can use the laser with participants? Do I need to take any special precautions?


If you are driving around with it you probably need to take precautions to protect it from vibrations and shock like the original packaging does. I.e re-install the gantry lock bolts and the rubber strips under the wheels and remove the head and place it in foam.

Disconnecting and reconnecting the head repeatedly might be a problem because the connector is quite fragile. Perhaps make a foam fixture that it can sit in without being disconnected.

Unless you want to repackage it on every move I think you would need to mount it on some anti-shock mounts that also secure it so it can’t slide around but prevent shocks from potholes in the road cracking the tube.

Obviously you need venting or a filter and a substantial power source to run it and mobile Wifi.


Love the concept (homeschooled ours until mid high school then put them into a charter school).

@palmercr is right on about the vibration and locking down the gantry and laser head. To minimize wear and tear, you might want to get nylon screws to secure the gantry but get a backup set of “Important Orange and Red Bits” ($9) from the Shop Spare Parts (for securing the laser head carriage).

Another part to consider for mobility, is determine the best cell coverage providers for your normal stops. You might need to get 2 different carriers (for creating a mobile hotspot to connect your GF :glowforge:) since you may or may not have WiFi accessibility (IT policy or poor WiFi connectivity) where you setup at.

If you have to address Class 4 setups (mainly if you have a Pro), additional eye protection units and/or section off the part of the bus (as simple as thick curtains for ease of storage and setup).

One last thing I can think of, since you will either be using a generator or a DC to AC converter, a solid UPS to keep the GF :glowforge: , computer and WiFi powered (generator fuel refills, momentary power cutouts/brownouts/blackouts or someone tripping over the cord run from the building). I like the APC Back-UPS Pro 1500VA UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector (BR1500G) with the APC External Battery Backup Pack for Model BR1500G (BR24BPG) because of the high capacity (uptime) and load capacity. It doesn’t provide complete sinewave power stabilization, but everything will keep running for 45 minutes (or longer) while you address whatever the power issue is.


I would think venting could be done through a window insert. Between @palmercr and @PFI-Guy, I think all the primary concerns are addressed. I’d probably go for a way to brace/clamp/strap it over the top, to either side of the lid, to really keep it in place, and an easily removable strap for the lid. I’d be more worried about bouncing than sliding, but I wouldn’t want to risk either, and I REALLY wouldn’t want the lid bouncing free while driving. (How many smacks until it cracks?) Also, you’d want to make sure nothing can fall onto it from above.

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Thanks for the links to that battery duo. I have been wanting something like that for a while, not just for :glowforge:, but haven’t had the opportunity to really look. Now I just have to save up, since I’m needing around $900 in batteries. LOL

BTW, is that the batteries themselves or the units also?
Cost savings tip: If you have a Batteries Plus near you, sign up with a business account (paying cash only) and you get 25% off the list price for the UPS (APC specific) batteries. The 9 AMP Hour batteries run $40 each list and I got mine for $25 each. A 1200-1300 APC comes with 7.2 AMP Hour (2 batteries required for replacement) and putting in the 9 AMP Hour Duracell units upgrade them to the 1500 APC capacity.

Side note: in order to get the BR24BPG External Pack, you MUST get the BR1500G APC. Any of the other 1500 Series will not have the connector port for the External Pack. Worse yet, APC sells a BR1300G which does NOT have the connector port even though it is the littler version of the 1500G! :exploding_head::exploding_head::exploding_head:

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Basically, 3 UPS, 3 extender batteries.

I think there is a Batteries Plus about 8-10 miles away, so worth looking into.

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