December 2023 Update

TBA December, 2023

First task for December was to fix my 3D printer so that I could continue to print the rib components. I calculated the total printing time required to print all eighty-six rib components would be 325 hours.  So even if my printer was running twenty-four hours a day with no breaks, this would over thirteen days.

I managed to obtain an print head from the UK albeit for a different model printer, meaning that the flexible hose for routing the printer filament was too short.  But this was easily solved by using some of the hose from the old print head and connecting them together with a Festo connector, so I was very quickly back to printing the next row of ribs.

The ribs are printed with a 1.75mm PLA (Polylactic acid) filament, which is a thermoplastic monomer derived from renewable, organic sources such as corn starch or sugar cane. They are printed with a 2.5mm shell thickness so that they are strong enough to take rivets if necessary and an infill density of 20%. The infill and printed holes can be seen in image below, the holes will are 3.3mm which are then tapped at M4 for fixings . I did experiment with printing the ribs in TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) which potentially offered some benefits over PLA but I could not get results that I was happy with so I stuck with PLA. PLA should be perfectly OK for the parts of the vehicle which I am going to use 3D printed ribs.

To complete the 3D printing of all of the ribs took a total of 360 hours and approximately 6kg of PLA printing filament. Then each one needed to be tapped with M4 hole, then assembly could begin using M4 button head stainless steel bolts.

Once the chassis is fully assembled the main beams can be marked out to match the profile of the ribs, then the chassis will be disassembled and the beams will be rough cut to size and then final beam profiling can be completed. The chassis will then be mostly complete and then further design and fitment of interior components and drive train can be completed.


That’s it for December, I expect progress to be slower in the next couple of months as I have not got all the components required for the drivetrain yet.

I also need to do some preparation work on Bluebird K7 hopefully for some high speed runs in the spring.