A very long process of refining the body for my recumbent trike this past week or so has gotten me to the point where I can finally be looking at making some parts for the project. Here is the next version of the body that I have gotten dialed in.
I had to start over in the computer on the shape of the ribs for the body to get it correctly designed. As you can see the difference from the first post about this project is that now there are more ribs in the body. These are also spaced closer together and are more accurate in their placement as well.
This is a shot of the body without the trike inside of it. The only reason the center rib is a different color is just so that it shows up easier in the photo. All the ribs will be made of fiberglass wrapped Styrofoam just like a composite aircraft is built. These ribs are then skinned with inch wide by 1/4 inch thick Styrofoam strips much like you would make a cedar strip canoe. I suspect that the body will weigh less than 20 pounds once it is completed.
In this photo you can see the trike without the body and the new assemblies that I will need to create to mount the body to the frame.
This is the front mount that took some doing to figure out in this project. The mount is attached to the front derailleur tube and then to the inside of the nose of the body. All the red and green parts will be printed on my 3D printer and have been beefed up a lot to make them good and strong. I will set up the 3D printer to print these parts so that they will be stronger to manage the job they are intended for. The plus side is that the body will be very light weight so the parts should work out nicely for the design.
This is a view of one of the front vertical supports for the body. The vertical tube will be 3/4 inch aluminum. This tube is then mounted to the two part frame mount on the lower end and a smaller upper mount for the body. The upper portion of the assembly will be mounted as all of the assemblies will be to the body using machine screws and hard points embedded into the underside of the fiberglass shell. This assembly looks quite large but actually is only around 17 and 1/2 inches tall. The wheels are only 20 inches in diameter so the computer image throws off the scale of the actual parts.
The two vertical assemblies in this photo are on the tail end of the trike and will hold the rear of the body in place. These are two of the smaller assemblies for the project being only 9.5 inches long from top to bottom. The body will not be fully enclosed so that it will be simpler to remove it if need be and allow access to the mechanical parts of the trike for servicing. Also without a floor in the vehicle it will be simpler to back it up if I need to. Otherwise you would have to climb out of the trike. Just makes it a whole lot easier.
Here are images once again of what the body will look like once it has been completed. I plan on making some refinements to the sides of the body while it is being constructed to put a little more flair in my design but for now this will give you a very good idea of the overall shape that I am going for. Also needs some detail in the painting of the body as well. This is something that will be looked at when I get that far in the build. It should be a lot of fun to create and use once it is done. Lots of work ahead but that's what it is all about to get this project underway. I think it will all be worth it in the end. Stay tuned for further posts about this and other projects here at The Tinker's Workshop.