Building and Construction

Watch: Ten Fold Engineering's New Take on the Portable Building

18 December 2017

The term temporary or portable building usually calls to mind images of mobile homes, tent-like structures, inflatable buildings or even modular buildings. Ten Fold Engineering has a different take on temporary, relocatable buildings. Ten Fold uses patented counterbalanced folding linkages that are designed for mobility, ease of setup and breakdown and reliability (see Ten Fold's patent for “Apparatus for Converting Motion”).

The result is a temporary building or structure that can be folded up and transported on a truck bed and then unfolded on site. No cranes or foundations are required and the structures can be self-deployed in less than 10 minutes using very little power.

The applications for these buildings and structures are almost limitless, including, but not limited to:

  • Buildings for almost any purpose (medical, office, cabin, beach house, stores and mini-markets)
  • Towers
  • Bleachers and stadium seating
  • Floating structures
  • Stairs
  • Expanding rooms for recreational vehicles
  • Outriggers
  • Solar panels
  • Lifting platforms
  • Barriers
  • Bridges

Units can even be stacked or connected to form larger structures, such as a temporary hotel.

Source: Ten Fold EngineeringSource: Ten Fold Engineering

Ten Fold’s pin-jointed linkages are designed to perform a specific movement repeatedly and precisely and to be completely reversible. This allows the linkages to fold and unfold easily, with each element counterbalancing the other. Each bar in the linkage can be driven by almost any other bar and can also be selected to be a fixed bar. Depending on which bar is fixed and how the linkage is oriented, linkage assemblies that are identical can appear to be very different.

Different arrangements of the same linkage assembly. Source: Ten Fold EngineeringDifferent arrangements of the same linkage assembly. Source: Ten Fold Engineering

The image above shows the same linkage (in red) in three different orientations and using a different fixed linkage. Length of individual bars can be changed as well to form specific movements, but Ten Fold has developed a geometry that allows a large range of movements using only three different bar lengths.

The video below shows some of the many different linkage assemblies (levers) that can be built.

Ten Fold states their buildings are meant to be deployable anywhere, even in locations with no power or complementary machinery. Each unit is comprised of only three components: the chassis, the panels and the pods. Each component can be replaced without disruption to any other. They are designed to be moved again and again, yet provide the design and performance of a solid building. They can also be built to international standards and designed to comply with construction codes.

For additional information and videos, visit the Ten Fold Engineering website:

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Discussion – 1 comment

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Re: Ten Fold Engineering's New Take on the Portable Building
2018-Jan-16 4:20 PM

The ease of transport and set up is a great saving in costs even thought the original cost of the structure would most likely would be expensive compared to normal portable structures.

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