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Blog 2: The BamGoo

December was spend implementing the BamGoo at the Pavilions. This article will give a short overview of the weeks spend on this project.

Week 48:

The planning for this week was the building of the second BamGoo prototype.  The designer of the BamGoo and two of her friends arrived to help us with the build and the research.  We started with a  brainstorming session to get our thought aligned. We realised that the original design maybe was too expensive for the village here. We shared our thoughts and we completed the drawings for our first prototype.

To build the prototype some bamboo was needed. We wanted to get the bamboo ourselves, so that we could see the farm and the people we were dealing with This because the lan is to continue doing business in the future. When we reached the farm we saw that there wasn’t any prepared bamboo and that there wasn’t someone who had a lot of knowledge of bamboo which was a bit of a setback. We called the owner and via the telephone we made all the arrangements needed to buy the necessary bamboo.

Testing of the first protoype.

The bike we could borrow from the NGO wasn’t good enough and we decided that we had to buy a better one. From previous research we knew what we wanted to get, so we picked the bike up on the way back to SRI together with some extra bolts and glue.

We firstly thought that we could build an entire prototype in one day, but it took a bit longer, because we had to fix some issues we ran into. A thing we saw was that the smaller poles could move horizontal, because the first glue we bought wasn’t strong enough. We also proved that the bolts were really necessary, because it wasn’t strong enough with only glue and rope. At least we had to change the way of using the rope, because we used way to much rope in the beginning and then the frame would cost too much.

Week 49:

In this week we wanted to test the prototype and present it to the board of the NGO. The board was really enthusiastic and they had some small  points for improvement. We also talked to the board about  possible clients and suitable markets.

Since it was the first time we met the board it was the perfect opportunity to talk about our internship and ask what they expect from us and tell them what we expect from them. They agreed on our ideas on making the pavilions self-sustaining. We also discussed our idea to start our own bamboo plantation, because it isn’t feasible to buy the small amounts of bamboo we need in means of transportation costs. They told us to get some more information on the farming itself and in the treatment of the bamboo in a sustainable way.

Board meeting

During our tests we noticed a few things that we needed to change, but overall we were really amazed by the strength of the frame. We had to move some furniture we made earlier and we could easily move a lot of it at once. We saw that the clamps moved a bit, so we have to weld them together. A bigger point of concern was the bike, it did the job, but you could see that the bike would break down sooner than the frame, so we need to tell people that they have to be aware of the fact that they had to watch the tires if they put a lot of weight on the frame.

The board had given us some contacts of people we should visit, because they could be interested in the frame. We went to a market to see these people and ask them how they move their goods now and if they need an better system. We came to the conclusion that there were a lot of different ideas on a perfect frame, so we want to give people the possibility to create their own frame, for instance a frame with bags in the front and a loading platform at the back.

Because we wanted to sell the BamGoo also when we leave it is important to learn the workers how to build the frame in an efficient way. Since there is a lot of rotation in the workers we decided we should make an instruction video explaining every step of the building process. With the video everyone can build the BamGoo frame making use of the machinery in the carpentry workshop.

Week 50:

In this week we wanted to build the second prototype. After finishing the first one we wanted to make the second prototype a bit different. We needed to shorten the front part, so that moving through narrow streets would be easy. We also wanted to change the measurements a bit. We made the whole frame a bit shorter and the back platform 10cm wider for extra loading capacity. This frame is also made from another type of bamboo which is a bit a lighter.

Assesing the prototype

To test different types of materials we made this prototype also with thicker bolts and thinner rope. We used the same glue, but for the side bars we didn’t mixed it with the sawdust, because we saw that the side bars came loose on the other prototype.

Market research at a local market.

We also went to a local market to ask the people what they thought about the prototype and what they wanted to pay for it. Unfortunately we came to the conclusion that the BamGoo bike wasn’t very handy for the sellers there, because they needed to travel too big of a distance.

Week 51:

In this week we had a lot of meetings, because we wanted to make a planning for the remaining weeks after our holidays. Luckily the chairman of the NGO was here all week so we could talk to him whenever we wanted. We also spoke a lot with Ellen and Laura to speak about the problems with the BamGoo and the other steps in our project.

We came to the conclusion that we should put our energy in two other projects and that we should finish the BamGoo project. We wanted to make a good and extensive report about the BamGoo with all the negative and positive points, as well as the instruction video, a poster, a manual to build it and a requirement list for an area to succeed.

The two projects we wanted to put our energy in are designing and building a chicken run with recycled and natural products and a cafeteria made of bamboo. We also want to find a solution to the water drainage problem and come up with ideas for a possible design. The cafeteria is a temporary solution, so we made some designs for a detachable construction in the design of the pavilions. We also investigate the feasibility of a chicken run and we spoke with some experts about the best location and way of building.