I'm assuming that parts the photos are done via a 3-D printing process.
Are the materials now available for this process robust enough so you can actually get usable working parts. (My only hands-on experience with this some time back and the output was useful for determining fit and clearances but was very brittle)
Another brilliant project. I saw the car at the 73 Monaco Grand Prix and it looked as though it would be competitive. If sound alone could have won Grand Prix it would have won that race, it sounded fantastic. Looking forward to seeing the finished article, even though it has wings and advertising. Regards Nigel
Post by Andrew Rowland on Aug 23, 2012 5:19:46 GMT -5
Well guys, i'm honored that someone's taken the time to interact.
Yes 3d printed parts with this much detail are indeed fragile. Of course at the beginning of this thread I didn't set out in detail what I was doing as I prefer not to build things up too much in case they are not possible....
These two cars are prototypes as stated and the original 'dream' is to use them to initially test the ideas, ensure the components fit and that the car works properly and then try to do a real mass production injection moulded version. This would probably be in ABS. The parts I have designed are 'designed' to be made in this material. They are sized in that way as that is still the intention.
I've done some checking and there are a number of ways to do that. Silicone moulds of perfectly formed 'master'. Aluminium machined mould using CADCAM. High grade steel machined mould with CADCAM.
My 'problem' of course is that these 3 moulding techniques have very different costs and production techniques behind them.
a) Silicone moulds 'might' be good enough for 50-100 pieces but obviously only cold moulding resin can be produced and these parts aren't really designed for that. My parts are too fragile for cold moulding and surface finish on the small componenets which can't really be further hand finished is not good enough. But silicone moulding is cheap, so low initial costs. Silicone moulding also allows undercuts which although i've been painstakingly designing out are still in there in minute parts.
b) Aluminium CADCAM moulds. This is my dream. Having made everything in the computer it is relatively easy to adapt my designs to mill out aluminium moulds. These would then be injection moulded as intended. Aluminium moulds should be good for 1.000 pieces which would be my intention for a first run of a first car. Costs though are high at a moment in the world when funding is not easy to come by and markets aren't guaranteed.
c) Steel - don't even think about it....
So back to my prototypes..... The 'ghost' rider will be built up and fully tested by an ex Italian slot.it champion (Walter Merulli) who happens to be a very close friend of mine. Hopefully he wont crash too much and so the whole thing wont disintegrate too much.
However some other items to note that i've considered:
1. The intention is to always choose '70's cars with full width noses. These will be stronger than small sticking out wings like the Lotus 72 for example and so should last longer in the heat of battle later. There are plenty and i'm thinking Tyrrell 006 next. 2. I have miniaturised the gearbox between the wheels and thus much of the engine detail is actually inside the virtual 'cylinder' between those large tyres thus keeping it out of some of harms way. 3. The most obviously fragile part is the rear wing. This has been (and will surely continue to be) designed to pop-off and rotate on clip hinges such that it should fly off (and be clipped back on) during racing. Obviously there are cars from my chosen period with rather stronger wing supports than this Tecno and I might choose future builds based on those types of constraints in order to avoid risk of damage.
Finally, the cars are pretty strong. They are printed in FUD by Shapeways as they are the only company and material capable to print at this detail that I found.
FUD is very detailed but despite what it says on the website it is more flexible than I had imagined. You will be aware that the size of a component (especially its cross sectional area) has a proportional effect on its flexibility. I once saw a large spring made in brick / terracotta which is obviously famously brittle. The spring rebounded a surprising amount. So it is with this car. The very thin parts do indeed take a fair amount of flexing before failure.
If of course none of this happens I will be selling kits / hand made RTR's for fun and to cover some of my early start up costs. I seem to have already got quite a few interested parties on other forums so I see that as an option since then the only cost (apart from the components) is my time......
Oh by the way you can print titanium so I thought I might make all those thin components in that as an optional extra!!
I"d suggest that you make 3 Titanium cars. One to show, one to send to Phillipe for his museum (well it's his buddy's museum now) and one to "lose" so it becomes the infamous missing Titanium Techno PA123/6 and commands a market value of Euro 20K when it resurfaces 5 years later (or more)
By the way, it appears that the photo links were 'broken' or are not working in your post on the prior page.
I'm guessing you had a photo of the "crystal ghost" in that post. which looks stunning set against the black/dark gray background.
Last Edit: Aug 23, 2012 9:36:36 GMT -5 by Mark Huber
Post by Mark Huber on Aug 23, 2012 22:16:46 GMT -5
Ah.. the "crystal ghost" reappeared.. perhaps it was must my imagination or the vagaries of what i can and cannot view from my office PC. All is right with the world.. I'm at home on my iMac and the translucent Techno is coming through in all its glory.
That prototype will be a collector's item.. (sorry the crass materialist always seems to come out in me)...
Don't worry I always read your publication here on the forum, sorry for don't reacting strait away. But I always want to see the evolution of things before saying anything to it.
Finally someone is taking proper steps in building a kit, that can match a scale model. As I sad before, I'm no expert in post war cars, that doesn't mean I can't appreciate a good build model.
How long does it take you to design a 3d model on the computer like this? Because like I understand it, this takes most of your development time.
I ask this because, if you only have to design it, and it could be produced by some firm, under your supervision of course. It would give you the artistic freedom just to develop it, and produce a wide range of models, but that also only could happen if you got enough people who are prepared to buy it. And this will be, I'm afraid, the crucial point, will there be enough customers to get out of the costs of your production alone? This will only be found out when you first model comes up for sale.
I do hope for you, that this project will be a success, and I do hope for the slotting world, that finally some good mas produced kits will come available. I wish you all the best for this project.
Post by Mark Huber on Sept 21, 2012 7:32:56 GMT -5
200 laps and it appears to be very quick. Congratulations Andi!
You choose an esoteric car, designed a detailed and elegant chassis using a material that (at least I thought) might not be up to the rigors of racing, solved the "scale gearbox" issue, and now you have a blazing car to boot.
So, only two things remain as far as I can see:
1) The 4 foot drop on concrete test (until it breaks), otherwise known as 'how long does it take for the iPhone to shatter',
2) A head to head competition with Danny's 1905 Darracq!
Last Edit: Sept 21, 2012 7:33:52 GMT -5 by Mark Huber
Post by Andrew Rowland on Sept 21, 2012 23:32:55 GMT -5
Well the head to head might have to wait but the 4 foot (you mean 1.2m right?), drop I can assure you WOULD destroy these prototypes....
I wouldn't trust myself to drive this, which is why I gave it to a professional!!!
But then i'm not meaning to sell these fragile things until they're made in ABS or similar.
By the way to be totally honest the earlier line should have read, 200 laps UNTIL breaking, not WITHOUT breaking. The right hand side rear axle clip broke off eventually when Walter drove it up the straight and into the wall. Hence the redesigned (strengthened) motor pod....