The portable 3D printer container


In the beginning of this year, we were contacted by Chris and Robin, two students from Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design in Halle. They were studying Industrial Design and as part of their final project wanted to construct a large-scale autonomous 3D printer to make – or print – different objects for the end-user. As they were looking for a space large enough to house such a project, they came up with the simple but genius idea to use a container.

Our recommendation: the 20’HC Side Door Container

We recommended using a 20’HC Side Door Container. Why? Well, for space reasons, first of all. The printer can be loaded into the container via a ramp, without having to clear the workspace first. The container provides the dual functionality of a means to store and transport the printer, as well as serving as a booth for trade fairs. Because of course Chris and Robin don’t want to only show off their project on Social Media, but also in real life. “This is genius,” Chris remarked “also because of the gases emitted during printing!” Side Door vs Standard Container – 3:1!

Phase 1 – The Concept

“A 3D printer works like this: material is applied in layers to form three-dimensional objects. Even though this method is already well known and pretty sophisticated, we still see a lot of room for improvement, especially in regards to large-scale objects.” Chris and Robin are not looking for perfect accuracy in their final product, but rather focus on a speedy printing-process. For example: 1 hour, 1 chair. “Each piece is unique. Unusual geometries, generative design, complex digital processes translated into functional products. We’re producing individuality in series.” Sounds great, we’re sold!


The method of broad extrusion the two are using enables them to incorporate recycled materials into their production process. Materials that can no longer be used in conventional manufacturing because of loss of quality can be turned into functional, sustainable products using the 3D printer.

Phase 2 – Container pick-up and set-up

After a short visit to our Hamburg office, Chris and Robin took their container back home to Halle. Not without filming the process for their Instagram and YouTube channels of course.

The container set-up went smoothly, as always, thanks to the professional help of Reinefeld Transporte.

Phase 3 – Project realization in the container workshop

Just as their ambitious project was about to kick off, Chris and Robin were stopped by the coronavirus pandemic. Government restrictions and lock down made working on the printer impossible for an extended time period. But after the campus in Halle reopened – and after several all-nighters – the project was finalized with only a slight delay in the beginning of July.

Want to know more? Stay tuned...

Check out our container-finder