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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Bicimáquinas from Guatemala

What are Bicimáquinas?

Bicimáquinas are a series of pedal-powered machines commonly found in Guatemala where they have a shortage of electricity in many isolated areas. Their solution has been to attach their machines to bicycles in order to assist them with a variety of jobs in the home, on the farm, on the road and in small businesses.

Each bicimáquina is handmade in workshops using a combination of old bikes, concrete, wood, and metal. You can see many examples of such original designs that have proven to be both functional and economical on the website http://mayapedal.org/machines.en which lists a variety of fact sheets and instructions for their more popular designs.

They're certainly one way to have fun with your mechanical skills if you have spare bicycle parts laying around.

Example: Bicycle Mill/Corn Thesher

This bicycle machine has been adapted to fit a hand powered grinding mill or a corn thresher. The Mill function has the capacity to mill 3 lbs. per minute of any type of grain. The most common uses are for milling yellow maize, soya beans, and coffee. Huzzah!

The Thresher is used post-harvest and easily degrains 12 to 15 quintales (1 quintal = 100 lbs.) per day and requires only one person to operate the machine.

Below: A Washing Machine and a Food Blender.

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