3D printing workshop

The age of buying cheap toys, of throwing broken stuff away is finished. Let’s discover 3D printing.

The fist part is the digitalisation of what we’re making. We’re using :

– Sculptris for the 3D drawing

– ThinkerCAD for the 3D manipulation

– Cura for the preparation for the 3D printer

The second part is the IRL printing of the object. We’re using :

– an Ultimaker 2 Go

– rPET filament


The end product is a curly-eared piglet, decorating the air valve of out colleagues bicycle !


PPP computer charger

The people pedal powered computer charger is a device that harvests human energy to charge a computer. The energy input comes from an ordinary bicycle in a stand that drives a generator. The energy output is the charging voltage of the computer.

Find the instructions on WikiFab !

Benevélo mailinglist

Hi there !

Welcome to the mailinglist of the benevélos of Vélo M² ! This list is for sharing events, missions and interesting topics, in Dutch, French and English. You can join the list https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/benevelo

What is a benevélo ? Someone who loves bicycles, someone who likes organizing events, someone who wants to be engaged in People Pedal Power !
Find more on https://ciklic.wordpress.com/connect-engage/benevelo/

See you soon,

Milena and Florent and the benevélos

Benevélo weekend

Merci to all participants of this weekend ! We had a fantastic time and we hope to see you back soon, greetings from exhausted but satisfied Milena and Florent

The projection was a charm, we gave our first PPP badge and we made the energy monitoring work ! There are more events to come, keep in touch !

Playlist braincandy Transition écologique

(Activateurs d’esprits)

The main dish
(for thinking through)

(for digestion)

First PPP badge

We want to encourage benevélos to gain the badge ‘apprentice PPP’ that demonstrates that you can assist in a good set-up of the People Pedal Power system. Find more at OpenFab !


The fist badge was accorded on 11/11 on the benevélo weekend, maybe we need to scale up the 3D print 🙂


Join the Vélo M² benevélo team to spread the love of PPP ❤





PPP cinéma for freedom 11/11

The discovery of the evening is a winter open-air projection. The cold couldn’t touch us as People Pedal Power kept us warm !


In memory of armistice day we presented an open air cinema projection of “Paths Of Glory” by Kubrick 1957 powered by pedaling. And this on “Place de la liberté” and totally free! Bring along your bike to connect it on the system.

This projection is part of a larger event, Benevélo weekend.


Joining OpenFab

This summer we decided to join OpenFab, a FabLab that is 100% independent, that creates an ecosystem to combine the capacities of everyone to become a catalyser of innovation and creativity. This gilde 2.0 that advocates the Open Source concept, starting with the machines to the spreading of the information.


Het feit dat we toetreden als een gilde geeft het warme gevoel om tot een groep te behoren, een kleine groep die zijn plaats vindt in een groter geheel. Dit zal ons een mooi duwtje in de rug geven voor  het werk om de documentatie open source te maken, een lange maar waardevolle taak.

Merci à Nico de nous avoir dans le lab !

A call for bénévélos (bike volunteers)

Hello all bike enthousiasts from around Brussels. it’s been 2 years since our journey started at POC21 and we have exciting times ahead. We are having weekly events all around the city and deposited a Mobile Fablab project with 11 partners. 2017-2018 will be the year for professionalization.

With this in mind we are searching to create an all around BENEVELO: a bike enthousiast that wants to be activily involved in all bike related projects but doesn’t want to be blocked at one organization. 

We know that a lot of you are already involved in one way or another with CycloperativaCyclo BxlCyclo Guerilla BxlPro VeloGRACQCritical Mass BrusselsDioxyde de Gambettes Livraisons à vélo-cargoMolenbike, Local & Fair Transport and other great Bottom up initiatives. We don’t want to be another organization to be using the precious time of those that are already giving their energy for the good cause.

So why don’t we combine forces, and create some great BENEVELO’S in Brussels. If you like the idea share the message or contact us on info@velom2.be

In September we have 10 projections to show the greatness of cargobike transport, pedal power and the bikers spirit, but not enough people to do them all. Help us out!


DC connectors

Hier documenteren we onze ervaring met verschillende connectoren voor hoge-stroom DC connectoren.
Neutrik : kunnen tot 40A aan, en nog meer, zijn robuust en hopelijk waterdicht. Female plug komt enkel in panel mount uitvoering.
Neutrik Cable Mount Loudspeaker Connector Socket, 4 Way, 40A, Screw Down Termination
RS-stocknr. 464-684
Neutrik Panel Mount Loudspeaker Connector Plug, 4 Way, 40A, Solder Termination
RS-stocknr. 464-690
Ring connectoren : simpele ring connectoren, met nut and bold vastgezet. Kunnen hoge stromen aan, moet bevestigd worden op een support zodat de twee polen niet raken. Minder praktisch om veel contact te lossen of te maken. Risico tot vergissen van polarisatie.
Inline images 5
Wago klemmen : makkelijk voor test opstellingen, beter dan gewone suikertjes. Risico tot vergissen van polarisatie. Komen in verschillende maten, kunnen ook hoge stromen aan.
Wago 221 Terminal Block Connector, 3 Way/Pole, Spring Cage Terminals, 24 → 12 AWG Cable Mount, 450 V
RS-stocknr. 883-7548

Suikertjes : zijn af te raden, want de draad wordt beschadigd. Moeilijk in en uit te nemen.

XLR : hebben we slechte ervaringen mee omdat de connectie makkelijk los kwam, dit was toen de connectoren op de grond terecht kwamen, dus in jouw geval zal dat niet gebeuren. Neem deze met een vergrendeling “mated connectors are secured by a latch”. Kunnen tot 16A aan.
Deze lijken mij solide, we hebben goede ervaring met neutrik, maar met deze connectoren specifiek hebben we geen ervaring.

Neutrik 3 Way Cable Mount XLR Connector, Female, Silver over Nickel Plated Contacts, 50 V
Neutrik 3 Way Cable Mount XLR Connector, Male, Silver Plated Contacts, 50 V
DIN : zijn duur voor wat ze kunnen. Neem deze met twist lock. Ook beschikbaar bij Elak/Cotubex.

RS Pro 71434 Series, 4 Pole Right Angle Din Plug, DIN 41524, 3A, Twist Lock
RS-stocknr. 453-549

automotive : is een goedkope optie die polarisatiefouten vermijdt. Niet praktisch voor prototypage, eens de richting van de stroom vast ligt, kan je de connector niet meer op een andere plaats inzetten.

Inline images 3Inline images 4
male/female classic : zijn af te raden, vervormen snel en verliezen contact. Als je dit gebruikt, maak de contacten geschrankt, dus male-female aan 1 kant en female-male aan de andere.
Inline images 2
male/female spade : hebben we geen ervaring mee.
Inline images 1
Zoals je ziet is het geen eenduidig antwoord. Als je nog in testopstelling bent, zou ik de wago klemmen aanraden. Als je finaliseert, probeer de neutrik xlr connectoren. Als je daar niet blij van bent, ga dan naar de neutrik speakon, en bouw de female plug in de wand in.

Battery selection

First remark : if you can avoid using a battery and work with the people pedal power in stead, this is considerably more interesting for the environment
– car batteries a heavy compared with the energy they can store, they are designed for giving high current.
– deep cycle / cyclic / boat batteries can contain more energy because of the internal structure of the battery technology, allowing a deep discharge.
*input* : user power (ex sound system of 900W peak)
*input* : time of autonomy (ex one hour before charging)
*input* : voltage of the system (ex 12V)
*energy need* = user power * time of autonomy (ex = 900Wh for the sound system)

checking the battery parameters
– Gel and Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) types of VRLA can be mounted in any orientation, but need to be ventilated.
– the depth of discharge (DOD) of a battery determines the capacity and the number of cycles, 60% is a good value for AGM batteries (check DOD documentation).
– the current of discharging lowers the voltage output, the higher the discharge current, the lower the voltage and the lower the capacity.
*battery voltage at the DOD* > voltage of the system (ex 6 cel Li-ion doesn’t work, ex when discharging in 3h (0,3C), after 3h the battery voltage drops to 11V)
*charge need* (Ah) = energy need / voltage / depth of discharge (ex = 900Wh / 12V / 60% = 125Ah)

ex DAB12-135EV 12V 166Ah 136Ah 342 173 286 B M8 43,3 http://www.dynoeurope.com/assets/dab-ev/DAB12-135EV-TDS-EN.pdf

The number of cycles of a battery is dependent on the depth of discharge.

Traveling trough Brussels with the xyz cargo bike

Preparation : charge the battery, find the keys, checking the brakes, inflate the tires, take a lock, put the saddle at your height.
Planning the trip : avoid steep hills (Mont des Arts, Botanique, Porte de Namur), the elevator at Palais de Justice fits the bike, calculate your time (then add some for surprises and answering curious passengers.
During the trip : start the bike with the front wheel straight and give some power, when standing up on the pedals watch out for your knees, while in traffic take your place in between the cars, don’t hesitate to give a ring but don’t frighten pedestrians.
At the finish : don’t forget to take care of yourself and drink enough water.



Renewable energy – what can you expect ?

People pedal power is a form of renewable energy, but how much energy can a human produce ?

the numbers
1 cyclist = 100W power generated during 5min
= 75W during 15min
= 50W during 1h
sound system energy used = 1/2 of indicated power (more basses is more power, more volume is more power)
For example a 500W sound system uses generally 250W continuously, equivalent to 3 à 4 cyclists.
1 cinéma projection = 4 cyclists
1 coffee = 20 cyclists for heating (or 1h of cycling for your own)
1 pintje = 1h of cycling to burn the calories

The actual system provides place for 4 ordinary bikes to produce the needed power, equivalent to 300W. The peak power comes to 800W. The plugs are standard mains plugs, with the same quality of current as at home.

There is a possibility to set up a low voltage DC circuit, at 12V car cigarate plug or 24V specific plug. This allows the system to be 20% more efficient.

Find the google sheet with calculation tools :

Salary on pedal energy ?
more numbers
1 day of cycling = 50 W x 8 h = 0,40 kWh
1 kWh = 0,20 €
poverty line = $1.90 a day
cyclists salary = 4% of the poverty line

Sources : http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained




An electronic component able to hold a charge. It can be used in the same function as batteries with the following differences :
+ a capacitor is easier to recycle than most batteries (references will follow).
+ a capacitor can provide and absorb a higher peak power.
– the voltage varies with the charging state of the capacitor (it needs an additional converter to provide the voltage of the system)
– the energy by weight capacity is less interesting than with batteries.
– the cost by energy is higher.
– the lifetime is quasi infinite (1M cycles).

The energy storage of a supercapacitor :
energy = 1/2 * C * voltage difference^2
ex = 1/2 * 500F * (16-12)^2 = 4000J = 1.11Wh = 1 cyclist for 1min20sec



Energy module


The energy module allows to treat the power form the PPP bike generators. It buffers the power to keep the supply-demand in balance and it converts the messy DC power to AC 230V power.



Little battery module

Little battery module

*Little battery module* manuel
1. switch the battery on (middle) -> is the LED screen on ?
2. hook up generator bike (normal mains plug) -> do you feel resistance when pedaling ?
3. plug in the 3D printer (plug) or other device (USB) -> is the device powered ?
4. pedal to provide power (pedals) -> is the battery charge staying steady ?
(when in trouble, call)
– there is not enough power > check the gears of the bike
(in worst case, plug the charger in the regular 220V nuclear)
– the voltage limiter is triggered too often > pedal backward, use more power
(in worst case, unhook the voltage limiter and stay below 50V while generating, material needed : english key 10, multimeter)


top left : converter IN
top middel : busbar between IN – OUT – BATTERY
top right : converter OUT 24V
side left : OUT USB and diverse chargers
middel : BATTERY
side right : battery charger (220V nuclear to 28V)






left backside : bike generation power IN (normal mains plug)
left top : converter OUT (24Vout, 8A, 40Vmax, green LED)
left bottom : voltage limiter (4.7Ohm, 56Vsafety, red LED)
middel top : positive bus bar IN (80A diode) – BATTERY (to 10Asafety, LED screen)- OUT
middel bottom : negative bus bar
right : converter OUT (28Vout, USB, 20A, 55Vmax, blue LED)




left : positive to thyristor (40Amax) and zener (56Vtrigger)
right : thyristor to resistor (4.7Ohm, red LED) – resistor to negative bus bar
*when triggered, ask to pedal backwards before restarting generating on the bike*


Expo POC21 is coming near. What are we up to?

It is getting really serious here at POC21. Since a bit more then one week our team is building the final parts for the exposition that will be held this weekend. Our goal is to have at least three working modules or capsules like we call it now: An energy module driven by solar and pedal power, an open air cinema capsule and a mobile Fablab. Surprisingly we found enough time to make a second energy system that will be showcased at the expo. But it didn’t go smooth at all!

The Process was long but interesting

First we had some problems finding the right format for our modules and had multiple meetings with the designers from POC21 to choose that perfect frame. What we didn’t know is that perfection doesn’t exist in Open Source, or better said it is a utopia. We choose to take all information in consideration and just build our first frames. The first results can be found here in this blog post, and will be documented the next couple of days so that everybody can start building their modules and improving the general system. Our Fabtotum (a creative common licenced 3D printer that also works as a CNC, laserprinter and many more) will be ready for the Gesneden Woord weekend we will be having at the end of the month between Brussels and Rotterdam! Icing on the cake will be at the Designer expo in Breda on Saturday and Sunday where we will be part of the official catalogue.

2015-09-09 12.07.33

Everything fits perfectly on each other

2015-09-14 18.33.47

Lasercutting the modular insides

2015-09-13 17.59.59

Testing out the Fabtotum

2015-09-09 12.06.06

The Inside and outside Frame

The project as everlasting evolution

As time went by at POC21 it became more and more clear what Vélo M2 was becoming. Not only a road crossing of three collectives making interesting modules for their own sake and cargo bike, but a platform for anybody wanting to think differently about public space, mobility and renewable energy.

We learned thanks to POC that what we are doing is in constant changing, building brick by brick with new people, new information. We started building a community on twitter and facebook and got already some interested partners that want to share their plans, help building modules or simply use what we are making. We hope to have our website online at the beginning of the expo with the first documentation how to make the universal cases for any cargo bike, how to make the cinema and Fablab capsules and finally how to build your own renewable energy modules. We hope other people will join really soon, and we invite anybody who is interested in building, rethinking or helping to start contacting us really soon.

2015-09-14 19.02.02
he battery in his natural habitat

2015-09-10 12.59.20
The pedal power system without the casing

2015-09-14 15.42.09
utting pink mousse to stabilize the big and heavy parts
Introduction to our lexicon

More and more words are getting clear in our head. This are the terms we will be using a lot in the next couple of months.

#velom2 – Vélo Square Meter: 1m2 to rethink public space without fossil fuel and the electric grid, using a cargo bike
#openspace –
Opening public space to all kind of temporary uses, and making the tools #OpenSource so anybody can repeat it
The cases we made are build to be stackable, have interchangeable parts and unlimited possibilities. When a case gets a use and a story it becomes a capsule.
#pedalpower: What best way to show how hard it is to make energy as by making it yourself. 1 person can make 100 Watts. We need at least 20 people to boil water…

Vélo M2: Multifunctional Mobile Modules for a Sustainable Future

Vélo M2 is a project started by three collectives in Brussels, Urban Foxes, Ciklic & Soft Revolution. Vélo M2 is cultivating innovative open source modules for cargo bikes, one square meter at the time.
All existing and future modules will be conceptualized and built in a mind-set of sustainable co-living and co-working, reducing waste and CO2 emissions, while encouraging human interaction in an urban environment. The modules that you will find in our library are:

  • Replacing Fossil Fuel Generators: an electricity module with renewable energy coming from solar and pedal power
  • For Action: a projection module for outdoor cinemas
  • For Events and Silent Parties: a sound module with wireless diffusion
  • For Consciousness Food: a cooking module for food preparation
  • a cooling module for transporting food (for picnics and sharing drinks)
  • The concept and the plans of the modules will be shared in the open-source philosophy. The builds will be made of recup or sustainable materials. With these ideas and plenty other modules in the pipeline, we invite all cargo bike users, fans and makers to make your own module, give a hand to others and have fun in making.

Cargo bikes can be a solution for many urban and dense city challenges. In addition they can also be an alternative to reduce car use in any environment. Together, let’s create a sustainable future for both living and working.

In the design of our first modules we started with an open source cargo bike called XYZ CARGO by N55, in collaboration with Till Wolfer / www.xyzcargo.com.

Connect with us through Facebook and Twitter

The Electricity Module: Sharing the insides / insights

We are conceptualizing and constructing, designing and building our vital organs at the moment. We want the share the insides and the insights of the energy module with you. If you have suggestions, additions, more efficient ideas, we encourage sharing it with the project, to make a system that is interesting for everyone that will use the energy module to make things happen.

The main feature for the Vélo M2 project is the electricity module that makes us self-sufficient electrically thanks to solar and pedal power. Because we know that Rome wasn’t built in one day, we are building a first version based on a battery without relying to much on energy generation on place. We have now a 24V 100Ah LiFePO4 battery, the same technology as electric bikes. This battery gives us a total autonomy of 2 movies in combination with the projection module. The charging power of the battery can be provided through a regular socket plug or it can be provided through a controller for solar power or one humans pedal power.

Link to the battery system drawings: https://www.dropbox.com/s/einsjd57f5jk63m/Energy%20Module%20-%20Electric%20Wire%20Scheme%20-%20version%20POC21.pdf?dl=0
In this process we came across some questions that take us long time to solve, and because our time is counted at POC21 (the exhibition is in 2 weeks) we want to open our Energy Module already and solve it with other electricity experts and cargo bike enthusiasts. Especially people with knowledge about low voltage power electronics.

Our main goal is to build a community of cargo bike enthusiasts that help each other building crazy new modules and design a system where any cargo bike module can be put on any cargo bike. Here at POC21 we are building the mainframe and the first modules, but we think it would be awesome if some people could already help us refining the technical aspect.

If you are a low voltage expert or know one, feel free to share your knowledge. Someone who is available in the next week and can answer on a fast base would be awesome!

Thanks and keep on biking!

Pitching the Vélo M2 Project (with DRAWINGS!)


Vélo M2 is a Pedal Powered Multi Modular Cargo Bike Community! As simple as that!
Still questions, come listen about the possibilities….

A Bike can be a great alternative for a personal car
A Cargo Bike can be a great alternative for a transportion car
A Multi Modular Cargo Bike can be a great alternative for any kind of activities that need transport


Vélo M2 project is using the XYZ Cargo Bike by N55 Collective and Till Wolfer (www.xyzcargo.com)


With Vélo M2 we will give you mobility, pedal power and energy (if you build an energy module) and all kind of possibilities you can build yourself or with the help of the community.


How our open source community will work:

You have an idea for a cool module -> post it on the website and ask for help of other builders, cargo bike fans and designers -> get it all worked out on paper -> Build it -> inspire someone else to make his own design


Do You Have already an idea?

ook at what we are planning:

A Cinema module with locally stored energy
An Ice Cream Saloon on a Bike!
A Plumber going to his work!

Vélo M2: a platform for cargo bike module builders.

Hello i’m Yannick from Soft Revolution collective.

With 2 other collective (Ciklic and Urban Foxes) we started building at the innovation camp POC21 a cargo bike project called Vélo m2: world’s first multi-modular cargobike

In the beginning we just wanted to build all kind of different modules for the XYZ Cargo Bike designed by N55 and Till Wolfer but our idea got a little bigger and we are working on a community for cargo bike module builders in open source.

The idea is simple: share a common base with the same dimensions and put all our plans online. Invite other people to start thinking about new uses of the cargo bike and make it the most interesting mobile platform in cities.

We are building an energy system with pedal and solar power so you are self sufficient anywhere , a projector module, a mini fablab and a kitchen system to start with. Everything will be put online so you can build it yourself and ask help to the builders. We hope to invite all of you who are interested in building and sharing in open source their plans, making other projects possible and … conquer the world one cargo bike at the time.

At the end of september our platform will launch, but if you are interested to follow our project you can give me your e-mail or follow us on different sites:

WordPress of our engineers: https://ciklic.wordpress.com/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/velom2bxl

Keep on cargo biking

Open sourcing the module system: A designer challenge

Time is an important tool at POC21. We just have five weeks to build a Proof Of Concept of or multi-modular cargo bike with solar and pedal power. To be more efficient in our work we decided to organize an open designer session. All the product designers where invited to a massive brainstorm session to finalize the cargo bike module system. We gave three user stories and showed them the restraints they would need to solve. At the same time we gave a first test to our community we are slowly building on facebook and twitter. This is the result:



#1 watertight
#2 600 x 400 m base
#3 wood / aluminium materials
#4 usability / openness of the design
#5 easy to DIY
#6 easily stackable
#7 Modularity

story 3 story 2 story 1

For the designers, we gave them a set of restraints and in 5 hours they found us a working system. For them we need to build an aluminium frame where the side panels in wood can be taken out to open the box and make it more modular. Inside, there will be a big plate with standard holes on the base so you can change the structure of the inside at any time with your own design. They also gave us 5 formats for the boxes that can easily be stacked on each other with a belt system.

5 Formats

600 x 400 x 350
600 x 400 x 175
300 x 400 x 350
300 x 400 x 175
300 x 400 x 90

lego boxes

At the same time we connected with some great people like Eric Poscher who shared us his open source cnc boxes that are based on a really nice system. Other people posted all kind of different boxes on the facebook page . We are looking at all those possibilities and we hope to show you the concept as soon as possible.

If you have any other ideas, share it with us, and become part of a new cargo bike builders community with the open source philosophy in mind!

Three User stories to explain the possibilities of the multi modular cargo bike community

Story one: Organizing a cinema for kids.

Two days ago I had a telephone call of a children camp just outside of Brussels who has problems to occupy their kids with all the rain falling down. They found me on the vélo M2 site where I explained how I build my multi media module. I offered workshops for people who don’t want to build it themselves or to go on events with it. The camp is in the middle of nowhere and they just have a big tent where they can project stuff. But they didn’t bring a beamer, and the electricity is on low point because of the bad weather. They ask if I can come and show a kids movie or project some video games.

I get all the stuff I need: I check my movie library and upload it on the raspberry pi, I get the game console (a wii this time) and attach everything in the box ready to be plugged in immediately at the camp. The boxes have long cables with them because I want to give them an immersive sound so I can put the boxes where I want. This time I need to project on the beamer against the inside of the roof, so I will need to adjust the stand when projecting.

I hope my box is safe enough for the kids, cables aren’t lying around and I can pop everything out immediately on top of the bike. I connect my box to the battery module with pedal power and I attached everything to the bike, the road is a bit wobbly so I can’t have parts lose everywhere. Lucky for me I had sun this morning so I charged my battery with the sun module. But It’s raining outside for the moment, and the battery is not fully charged. I decide to do a tour with the bike earlier to continue charging with the pedal power. I will be possibly wet, but I can’t deceive the kids.

I arrived safely at the camp after one hour of driving; the kids are a little bit excited. But easily for me I just contact the battery model that is fully charged with the cinema model, pops it open and get the movie starting. At the same time I install the part under the bike for the pedal power. The battery only holds 3h30, so to maximize fun I’m pedalling at the same time to get more energy. Every bit counts. If the kids where a bit older I would have stacked the extra pedal power module so 6 bikes could pedal at the same time and we would have unlimited resources, at least till one of the bikers faints.

After 4 hours of fun, watching Ponyo and playing Mario kart the kids are rested. They sometimes did ruff movements but thanks to the fact everything is attached nothing got broken, and they didn’t hurt themselves to the box. Just on time because the battery was getting empty. The camp organizer thanks me with giving me a bag of beers, with the stretching cables I easily manage to put it on top of the bike

Story 2: a group of elderly (50+) like to BBQ

Selma and René are two elderly people, still active and living in a beautiful apartment on the third floor in the hearth of the city. They ditched their car some years ago when they finished work and like to do trips to the countryside with their bikes. Because they have grandkids René bought a cargo bike and learned about the modular system by his son in law using vélo m2 platform. So made him a child seat to transport his grandkids to school.

He is really getting invested in vélo m2 and he sees the plans about a BBQ and wants to make it himself. On the BBQ everything is there to have a nice meal for 4 people. Just perfect for the weekend trips with their friends for years now: Suzy and Rachel. The grill place is really well designed, it can get out of the module and be placed anywhere with the foldable branches. The other part is a recycled boat fridge where the meat, the salad and some vegetables can be put. They tweaked it a bit to have only compartments that will hold the food steady. The last space of the module is used to put the forks, the knives and everything needed for a BBQ. But what Réne really likes is that little bar on the side where he can put his utensils on and take out a cutting board to cut and work the vegetables and meat.

But he is a bit sceptical; he wants to improve it so there is place also to put enough wood or coals so he doesn’t need another bag. He chooses to ditch the electricity and just puts icepacks and a good closed system so he doesn’t need the energy module (that is quoit heavy to bring back three levels at his apartment) and so he makes some place to also take a bottle of wine with him and some glasses. That would impress Suzy and Rachel, always showing off with their fancy cocktail making module their daughter made. So he searches on the platform vélo m2 and finds somebody that moves beer without a energy module, but holds it cold with a cooler system.

And with the right tools, explanation and his small technical knowledge ( René was a bank employee ) he makes it, a deluxe version of the first module to have more BBQ stuff with. One-week project and its done. He even puts some hand bars so he can pick it up without hurting his back to much. His son in law is so impressed that he wants to use it on his own cargo bike. Lucky for him all the modules are standardised on a 600mm on 400mm so it can be carried on any cargo bike. He puts the plans online and isn’t anymore a user but a builder in the vélo m2 platform.
The veganburgers are really yummie says Rachel.

Story 3: Candice just started being a cargo bike plumber.

Candice was working at a death end job in marketing, and she wanted to do something completely different, going back to her roots: being a plumber because her mother was one of the best plumbers of her region. She knew already a lot when she was spending time with her mother when she was young.

She decides she doesn’t want to drive a car with all the big materials and make big interventions, but just small reparations on the spot and send the big ones to another person. All her tools need to fit on the cargo bike she just bought.

But when she buys the open source license (she will use it for profit) of her first version of a bike-repairing module she gets stuck with all kind of problems. First off all, she needs to get the box fast off the bike and again secured on between every intervention. Her selling point is being the fastest possible intervention. A magnet system for her tools could be really nice, because sometime she needs to prepare other tools between interventions and goes by home as fast as possible.

After some work, she manages to have an easy system for her tools and puts it online. She now is the licence owner of this module, and is part of the family tree of Workshop modules.

But then there is one thing that annoys her: it is just an ugly designed box. It needs a more flashy design, because her bike is her way to find new clients also. She works on a xyz cargo bike and loves the aluminium design. So she would like to have a box in that design, but with an edgy part, some cool colour code, pink is her favourite colour and with laser cut wood designs because her boyfriend likes to spend time in the fablab. That would make her so happy. She puts her demands on a part of the platform, and in two weeks the community found her bike. She tanks the people who helped by giving an open licence on her module for profit use to all the helpers.

Extra Story: The Battery.

The battery of the vélo M2 is the hearth of the body. It is solid; works mostly of the time without any problems, but when it isn’t it needs to get a fast fix. Every part needs to be at the right place and easily reachable so our engineers can always work on it without having to get near delicate parts.

And so one day our engineers finally found the ideal system, after changing every part in that same designed box they reached the most energy creating network with all the plugs for solar power, bike power, … in it and now they want to show it to the world, what is in the guts, to have an open source system so they can explain kids and older how it works without having to open the box or the problem that people are going to touch it. For an exposition it would also be nice.

And now everybody is happy and lived a long bike filled life

What FORMAT for the modules? We need your help cargo bike users!

To all cargo bike users,

Like some of you know, we are building a modular cargo bike box system that will be open source. To explain it with exempels: we are building a box with a sustainable and pedal and solar powered battery system, a box with a mobile cinema, a box with an arcade, a box with a little kitchen, and the possibility to bring your own ideas to the platform. All stackable on each other and in a format that can be fit on almost any cargo bike.

But what we need to decide TODAY is what will be the universal FORMAT

We were thinking about the 400 x 600 mm eurobox format so you don’t even need to build your own box, but just choose out of plenty of already existing boxes that can fit on each other. If we hold everything in one format, it is easily compatible for every cargo bike and even for longtails. BUT

On the most used cargo bikes like bullit or bakfietsen.nl we would be losing a lot of space with this format. Choosing 500 x 700 mm would give us lots of more space to make our own modules.

Because we want to become a community we trow this question into the air so we can resolve it all together. Who has some ideas?

More info:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/velom2
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/velom2bxl

Eurobox: https://www.google.fr/search?q=eurobox&espv=2&biw=1280&bih=669&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMIiI-24J7LxwIVxFcaCh0p3AcE

A first step to a cargo bike builders community!

Hello cargobike lovers,
Our project is taking more and more a concrete form. We are not only building a modular bike with a self-sufficient battery to project movies, organize parties or cook , but working on an open source community for builders and designers of new modules that can be put on any cargobike in the future.
To make it more concrete we need your help, contacts from people already using cargobikes and willing to help build a community where we share our knowledge, plans and make the cargo bike that more efficient. Who wants to help? ‪#‎sharingiscaring‬
More info about the technical part can be found here:
The bike we use is a design XYZ CARGO by N55 in collaboration with Till Wolfer / www.xyzcargo.com


I Think day five for our team will be seen as a first leap towards a better understanding of what we are exactly doing at POC21. This five-week accelerator is more then a work camp, it is a place where the way of working and living is questioned every day.
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Take for example our morning task; all of our team took the responsibility to help prepare the dinner. At 9h30, after the morning meeting we started chopping kilos of vegetables to prepare a meal for 80 people. We didn’t have time to work at our project and in the beginning it was a bit of frustration. After some reflection we concluded that this co-living part has to be taken as serious as our work on the bike. If we want to change society and be more sustainable we have to be that in every aspect of our life, and not only in the project. Investing in a co-living system is therefor as import as starting to work on the battery

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After the meal we were invited to follow a short media training and introduction to the different aspects of talking to the press. Friday will be a busy day and press from all over France will come to have a first look at what is happening at POC21. We are excited but also a bit afraid to bring our project to the larger audience. What we need is a big rethink about the global design of the project, it just happens that is the next thing we are convoked to.

Schermafbeelding 2015-08-20 om 09.34.18
This Designers moment was one of the most intense and also emotional brainstorms we had at POC for the moment. They wanted to know our ‘business model’, our future plans, way of working, and practical design questions. Every one of those questions opened new questions and challenges. How can we bring all those ideas we have around the possible uses of Vélo M2 in one easily explainable plan. So what we need is a giant mind map!

But before we have a major talk, we take some time off and I make use of that occasion to talk to Tomas Diez, from Barcelona, the creator of one of the first fablabs in Europe. He gives us tips on our fablab module and hints to what fablabs will be looking like in 2-3 years: http://mtm.cba.mit.edu/

Right before we go to bed we decide to take place at the reunion table and make a giant mind map with all the questions , ideas and possibilities that we had in mind, after discussion our hopes, expectations, possibilities we decide that tonight will not be the night we find our first business model, but what a heck of a day it was, with one big step forward for this beautiful project.

Now it’s time to Party!


A lot is happened the last two days. It was like everything was happening at the same time. POC21 is a unique experience where you put 100 creative eco-inventers together with all their own skill and you try to squeeze out the best possible thing.


So on the third day we started to structure the things we observed around us to take best use off: everybody has a speciality and has lots of knowledge,the best tactic is to find the right person to help us to find the best solution. We want to have a good working battery, so one of our engineers start to search for every possible project at POC21 that has something to do with energy: Sunzilla, Open Energy Monitoring, 30$ wind turbine and starts planning a meeting.


The Fablab

electricity workshop
The electric workshop

cnc machine
The CNC machine

At the same time we get awesome news from Cycle-In from Elsene that sends us all information about how to build a regenerating pedal powered bicycle structure. But that is not the only find of the day, we manage to contact CinéCyclo, a france based cargobike cinema with whom we exchange some possible ideas. Lets see what these collaborations will bring the project to a new level

We almost forgot what time it was, this time not dinnertime, but the time our bike arrives at POC21 accompanied by Florent, another engineer from Ciklic. It is like Christmas coming early. Florent is immediately bombarded by hundreds of new information and he will need to adapt really fast, we give him a last update before sleep. Day four will be a critical day.

bike is comming

In the early morning we are convened to the central room to have our first look at the mentors day. Six specialists of all different areas come to help us think, rethink and discuss our project. We learn about the bigger picture with climate change specialists, look at the community of instructable, the designer tool Autodesk and lean more about Fablabs. But my mentor sessions are suddenly interrupted because I need to do my duties. Like explained earlier, every person is responsible for a part of the camp. I assigned myself to kitchen duties and will be doing that till 19h clock. Why I’m cooking almost all day: because our two engineers at camp have an important task: organize a energy meeting / brainstorm with all people working around that Area at POC. So I took one of their duties.

laser cutted box for in the tent

Before I go into the details of the meeting, I need to explain how impressed I was by the level of involvement the POC organisation has around sustainability. Not only do we compost, use the least possible water, and have almost no food waste: our kitchen staff managed to have a deal with a big supermarket to come get all food that will be thrown away. It is impressive how much good food is thrown away like that. With all those vegetable, meat, fruit we managed to cook for 100 people without any problem. This deserves a big round of applause!

But the biggest effort our team managed to conquer was organizing a brainstorm meeting with almost 20 people, all involved in renewable energy to try to find a method to put everything in one system. It is a challenge we are going to take, but we think that if we find a global system that involves all the energy projects at the end of POC21, we would have realised something really interesting. Building together, all through our own projects. The true meaning of Open Source.

electricity meeting 2 electricity meeting

For More info: http://poc21.cc/  http://www.cinecyclo.com/

Follow on twitter: @velom2bxl @poc21cc @cinecyclo

Like on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/velom2


Second day at POC and first full day of work, except we are having brunch at 10 AM because it is Sunday. I woke up a little earlier to go get some blackberries for breakfast. Learning about your environment is as important as working on our project, we heard.


After a great buffet for breakfast we make further acquaintances with the other teams and supporters. We try to find our own place and stumble on the amazing Dueling Horse Lounge where we settle and start working on the battery and social media skills. We are so involved in our new working place that we forget there is a BBQ waiting for us at noon. But before that, we get a first briefing of the day: because it is Sunday, and we don’t have a work schedule yet we are invited to participate to one of the open workshops of the day. Plenty of choice: Making computers out of a jerry can and old parts, burning coffee beans, making kids furniture, working on the safety issues, hacking the dry toillets and building useful general furniture.

work in progressafter the BBQ
One of our team members is interested in hacking the dry toillets, and I was more tempted by building computers out of recup material and jerry cans. Why, because one of our ideas for a module called Electric Troc is to take old computer parts with the bike to places where people need computers and teach them how to build a computer, and basic maker skills. So this opportunity looks perfect to see how an opensource project called Jerry Do It Together already has build more then 200 computers in Africa.

computer 1 computer 2 computer 3 computer 4 computer 5 computer 6

After a creative explosion of ideas on the jerry can we come together before the evening starts to talk about we can manage our community. Two people build a task board where anybody can volunteer and we learn about the community board where we can put ourself on and share our best skills with the others.

Community building village system

At dinner we meet a social designer who explains about her projects concerning civil hacking that make us have all kind of new ideas for our module. We hope to get more of these kind of conversations.

Finally we come back to the lounge where one of our engineers is on fire and starts talking with all kind of people and we meet specialists in electricity, people who already made a bike powered battery and the guy behind open energy monitoring. The future looks bright but now it’s dark and tomorrow we need to be ready to pitch our idea and make bridges with other projects.
For More info: http://poc21.cc/  http://openenergymonitor.org/ youandjerrycan.org/

Follow on twitter: @velom2bxl @poc21cc @jerryDIT

Like on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/velom2


Yesterday we finally arrived at POC21, an accelerator camp for open source, sustainable ideas that aim to have a Proof Of Concept at the end of five weeks for each of the 12 selected projects. We, with Vélo m2, the multi-modular cargo bike were one of the lucky few to be selected between 200 other.

So Saturday morning we did a last check up of all our building materials and electronic parts and head the road to Millemont, a castle near Paris.

inpakken laatste materiaal check fiets komt pas maandag mee

We arrived at what looks like a 17th century Chateau that looks rather impressive. We where immediately asked to join at the Grand Salon to have our first meeting and briefing about what is going to happen. We learned that the idea is to become a working village, where everybody takes up some tasks, so not only co-working but also co-living, we like that idea!

the castle!
After the small talk we hit to our basecamp: tents behind the castle where we find a warm welcome notice and what looks like really awesome beds! No back pain for us this time! But POC21 is not only about engineering, coding and nerdtalk, we have to learn about the environment where we will be working in so we follow our hosts to the wishing tree where we have a neo-hippy moment. One of our engineers feels the need to clime up and it looks like she is already feeling at home.
the wishing tree warm welcome 7 8
No time to settle, we are invited to go to dinner, and let us assure you, it is delicious, great product, soup, cheeses, quiches and a lot of fruit. People who want to cook are invited to help next time. Some of us have found their duty for the next couple of weeks. We take a final look at the castle where the magic is going to happen and head inside to prepare the next day. We sure are excited to start building here, and learn all kind of new things.
look at the castle where the magic happens
For More info: http://poc21.cc/

Follow on twitter: @velom2bxl @poc21cc @ikonoklast

Like on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/velom2

POC 21

We’ve been selected to participate to a 5 week long workshop at POC 21 this summer. This will give our project a huge boost the following weeks!