Students Design Portable 3D Printed House

3D printed houseMany designers have been embracing the trend toward smaller living spaces for densely-populated urban environments. Students at 3M futureLAB, a collaboration between the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design and the University of Huddersfield in Munich, Germany, worked with other international students to explore the idea of creating a small, portable home. The project was directed by professor and architect Peter Ebner.

The students designed a cost-effective compact home created through 3D printing. The design of the Small Transportable Living house is inspired by other micro housing designs, such as Renzo Piano’s Diogene and Richard Horden and the Munich Technical Institute’s M-ch.

The Small Transportable Living house includes a bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. Its dome-like shape allowed the team to integrate movable furniture, such as a “folding” toilet that can retract into a wall when not needed, a movable kitchen countertop and sink, a small refrigerator, and a study table. A foldaway ladder provides access to the elevated bedroom. The micro house contains storage spaces, including some hidden in the floor. An Oculus window provides light and fresh air, and the interior is lit with overhead lamps and LED lights. Most of the wall space opposite the bedroom is taken up by a multimedia system with a projection screen.

The portable shelter is constructed with two 3D-printed shell halves and measures about 50 square feet. It was printed with sand-based plastic and special glue by 3M futureLAB and Voxeljet in Bavaria, Germany. The 3D printed house can be transported and installed in any type of environment.

FutureLAB is a non-profit interdisciplinary forum sponsored by 3M. It serves as an alternative to traditional studios and encourages people from the worlds of art, architecture, engineering, and manufacturing to collaborate and develop innovative designs.

Portable, Solar-Powered Shelters Offer Comfort to Refugees

refugee sheltersJordanian-Canadian architect Abeer Seikaly has created portable, solar-powered shelters for refugees based on traditional Bedouin design principles. The portable shelters are constructed with a collapsible woven structural fabric and contain water and solar energy installations to provide hygiene and electricity to people who have been forced to leave their homes due to political conflict or natural disasters.

The temporary shelters have a sturdy dome-like shape and a tessellating pattern on the outside that is caused by the tent’s unique fabric. This structure makes it possible to collapse the tent vertically, making it easy to transport and set up. The shapes on the exterior can be opened to function as windows and provide ventilation.

The exterior fabric of the temporary structures can harvest solar radiation and convert it into electricity, which can be used for lighting, heating, and cooling. The shelters also include a thermosiphoning and drainage system that draws water into spherical storage tanks at the top of the temporary shelters. The location of the tanks allows the shelters’ occupants to shower.

Seikaly believes the portable structures can help refugees rebuild their lives after being displaced from their homes. She is concerned that the refugee crisis may worsen in the future due to political conflicts and climate change. She believes her temporary structures can provide the familiar comforts of a home in a new location and provide families with privacy, while at the same time helping people to connect with each other.

Rapid Deployment Module Redefines Portable Shelters

rapid-deployThe Visible Good company has developed a new portable shelter that can be set up quickly and easily with no tools. Their Rapid Deployment Module, or RDM, can be a valuable aid during a crisis situation when shelter is needed fast.

Visible Good’s RDM is portable, reusable, and can be assembled in under 30 minutes by just two people. The fact that the 130 square foot RDM requires no tools makes it an even better emergency shelter. If a natural disaster or emergency situation should occur and shelter is needed, the RDM can be delivered as a self-contained unit. The shipping crate is utilized as the base for the shelter.

The RDM features hard walls that double as whiteboards, raised floors, and a vented fabric roof. The doors and windows are lockable on the RDM for better security. Visible Good says that their product can be used and then reused in a variety of emergency situations, including disaster relief, first-response, and even education. The RDM has been given a lifespan of a decade, allowing for multiple uses over time.

This portable emergency shelter has already been used in the field. BP purchased 26 RDMs for its ongoing cleanup operation of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. Army has also given Visible Good a research and development grant to create an “extreme” RDM that would be suitable for more challenging weather conditions.

A Portable Shelter Can Protect Your Boat from the Elements This Winter

portable boat shelterWith the lazy days of summer long gone and winter fast approaching, it’s time to make sure that your boat is protected from the elements during the cold winter months. A portable shelter is your safest and most economical option for keeping your prized possession in top shape so it will be ready for more fun on the water next year.

Whether you have a fishing boat, pontoon, yacht, rowboat, dinghy, trailer, sail, or other equipment, a portable shelter is your best storage option. Dry docking fees are expensive, and other winter storage methods, such as shrink-wrapping, are less effective at protecting against the extreme elements.

A portable, weather-resistant boat shelter provides protection from low temperatures, snow, sleet, ice, and the sun’s UV rays. Exposure to the elements can cause a myriad of problems in boats, such as cracks, mildew, dry rot, fading, corrosion, ice formation, and other damage that can result in costly maintenance or cause the boat to break down.

Portable Garage Depot has shelters that are easy to assemble and come in a wide assortment of lengths and heights to suit your individual needs. Our shelters are built with sturdy frames, made of powder-coated or galvanized steel, and polyethylene covers that provide the best protection from Mother Nature this winter. With shelters in both house and barn styles, we can help you protect your boat, trailer, and any other related equipment.

Our shelters can increase in size in two-foot increments to give you the perfect amount of space to store your vessel. Choose a shelter that allows a few extra feet of interior space so you can check on the boat throughout the winter. With four walls of protection and double zipper doors, your boat will be protected from the damaging elements all winter long.

With top-notch construction, our shelters will keep your boat safe so it will be ready for months of fun on the water again next summer. Call today for more information.

Not your Typical Portable Shelter

sea kettle

If you are lost at sea on a typical life raft, your main problem would be a lack of drinkable water. While humans can survive weeks without food, we can only go days without viable drinking water. Kim Hoffman developed the Sea Kettle, a life raft that uses the sun’s heat to evaporate salty water and collect condensed run off in containers within the raft.

Hoffman describes the Sea Kettle as, “a life raft that combines safety, accessibility, and a desalination process. In an emergency at sea, you may not be able to obtain fresh drinking water before being forced to abandon ship. portable shelterPassengers could easily die of thirst or from extreme temperatures before they are rescued or reach land.”

The Sea Kettle provides insulation and shelter from the elements with its dome-like shape. Inside the raft are hand pumps that can be used to draw up sea water that will be turned into drinking water. The sea water is distilled and runs into four separate pockets inside the raft. Hoffman says that the process should provide enough drinking water for up to five passengers.

Hoffman entered her design into this year’s James Dyson Award competition. While the Sea
effectiveness does depend on there being a sufficient amount of heat to evaporate the collected sea water, it would be more ideal to be stuck at sea in this life raft than any other.

This Portable Shelter goes wherever you Go!

Portable Shelter

Australian design company Sibling has developed a “Walking Shelter” that allows you to bring a tent with you wherever you go. The whole tent is stored inside netted compartments in the backs of your shoes!

The portable shelter expands out and around the body to form an enclosure around whoever has the shoes on. It relies on the human frame as the supporting structure and can be customized by the user to adapt to a variety of contexts and environments. The shelter is perfect for hikers, campers, or preppers who want a unique shelter that is easily portable.

The project was developed as a conceptual prototype as part of an auction where all proceeds are going to benefit the Little Seeds Big Trees charity. If you are looking for a very portable shelter option that will make sure you never find yourself in a situation without protection, the Walking Shelter is the perfect product for you!

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Shelters Built Completely out of Paper

emergency shelter

Shigeru Ban has been creating buildings out of recycled paper since 1986. He has built shelters and buildings, some permanent, completely out of paper all over the world. His DIY paper shelters are used after natural disasters around the globe.

Shigeru first started experimenting with his paper tube structures after he finished studying at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and Cooper Union’s School of Architecture in 1984. The paper tubes he uses to create his portable shelters are the same ones found in textile factories. Shigeru found that the tubes were mupaper church ch stronger than he imagined and were very easy to waterproof and fireproof. The paper tubes were low-cost and reliable, making them the perfect material for his architectural ideas.

At first Shigeru’s designs came in more of an art form. He created magnificient buildings out of the paper tubes that people would flock to see. He built a church, homes, and even built himself a paper office because he could not afford to rent one. Many of his structures were meant to be recycled, but became permanent fixtures because of their popularity. His focus shifted when he saw that his design could be used for emergency shelters in disaster situations.

Shigeru’s emergency shelters were first used in 1994 for refugees in Rwanda. The next year, after an earthquake in Japan, he used his paper materials to rebuild a local church that became a local fixture for 10 years.

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Portable Shelters that help Save Firefighters’ Lives

Emergency Portable Shelter

Firefighters risk their lives every time they are called to put out a fire. Just like the Navy has their Seal team, firefighters have the Hot Shots. The Hot Shots are an elite group of firefighters who often hike for miles into the wilderness and build lines of protection between people and fires. Sometimes they are forced to stay in the field for days at a time. A new portable shelter is being used to help save their lives in extreme fire situations.

There are hundreds of Hot Shot crews across the country. One crew from Arizona, the Granite Mountain Hot Shots, lost 19 of its 20 members recently while battling a wildfire sparked by lightning. This particular crew undergoes 80 hours of training each year and must stay in peak physical condition. Even with the best training, fires can still be deadly. Emergency portable shelters are the last line of defense for firefighters battling wildfires. These cocoon-like shelters take only seconds to deploy and completely surround the firefighter.

Once deployed, the portable shelter allows firefighters trapped in a fire to breathe their own air. The fire shelter is designed to reflect heat and allow the firefighter to breathe clean air. However, if temperatures reach 500 degrees, the glue that bonds the layers begins to break down. When using the portable shelter, it will still be hot, you won’t be able to breathe normally, but it allows the firefighter to stay alive.

The emergency shelter is definitely a last resort. Many of the Hot Shots crews are required to carry them with them on missions. If a firefighter must deploy the shelter, something has gone wrong. However, many trapped firefighters have survived because of the shelters, staying inside them anywhere between five and 90 minutes. In the case of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots, experts say the intensity of the Arizona fires would have been too much for even the emergency shelters to have saved their lives.

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Portable Shelters and Tents that Integrate Technology

For many campers, the traditional tent will do. However, with tablets and smartphones becoming so popular, some portable shelter and tent manufacturers are integrating technology into their designs. So whether you can’t be away from your microwave or Facebook for a whole weekend, there are ways to stay connected while you are in the wilderness.

Goal Zero/Eddie Bauer Katabatic 2

Katabatic 2

Goal Zero teamed up with Eddie Bauer to create the Katabatic 2 tent. The tent’s roof has an integrated 18-watt solar panel that is designed to hook up with Goal Zero’s Sherpa 50 Power Pack. If you are camping with the Katabatic 2 tent you can connect your laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other electronic device to the Sherpa and keep them charged. The only thing that might keep consumers from this luxurious tent is the price tag, it’s over $500, without the solar panel.

Barebones Safari Tent

Barebones Safari Tent

Barebones is the sister company of Goal Zero. Barebones focuses on creating portable shelters and accessories. Their products are built for both recreational camping and for humanitarian and emergency response efforts. The Barebones’ Safari Tent is large and designed for extended stays. It is 120 square feet and the prototype comes equipped with outlets that include integrated clamps that secure to the aluminum frame of the tent. The outlets are powered by Goal Zero’s Yeti solar system and allow you to plug into an outlet just like at home. If you want this portable shelter for your next long camping trip it will run you close to $2,000.

Eureka! E!luminate and Media Center

Eureka! Media Center

Eureka! is on the forefront of tent technology. They already of a line of powered tents and now are looking to make camping a little more glamorous. The hardcore camper will want nothing to do with the media center. An integrated pocket allows for you to place a tablet into it for watching movies or listening to music. The E!luminate is a great lighting system that is simple and effective. It is designed to hang from the top of the tent and provide substantial lighting.

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Ikea Creates Flat-Pack Shelter

Ikea refugee shelter

All too often people are displaced by poverty, war, and natural disasters. Most of the time, those people end up taking refuge in canvas tents that aren’t designed for long term use. The Ikea Foundation recently unveiled a new flat-pack shelter that has a modular design and solar panel to help improve living conditions for people who are in need of emergency shelter.

The shelter was part of a two year project being conducted in collaboration with the Swedish Housing Unit and the UN Refugee Agency. The prototype flat-pack shelter created by Ikea is modular and easyflat pack shelter to transport and assemble. The whole shelter comes flat-packed, allowing for easier and cheaper transportation. The portable shelter is made of a metal frame with stiffening wires to support walls and roofs made of lightweight plastic panels. Unlike other emergency shelters, Ikea’s has an aluminized shade that reflects heat to regulate the inside temperature. The aluminized shade helps keep the shelter cooler during the day and warmer at night. The shelter also has a solar panel that powers a built-in light and USB port.

Ikea says that the portable building takes only four hours to construct and will last three years. The shelter will provide better security and ventilation than other relief shelters available. The shelter will be tested on Somali refugees and their feedback will be used to improve on the design. Currently it costs $10,000 to make one of the prototype shelters, but Ikea hopes they can reduce the price to under $1,000 when mass produced.

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