Consumer prototype first drive!

Working tirelessly since their X-Prize victory, Edison2 reaches a coveted milestone February 27, 2013. 

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Monday
Aug132012

Pieces Off the Machine

One of the fun bits of engineering is when parts you’ve designed change from existing only in your mind and on the CAD screen into real, tangible pieces. Recently the first of our new front suspension links arrived in Edison2’s engineering office.

These links are part of our patented in-wheel suspension and they control and constrain the movement of the wheels as they go up and down over the bumps in the road. They’ve been very thoroughly considered and analyzed and they incorporate everything we learned with our early cars.

If you know machine shop methods, you’ll see straight away these parts are milled from aluminium plate. That’s not economically viable for a production car but – and this is the significant thing - they have been designed to resemble forgings. Forging is absolutely a volume production method and so these new parts represent a step along the road towards being able to buy a Very Light Car.

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    Did you ever considering laser sintering for making these kind of parts? Nowadays Rapid Prototyping is moving into the direction nof Rapid Manufacturing. It is very well possible to make functional metal parts with high strength/stiffness.

Reader Comments (3)

Great to see you're still at it! I missed seeing your blog posts since January, please keep them coming.
Keep up the good work, and good luck-

August 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBruce Ward

I'm glad to see you guys still at it too! Yes, I used to be a machinist so I can see the finish marks from a small diameter endmill, face milled in the cavity to remove the excess material. They look really nice, I'm glad efforts for real production are being made. Perhaps things like this make it easier for you to explain why this car could easily be produced. Although the real gold lies in getting people to wrap their brain around less material, and a lighter car equals better mpg and it can still be safe, and why people will buy this car. To sell the car to businesses to produce you will have to get those points across. It's like my band, we can work on our stage setup only taking 5 minutes, but until a bar owner, or record label sees that crowds are being drawn and money is being made, then their is no point in trying to make the endeavor professional. Perhaps a sign up list to purchase one for a high price of $40,000-50,000. (You have to make it sound profitable to them for the initial low volume or it won't work) In short your strong suit is engineering, and it shines brighter than any other, but your marketing skills need some work, or you need to hire someone for that who understands what businesses want from you so that you can sell it to them to make. I hate to say this since it's not American, but you should consider Honda since I know they take risks. They have a large track record of big risks(orange Civic, selling in America, the Pete Box ad, urine diesel), as does Mazda(RX-7, Miata). As you know Mazda's 787B was out-lawed from Le-mans, and that was a big risk before it ever even won anything. You guys have already won something. American car companies aren't taking big risks right now, especially since the Volt basically failed in terms of profit and expected sales. I really wish you guys well with making this happen.

August 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbiologist 111

Did you ever considering laser sintering for making these kind of parts?
Nowadays Rapid Prototyping is moving into the direction nof Rapid Manufacturing.
It is very well possible to make functional metal parts with high strength/stiffness.

An other advantage is that you can make parts with shapes that are diffucult to machine in a more conventional way. (double curvatures and the like). You can make designs that are optimized by FEA. (finite element analysis).
Just google metal and laser sintering.

Regards, Klaas.

November 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKlaas

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