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Scissor lift prototyping

October 17th, 2008

Ok, with the cap out of the picture, it’s back to popup designs.   I’ve played with a number of schemes for the popup to happen.   Perhaps easiest is to do something similar to the “hinged” popup of Vanagons and Eurovans. They aren’t really hinged, but have a compound scissor lift which lifts the rear portion a bit (about 1 foot on Eurovans)

This works pretty well, and has the advantage of being relatively stable laterally because the low end is only raised a bit and the canvas acts as a shear preventer.

However, the angled top limits usable interior floorspace.   So, to do a full popup, I need 3 (or maybe 4) scissor lifts.   Using 1″ sailboat T track and track slides, I can create a simple scissor lift.   It’s made out of 6061 aluminum so it’s relatively light.  Here’s the prototype collapsed.

and extended

It’s quite smooth and is also fairly stable to torsional forces.    Side to side, not so much, so that’s why I need a 3rd scissor on the end (and possibly on both ends).   I will most likely add gas springs to make lifting easier.  Maybe even some compressed air driven gas pistions (as I’ll have onboard compressed air).

Now I have to figure out the mounting of this, as well as the placement of the canvas to keep everything flashed properly so it’s weathertight both when deployed and when driving down the highway.

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