Friday, May 29, 2015

Prepping For A New MakeFest

With all that has been going on here at the workshop I thought it best I get everyone caught up with what I have been working on and have been planning over the last few weeks.  I was contacted by my friends at the QC-Colab makerspace in Davenport Iowa about a MakeFest that they are putting together for the Quad Cities in mid July. I spent a few hours with them and they insisted that I display my Velomobile at the MakeFest along with some of my 3D printed projects that I have posted about here on my blog over the past few years.  
  From my home in Wisconsin to Davenport Iowa is an hour and a half drive so to get the Velomobile to the Makefest I have been in the process of designing a special cradle that the vehicle will be strapped to and transported in a full size pickup truck.  This will not be that difficult to do but the entire vehicle will then need to be covered up to protect it from the windy ride to the Makefest and the ever possibility of getting it rained on. (Heaven forbid!)  I have all of the details for the transport cradle worked out and only hope that I can get the Velomobile there and back without to much of a hassle.  Along with the Velomobile I have a display figured out with a large amount of photos to show off the building process to anyone that is interested in how it all went together.  
  Along with the photos I thought it would be a good idea to make a 1/4 scale model of the recumbent trike that is the heart of the Velomobile and have that on display as well to show off how it is propelled down the road.  So with that in mind I have taken a few photos of the model and the progress that I've managed to get worked out so far.  

Here is a good shot of the completed Velomobile in my yard.

This is what is in the inside that makes it go. A TerraTrike Tour II.  A blast to drive.  The Velomobile was designed around this trike.

I had luckily made a full sized CAD model of the TerraTrike while designing the Velomobile so now it was just a matter of shrinking down my computer model to 1/4 scale and printing it on my 3D printer.  I had never attempted such an odd shape before so I started with the  rear end of the frame and used what is called support material to get it to print correctly.  

Once I had removed all of the support material I ended up with the part you see here.  Nice detail and with it courage enough to progress further with my attempt to model the trike.

The frame by itself was to large to print in one piece on my 3D printer so I did it in six parts.  The tail end, mid section, front section, two side wheel arms, and one center connector.  Once all of these part had printed to my liking I epoxied all of the part together and lined them up as straight as possible and let them dry over night.  Once the epoxy had cured I sanded the frame down to make it smooth and painted it bright yellow.

Next came the wheels.  Luckily being only three of them to make cut down on the time it took to print all of them.  Even at that the silver rims took nine hours to print and another four and a half hours for the tires.  The rims snap into place holding the tire securely and look seamless when assembled so it gives them a nice finished look once they are assembled.

The last large piece of this puzzle was the mesh seat.  The framework of the seat was printed all in one piece using support material the same way I had printed the frame. Once this framework was cleaned up it was just a matter of figuring out what to use for the mesh on the seat.  Luckily with all of my 3D printing projects my printer lays down what is called a raft on to a heated build platform so that any part that is made is printed on the raft to hold it in place while it is being made.  Once the part is completed this raft is discarded.  The raft is the perfect pattern I needed for the mesh seat.  It was just a matter of printing a raft large enough for the seat, cutting it to size and then gluing it to the seat frame.  It as you can see turned out to be the right look and scale for the model.  

  I still need to design and print out the steering rods and handle bars to complete the model.  All of the additional parts to mount the seat to the frame have been printed so that is ready to go as well.  Once I get all of the components 3D printed I'll post what it all looks like once I get it assembled. It should make for an interesting model and display for the MakeFest in July. Due to the fact that the MakeFest is not that far off I don't think I will be able to print and assemble the entire subframework of the body in time for the show so the trike by itself will have to do for now.   I will give you more details about the Makefest when it gets closer to that time.  So if your lucky enough to be in the Davenport Iowa area you will get to see my Velomobile up close and personal. Say hello and I'll be more than happy to tell you about all the fine details of it.  

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