non artistic type in over his head!

Hello, I’m not a designer so to speak, but I do play one at home :smiley: …Anyway I’ve been working on a reverse trike project (I know, it’s one of THOSE guy’s again) :unamused:
I wouldn’t ask but my gearhead friends are no help! So I thought I would ask some experts.
I can build anything I can see but just can’t wrap my head around this one.
I’ve taken it from a drawing to a model to an almost ready for the road prototype but am having the worst time ever on a few parts of the body and while I’m not asking for a free-bee I am wondering if you guy’s could give me some direction. (I’m stumped and at a stand still) not to mention shooting through foam like there is no tomorrow!!
I think where I’ve go wrong is I spent allot of time on stability, safety, engine placement, CG, etc…and figured I could always design a body later, I should have asked for some help on the design FIRST, but now I’m to far in to turn back.
my biggest problem area is the back half and rear fender area in the side view it just looks wrong no matter how I shape it?
the window and dash design are also driving me nuts!
Any idea’s?

this is the second back half (the first was to ugly to photograph!)

here is the latest…It looks goofy also!

I have more pics if anyone is willing to critique them for me?
keep going? scrap it all and start over? :neutral_face:
this is me BTW in perfect 1/10th scale…LOL!

hi i am a transport design student so hopefully will be able to give u some help and some pointers.

Things you need to do

  1. Collect styling inspiration on a mood board on for the body one for the dashboard (it can be from anywhere doesnt have to be cars)

2.Print off a G.A (top,side,front back) of the chassis and use it as an underlay for the body design so the proportions are right

3.start sketching loads of different concepts using your mood board as referance on styling

4.Report back here or pm me with what you have sketched and we can work from there

it is hard for me to comment on what you have done so far but i do really like the to piece going to the roll bar it has good strong form.

I had to look up what a mood board was. :unamused: …told you I was non artistic!
So It’s a group of designs I like? like parts of a F1 car or other items that I want to incorporate into the design or that I can take inspiration from in a colaje?
Thanks so much

Yeah just capturing the style you want little details you like as well as overall cars forms panels etc

I’d be more concerned about that chassis. You have a lot of non-triangulated bays, and a lot of arbitrary bends. Your workmanship looks excellent though. Also, is that fuel aft of the front wheels?


Cool project. I see where you’re having trouble. I think that I would try to cover less- you may be trying to make your fenders too big and do too much. The front end looks very car like, and make it very front heavy, visually. This is why other three wheelers have front wheel fenders separate from the body.

Give us some better pictures: front perspective with the hood down, rear perspective, side.

Looks like a lot of empty space in that front overhang… might be cool if it tapered more in the plan view there…

I’d partner with a trans student who might do a bunch of design concepts for cheap or even free just to get the experience of working on a build project.

a lot of the triangulation in the model didn’t make it to the build table, and some things were redesigned on the fly. The more I read the more I realized that a tripod doesn’t suffer near as much from twisting loads, the ground is always level so to speak. (then just in case I was wrong…and it wouldn’t be the first time :open_mouth: I built it out of .125wall DOM) I was more or less looking to cage myself in case I spun into something or got run over.
Those are fuel cells behind the front wheels there is another on the left. The pods were built with the idea of maybe one day building an electric version and they would hold the batteries…But Lipo’s will have to get a lot cheaper first! so for now it’s 200hp Toyota powered :smiley:

Yes there is a ton a wasted space in the front, I guess not knowing what the final body shape would be I crunched everything in a bit tight! I always knew I wanted the front to be Can-Am-ish (I love the old Porsche’s and Lola’s) but didn’t count on how to blend that with a trike :confused: I just knew I didn’t like the snow mobile looking fronts on the T-Rex and it’s clones.
If I could design and draw like you guy’s can I would prob start over again with a Exo trike similar to the Atom but on three wheels so it could pass as a bike.
Here are a few more pics while I work on my mood board :wink:
another problem I seem to have is now that its home my garage is so small I can’t get a full camera shot! It’s always something…

It looks GIANT in the photo’s but it’s realy only about 34 inches tall. Here is a shot early on in the build Ill try to get one with the hood down.

Not sure what you mean by that, but triangulating a spaceframe is critical. Rectangles inherently can’t transmit loads, so they depend entirely on the joints for their strength and stiffness. You could probably knock at least a hundred pounds off the chassis by designing it right, which is huge on a small light vehicle like this. Carrol Smith wrote some good basic books explaining how to do it.

Some of your load paths are abysmal, particularly in the front suspension. You’ve got wishbone loads being run into the middle of a tube. I don’t mean to be too critical, you’re to be commended just for building the thing (and building it well), which is an impressive enough feat. And I’ll say it again, your workmanship is superb. Top notch.

And I have to say, I don’t like your fuel cell placement. Very vulnerable in any crash that knocks the front wheels back (it doesn’t take as much as you might think to rupture a basic cell like that). It’s also a lot of load (variable load at that) to be carrying far from the vehicle centerline. And of course, you have to build big heavy structures to hold them. The triangular space between the seatback and the engine is where god (and Colin Chapman) intended fuel to be carried on mid engined single seaters.

As for the visual part of the design, get rid of those fuel cells, go to separate front cycle fenders, and you’re done. What’s making it ungainly looking is the wide front nose and the transition to the narrower portion around the cockpit.

Visually I would suggest that you hug closer to the frame. Not so critical on the rear as it is in the front. I am not sure if there are aero concerns that are making the front so heavy. I think that you did the right thing designing the frame from the inside out. Let the style follow from what makes sense mechanically. No need to impose aesthetics from 4 wheelers.

check these out for abit of inspiration

Man, Those are cool! Thank you guy’s!! I put together some idea’s and I keep coming back to the fact I don’t want a cigar with fenders, I just gotta get over the “it doesn’t have four wheels” hump.
I went ahead and mocked up a side with some scoops like a Testarossa and while the pics don’t show much it’s pretty cool when you step back and look.
I’ve got some things to work out and then I’ll see from there.
Scott, Thank you for the building compliment but in regards to the design I know that triangulating a space frame is critical esp when trying to control torsional twisting but This thing doesn’t suffer from that, at least not much! There is no opposite corner forces that I can measure (it IS a triangle)and if there is it’s not much. I’m not and engineer but here is my take and tell me if I’m wrong.
I chose a buggy frame layout using very strong tubes in front to back and side to side stacks to control bend in those directions, we run woods buggies here in the sticks and they can take some serious impacts (oak tree’s, jumps, other buggies). I fully intended to triangulate the cage, and remember It’s a cage first with suspension brackets added on, not a space frame that is primarily a big suspension bracket (see I have read Mr. Smiths books and Mr. Staniforth’s also :wink: ) I realized when I put any wheel into extreme bump or droop there was no torsional opposition ie…no twist! the only twist I can picture is high speed corners but with 70% plus of the weight at or below axle height I don’t see that causing much twist either.
I’m a Porsche tech and if you rack a convertible or jack one corner you can’t even open the doors! and since I have less bend and twist than one of the most highly regarded sports cars in the world… I’m gonna run with it.
I can’t put the tank behind the seat as I have a very specific cg to work with in, I need the engine in the back to help with braking and everything else I can shift has to be as close to the front axle as pos.
The tanks are baffled for slosh and equalized and surrounded by DOM tubes and steel plates bottom, sides, and front. your average car wishes it tank was that safe!
The upper control arm while its only going to be pulled at that front bracket area I guess should be a bit better braced.
Thanks for the input guy’s here is what I have so far.

I think you are, but I do see your logic. Torsional stiffness doesn’t just come into play in one wheel bump situations, it comes into play any time you laterally accelerate the chassis (i.e., cornering). Regardless, for a street car (er, trike), it’s probably not as important as I’m making it out to be. I don’t know if this is a one off or a prototype, but it is something I would look at if the opportunity ever arises in the future. More so some of the suspension load paths than the overall torsional stiffness of the chassis.

Trike design is always Tricky…

Treat this as a hybrid design somewhere between Bike & Car… :bulb:

Make a combination of Smooth transitional surfaces like cars & Functional exposed parts like bike.

Whenever there is no transition in surfaces, use twin color scheme to break them apart intentionally & that will take care of uneven & abrupt parts exposing/coming out of the enclosed body.

there is possibility of a unique solution since your packaging is different than other Trikes.

Scott, will do! I am thinking of trying a exo trike (if this one doesn’t kill me first) with the popularity of the Atom and the limited body work :smiley: I think it would lend itself better to some serious study in space frame triangulation that also has to look aesthetically pleasing, but that’s along ways and a lot of money from now…
It’s a prototype but more for myself as a fun study and build, I’ll finish it, show it, sell it and start again with something different.
ADD, do you mean to contrast the colors of say the frame and the body work? or sections of the body?

I’ll finish it, show it, sell it and start again with something different.

Build, show, sell, build, show, sell … . … hell you’re in the automobile industry now Pook. All you need are some of those TARP funds!

Nicccceeee shop ya got there.

you may be onto something, Maybe Ill slap a washing machine motor and one of those water 4 gas cells and apply for Hybrid tax credit and get some gov…uhm MY money back to finish it! :smiley:

Im really interested in how the engine and tranny are rigged up. If you have any info or followed this guy, I’d like to see more about this reverse trike.

Still building…uhm stuff!
Tiny little company named Matrix Motor Werks.

this is a trike concept, i have done for my Degree. :sunglasses:
if you are interested maybe the CAD file could be tweaked to match your chassis ?

more images here: minhloc truong in verrières le buisson, France