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Post from O Falafel

O Falafel | Projects | Chassis | Portfolio

  • Currently, there are not any high quality falafel carts in the Cambridge area.  We set out to solve this issue by creating a very efficient and interesting design that also had amazing falafels.  Our group focused on the chassis.  We designed the whole structure and frame, planning everything out to be the most efficient, appealing cart.  One of the most interesting things about it is the shape.  It is a circle, with an inner semi-circle.  This shape allows the vendor to roll the entire cart, end over end, while the inner half-circle stays level.  That inner circle, where all of the table space is, always stays parallel to the ground.  This alluring design makes the cart very portable and attracts the attention of pedestrians, as an added benefit.

    We felt like we could make very good falafel, and we wanted to maximize the number of people who could experience it.  We decided that the best way to do this was by making a falafel cart.  We chose to make it round, in the shape of a falafel.  There are two sections: the outer circular frame and the inner semicircle.  The two outer circles are constructed using four sheets of 1/2-in plywood.  They all have an exterior diameter of 6ft, 7in.  The outermost circle (the one that everybody sees) is 6in thick, while the ones behind it are 4in.  This allows us to make a track for the wheels on the semicircle to rotate.  The inner semicircle is sandwiched in between the outer two circles.  The outer circles are held, equally spaced, by support rods that are 28in long and threaded through holes in the circles.  There are four wheels placed in optimal locations, on each side of the semicircle.  When the cart rolls, the wheels on the inside spin, allowing the countertop to stay level.  It was a challenge to design the chassis, but we steadily worked through the issues.  The biggest problem we faced was time.  We did not have enough time to build the cart in full scale, which was the original goal.  It also took a while to check over all of our work.  We had to sure make everything was perfect before sending the files out to get cut.  In the end, we sent our pieces to be cut and created a fully assembled, 1/4 scale model.