Lots of progress

15 Jul

We’ve made a lot of progress over recent weeks: performing detailed design on the chassis, setting up the workshop, testing joints and materials, and commencing construction of the prototype vehicle.

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Detailed design. From the concept design we produced last year, we needed to do more design work to be ready to start construction. In particular, we needed to determine the locations and materials for the hard points, which transfer loads from the suspension components into the lightweight polypropylene chassis panels. This in turn necessitated decisions on final steering geometry and choice of shock absorbers.

Setting up the workshop. The University of South Australia (UniSA) has kindly allowed us to build the prototype vehicle in one of their mechanical engineering workshops (the same one used to build Trev, in fact), and to provide our team with safety inductions, electrical testing and tagging, and construction risk assessments.

Testing joints and materials. With a variety of possible methods to join chassis panels together, we’ve made a number of different test joints to compare their relative strength and ease of construction. We have also tried various different materials to form durable edges on the polypropylene panels.

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Commencing construction. With resolution of the hard points, joints and edges, we’ve been able to start construction. Using templates cut on a CNC machine, we are tracing the templates onto the polypropylene panels, cutting the panels and hard points, fibreglassing and edging the panels, and affixing the hard points. This will keep us occupied for several weeks.

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More construction photos are here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/93596014@N08/sets/72157645667250991/

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2 Responses to “Lots of progress”

  1. winidzai rwaendepi July 15, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

    You are doing great please soldier on

    • africansolartaxi August 2, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

      Thanks! We’re putting in big hours in the workshop lately.

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