Thursday, August 23, 2012

Battery Packs Installed In Makerbot Electric Car Model

The past couple of days have brought another jump forward in my efforts to complete the 1/6th scale Makerbot electric car model along with a marathon session of printing parts.  Here's what I've managed to get done.

With the addition of the battery box assemblies to the model it is getting to look more complete and definitely more colorful.  Total number of hours to print the parts for the battery box assemblies comes up to just five minutes short of 22 hours.  Yesterday being the longest day with the printing of the battery box assembly that mounts behind the seats of the model.  The box alone took seven hours to print.  I was just happy that the print did not fail on me and I would have had to start it over again.  But with the Makerbot being what it is I once again am pleased to have set a new personal record for print times with this part alone.  

The smallest of the battery box assemblies is this one which would be the size of a regular car battery if it was in a real car.  This is mounted to the motor mount assembly and all the machine screws are hidden inside the battery box itself so that I could get a nice clean installation. 

Just ahead of the motor and what will be behind the seats once they are printed and installed is the main battery box. The hardware to mount this box is fed up through the floor of the model into the base of the assembly to hold it in place.  This assembly represents 17 lithium batteries housed in a battery box container.  It is to scale so it is interesting to see how little space it actually takes up considering that the other battery is the size of a regular car battery.  All the battery posts were painted silver to give them just a little bit more detail in the model. 

This view of the model show you the two front battery box assemblies.  The real puzzle to solve in the installation of the assemblies was how to mount them and still allow room for the front rack and pinion steering to still work.  This was accomplished with mounting brackets on the bottom of each assembly that holds them in place to the floor of the model.  The front battery box assembly will need to be removed once the steering column is installed with the gear to mate up with the rack on the steering assembly.  There is not a lot of room to get your hands into the model with the front battery box in the way.  It is just simpler to remove it until all the other components have been put into place.

This view shows you a good perspective as to the component layout in the model.  The blue box just ahead of the dash is the motor controller for the electrical system.  Needless to say that if this was built for real with a fiberglass body it would need access panels to get at the electrical system and batteries.  Most likely the front of the vehicle would have a hood that opened up of even have the entire front end tip forward for easy access.  The batteries behind the seats are pretty much in the open and would only have to have a cover over them to protect the batteries and passengers. It would also  allow additional cargo area behind the seats.

The next step in the assembly will be the printing of the seats.  This will take me a couple of days to get done along with a few smaller parts that will be needed to complete this portion of the model.  Once I am happy with all of this I will look into making a fiberglass body to complete the model.  This all depends on what it will take to put that part of the assembly together.  Even if I stop at this point and don't build a body, the Makerbot electric car model is still quite impressive to see and has been a lot of fun to create.  Like everything else that I work on here at the Tinker's Workshop. That should be the motto of  my site.... "If it isn't fun then why bother". 

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