Monday, November 11, 2013

Lots Of Little 3D Printed Parts For The Velomobile Project

Since the new work space in the garage has been properly insulated and now newly heated I am able to aim my attention at finer details that need to be looked at on the TerraTrike Velomobile project.  Precisely all the small little pieces that need to be made for the signal light setup in the vehicle along with a way to install a safety strap to the front hood.  This has taken me more than just a few days as there are a lot of little parts that I needed to 3D print just so I can wire the signal lights up properly.

I started with one of the smaller number of parts that was needed for the safety strap for the hood.  This little clip allows me to bolt the strap to the hood and the body at both ends and secure it without having to do anything fancy to hold it into place.  The clip you see here is only 2 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches in size and 1/8th of an inch thick. Very strong for it's size and very light weight. 

This photos shows the safety strap as it will be used in the vehicle.  It is simply a one inch wide nylon web strap with the two little clips mounted on both ends through the slots in the parts. 

I made a hard mount with a threaded rod connector bonded into a piece of wood and then this was fiber glassed into one of the ribs in the hood to secure the upper portion of the strap.

The lower portion of the strap was mounted in the same fashion on the body of the velomobile.  This little strap will keep the hood from being blown completely forward of it's mounts and avoid damaging the hood and the vehicle in the process. The strap as you can see is more than long enough to do the job and will be cut to length once final assembly has started to take place.
This illustration is what has to be constructed next for the vehicle.  It will be one of two switch boxes for the signal lights that will be installed in the vehicle. As you can see there is a toggle switch and just ahead of it what looks like a small green ball.  This actually is an LED light so that when the switch is thrown the light will blink and I will be reminded that the switch is active and the lights are on.  I don't want to be one of those guys that leave their signal lights on for five or ten miles down the road so this little light will be a good thing to have. The two green tubes in the illustration are flex tubing that will house the wiring for the lights.
In only one of the signal light housings there will be the batteries that will run both sets of lights lights.  There will be a switch for the left as well as the right lights that are independent of one another.  This way you have the signal lights and also the capability to have hazard lights if both switches are thrown on at the same time.  Another good thing to have if I have to pull over for some reason.

 In the signal light box that will be on the left side of the driver will house the two controller boxes to make the signal lights blink properly.  These control boxes will fit perfectly inside this second enclosure as the battery pack will be in the right signal box and will handle both signal assemblies.
Here you can see the two signal light boxes and the differences inside them.  The battery pack that will be in the right battery box holds eight AA batteries to get the 12 volts needed to run the lights.  I suspect that this battery pack will last me more than one season as long as I do not drive down the road with the hazard or signal lights running constantly. 

In order to mount the wiring in the vehicle I will be installing the 3/8th of an inch flex tubing to hold the wiring.  The pieces that you see in this photo are the clips that will hold this tubing in place.  They will be permanently mounted to the ribs and or stringers on the inside of the body.  Then the tubing with the wiring already installed in it will be snapped into place using these clips.

The other clips that I made over the past few days are these coat hook looking guys you see here. These will be mounted just above the front wheel openings and again will hold the flex tubing securely in place to keep the wires tucked away nicely. 
  So as you can see I have been making a lot of parts for the project.  Total time to print the 22 parts that are pictured here took roughly 18 hours to complete.  With this amount of work the velombile project has jumped up to 411 total hours work at this point. The signal light boxes together alone took 12 hours to print but being one of a kind the Makerbot 3D printer comes to the rescue once again.  Enjoy the photos and I'll keep sending out new updates as I progress. 

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