By rbt

The works of students from transportation oder industrial design courses always fascinated me and were the main drive to try something like that myself. The V8trike was chosen out of hundreds of scraps i did while i still was at school, because i thought it was interesting enough and not too hard to build.

Most of the model is made from 3,5mm styrene sheets, but i also used fiberglass, wood, and aluminium.

Over the year (o5) i developed my concept further and further, thought about details and made some major changes. The rear frame and suspension were totally changed because i wanted a more clean and solid construction.

In the designprocess i made tons of sketches, but most of them were just too crappy to show them here or aren’t existing anymore

The sketches from spring 05 were already close to final version, but i wasn’t even aware of that. The plans to build this in 3d were just somewhere in the corners of my mind.

At the end of that year, the idea of building this concept evolved to a real plan.
On paper and without perspective – maybe it looked good already, but now a had to align the proportions to the human body. While trying that, the clean and geometrical shape of the parts turned out to be a huge problem. Even small changes, for example on the height of the seat, had effects on the whole structure. Developing the final concept took more time then building the model. Everything was based on a 1:5 side- and a top view, CAD or other modern methods weren’t used at this stage.

The construction plans aren’t existing anymore so we just jump right into the modeling process.

The hood/windshield/cover was made from fiberglass to create just a single part. The mold shown above was made from styrenefoam and bondo.

Frame and body in a very rough shape ( no, that thing won’t remain blue …)

To get the demanded 7mm i just glued 2 sheets together

For small faces it’s needless to use fiberglass, a base of foam was covered with a thick layer of bondo.

The tank was constructed the same way.

The next step was to build the engine and the gearbox. To build the gearbox i just glued 5mm sheets of PVC together, for the big engineblock i headed back to the thin styrene to create a hollow box.

I won’t comment the pic’s in detail, because i think the single steps are quite transparent.

If the gaps betweens the parts are not that perfect, you can put some styrenechips into it and glue it together.

The unfinished gearbox.

All major parts for frame and body are done, but many details like handles, brakes and the seat are still missing.

The handle was made from a 5mm aluminium tube and some little wooden parts.

Of course, i couldn’t get the brake handles from stock and i had to cut them form a small aluminium bar

The brakes are a bit shorter then on a normal bike. Everything on this bike would be drive-by-wire and a 2-finger brake should be enough.

The patrol cap was made from a big screw

While workin on my concepts i already thought about how to build the single elements, only for the wheels, i didn’t had a plan. It was obvious that i had to turn them to get perfectly round shapes, but that still leaves me with questions about material and the exact workin process. After thinking about this problems for a while i decided that pearwood should be perfect for the job. It´s cheap, not that heavy and easy to turn. I cutted a board of 20mm in squares and glued them together to create big blocks.

The front wheels hid another snag… without a hub it’s very difficult to attach them to the lathe. A special chuck had to be made to finish the wheels.

The space between the spokes was drilled out and finished with files

Another big wooden part is connecting body, frame and suspension

The wings at the front suspension are made from aluminium sheets, they have to be strong enough to carry the weight of the model.

at this point the sculpting part of my work was done and i could head over to the paintjob. Frame and engine should be painted in a silver/metallic look, that was clear right from the beginning of my thoughts about the color theme. For the body i wanted something more colored. In an early stage, i preferred a very aggressive color theme with bright green, red and black or purple . After making a bunch of colored sketches i recognized, that these themes would better fit to an more organic design . A more conservative paintjob would fit a lot better to my very geometrical concept, in the end i took a burguny red made of 5-6 tones. Most of the paints i bought were just a bit too blue.

To speed up the drying process, i made a simple cover for the oven and kept the temperature around 50-60° C. The painting was done with an airbrushpistol and cans.

On the next day i could start putting everything together.

The Final shots were made in the natural habitat of this machine – the streets!

Some details didn’t make it into the model, so i´ll show them on a little sketch and thx for reading.

time: 400h

money: ca. 60-70€


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in einem Wort: DIY
Selbermachen aus Prinzip, aus Spass oder einfach weil mans kann. Ganz grundsätzlich dreht sich hier alles rund um Elektrotechnik, Mechanik und wie man seine Basteleien hübsch verpackt (aka Design). Für die Naschkatzen gibts die Kategorie "Köstlichkeiten", selbstgemacht ist hier natürlich auch das Essen!

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