Friday, 3 November 2017

Simplify and add lightness

Colin Chapman's quote "Simplify and add lightness" should be the catch-cry of anyone designing a velomobile or human powered vehicle. One of my favourite designs which has been designed along this mantra is Bob Stuarts Car-Cycle X-4

This is a fine example of integration of parts to make a simpler vehicle. The use of different materials such as fibreglass for the chassis and coroplast for the body is using the correct material for the job. The fibreglass chassis incorporated the hinges for suspension so in fact the chassis IS the suspension. The coroplast body is tough and resilient to bumps and knocks as well as being lightweight.

Another consideration I see in this design is the cost factor with no real "exotic" materials used.
Too often Carbon fiber is seen as a miracle material and used inappropriately or used in a way that does not utilise its specific properties (i.e.. stiffness with low weight). Read about this wonderful vehicle from the link above.

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