Friday, August 10, 2012

Big Parts For A Big Electric Car Model

Work continues this week on the 1/6th scale electric car model here at the Tinker's Workshop.  I have been putting the Makerbot 3D printer through it's paces printing some large parts for the project and so most of the time has been just getting out one or two big parts in a days work.  With the parts stacking up I thought I better get another post out just to keep up with the updates that I have promised.  So here goes.

These first to images are some views of the possible body that I've designed for the electric car model.   The body will be fiber glass and will slide on and off of the frame to show of what is underneath.  I still have to work out more of the details on the body (lights, mirrors, etc) but it is slowly coming along.

The framework of the model is near complete with only a few more details to work out.  I had to allow for three more batteries in the model as what I had set up in the design was wrong.  There are 30 lithium batteries which in the real world would give a real car 96 volts.  One last battery needed to be added as a regular car battery is used in an electric car for running accessories.  I am learning a lot about electric cars and design with the building of this model.  Just the number of lithium batteries alone would cost around $6000 for the real thing.  Much cheaper to build the model.

Here are couple of good views of the front end of the model.  The framework is mounted using machine screws as the front suspension is now complete.  The front suspension as I stated in an earlier post has fully functional working shocks, rack and pinion steering.

This is a good  view of just the front framework starting to take shape.  There are only four pieces in this assembly which took over five hours to print.  This kills a day rather quickly.

Here is one of the larger parts of the floor for the model on the Makerbot heated build platform.  As you can see there is not much room left for anything else.  The build platform is 6 X 9 inches so it gives you a good idea as to how large this part is. 

This photo is of the framework that will hold the dash for the interior of the model.  It is 8 1/4 inches long.  The dash will snap into place inside this framework and the holes in the part will mount the framework to the front section of the model chassis framework.

Here the parts are starting to pile up.  Assembly cannot start until a few more larger pieces have been printed.  The upper part on the left side of the view is the dash framework.  Under that are the left and right front frames and beneath that are four connector plates.  The last large piece in the lower right corner is the firewall for the interior.  

The seats have already taken several different shapes over the past few weeks.  The black seat was the first attempt at a seat for the model.  I found this to be way too deep and so the next version with an improved headrest was created.  The seat was cut down on the sides to make a more believable seat for the model. 

The next idea for the seats is to make the back of them be able to flip forward like a real seat.  This is set up so that a person could have access to the small storage area behind the seats in the real world.  For my purpose it looks good and will actually make it easier to remove or put the fiberglass body on to the chassis framework. The seats will have an internal shaft which will allow the rotation of the seat back.  
  Lots more printing and designing needs to be done on the model and so I will keep plugging along to keep it moving forward. Hope you like what I've put together so far.  


  1. Way too complicated for me but I do enjoy seeing how the project comes together.

  2. This is quite informative. I also have to buy new car and have decided to purchase electric car but having hard time in finding a good Electric car buyers guide that can help us regarding it. I just don’t want to go wrong with my decision so if you can share a buyer’s guide, it will be highly appreciated.

    1. Hello Jackmarie,
      Glad you liked the posting. I am very much like you when it comes to figuring out what electric car to buy. So I am sorry I would also be looking for a buyers guide myself if I were in the market for a car. I think for the most part it would be a matter of money, range, and serviceability. Tesla is a great car if you have deep pockets. Way out of my league. But there are a lot of cheaper electrics on the market that have proven themselves time and time again. Just have to do your research and talk with people that either have one or sell one. Good luck.