shop-in-a-boxan off-grid, open-source factory built from a 20’ shipping container.

Rapidly deployable to anywhere in the world, shop-in-a-box enables rapid prototyping and small-run manufacturing in a tiny but effective factory.

Shop-in-a-box is currently deployed in Bungoma, Western Kenya and Oakland, California as a factory producing biochar kilns and other biochar technology. re:char is able to produce in excess of 300 climate kilns per month from one shop-in-a-box.

We envision a global network of shop-in-a-box factories operating as an API for hardware: when one new product, Instructable, or other project has been built and documented in a shop-in-a-box, all other shop-in-a-box factories are able to quickly create and improve upon the product. We will deploy hardware like software: a new version of a product is deployed via instantaneous changes to the CAD models, not new products shipped from around the world.

Shop-in-a-box is currently in beta. Current capabilities include:

  • A CNC table, working envelope 4’x4’x6”, capable of running a plasma torch or wood-cutting router.
  • Solar panels + batteries / inverters adequate to power the shop during prototyping / design (computers + 1-2 hand tools).
  • Generator adequate to power the shop during production (usage of welders, plasma CNC, etc.).
  • Transformers capable of scrubbing irregular grid power to a state where it is safe for use with shop-in-a-box.
  • 2 plasma torches, one for CNC use and another for hand operation. Each is capable of severance cuts up to 3/4″ and sustained cutting in any thickness metal from 1/2″ down to 22-gauge.
  • Full MIG, TIG, and oxyacetylene welding setups for joining a wide variety of metals.
  • Electronics prototyping, centered around through-hole components and arduino microcontrollers.
  • Desktop 3d printer.
  • A desktop, aluminum-capable CNC router.
  • A wide variety of smaller tools: hand, power, and pretty much everything else you’d expect in a well-outfitted garage.
  • DVR with 4 cameras, mounted to easily capture and share all details of project builds.
  • All computers and software necessary to support the shop.

You can build your own, working from our list of parts (pdf), or purchase a shop-in-a-box from us. All shop-in-a-box beta purchases include on-site deployment by our team; lead time is 3 months from purchase to delivery in the U.S., 6 months international. Including U.S. delivery and deployment training, shop-in-a-box is currently available at $50,000.

Interested in purchasing? Inquire here.