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Feasibility Discussion on Modular Vehicles

01/14/2010 6:13 PM

Friends and fellow CR4 participants,

I've got another crazy idea.. and just wish to have a discussion with you all about it. This may not be your thing, but... here goes.

I'm a big fan of modular vehicle design. I think that it represents a way to create vehicles that people want, that work, and are safe. I'm a big fan of having a specifying body of interested participants that establish the safety and standardization characteristics of vehicles and designs. I propose that we begin to write down the core concepts and foundations of this method of vehicle construction. I propose that we do this in a structured thread that we haven't seen on here before.

This kind of system allows anyone who wants to, to manufacture modular components, and sell them to the public without having to have permission from the vehicle designer, but also, without the stigma of them being 'aftermarket' products. It opens up the vehicle business to a whole new economy. I also think it could fundamentally change the Used vehicle market.. but overall, there are a lot of questions that would have to be answered. I'm hoping that together we can sketch out a new auto economy.

If you have a standardized frame, body, suspension, wheels, steering, brakes etc, and you wish to use that to implement your new electric drive... why do you need a new car? you don't... just switch out the engine and a few other components, and poof.. done! I think that this standardized size and safety approach can be a new foundation underlying the business economics, and puts manufacturers on a larger and more level playing field.

I think that we can make great quality vehicles, based on standardization. Quality systems are driven by one overriding concept; "Continuous Improvement". The traditional auto industry doesn't foster this as a core concept. The modular paradigm does, as you would be able to test, upgrade, or repair components much easier. The standardization of the vehicle would mean that once you learn to repair or replace a particular component, your knowledge will be valid for a long time, and wouldn't be depending on the type or manufacturer.

So what is required? How do we start such a group business model? what are the pro's and con's? In my opinion, it would start with the frame (Aluminum?), designed to human safety regulations, and for a particular load class. (and what should those be?) I hope you can see where my thoughts are leading... Please don't feel that you have to be an expert in vehicle design to participate, because I am not. We all use vehicles and pay for them, so I think we all have something to contribute.

Lastly, I think it somewhat important to make an effort to categorize our discussion, and so I will make the first few posts, identifying each with a Heading, and then the discussion can have the ability to focus on particular technical aspects. Here are some of the categories that I have thought of.. I'm sure there are more... I'm so interested in hearing what you have to say.

If you wish to create a new category in the discussion, just follow the same style I've used.

Index:

http://cr4.globalspec.com/comment/509360/FRAME
http://cr4.globalspec.com/comment/509361/BODY-WINDOWS
http://cr4.globalspec.com/comment/509362/SUSPENSION
http://cr4.globalspec.com/comment/509364/BRAKES
http://cr4.globalspec.com/comment/509365/WHEELS-TIRES
http://cr4.globalspec.com/comment/509366/Engine-Motor
http://cr4.globalspec.com/comment/509368/DRIVETRAIN
http://cr4.globalspec.com/comment/509369/FUEL-SYSTEMS
http://cr4.globalspec.com/comment/509370/CONTROLS-INSTRUMENTATION
http://cr4.globalspec.com/comment/509371/INTERIOR-ERGONOMICS
http://cr4.globalspec.com/comment/509374/SIGNALS-LIGHTS
http://cr4.globalspec.com/comment/509375/GOVERNING-BODIES-OVERALL-SAFETY-CONSIDERATIONS
http://cr4.globalspec.com/comment/509376/INSURABILITY
http://cr4.globalspec.com/comment/509377/REGISTRATION-VIN
http://cr4.globalspec.com/comment/509379/AUTO-ECONOMICS
http://cr4.globalspec.com/comment/509380/AUTO-QUALITY

Chris

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#1

FRAME

01/14/2010 6:13 PM

discuss Frame issues.

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#25
In reply to #1

Re: FRAME

01/15/2010 2:46 PM

Is it possible to make an adjustable, but standard (class of) frame, so that the 'roll cage' stays safe, but the height and/or windshield angle can change?

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#29
In reply to #1

Re: FRAME

01/15/2010 4:22 PM

As I said before, I think this is the core of the thing. Given a classification system, I think that some standardized frame specifications could be developed, that detail the load capacity (as well as the existing interior volume per passenger vehicles), and most importantly, specify the standardized methods of connection for all the subsystems. (engine, suspension, body, controls & instrumentation, etc.)

I think this could be engineering at its finest, as the market is so large, and the products so engaging, yet safety, reliability, and quality are paramount.

Chris

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#37
In reply to #1

Re: FRAME

01/16/2010 11:57 AM

Ok, this is just my opinion, but i have thought about this along time and in order to actually make this happen I was going to use a 3 wheel design, 2 in front and 1 in back, the reason for this design is to avoid a lot of the fed regs on testing safety and smog controlls, this makes it a motorcycle in most states in USA as long as its under 1500lbs.

For me this is about cheap feasible transportation, this could be built for around 6-8 grand and sold for 10-12. it could carry 3 in tandem, allowing for very good aerodynamics, several car makers are going in this direction.

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#82
In reply to #37

Re: FRAME

01/28/2010 8:21 PM

3 wheeled vehicle site

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#142
In reply to #37

3 Points define a plane.

02/03/2010 3:20 AM

I agree with you on this one, I've conceived of many such vehicles myself.

One sometimes VERY significant factor against this layout is the fact that most high traffic roads have 'two grooves in them' that are currently predominantly wider than smaller more economical vehicles are. Ever have a smaller vehicle than most with a narrower wheelbase in the winter where very significant and defined and slippery well defined ice and snow ruts are present and your tires aren't wide enough to be in both at once? I've seen to many complete spin outs at low speeds and resultant accidents because of the vehicle constantly 'hunting' and being pulled in and out of each rut and thus has one tire riding up the side of the rut that gives it a very sudden yaw vector and motion.

Imagine what a trike would do in such circumstances.

Yep, I'm up in the great white north that is frozen for significant portions of the year.

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#58
In reply to #1

Re: FRAME

01/17/2010 4:33 PM

Just for fun, I made a 1" tubed frame... It is strong enough I thin to survive most crash requirements. With a few plates welded on, everthing else could attach to it. engines, strut suspension, body panels, etc.

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#59
In reply to #58

Re: FRAME

01/17/2010 5:01 PM

Chris - I think you need to go to a wrecker - cut a Datsun or Toyota up and see just how little/much metal is where. Then compare # of parts, speed to make, speed to join.

p.s, you'd fail on side intrusion.

p.p.s. way too top heavy with glass mass added.

p.p.p.s. too weak at suspension mount areas.

But I guess good fun......

Now #2....

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#60
In reply to #59

Re: FRAME

01/17/2010 5:51 PM

Hi Kyzine,

I was thinking that the side intrusion would be aided when the doors were added. As for the roof, this is aluminum in my mind.

For the suspension and engine mounting, I will add materials.

thank you,

Chris

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#64
In reply to #60

Re: FRAME

01/18/2010 1:05 AM

Chris;

Mercedes A class body structure.

Note; roof will be a single 'domed' sheet of light gauge high tensile steel (ignore sunroof insert)

Note; the 'depth', strength, 'form' of center side pillar and front door hinge mount/firewall/strut tower corner. (side intrusion)

Note; 'crush rate' and 'strut towers' and bottom link 'strength' PLUS built in crush voids.

(I've left it big so you can drag it out and paw over it - full screen)

Type A

Type A floor pan structure

This is a bit like a chassis "module", but strength apportioned for F/R impact absorption. Note the "transmission tunnel" is back in this design - for torsional stiffness - and as a center tie for side impact cross beams.

Torsional stiffness is the first thing racing builds seek to improve to get a car to handle (more complication for a plug together system?)

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#65
In reply to #64

Re: FRAME

01/18/2010 1:20 AM

Kyzine, wow super cool, but taking this seriously if "we" were to actually consider doing this and I take my opinions seriously, "we" on the small scale would not produce anything like this. It would probably be a frame like a sandrail and a 3 wheeler to avoid the fed. regs. just my opinion

I take this seriously cause small groups of people around the world are building specialty cars and Chris's idea could be done on a small scale. All the big car companies started out in a garage with a few people and given the right market this could be successful.

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#67
In reply to #65

Re: FRAME

01/18/2010 2:31 AM

I'm not seeking to do other than the "why things are so".

However I admit to not being a huge fan of 3 wheelers

Exceptions and

Versatile extendable even modular but can have issues

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#69
In reply to #67

Re: FRAME

01/18/2010 2:16 PM

Yes, more dangerous!, however its in these niches that a small mfr can slip between the cracks in the wall that the big guys put up to keep competition out.

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#183
In reply to #65

Re: FRAME

02/06/2010 7:42 AM

"The person who wrote the above is not resposible for spelling, grammar or puncuation, ...... "

Content?

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#66
In reply to #64

Re: FRAME

01/18/2010 1:59 AM

I'd really like to know the secret of making the pictures big like that. everytime I stretch them, they get all jagged and ugly..

and really great presentation!! GA

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#68
In reply to #66

Re: FRAME

01/18/2010 2:38 AM

Black Belt - 9th Dan in image thieving, Chris, simple as that

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#184
In reply to #64

FRAMES: Strength, Stiffness and Safety.

02/06/2010 7:46 AM

Some very nice structural and safety insight and analysis Kyzine.

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#62
In reply to #58

Re: FRAME

01/17/2010 11:20 PM

Chris, May I say your CAD skills are becoming quite good, nice shading.

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#63
In reply to #62

Re: FRAME

01/17/2010 11:42 PM

Thanks lynn... I'm practicing every day, as you know.. trying to learn... someday I hope to be able to represent what is in my head... lol

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#143
In reply to #58

Re 'BirdCage' Frames

02/03/2010 3:48 AM

Up until a couple of decades ago, most high performance racing vehicles such as F1 and closed wheel purpose built sports cars utilized this type of construction that was adapted from earlier light aircraft designs because of its high rigidity and strength to weight ratio. They call it 'bird cage' construction for obvious reasons.

But the very these very things that were advantageous in racing become a labyrinth of lethal 'swords' in comparison to our relatively very fragile and delicate flesh and bones in a crash or a collision!

I remember a crash on a high speed oval a few years go when the open wheel CART cars were racing on an oval and coming out of the corner onto the straight and someone at the front of the tight pack got into an accident. On top of the speeds of over 165 MpH the vision was almost instantaneously non existent due to the smoke coming off of the wide soft slicks skidding out of control. Paul Tracy I believe it was went high and into a sideways skid and got T boned by the nose of another car doing this speed. Fortunately the nose of the other car hit him just behind his seat and in front of the engine power train and suspension and sheared away and in half as it was designed to do in such instances. Paul unbuckled his 6 point safety harness (I don't remember if they had the 'Han's Devices designed to reduce neck and head injuries then) and climbed out of of his carbon fiber monocoque survival cell and walked away from it. The on-board telemetry showed that the impact was ~ 175 Gs!!!

No one in a 'bird cage' at anywhere near these types of forces ever got up and walked away from it.

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#77
In reply to #1

Re: FRAME

01/25/2010 7:17 PM

Modular auto components < FRAMED > toward enhanced salvage

The viability of a modular vehicle is the ability to buy parts that are available now. Identify successful after market parts and build on connection specifications. This not only reduces development cost on the front side but also reduces serviceability cost on the back side. Once a proto type is built, a kit plan can be offered. A quick build kit could include pre fabricated sub section.

The STRUCTURAL FRAME by nature is a center point of many connections. A quality frame would enhance the modular car concept. A goal to allow the interior and body to be a single module part is easier with a frame. The frame is a natural place to distribute power, communications, liquids and weight. A frame that would last long enough to carry many new body styles would hold its value. Components with modular standards have better salvage value with the help of simplified market uniformity.

The Frame will not always be a single rigid platform. Some frames will be segmented into sections and specialized for enhancement. The Frame is not limited except for the ability to mate common components. All connection need a specification code

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#92
In reply to #1

Re: FRAME

01/29/2010 1:07 AM

Here is the basic idea that I said I was going to propose.. you will have to use your imagination to fill in a few blanks.. but basically the core frame and components would use a central tube system to mount the other compents. When all is in place, tension is applied squeezing the whole vehicle together. This makes one system out of the tensioned tubes, plus all the bracing that they incorporate individually.

This does not rule out the use of monocoque construction for the individual components, but provides a strong method of fastening them together.

I think that if 1" grade 8 threaded rods and nuts are used, that this would be very strong.

this is just a basic representation of the components that would be in tension/compression... not intended to show all the vehicle components.

Chris

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#93
In reply to #92

Re: FRAME

01/29/2010 1:34 AM

and based on the above mentioned "Tensioned Frame", I got to thinking about some very basic inexpensive methods of vehicle construction. first principles so to speak.

1. the strongest shape is a triangle.

2. a tubular (tensioned) frame (with belly pan) can have a body simply dropped over it. (monocoque with doors attached) body could be fiberglass... framing could be aluminum, composite or both.

3. vehicles can be entrained with a modular attachment system that would allow vehicles to connect together on the fly, gaining advantage in fuel economy, and 'drafting' against air resistance.

4. modular components will allow vehicles to include a variety of options. my mind goes a bit crazy with all this... but there are few limits... the basic vehicle, if lightweight, waterproof, etc, could travel on snow, water, and possibly even air.

5. any engine type/fuel type..

here is another frame-up..

simple

more complex

Chris

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#96
In reply to #93

Re: FRAME

01/29/2010 2:29 AM

unfortunately, I can figure out how to make images from my computer large like the ones copied from the net.

anyway.. here is a bit of separation of the modules.

the green box in back is basic engine spance.

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#178
In reply to #96

Re: FRAME

02/06/2010 4:57 AM

Well, Hello. Just read most of the thread from the OP down to here, and it's kindled a feeling like I had when I was mid teens. That is: "Why Don't They Make Cars Like This....."

Since then I've owned 'em (181 count to present), changed 'em (most times not for the better), decided I could do better and built 'em (Oh! The enthusiasm of youth), loved 'em, hated 'em, worked on 'em, fixed everybody else's, and generally got to a point where I just want to go to the shops comfortably, quietly in peace.

Then Chris asks if I have any ideas I would want to share in a forum? How much time have we got?

I have come to a point where I think modularity and multifunction are significant design goals. I also love the new iteration of 3 wheelers, configured like the old Messerschmit (love it). Got nothing to do with modularity, mind you, but, to me cool. Especially that one made in the UK using a big 4cyl. bike engine and a CG about an inch above the ground. Can't recall it's name just now. Maybe you......? I'd like to spend more time with the new Tata "people's car", to see if it is anything like as brilliant as the 2CV. ( That pic a few posts ago, showing a VW with the body removed, is almost exactly as my 2CV looked in the same undress, except, back-to-front).

Chris, your spaceframes are too heavy. Even if you make 'em out of titanium. Sorry!

I once lived on an island, and the salt atmosphere made our cars so we could read a newspaper through 'em in five years, so I thought," should build these things out of GRP ( fibreglass)". Wrong! We did, but didn't have the technology of today and the iterations were a bit sad. I've always agreed with the thought that aluminium( take that!!) is really congeled electricity. Last time I had anything to do with it the power consumption to smelt the stuff was enormous. May have changed????? S we didn't go there. Although my Land Rovers and Rover cars all had aluminium panels, and we thought that that was cool.

What's all this leading up to? I dunno!

I don't mind the term 'modular'. It only has good connotations for me.

Going back to the GRP thing, what do you do with a forty-year-old GRP boat? Car? Anything? They're damned hard to recycle. In my opinion, thats why we have to stick with the metals. Structure design using metals has come a long way in the last couple of decades, and I do think it's reaching about it's pinnacle about now.

To be continued. I have to go.

cheers,

Stu

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#179
In reply to #178

Experienced, knowledgeable and passionate Auto enthusiast

02/06/2010 5:38 AM

Hi again Stu,

Nice to find you here (< 8)

With your participation in some other threads and obvious passion and considerable knowledge of the AutoMotvie field. I want to point out a couple of other relevant threads for you to check out and participate in if you are so inclined:

http://cr4.globalspec.com/blogentry/10838 Aluminum for Autos?

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/50165 Composites in Cars

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/48343 Shifter for CVT

This info and invitation is likewise extended to any and all that are interested in these relevant threads.

I hope I am not being inappropriate to you in this Chris, if so PLEASE tell me!

Regards to one and all,

DougRH

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#187
In reply to #179

Re: Experienced, knowledgeable and passionate Auto enthusiast

02/06/2010 1:07 PM

Thanks for posting the links Doug, I intended to do it myself.

Chris

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#180
In reply to #178

Re: FRAME: Aluminium is really ‘congealed electricity’

02/06/2010 6:00 AM

Like the rest of 'Matter,' it's all 'Electro-Magnetic' Energy of one type or another.

In spite of our quite remarkable Scientific and Technological insights and understanding that have taken a quantum leap in the last century, no one REALLY even knows what 'Electricity' is!

This applies even more so to Magnetism!!

But one thing that does seem fairly clear at this point in our knowledge is that ALL of the above mentioned aspects of creation are all just Energy of some sort or other, including us.

So, what is 'Energy'?

ALL energy is just 'Vibrations' of differing varieties.

So? What IS it REALLY?

What are we ?

Things that make a lot of us go Hmmmm?? ? ?

For quite some Time now!

So if that is 'Matter', then what is 'Time' ?

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#186
In reply to #180

Re: FRAME: Aluminium is really ‘congealed electricity’

02/06/2010 9:23 AM

Thought you'd know what I meant.

Aluminium was shunned in the old days because of the cost. The cost per unit ton of production. Lots of raw product which travelled a long distance to the smelters (Bauxite) and lots of power in the electro-furnaces( ever seen 'em?). Rover used Alloy as a body skin medium because there was lots of it on offer 'cheap' due to a truncation in warplane production in UK.

Not so in my country. Even the beer cans were steel here.

I can't imagine sitting a backside in quantum of electro magnetic energy.

Relative to the costs of employing traditional steels in bodystructures alloy is beginning to fare better. And the ubiquitous push for dollar/unit distance economy is making it's use more attractive to the manufacturers. But only so in the High Dollar cars. Notice I didn't mention 'prestige', or 'performance'. They're bullshit terms to inject elitism into the basic neccessity of getting from here to there without hitchin' up a horse or getting wet. My view of prestige is not neccessarily anothers'. Some of the quickest cars I've known were the least expensive, which in my view shoots down 'prestige ' and 'performance' with the one shot. Getting off the subject a little now. Sorry! Back soon. Stu.

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#190
In reply to #186

Re: Aluminium is really ‘congealed electricity’

02/06/2010 3:32 PM

Your reply was definitely more applicable and 'on topic' than mine was.

The cost vs strength compared to steel is even more telling historically.

The need for significantly improved efficiency that Aluminums lighter weight is making it look like a more realistic contender on a much larger scale as well.

The improvements, sophistication and much wider range alloys and the proportionately wider range of properties makes it more likely to be able to be utilized more as well.

What country are you referring to Stu ?

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#194
In reply to #190

Re: Aluminium is really ‘congealed electricity’

02/06/2010 6:21 PM

Au = Australia. Aluminium is becoming/ has become more recyclable than most of it's competitors in the 'vessel' making realm.

As you have said, metallurgical technology is now very sophisticated and alloys are made specific to a known stress problem. The technology to work the metal, particularly extrusion, is now ultra sophisticated too. All of this means that alloy will be used almost universally one day in the future, with perhaps small inclusions of ultra alloyed steels. cheers, Stu

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#188
In reply to #178

Re: FRAME

02/06/2010 2:23 PM

Thanks for that Stuey,

You are totally wright about the 'enthusiasm of youth' and it is not to be discounted. Some of my earliest memories are playing with cars, and being the navigator for my mother in the city of Edmonton. At 5 years old, she would give me the address and I would direct her how to get there. (she was a nurse, doing red cross canvassing) I was also a wolf cub, and built and raced the traditional wooden vehicle.

that enthusiasm has only grown over the years...

Perhaps the word "Modular" should be "Interchangeable". I think it is far more about the Standardized Interconnections that it is about anything automotive... We are looking for:

  • A standard user interface, which can be parametrically specified as an ergonomic envelope. (and passenger envelopes also)
  • Standard mechanical connections for components
  • Standard electrical connections for cpu, lights, signals and power.
  • Standard weight class and passenger class.

Given the above list, there are things that would be in the dominion of the individual component manufacturer. For example:

  • Given a standard mechanical interconnection, we don't care what the type of suspension is, be it air bag, mcpherson strut, torsion bar, etc. As long as the suspension is able to perform at the given class parameters, it doesn't matter.
  • Given a weight and passenger class, we don't care if the component is (for drive) wheels, or tracks, or zil screws or floats, wings, etc. By parametric definition of the fundamentals of interconnection, we actually liberate designers to create innovative solutions.

Imagine if every appliance manufacturer had a different plug system. When you want to use their appliance you have to wire a new receptacle into your house? The potential for a this modularity is huge. I think everyone who has ever designed a vehicle agrees that modularizing the system is 'too hard' as there are a pile of variables... until someone does it, and proves that it can be effective... then everyone goes "Aha! of course it should be modular. What were we thinking?" then the world changes.

Doug has got me thinking (again)... What really IS an auto-mobile? a self moving transport unit. Fundamentally, it must:

  • Transport people safely.
  • Fit on a modern road.
  • Comply with the highways act. (signals, brakes, visibility, license, insurance, etc.)
  • In order to widely sell, it must be affordable to own and operate,
  • Cost less to produce than its retail price.

Am I missing anything? I think more than half of the complications with vehicles are not mechanical, but safety, compliance, and economics.

Chris

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#192
In reply to #188

Re: FRAME

02/06/2010 5:30 PM

Here is an excellent example of modular components. In the last 20 years we have seen a massive rise in cordless and combo systems. It really took one commitment on the part of one manufacturer to begin the change... Now people are saying "You can have my cordless drill when you pry it from my cold dead fingers." For the previous 50 years, drills were drills, saws were saws, and they were all corded. Now we take them completely for granted, and think nothing of switching components and recharging batteries in the middle of a job. fan-friggin-tastic! (I own this set, plus another cordless gun)

Modular vehicles CAN be made, and would be just as obvious in hindsight that the value provided by modularity simplifies so many things. As I've said before, it is really all about the connections (ie, standard shoe for batteries, providing both mechanical and electrical connection)

Chris

and this "Swappable" system

Here's a robotic 'modular' snake.

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#195
In reply to #192

Re: FRAME

02/06/2010 6:24 PM

continuing on... a modular camera system.

Modular Shoes

another modular robot.. .note wheels, frame, controls...

Modular Military machine

and... a modular race car. (sorta)

http://www.midwestspecracer.com/G2.asp

http://www.midwestspecracer.com/G2front.asp

This quad here is supposed to have a modular aluminum frame. (meanting adjustable)

Lotus is thinking modular car...

http://www.carbodydesign.com/archive/2009/07/22-lotus-city-car-concept/

we are surrounded by examples everywhere... it Can be done.

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#197
In reply to #195

Re: FRAME

02/06/2010 7:22 PM

Chris,

Seems, after reading the thread 'till now, you and I are somewhat kindred spirits in the modularity thing. ( you'd have to be a quicker typist tho'.)

My vision of the perfect auto industry, briefly is very definitely one of multifunction and modularity. You render in post #33 sorta sums it up.

Front or rear power module (same), including engine support and controlled crush structure c/w firewall, of several arbitrary power levels. Modular, handed suspensions including wheels and brakes. Same both ends. For attachment to rear of vehicle the steering is simply locked up in alignment. No, The steering rack remains in the power module.

Passenger/ load compartment. Fashion compliant. One box or two box style. in a one box design the rear suspension/ wheel units will attach to points at the rear of the box. Ditto with the two box design. Adding the third box to the pass/load comp't will give 'tandem axles' for greater load capacity.

Swapping the third box (trunk) for a power unit will give six x four drive.

No suspensions on the pax comp't gives 4 x 4.

Suspensions are also modular in respect of load carrying capacity. Perhaps a range of four to each vehicle category size. Suspensions may be powered via the employment of electric wheel motors/ dynamos (energy recovery).

the whole vehicle is constructed by assembling the mechanical components and then attaching the styling panels. Panels are not structural as per the Smart car by Benz. Principle gives aerodynamics and individual customer satisfaction as to style availability.

Just a start for now. Gotta go again.

Stu.

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#238
In reply to #188

Re: FRAME

02/09/2010 2:41 PM

Looking for a marketable statement.

I have to admit that the benefits of a modular vehicle are fuzzy. The market would be driven by an open market not by proprietary auto maker. We need to identify a better market than an auto dealer uses. We need to define a unique market nitch. Does the concept have a killer application? Let's give it an identity. Will it do more than

  • Transport people safely.
  • Fit on a modern road.
  • Comply with the highways act. (signals, brakes, visibility, license, insurance, etc.)
  • In order to widely sell, it must be affordable to own and operate,
  • Cost less to produce than its retail price.

It is a FROG POD Vehicle (For Ripping Off Good Part Off Dead Vehicle)

The pod is the item an owner can invest in, knowing that it can be mounted onto the next platform. This vehicle will be able to jump technologies change because it is fractured into separate identifiable sub frame. Many deferent chassis segment can take advantage of existing brand parts. The info plan is to be downloadable for construction as soon as the main frame segments are identified by the ghost brand chassis, power mount option, and pod mount definition on the WIKI web site.

Your personalize FROG Pod can jump from your house to your work with the latest green methods available. The modular force is designing your main frame today. EBay has the perfect market to bring a party to all FROG POD members. Conceive a FROG POD today it is a moral choice. Soon there will be parts everywhere from obsolete vehicle near you.

This could really get fun!

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#111
In reply to #93

Re: FRAME

01/31/2010 6:06 PM

Thin skin on many small straight pieces verses stronger skin on fewer large bent pieces.

Wow ! Great CAD art. Your drawing reminds me of an Airplane in Kit plane Magazine around 15 Years ago. It has an all tube frame covered with aircraft clothe. What impressed me about the frame was the volume of space inside the structural frame body. The tubes where welded together in a geometric triangular grid to form a sphere. It looked like a flying blow fish. It was built to function as a photo dark room in remote locations. The article hinted at selling a frame kit for around $100,000 dollars. The higher cost was a by product of a multitude of tube pieces and so many small connections to bring them together. Larger curved tubing could be more efficient for mass production and stiffer skin could work with fewer connections. Composite skins might work in some applications. Check out this link

http://www.piedmontplastics.com/prodtype.asp?ID=4&TYPE=196

DIBOND is pre-painted and is stiff enough to serve as a single wall skin or panel.

Here is a broader selection to check out.

http://www.piedmontplastics.com/linksframe.asp?XLINK=http://www.alcancompositesusa.com/

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#112
In reply to #111

Re: FRAME

01/31/2010 6:26 PM

There is no reason that steel or aluminum tubing has to be used everywhere... It is quite feasible to make fiberglass tubing (with or without cable cores)

and there are many options for fiberglass body parts. One thing I like about this idea is that the fiberglass body can be molded right to the modular component's subframe. Perhaps spray some rubbery foam over the frame for shock and bend absorbtion.. and the frame can be encased by the body part. just a thought. I'm no expert.

I also know that you can build some very strong shapes just by stringing fiberglass stranded material around a shape. (I had some pool furniture made this way.. no supporting structure after the parts have cured, and very strong and rigid. also weatherproof.) (see picture) it could easily hold 3 adults, and it is basically string-art, so you could build any shape with it.

Chris

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#113
In reply to #112

Re: FRAME

01/31/2010 7:34 PM

2 words

Carbon fiber

The interfaces between modules get tricky

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#114
In reply to #113

Re: FRAME

01/31/2010 7:47 PM

"The interfaces between modules get tricky"

2 words

pleeze explain interfaces oops

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#115
In reply to #114

Re: FRAME

01/31/2010 8:49 PM

If you were to make a 3 module vehicle

The connections between modules can't just be bolted together straight away

you would probably need to embed metal plates.

On a carbon fiber bicycle frame the lugs for the rear wheel are steel or aluminum

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#116
In reply to #115

Re: FRAME

01/31/2010 9:11 PM

absolutely agree. thanks for clarifying.

Chris

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#117
In reply to #116

Re: FRAME

01/31/2010 9:43 PM

Big chunks cabled together & tensioned, would be cool

the suspension integrated into the frame [been playing with the contraption game]

I'm always happy to clarify

it can be confusing, I don't have the rendering skills. I just started playing with double cad...

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#118
In reply to #117

Re: FRAME

01/31/2010 9:58 PM

there is one underrated drafting program that works well to get across basic ideas called mspaint.exe.. its on every windows computer. I use it daily.

2 minutes gets you a quick sketch of any 2D thing. ie

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#119
In reply to #118

Re: FRAME

01/31/2010 10:20 PM

I'm horrible with a mouse

I like being able to just input the points

I used sketch up, same problem.

I did a bunch of fabrication & would just make a list calling out the points...

I can barely make a sketch. I usually resort to props in person.

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#120
In reply to #119

Re: FRAME

01/31/2010 11:37 PM

Does that qualify us as handicapped? Can I park in the blue spaces now?

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#122
In reply to #120

Re: FRAME

01/31/2010 11:50 PM

Sure

You'll still get a ticket

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#121
In reply to #119

Re: FRAME

01/31/2010 11:44 PM

don't underestimate yourself.

its just lines and sh*t...

you are prolly putting too much pressure on yourself.

I know I do it... for all the stuff I can't do.

Chris

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#123
In reply to #121

Re: FRAME

02/01/2010 12:07 AM

I really do prefer being able to input points

Unless I can get the snap-to working better

I had a turbo cad 7 until the CD drive gave up on this laptop

double cad looks new & improved

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#124
In reply to #112

Re: FRAME

02/01/2010 7:23 PM

Hi Chris

I like the curves and the straight lines of your bench seat in post #112 .

You are a master at presentations that invokes ideas in a pleasant way. I propose to form a sphere (ok, a streamlined box) with the least amount of pieces. A curve is where to start like the frame of your bench seat. And like the bench seat the stressed attachments of curves is the key element to make multiple parts work together. The connector will always determine modularity. From automobile to automobile the orientations are common. I would like to work toward identifying the minimum number of connections so to identify the connections.

The connections need to help distribute the tension and compression forces. The similar connections can differ in one part of the sphere to accommodate different load and distributions.

To frame this sphere I imagine a curved open channel (not to be limited to such) that when connected together with other part, a cable placed (not threaded) inside the channel to help hold together and stiffen the parts to act like a single part (not welded but maybe fitted and pined). The principle action is to apply tension towards the center of an arc to distribute compression towards the outer arcs. Like a bicycle wheel does but without the spokes. Imagine a bicycle rim made of pieces with a tension cable inside the rim drawing the pieces stiff together. The channels do not have to be linear, it can flair at the end to make moment connection. Once the connectors are defined the channels can be anything. The skin of the sphere will add stability and unfortunately probably close easy access to cable path (maybe not important).

I like materials that are inexpensive, pliable for manipulation, tensile qualities for strength, and mass produce able with the least labor. A material could be anything but I do like steel for these reasons.

Just to provoke thought:

Imagine recreating the car body frame in Kyzine post #64 and putting it back to together with connectors and cable. Add a few more sections and cable, it might become a stretched Limousine. Swap out a couple of parts to make it taller. Where would the connections need to be? How many connection could use cables?

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#147
In reply to #124

Re: FRAME

02/04/2010 1:10 AM

Ray, just to make your imagination go... Here is 'streamlined spheres made in the style of the fiberglass chair.. the connections are up to you..

the second image has a second shell.. so I imagine some foam or honeycomb (aramid) between them...

Have you ever done that experiment of trying to crush an egg (long axis) between the palm of your hands? It takes hundreds of pounds of force.

Chris

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#149
In reply to #147

Re: FRAME

02/04/2010 1:56 AM

LoL, Interesting.

Never seen anyone that could break a raw egg if the pressure was applied equally with the hand and not specific pressure point like a finger tip is used. Very telling.

Mother `Nature IS quite the `designer.

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#170
In reply to #147

Re: FRAME

02/05/2010 10:50 AM

Hi Chris

Nice and simple I like where you are going with this. You really bring a lot to this site. Maybe apply a skin, here and there with foam like you said, a simalur type as a car bumper. The Aptera seen here (thanks Garthh post#136 "helpful" ) has a body kind of like that, designed so the front suspension will curl under the cab to absorb impact. So maybe the frame underbody should not be extending to far out in front of the cab? Let some connections (upper-strong in compression) brake away and tension ones stay (lower-short strong tension chain?) I would think (min.- max) 2 lower and wide apart, chain connection that would encourage the suspension to curl under the frame and body. The frame is like a tree branch, the cab is like a birds nest, the suspension weaker branches, and passengers are the egg heads sitting inside. (How are little smile faces made?)

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#171
In reply to #170

Re: FRAME

02/05/2010 11:00 AM

The here button did not work yet. A good picture of Aptera seen at:

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.evauthority.com/a/stress-test-aptera-frame.jpg&imgrefurl=http://evauthority.com/2009/02/&h=256&w=425&sz=43&tbnid=1j6y_-yYP2u2MM:&tbnh=76&tbnw=126&prev=/images%3Fq%3DAptara%2Bcar&hl=en&usg=__yVgofwhRSKhg53a93-7W6sm61vE=&ei=YtxrS8L-GpG4M5ak3MoE&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=6&ct=image&ved=0CC0Q9QEwBQ

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#173
In reply to #171

Re: FRAME

02/05/2010 11:56 AM

such an elegant solution... and it will be so quiet to ride in. I hope they really do well.

Chris

ps...your second link doesn't fly either. try this.

and when you are composing the post, the links you create are testable in the 'preview' stage, before final submittal.

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#182
In reply to #112

FRAMES: Strenght through stucture. Joints flexing = not breaking.

02/06/2010 7:36 AM

There are numerous multi story 'high-rise' Japanese pagodas that have withstood a number of earthquakes over the centuries when the other buildings in the vicinity were all destroyed.

Why?

How?

Flexible structural joints that are tied and bound and thus flex instead of break.

They receive regular maintenance.

"The weeping Willow that bends in the hurricane remains when the mighty. sturdy towering giants have all been blown away."

DougRH, 2010

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#94
In reply to #92

Re: FRAME

01/29/2010 1:43 AM

What about using each module as a stressed member?

see Ducati motor cycles...

Doesn't the apertura have a bathtub type passenger compartment, similar to racing hydro planes or f1? stacking 2 side by side to increase from 2 passengers to 4 for our purposes.

either front or rear drive. once again double up for 4wd [& steering]

would that be 8 combinations?

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#95
In reply to #94

Re: FRAME

01/29/2010 2:02 AM

"What about using each module as a stressed member?"

I may not be clear on what you mean.. but in my 'tensioned frame' idea, each component becomes stressed in compression, after they are all stacked together on the subframe, and then the tension is applied with the threaded rods.

I can't find what you mean about bathtub types... please provide links.

Chris

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#97
In reply to #95

Re: FRAME

01/29/2010 2:39 AM

The cockpit would be a self contained, structure, a small unibody imagine a 2 person cockpit, the passenger behind the driver, an open top version only having a roll bar

the case of the power plant acting as an integral part of the frame, or actually is the frame. the steering & suspension hanging off the case. on a 2wd version the empty module being storage.

any body work being purely decorative, similar to a off road racing truck

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#99
In reply to #97

Re: FRAME

01/29/2010 2:48 AM

yes... it could be just a frame, with a shell dropped over it like a funny car.

or... the individual components could be monocoque stressed skin items themselves.. but the whole vehicle is modular... bolt together like you say. the motor in one section, and an expandable number of passenger / storage compartments..

the engine compartment doesn't have to be just wheeled... no reason you can't switch out the liquid cooled engine for an aircooled version that drives a snowmobile track(s) and the front section with wheels exchanges for one with skis..

or the engine could get a propeller system, and a whole pontoon base system bolts on the bottom.

there is lots of options...

Chris

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#100
In reply to #99

Re: FRAME

01/29/2010 2:56 AM

Or an electric or hydraulic on one end & diesel on the other. series or parallel operation...

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#157
In reply to #100

Re: FRAME

02/04/2010 9:38 AM

I think it would be a good platform for a Rube Goldberg historical perspective on motive powers sources. We could put the most primitive ones at the very front, along with the primitive wheels, axels, steering and bearings from the earliest era and then keep adding the more recent ones behind them in chorological order. Which would result in a rocket being in the final stages! How long do you think it would end up? It would certainly be a good test of the support, strength and rigidity of this type of chassis design!

You won't see me in it doing any burn outs at the drag strip or climbing into the cockpit on the Bonneville salt flats either!

I think the most pertinent question would be where to locate the 'crash test dummy' in it! LoL Methinks that this would definitely be best as a ROV.

No offense intended Chris, just a little light hearted humor (< 8)

PS Chris: I 'm not sure if you check your personal mail box Chris, but I'm wondering if you got my message?

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#101
In reply to #99

Re: FRAME

01/29/2010 3:07 AM

shorter version.

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#102
In reply to #99

Re: FRAME

01/29/2010 3:24 AM
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#103
In reply to #102

Re: FRAME

01/29/2010 12:05 PM
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#104
In reply to #103

Re: FRAME

01/29/2010 12:23 PM

thats a great link.... again.

cwarner7_11 gave that link in #80.... try to keep up with the rest of the class eh.

Chris

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#108
In reply to #103

Re: FRAME

01/31/2010 12:38 PM

Here is another link along the line of small factories.

http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/extras/extras/nextengines-3d-scanner/

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#503
In reply to #99

Re: FRAME

03/18/2010 6:17 PM

. .. an expandable number of passenger / storage compartments..

I recently saw a car on TV that could either be shortened for a 2 seater configuration or lengthened into a 4 or 5 seater configuration.

Don't look for this any time soon at your local automotive dealerships.

. .. could get a propeller system, and a whole pontoon base system bolts on the bottom.

There have been cars that are amphibious.

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#98
In reply to #92

Re: FRAME

01/29/2010 2:43 AM

just to make sure I'm being clear. this is the assembled view of the above mentioned components...

Chris

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#109
In reply to #98

Re: FRAME

01/31/2010 4:48 PM

To design the tension rod as a safety component instead of a critical path component might sell well. Stranded cable has great tension qualities and is flexible for spooled distribution. Use it to monitor and hold wheel alignment. Let quick snap together sections be monitored by redundant tension cables. At either end connect a gauge to indicate proper tension compliance of all included component. Cable threaded through parts should be minimized for easy replacement. A cable can add strength, safety, and monitoring to the modular car concept.

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#110
In reply to #109

Re: FRAME

01/31/2010 5:15 PM

Hi Ray, Thank you for that insight. You are right of course. GA.

When I first started thinking about the essence of modular cars, and especially after some of Ed Weldon's comments, I started thinking that the big difference in thinking between modular cars and normal designs, is that the focus of modular thinking is much more about the "Interface" and less about the content of the modules.

As designers, humans have proven a million times over that they can design phenomenal vehicles. My challenge with creating this thread is to try to reap the rewards of modularity. When we start thinking about the interface connections of the different media, and the transmission of forces, we need a different paradigm.

For designers, if they didnt' have to think so much about the forces involved, and just the fluids, and electrical, then it would be easier to develop robust solutions.

I think this idea of tensioned modular framing provides a combination of connectable interface, while still allowing really excellent crash resistance. It combines the best of all technologies including the triangularly braced rigid frame, with the ability of monocoque surfaces and energy absorbing crushable portions, all the while permitting modular construction.

There is no reason electrical, fluid, driveshafts, or torsion bars can't also be contained in the same structural tubing members, and transmit through the interface with the cable.

Chris

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#105
In reply to #92

Re: FRAME

01/29/2010 10:11 PM

Chris, in the building industry there are tensioning cables that are used to pre-load the concrete components. These would be perfect for pre-loading your frame sections instead of the 1" threaded rods. while the chassis components are assembled, the tensioning cables would be threaded through the hollow tubing, and then hydraulically pulled tight, then the retaining clamp is crimped hydraulically to the end, and then the hydraulics are released. The system would lend itself to your system very well.

Just send the royalties to me when you can.

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#106
In reply to #105

Re: FRAME

01/29/2010 11:20 PM

thanks bob_c,

as soon as the first profits start coming in.... I'll send those cheques to the contributing brain trust here on CR4.

I didn't think of cables, but I did think of chains inside the tubes, because then you could stow the excess chain if you take out a component. I'm sure cables could be coiled similarly.

good idea.

Chris

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#150
In reply to #92

Re: FRAME

02/04/2010 2:22 AM

Methinks you are tilting at windmills a bit with this one Chris, but still a valid conceptual exploration and it all helps in the long run.

Your pretty handy with your CAD system. Which one do you use ?

Regards,

Doug

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#152
In reply to #150

Re: FRAME

02/04/2010 2:38 AM

I use a few different apps, depending on the look I need, or the difficulty associated with the parts.

You wrote this in response to the 'tensioned frame'.. but are you referring to the hawk shell model?

Chris

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#154
In reply to #152

Re: The efficiency of 'Tensioning' & 'Tilting at WindMills'

02/04/2010 3:06 AM

Hi Chris,

I was referring specifically to your drawing of the 'ladder' structure of rectangular cross sections bolted together.

Speaking of which I have and old wooden extension ladder that originally belonged to my paternal GrandParents that I recently 'rebuilt'. It has a small tension rod of only ~ 1/8" Ø in grooves down the length of one side on both legs of both extensions that gives it a HUGE difference in the factor of its ability to bear a load if it is turned the write way versus the wrong way. I weigh 260# myself never mind what I might be carrying up or down the ladder with me. A VERY good example of what a difference, effectiveness and the efficiency of such 'tensioning' devices.

Quite the ponderous creation you have going here. It's going to become a 400 pound gorilla on your back, if it is not already! As you know it is my intention to compound it further LoL

Funding is getting to be a priority so that we can focus solely on these and start making them into physical realities as we define and refine these things more. Though I'm not sure how apt the 'solely' description is with the multifaceted natures of our different interests, projects and devices.

Have a better one laddie (< 8)

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#127
In reply to #1

‘Cookie Cutter’ & ‘Origami’ carbon fiber and metal/composite hybrid frames.

02/02/2010 5:44 AM

Hi Chris et al,

Perhaps like yourself, I am a fan of 'modular' in many things. It makes a lot of sense in many applications.

But not in everything. On large volumes of mass produced things as complex and as sophisticated and subtle as modern day vehicles. Though frankly we NEED to get back maximizing our resources and minimizing our negative impact of our environment and our world which is the only home we have. We need to get back to a 'need' based economy and not a 'want' based consumer society so that things that don't need it are constantly being changed just so they appear a little, or a lot different because they have to have a new 'this year's model' purely for marketing reasons. I made my living as a mechanic for many years. I remember working under the dash, which is most definitely no designed for convenience of service, on some electrical component. When I went to the dealership there were three different parts used of that little switch or electrical component in that model year alone.

One of the reasons that Volkswagens were so cheap for decades in the early era of there existence as they didn't keep changing things every year that worked and did its job just fine and didn't need to be changed

By virtue of the fact that you have started such a forum it is obvious that you have the interest and quite likely the aptitude for such things as well.

I don't know what kind of experience that you have, but have you ever tried to fabricate and build something like your frame drawing at the start of this multifaceted forum?

It is almost impossible to build something like that by hand that has anywhere near the accuracy, rigidity and safety that it has to have in order for the vehicle to handle and drive consistently and safely.

It is almost impossible to fabricate such things accurately enough by hand to start with. To assemble them without jigs it is very unlikely that they could even be laid out with the necessary consistency.

As soon as the frame starts to get welded together manually the heat distorts and pulls everything all over the place and out of alignment especially with no proper jigs that hold everything very rigidly in the exact position and they would have to remain in it until it was completely stress relieved so that it kept its dimensional accuracy.

Such fabrication tend to lend it sled to construction where everything is in straight lines without all of the very complex subtle curves that modern vehicles have though out the entire vehicle in many different aspects: frame, body, interior etc, etc.

In recent years of the huge, massive and heavy SUV phase; I don't know if you have ever seen one but Mercedes finally came out with one that made it to north America. It looked more like it was a UPS commercial vehicle made in a local sheet metal and fabricating shop. Everything was square, straight and flat. No aerodynamics of any sort. All of this for probably about $150,000!

That being said I to have interests in such things. I haven't done any experience or knowledge in carbon fiber but am very interested in its usage. I've seen some Styrofoam moulds being made at very high cutting speed on a machining center for such things. With a proper vacuum system to suck up the Styrofoam chips and shavings, the cuttings speed would be great compared to (a very tough) steel! Clamping it down consistently and rigidly so that it didn't move during this phase would be a challenge though. Even without the very high costs of the carbon fiber material itself, such very time consuming intensive low quantity production of all the moulds needed and hand layup adds VERY significantly to production costs.

What I conceive is utilizing prefabricated, mass produced sheets of carbon fiber. Very similar to sheet metal. Different thicknesses, material composition for different purposes and sizes of sheets. With today's modern computer based and aided technology that is applicable at some many different levels and tasks. I am thinking the chassis starting off as very accurately designed and quickly made on computer driven 2 axis cutting tables which are quiet common now. A wide variety of the actual cutting mechanism and technology can be used to suite the material being cut. In the case of carbon fire I would think a very nigh pressure water jets to which various different abrasives can be added to suit the material that can improve production significantly or a laser, which likely would produce very stinky and hazardous toxic fumes so this would be a less desirable alternative. It would in essence be a very large, precision notched to ensure accurate assembly, origami type of construction. As stated, using a wide variety of very accurate interlocking notches and tabs etc would ensure that it was very accurate and repeatable. Once the entire frame was assembled in this manner, utilizing temporary wrappings where needed to hold everything securely in place and assembled utilizing various things like elastic 'tensor bandages' with heavy duty Velcro and /or a variety of clamps or any other means that was needed to do the job at this stage. Then the entire thing would be hand wrapped and laid up just like making a huge complex cast. It would have precision metal plates also laser or water jet cut and locating holes drilled threaded and/or machined by conventional methods as necessary on a computer CNC machining center to assure accuracy and repeatability to be place and built into the chassis during assembly for mounting all of the various things such as suspension mounts etc. It could also include various openings for running wiring etc through if desired.

Utilizing these techniques would also allow for some '3 dimensional' shaping and bending, including the possibilities adding additional strength by 'pre-stressing' the interlocked components before they are wrapped and finished with carbon fiber cloth.

There is also the possibility of utilizing other materials such as Kevlar both for the cut out pieces and finish wrapping and blended resins to give it some controlled flexibility where desirable so that it can give a little and not shatter like very strong but very brittle 100% carbon fiber is.

It goes without saying that such an approach would be significantly lighter and stronger with the possibility of being longer lasting (won't rust out). The easiest way to improve the performance and efficiency is to decrease weight.

While I very much prefer very aerodynamic sculpted designs over the 'boxy look' we have seen in the last couple of years; aerodynamics becomes more critical for higher speed vehicles. The higher the speed, the more crucial aerodynamics are as the power required to 'go faster at higher' speeds is not a linear one. It takes a LOT more power to go from 120 to 125 MpH than it does to go from 20 to 25 MpH. Thus for highway vehicles the importance of aerodynamics are vital.

FYI: The optimal and most aerodynamically efficient angle for the 'frontal area' of a motor vehicle is 37 degree.

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#130
In reply to #127

Re: ‘Cookie Cutter’ & ‘Origami’ carbon fiber and metal/composite hybrid frames.

02/02/2010 1:13 PM

DougRH,

First let me commend your vision, which excites me a great deal.

As for Needs based economy, I think that we are in a situation where few are taught the basics. The most critical issue is that people do not know, and can not figure out what their needs are, and have no persistent mechanism to fulfil them. I have an idea that does all 3, outlined here. It is based first upon a well defined Hierarchy of Needs, (similar to Maslow's) and secondly upon a proper Comparative Shopping Database, and thirdly upon a tool I call the Value Formula which would be integral to the whole system.

I realize you can't see this, but it has the Hierarchy in a treeview on the left, and list of ForSale items on the right, and you bid for items you want. E-bay and others are currently the world leaders in things for sale, but I have not seen anyone that allows you to sort by columns. (see below) I don't know if you have spent a lot of time with shopping products such as Auto Trader, but by the time you get to page 4, you have forgotten what is on page 1. What I propose is simply the ability to compare apples to apples, and that provides huge value to the customer.

The value formula allows you to calculate value for a specific product.

I will obviously have to post this OT. I will address your other points next post.

Chris

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#148
In reply to #1

Re: FRAME

02/04/2010 1:28 AM

In mentally exploring the frame/modularity/crush issues, I came up with another idea.

(My Images don't show everything, so you have to use your imagination.)

So first imagine that you have a modular chassis, strong, connected, etc. with a roll cage inherent.(not shown)

Then you want to add a shell type body around it, but you need further crash protection.... so what do you do? my solution here is to embed an exoskeleton in the fiberglass shell.

There is an 'over the top' split steel pipe, one around the base of the windshield, and then 2 horizontal steel tubing around each side, with vertical bracing hidden in the shell. This provides full skirt surround crash protection which is a second layer to the inner modular roll cage. This outer system will act in the same manner as a monocoque system, in that it will transmit certain energies around the shell, before it gets to the inside.

Also there is the potential for a lot more crushable (hex core or rigid foam) energy absorbing portions, especially on the corners. I haven't quite figured out 'doors', but for the most part have been imagining gull wing style, and then the tubing can 'overlay' for continuity... but I'm certainly open to suggestions.

I've used a super-custom shape to show that some modular designs call also have very attractive shells

I haven't mastered all the 'paint' in my learning yet..that will come. I imagine this hot rod to be a Hawk theme... with the chassis of say a Viper...

wanna ride?

Chris (if you want to see larger versions, send me your email address private msg)

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#2

BODY & WINDOWS

01/14/2010 6:14 PM

Discuss Body & Windows issues.

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#78
In reply to #2

Re: BODY & WINDOWS

01/26/2010 1:53 PM

~-^*^-~Window~-^*^-~

I feel the (window) pain every time I think about a custom car build. An existing window specification would be hard to build to. An abundance of any windshield on the market can be shattered over time.

Approvals might be another issue. I remember being in a local glass shop and seeing a pick-up truck owner request to buy straight glass to replace his rear window. No can do was the response, you need special replacement glass approved by the department of highways and transportation or something of that sort. Small planes use Plexiglas as a solution probably because it is light weight and bendable at low temperatures. Small sport planes do not have wind shield wipers to scratch them as will.

For my wish list, I would like an approved curved glass windshield about the size on the Aptera's electric car. I do not notice a windshield wiper on the Aptera either. If the windshield was all ready rubber mounted on a flanged frame with wipers, I would buy it and design the body to it. This could bring a new level of quality to a custom built car or three wheeled bike.

Does anybody think a mass produced approved window with frame and wipers, to be bolted in-place, could be marketable?

PS. It would be targeted to a modular car market. Each new design application could use bolt-in adapter flaring for retooling.

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#79
In reply to #78

Re: BODY & WINDOWS

01/26/2010 7:34 PM

I think you would need wipers on a car for the mud and grime in wheel spray from other vehicles and when sitting at the lights and when creeping in a jam and snow/sleet.

Light aircraft have airspeed and clean rain, seldom snow or sleet, (but usually crash if it sticks). Bigger ones have wipers for those reasons.

Ships often have a rotating disc.

So maybe not "wipers" as they exist on current cars - but something to maintain transparency.

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#107
In reply to #79

Re: BODY & WINDOWS

01/30/2010 2:56 PM

Thanks Kuzine for pointing out the mud and grime in wheel spray. I would like to propose the use of glass for all modular cars. Do you think a windshield that is all ready rubber mounted on a flanged frame (wipers included) to be bolted in-place could be applicable? The frame could be built to fit a common shaped windshield already in use today. Not like a flat fold down jeep windshield. It should be aerodynamic in nature.

Each new design application could use bolt-in adapters and flaring for design changes.

Do you think government approvals could be made independent of design?

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#83
In reply to #2

Re: BODY & WINDOWS

01/28/2010 8:23 PM

A tutorial on fiberglass/foam method of body building.

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#168
In reply to #2

BODY & WINDOWS: Colaberations & my concept car.

02/05/2010 6:50 AM

Colaberations AND my concept car.

Hi Chris et al,

First of all I don't really know where to post this as there will be a description of the whole vehicle in general that I have designed. Though I don't address the power source and power train in this desription.

Thanks. This is quite an undertaking that you've initiated and is a great idea with a lot of potential. We're headed into a time of great upheaval and drastic changes which out of necessity will force us to make drastic re-evaluations and accommodations and a with all of the wide variety of people involved and contributing the resources with such a broad base that collectively has a significant body of knowledge, experience, ingenuity, expertise and creativity we have the potential to achieve a great deal with such an organization in place to draw upon.

For myself, I know that I'm ready and want to do and finding and creating the financial resources to start 'cutting steel' etc is my highest priority.

I had a great clay model of a very light, compact, sleek, low and very aerodynamic and highly efficient 2 seater concept vehicle that could be a very economical vehicle or one hell of a high performance sports car. No doors, but 2 wraparound gull wing curved glass pieces that are both the windows and the roof. The whole thing would only be about 3 ~ 3 ½ feet tall give or take and one would only have to step over the outside sill which is a double walled monoque construction for strength and protection and only about 18" high. More of a horizontal racing style seating. No steering wheel, nor clutch, brake or gas pedal. A central joy stick would replace all of those and be on a central tunnel backbone down the middle of the cockpit for added strength that would allow it to be driven from either side. The 'windows' would be the gull wing doors/roof that will be raised and locked into different positions to have it open variable amounts when one wanted to. With no steering wheel to block access in and out of it and hand holds at the top of the windshield to hang onto when getting in and out of the vehicle will be very easy. The entire thing is made primarily out of synthetics and will be VERY light and stiff and rigid. The outside will all be very sleek and curved for great aerodynamics and not even the mirrors stick out into the airstream. The only straight lines may be on the sides of the vehicle where people step over to get in and out of the vehicle, though this can and likely will be slightly curved as well. Even the underside of it will be smooth. The outside will have a slightly pebbled surface. About like a course sand paper. This has less surface drag than it being absolutely smooth. The interior will be almost entirely synthetics as well. To clean it both outside AND inside, the instrument cluster, controls, switches etc will unplug and a temporary water proof plug put over the connecter. Two large drain plugs will be pulled out of the slightly sloped floor on both passenger compartments and the inside will be hosed down like the outside. The instrument cluster can be plugged into both sides of the vehicle so that it can be driven from either side. Likely with a permanent / removable control consul on a single connector as well in the center of the dash accessible from either side.

The entire vehicle will be of monoque construction with no frame and will weigh less than 2,000 pounds. I've conceived of this as both as a 4 and a three wheeler.

FYI: My dog knocked it down onto the floor where it broke and then proceeded to chew on it a bit and lick it.

I also have a suspension design that causes the vehicle to lean and roll into the turn like motorcycles do as opposed to rolling up and to the out from centrifugal force.

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#172
In reply to #168

Re: BODY & WINDOWS: Colaberations & my concept car.

02/05/2010 11:44 AM

that sounds super exciting, especially the leaning suspension... love that.

too bad about the dog thing.. I always tell myself that it happened for a reason, and there is another version that is supposed to come out of you... keep at it.

Chris

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#174
In reply to #172

My concept car & collaborating on visual reconstructions of it

02/05/2010 2:44 PM

Hi Chris,

Thanks. I'm nowhere near as proficient with CAD as you are. If I make another clay model and either send you a slew of pictures &/or the model itself and have you do a series of computer models of it if you are into it. I'm not trying to have you make a whole complete production set, just some that show the concepts. No worries if you don't.

I'm going to post the suspension that leans into corners rather than out of it in another appropriate topic and with more details on collaborating on how to work together to come up with some visual presentations of these things.

My only stipulation is that we post it here and I get sighted as the creator of it and you as the conceptual artist or whatever you prefer.

Regards,

DougRH

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#175
In reply to #174

Re: My concept car & collaborating on visual reconstructions of it

02/05/2010 2:51 PM

Doug,

Sounds great.. send to chrisg288@hotmail.com

I'm a bit committed to the shipping container thread at the moment, but will be very interested in giving your plan some modeling time. (as long as you aren't in a hurry, and of course you will be credited as designer.. I don't have a big ego to deal with. )

I'm reviewing the regs for operating a cr4 blog, and wondering how much of a commitment it would be... before I commit.

Chris

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#177
In reply to #172

Re: BODY & WINDOWS: Colaberations & my concept car.

02/05/2010 7:26 PM

Hi Chris,

Sounds great, No rush on my part, it's not at the top of my priorities list. I'll make another clay model. You have my Emails addresses and when I get the clay model done we'll exchange phone numbers. Though I was thinking using the phone more for working together to make drawings of the 'Lean into Corners' suspension.

I also posted about working together on creating the visuals of the suspension design that leans into a corner and not out. I'll supply the blurb on it.

As to the Blog, I've never used one so I can't say. I thought this was a blog! LoL Do you have a link or info on it and what it does and Doesn't do (in comparison to this one) including how much work it will take to do the ongoing upkeep. One of the pluses of the current one is that it is basically self sustaining by all of the participants in it. Though it would be nice to be able to create different topics/threads/folders etc.

I created the Composites in Cars thread. I tried to add the URL to your listings, but it wants to send me to some social networking website to post it there. Maybe you will have better luck with it as you have obviously done it before. The title is:

Composites & Alternative Materials for the Designing & Construction of Vehicles

It would be nice if we could create a link to it instead of putting the hyperlink into your modular vehicle topics so that they will be separate and not just added to the listing as there are already too many lumped all together in one thread.

Though thinking about it, as I've already created the seperate thread, posting the hyperlink in your listing should take people to the seperate topic.

Here are the two hyper links to it:

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/50165 /

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/50165/Composites-Alternative-Materials-for-the-Designing-Construction-of-Vehicles

Enjoy your weekend.

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#3

SUSPENSION

01/14/2010 6:15 PM

Discuss Suspension issues.

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#86
In reply to #3

Re: SUSPENSION

01/28/2010 8:28 PM
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#89
In reply to #86

Re: SUSPENSION

01/28/2010 10:26 PM

oh, oh

wheels & frames to play with

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#90
In reply to #89

Re: SUSPENSION

01/28/2010 11:30 PM

interesting... but the music is a bit repetetive.

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#91
In reply to #90

Re: SUSPENSION

01/28/2010 11:45 PM

there's music?

turned that off straight away....

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#176
In reply to #3

SUSPENSION: Car leans into the corner, not out. Shared collaboration on visuals?

02/05/2010 3:22 PM

Hi Chris,

Thanks. Like numerous other things I've come up with independently others have created the same design for this suspension that makes the vehicle to 'lean into the corner' rather than out of it.

This is a fairly common occurrence that for the most part usually occur at about the same time; both in technology and science. I have some insight and perhaps even some knowledge as to how and why this is.

It's also very easy to alter the design to vary the amount that it leans into the corner, including being adjustable on an actual vehicle, even if just for R&D purposes. Like most suspension designs, they are quite sensitive as to the effects that the design has on handling.

There are some tradeoffs with other handling criteria, so as with many things striking the right balance and 'doing the math' to get the desired effects becomes relevant.

An experienced suspension design Engineer would be invaluable on this if it is going to be in an actual vehicle.

I don't know if it was patented by the other entity, but I believe it was. Regardless, if it was it has expired so it is in the public domain now.

I'm nowhere near as proficient with CAD as you are. If you have serious interest in it and want to work together to document it here is what I propose. Well get Voice Com, and I'll 'look over your shoulder' at your desktop while you are in one of your appropriate CAD apps, and I'll talk you through it. It's actually quite simple, both conceptually and in practice.

My only stipulation is that we post it here and I get sighted as the inventor of it and you as the conceptual artist or whatever you prefer.

Served. The balls in your court!

Regards,

DougRH

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#394
In reply to #3

Re: SUSPENSION

02/24/2010 4:44 AM

Since I can't draw it, I will write it

The suspension could be two modules (front and rear). Each module would have a channel appendage long enough to reach under the full length of the cab area. To join the two halves each appendage would over lap and join to form a conduit tunnel. Because the connections are made at each end of the splice, the connection it self does not have to carry the moment or shear component. When the cab is mounted to the chassis it makes a redundant splice as well. I well leave this idea rough so to kick it around.

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#398
In reply to #394

Re: SUSPENSION for a light hybrid.

02/24/2010 6:22 AM

Hi Ray,

Many modern monocoque passenger vehicles use an arrangement similar to your description.

Especially now with the prevelance of front engine and front wheel drive.

There are 2 major 'sub frames' that bolt to the underside of the front of the passenger compartment and to the front of the monocoque unibody. These carry the significant weight of both the engine and the transaxles and the lower suspension mounts are usually attached to it as well.

Sorry about the monocoque reference, but its' just so hard to come up with something better suited than this.

Not that your modular hybrid couldn't also have a monocoque passenger module as well though.

Standardized mounts for the sub frames and the loads that they bear.

Which brings up the question for me: Could one take a similar 'module' an turn it around and use 2 of them and make a 4 wheel drive?

I'm well aware that the issue of the wheels turning backwards that would obviously have to be addressed and remedied.

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#402
In reply to #394

Re: SUSPENSION

02/24/2010 12:57 PM

Hi Ray, and all,

I don't really understand "can't draw" I'm not much of an artist either

but I opened mspaint.exe, and almost scribbled this image in 3 minutes.

and also I posted a link to a web based whiteboard that would give the same kind of images... and then just save as jpg. and post. with the little green button.

PLEASE make pictures. its not hard. and communicates so much.

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#409
In reply to #402

Re: SUSPENSION

02/25/2010 6:37 PM

response to "PLEASE make pictures. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx communicates so much".

I totally agree.

I have a drawing coming soon.

I really appreciate the encouragement.

Thanks

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#468
In reply to #402

Re: SUSPENSION

03/05/2010 2:08 PM

An example of a modular chassis to bridge cab, so that cab is not a critical subsystem. The cab is now a parallel system and can be swapped out for another subsystem.

Earlier examples had chassis to body parallel system. This make front to rear chassis with parallel cab subsystem. The cab could fit as a short body subsystem adjoined to the front bulk head. The front bulk head is likely to be a central critical core or hub.

This reads Tilts up for storage and service

Tunnel formed to bridge under cab

Under 8' tall when standing and and bridge 4' long.

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