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Dorkpod is an Open Source DIY customizable urban personal electric vehicle kit. Flatpack design for easy ship. Add your personal flair.
Dorkpod is an Open Source DIY customizable urban personal electric vehicle kit. Flatpack design for easy ship. Add your personal flair.
56 backers pledged $3,186 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$3,186

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Be the first on your block to narcotize yourself with this quality product offering!

Dorkpod Kits good clean fun with a mother load of goof.

We Are Tinkersmiths Makerspace

We offer free membership, access to equipment, knowledge and learning experiences at no cost. We are dedicated to social entrepreneurship.

We Care a Lot

Our belief is society needs more pathways to commodify creativity. Sure we have endowments for arts and/or distribution channels for music and written words, but more is needed. Here at Tinkersmiths' Makerspace, we develop ways to help those with ideas "make them" while helping to sustain their livelihood in the process. We call this a win/win for our members. 

We Make Affordable Super Dorky Vehicle Kits Packed Full of Extraordinary Nerdiness

The Dorkpod is a lightweight plywood skeleton designed to be mounted on an a used electric wheelchair base to create a new type of personal transportation project. Providing a fun, low cost, low carbon footprint way to zoom around town. Kit supporters learn to build something whimsical that can perform a useful function. These lightweight kits can reduce the strain on our environment by using less fuel consumption over some other types of transportation methods. You might consider charging these with an adequate solar energy panel.

Designed for the DIY Open Source Hardware Movement and Sharing Economy

Designed and developed at Tinkersmiths Makerspace, we plan to open source the project mid 2017. We are offering early access to the project plans, documentation and tutorials here for those who want to be an early adopter through one of the support packages on the right. Various flatpack kits are being offered in unpainted and painted versions - ready for your personal touches.  

If you are an avid do-it-yourself'er then choose the super economical option for plan and cad drawing downloads. This will maximize your "making" experience. Most of the project is made from 3/4" finished grade plywood. If you don't have access to a CNC milling machine then you can cut all the shapes with a jig saw. If you prefer precision components then consider choosing a kit that has pre-manufactured parts that suite your skill level. These super affordable kits ship in flat packages that are easy to store until project time. If you purchase the unpainted versions then you can add your master artistry with color. We are very fond of utilizing pre-owned stuff for parts. A used electric wheelchair purchased on Craigslist makes for an affordable drive train. Often times for about $350, you can obtain a chair worth several thousands of dollars. This provides you with affordable drive train components that will hold a charge for many hours. Tinkersmiths is putting together new drive train kits which will be for sale during the second quarter of 2017. The new custom drivetrain system will be open sourced.

Early 2017 we will offer ready to go versions

Completely assembled Dorkpods are available for those who want to get down to having the neighbors point and giggle. 

Why Are We Asking For Help?

Tinkersmiths is the only Makerspace in the US that offers memberships, workshops and access to industrial grade equipment at no cost. Our goal is to bring the knowledge needed for the jobs of tomorrow to everyone regardless of current income level or social positioning. Currently, we sustain our burn rate through some professional service offerings. Part of our mission is to expand this into DYI product offerings. Though we get the rent paid and accumulate equipment (much of it donated), we don't have the spare funds for a tractor trailer load of new plywood to ramp up our Dorkpod production. New materials are also needed for many other upcoming skill growth projects. Supporting this project supports our efforts towards the sharing economy along with creating opportunity for Makers,  both on our end and the recipients of our DYI Kits. It would be nice to cover some of the production costs towards finalizing cad files and video tutorials for our open source initiative as well.

Stretch Goals - Extended Financial Targets

If we can raise $20,000, Tinkersmiths can fabricate a custom large scale oven and vacuum forming machine to manufacture full enclosure shells for the Dorkpod. The CNC pictured below is one of the many machines we have custom made. This would be another milestone in increasing our local manufacturing capacity, which in turn would create more job skill opportunities.

Where is the Arduino Dude?

Don't worry! The Tinkersmiths crew are working on all kinds of micro-controller based accessories such as proximity sensors and lighting controls for our expansion packages. These will all be available January 2017, and will be open sourced.

Press Kit

http://dorkpod.com/downloads/presskit.zip

How These Dorkpods Are Made

Tinkersmiths 4'x8' CNC Accurately Cutting Parts
Tinkersmiths 4'x8' CNC Accurately Cutting Parts

  

Typical used electric wheelchair base used as drive system
Typical used electric wheelchair base used as drive system

 

Notch the floor blank to obtain a level, firm seating on the drive unit.
Notch the floor blank to obtain a level, firm seating on the drive unit.

 

Top rings, floor and guardrail ribs fit together with precut tabs and slots.
Top rings, floor and guardrail ribs fit together with precut tabs and slots.

 

Dorkpod kits can be painted and assembled during a weekend.
Dorkpod kits can be painted and assembled during a weekend.

 

Few tools needed such as clamps, screw drivers and a measuring tape.
Few tools needed such as clamps, screw drivers and a measuring tape.

 

Dorkpod Skeleton Looking Like a Retro Rocket
Dorkpod Skeleton Looking Like a Retro Rocket

 

 

Anatomy of the Dorkpod 

What Makes up a Dorkpod Kit
What Makes up a Dorkpod Kit

 


What They Say
What They Say

 

Thanks for checking out our project!

Sincerely, Brian Williford

 

Risks and challenges

Expertise
Tinkersmiths Makerspace is 700+ members strong. We are flush with all engineering and fabrication talent needed to bring interesting products to market, including the one presented here. Being a well equipped shop, including a large format CNC, we are not dependent on any external service or subcontractor to produce.

Supply Chain
Always a small risk demands exceed production capacity. We anticipate the larger audience prefer the plans over kits. If the orders are greater than anticipated, we can quickly distribute some of the work to other Makerspaces. A 4x8 dry bed CNC is all that is required.

Legalities
There are potential risks ones local municipally governing laws for new types of vehicles that don't yet have standards in place . For example most municipalities allow motorized wheelchairs and mobility devices on sidewalks. The Dorkpod sits on one of these approved drive bases. However we can not guarantee that your local enforcement will be understanding of this detail. Please check with your local authority ahead of time if you plan to drive one of these in public areas. One may to attend a local town council meeting to drive awareness on the need for accommodating disruptive transportation devices arriving in the near future.

Safety
Please understand, like a skateboard, motorcycle or any piece of equipment there are safely risks. Wear a helmet and operate the device safety.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Tinkersmiths Makerspace Supporter

    You love the idea of funky DIY project kits and want to help support seeing these kinds of project developed at Tinkersmiths Makerspace.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Makerspace Materials Contributor

    Ten bucks goes towards our materials fund to be able ramp up our flatpack kit inventory. Your a swell pal!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Early Access to Open Source Plans

    The Dorkpod will be open sourced mid 2017 with all drawings, cad files and tortillas on how to build your own with or without our kit parts. This pledge will give you full online access to these assets at the end of this campaign. (Late December 2016)

    Includes:
    • PDF's, CAD/CAM Files, Instructions and Video Tutorials.
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Dorkpod Basic Frame Kit Unpainted

    Earlybird ($150 savings) on the DYI kit for the main structure. This includes all plywood parts. Three gussets, Top rings, lower support rings, floor and subfloor. You upcycle an electric wheel chair base purchased locally for the drive system. You assemble and paint adding some extra special personal touches.

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    Pledge $650 or more About $650

    Dorkpod Painted Basic Frame Kit

    The final colors are shown in the imagery, Red/Orange, Lime Green, Yellow and Purple. This is still a kit that needs assembled and you supply the drive system (used wheel chairs work nicely). A $150 savings

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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    Dorkpod Unpainted Branded Frame Kit

    We will alter some of the parts in the CAD file specifically to include your company branding. We suggest adding some material to the outside shape of the gussets to accommodate your brand name and logo. Verbiage can be CNC milled into various parts during production. These parts are unpainted. Assembly and drive system still required. A $200 savings. Images of this at Dorkpod.com

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,250 or more About $1,250

    Dorkpod Painted Branded Frame Kit

    We will alter some of the parts in the CAD file specifically to include your company branding. We suggest adding some material to the outside shape of the gussets to accommodate your brand name and logo. Verbiage can be CNC milled into various parts during production. These parts are pre-painted to your brand colors. Assembly and drive system still required. A $250 savings. Images of this at Dorkpod.com

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    Pledge $3,500 or more About $3,500

    Dorkpod Assembled Ready To Drive

    This is our currently in use demo version seen in the promotional images and videos. Fully painted and assembled ready to go. Own a part of our history in the making. We ship and you take over the fun.

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Funding period

- (30 days)