TokTok Fablab On The Go

In less than a decade ago, the Tok Tok has invaded Egypt with the same purposes of its Asian lands of origin: cheap transportation, agile maneuverability, and compactness for those tighter paths.

The residents around the TokTok nests struggle to fight against the poverty, disease, and miseducation that proliferates as a consequence of their reality. Often they are victims to the mentality of innovation assassination.


The TokTok Mobile Fablab (TMF) intends on rectifying this issue. By constructing a mobile fabrication lab that will roam around these areas and engage the community, it will provide a rare chance to see the machines used for practical products. The ultimate goals is raise interest and encourage the use of these tools for relevant and practical solutions.

The TMF is being designed by a group of diverse individuals stemming from academia, development organizations, and enthusiastic community members. With the support of ARST, the ultimate objective is to replicate this prototype as many times as possible and have routes all over the city and in different governorates displaying the capabilities. The principles pertaining to Open Source will be attempted to be upheld, for this is iceacairo!

The team has been meeting weekly during the month of January, and has thus far broken down the categories into the following:

  1. Structure Design
  2. Housekeeping
  3. Management
  4. Tools

The team split into groups in order to expedite the flow of the design process, with each category assigned to a few players. The first category, Structure Design, was indeed the most critical and took into consideration size, weights, functionality, and much more. The Housekeeping group focused on the tool management and core principles of the 5S methodology used in manufacturing engineering. Management was focused on the logisitical and administrative aspects, while the Tools were listed for optimum coolness.

The initial sketch was made during a meeting (see pic) which encompasses all aspects of the brainstorming session in the four categories.


The subsequent meetings focused on the details of the kind of projects that could be implemented while the TokTok is cruising around town. Ideas like store signs, and battatta cart stoves were passed around. The main purpose was to identify which of the tools would be required, thus providing the space parameters to work with.

During the last meeting, Dr. Wael from Assyut University presented a 3-D rendition of their design for the fablab. Several questions on functionality added to the development of the design, including the dimensions, usability, and endurance of the half vehicle.

The use of fold out shelves and projector screens for video presentations, along with space saving methods were incorporated into the intricate design.


The final estimation of much importance was the total cost of each model. It was estimated that the prototype will cost somewhere around 250k EGP, whereby the learning curve and wholesale production (the estimated 8 – 10 by ASRT) would bring the cost down drastically, by about 100k per machine. It must be noted that some of the machines on the TokTok Mobile Fablab will be expensive in and of themselves. However, the team is exploring the possibilities of constructing those same machines with the guidance of Open Source knowledge platforms that are readily available online.