Monday, January 9, 2012

A Wide Load Ready For Area 51

  After six months of work I spent this past week making a big push to finally complete my Makerbot Semi tractor and trailer assembly.  Last Friday I printed parts for eight hours to make the cradle for the UFO and all of the tires for the Lowboy trailer. Today I spent an additional six hours to print the rims and hubs for these tires. Here is the end result.

  This last photo gives you a good idea of the scale of this model.  It's big to say the least.  That's a five dollar bill laying next to the model. The model from bumper to bumper is 30.5 inches long.  The tractor is 7 inches tall and is 4.25 inches wide.  The scale for the model is exactly 1/24th scale. The UFO also made on a Makerbot 3D printer is ten inches in diameter and has been coated with fiberglass resin, then sanded and sanded and sanded some more to make it smoooooth and painted silver. (See earlier posts on how this was built.)  The complete model took over six months to design, print, and assemble. It would have taken less time if I had my own Makerbot as I have to travel 70 miles just to use one at the QC Co-Lab maker space in Davenport Iowa.   The complete model has close to 500 parts in it and took almost 90 hours to print. This does not include the time it took to print out the parts for the UFO which has 133 parts in it. 
  This has been a great project to design and build.  It could also have different trailers made for the model.  It could have a regular flat bed, a tanker, or a cargo box trailer.  Or even a car carrier.  This would be great as a lot of different cars could be made on the Makerbot to be displayed along with the carrier.  Probably would be another six months at least to do the eight or so cars that would be on the carrier.  Something to think about for future projects.

In these two photos you can see the detail that was put into the assembly of the Lowboy trailer to make it align properly and be strong at the same time.  1/4 inch wooden dowel pins were cut and inserted into alignment holes for the rear chassis.

These photos show some of the intricate locking parts that make up the Lowboy trailer.  Again all of the components are tied together using 1/4 inch dowel pins that were cut and sanded to fit into mating holes.  All of these components were epoxied together to add additional strength to the assembly.

These three photos show all the work that went into the front of the Lowboy trailer that make up the hitch.  Lots and lots of dowel pins had to be hand cut and fitted then as before epoxied to the rest of the trailer for strength. Time well spent as the trailer now is quite strong and more then able to hold up the weight of the UFO sitting on it.  

Additional wooden bracing was added to the underside of the low section of the Lowboy trailer.  I painted the wood gloss black to make it stand out and then epoxied this in to position.  This stiffened up the trailer a great deal and it still looks good underneath. 

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