Dimensions - Weight
Volume of The Bumpers (m^3)
Maximum Speed 40km/h
1. The design of the external
Our goal was to make a small and light vehicle,
using polyurethane foam for the external body. Several versions were
designed. Initially we wanted the wheels covered with foam but this
would unavoidably increase the width of the vehicle.
The design and the construction of the frame
We constructed a
light metal frame from steel. We installed a 72cc four-stroke engine
with it’s gearbox, right behind the driver’s seat. The suspension is
independent at the front wheels and quasi-independent at the back
wheels. The braking system consists of a hydraulic circuit and a
disk brake, which reacts upon the rear shaft. The motion is
transmitted to the back shaft with a chain.
3. The choice
of the materials and the work method
Small models from
Styrofoam scaled 1:10 were made. Using these models, we produced
polyester molds reinforced with glass fiber. Therefore, the only
thing left to be done in order to take polyester copies of our
initial model was to find an appropriate mold release. We tested
various recipies of constitutive parts, so that we obtained the
wanted density distribution, according to the manufacturer (Bayer).
We also experimented on the colour of the polyurethane foam and
several mold-releasing products.
4. The making of the
model in real dimensions
According to our final design, as
far as the external appearance is concerned, we made a scaled model
from Styrofoam. In order to achieve absolute symmetry, we kept the
half piece only and we cut it in horizontal slices. From these
horizontal slices we produced on paper the plan forms, which we then
scanned. The plan forms were processed by CAD program, and were
printed at the real dimensions that the construction would have.
Those plan forms were cut into sheets of expanded polystyrene of
appropriate thickness and by sticking them together we produced more
or less the final form of the model in real dimensions. We filled
the gaps between the steps with polyurethane foam and we used
sandpaper to scrape the surfaces. We then divided the model into two
parts: the upper and the lower.
5. The construction of
the molds and the effusion of the polyurethane foam
part of the model was covered with several layers of polyester with
glass fiber. To prevent polyester from melting the model, it was
firstly covered with aluminum foil. The solidified polyester was
then cut into four pieces: the front, the rear and the two laterals.
All of them were finished to the final shape using sandpaper and
were placed in wooden cases in order to create closed molds. We
mixed the appropriate mass of the components in large vessels and we
effused the mixture in the molds, which were already covered with
mold release. Foams were reinforced with plywood panels at the inner
faces. After some hours, we were able to remove the cover of the
molds and to extract the four lower parts of the
6. The construction of the polyester upper part
and of the windscreen
The upper part was also covered with
polyester reinforced with glass fiber, like the lower. At the
polyester part, which was made, we designed and cut the windscreen
and the two lateral windows. These were made by Plexiglas (PMMA). In
order to form the windscreen, compressed and heated air was used.
The polyester was stuccoed, scraped and dyed. Then the Plexiglas
components, the lights and the mirrors were installed.
assembling of the different parts and the finishing
The final stage of the assembling involves the
seating and the propping of the several parts. A panel was also
constructed by Styrofoam. The internal surfaces were padded with
expanded polystyrene foams and covered with plastic, “leather” like
materials. Seatbelts were also
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