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Cause crafts car


A celluloid baddie is doing his job. His weapon is an ear-splitting growl. He sounds as if a 3,000-watt amplifier has been surgically stitched into him.

Another goes about being the bad guy, silently. He looks the part. With a withering stare, flaring nostrils and twitching lips.

Who do you think is more effective?

Now, a campaign car blares out its agenda. Its sound system is piercing, causing cracks in concrete columns. As if that’s not bad enough, the message is reinforced through loud words stuck across the car’s body.

In contrast, another car just shows up and delivers the message. No sounds. No painted words. The machine is the message.

And now, which’s more effective?

Campaigns often ride on cars. And many of these car-driven campaigns don’t do much for the listener’s heart. Of course, they reach his head. They give him a migraine, I mean. They’re as atrociously loud as the poorly-etched villain. Often, just as tautological. And just as ineffective. Therefore, it’s always refreshing when cars of the latter kind come along. They tell a story, silently, aesthetically and more powerfully.

Over the decades, brands have been silently promoted through cars designed to resemble them. An interesting example is the hotdog-shaped wienermobiles in the United States. Designed with small cars and huge trucks, these metal hotdogs come in many sizes. Small. Medium. Large. Just like the hotdogs they promote. Together, they are believed to have done food major Oscar Mayer enviable good. They have also become icons of representational car design.

A more familiar example of this genre of automobile designing — for urban Indians, that is — could be the Red Bull campaign cars that carry giant-sized Red Bull cans on their backs.

Not just commercial, but social campaigns also gain steam from such automobile designs. An example is the two yellow buses employed by the Lion’s Blood Bank. They are crafted to resemble strolling lions. They prowl around Chennai looking for blood donors. Many years ago, I walked into the waiting jaws of one of these buses, struck by its leonine look.

“With permission from the traffic police, these buses are parked in public spaces. Curiosity leads people into them. Many of them donate blood. On an average, 750 units are collected every month through these two buses,” says P.G. Sundarrajan, chairman, Lions Blood Bank.

The smaller bus — more precisely, ‘the cub’ — was launched to enable the mobile blood bank to access narrow stretches in neighbourhoods.

At times, representational automobile design is just a statement of art. There is no cause beyond art. A striking illustration is the annual parade of artfully and aesthetically prepared cars in Houston. Closer home, we have Sudhakar Yadav from Hyderabad. With his team from Sudha Cars Museum, he puts in a memorable appearance every time a special occasion rolls into sight.

For one Women’s Day, he designed functional machines right out of a ladies’ handbag. For instance, a compact ran on a low-powered engine. So did a stiletto and a handbag. “These vehicles are powered by 60cc engines,” says Sudhakar.

On one Children’s Day, similarly low-powered machines came straight out of a school kid’s pencil box. Kids went on a merry drive in a sharpener, a pen and a pencil.

On World AIDS Day too, he designed a vehicle, promoting safe sex. No marks for guessing what the machine looked like.

These machines are operated in a controlled environment.

Summing up, social good is precious. Art is precious. Brand building is precious. Besides these, there is something equally precious. Happiness. And these spread it, in generous amounts.

Not just people. These vehicles must themselves be happy. Listen to their engines. Between their customary notes, they must be humming a merry tune.

Article source: http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/cause-crafts-car/article6419538.ece

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Volvo XC90 R-Design (2015): first pictures


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By
Tim Pollard

First Official Pictures

18 September 2014 08:00

The new Volvo XC90 was shown in August 2014 – and now a month later the Swedes have shown the new XC90 R-Design. Think of it as the SUV that’s popped down the gym at lunchtime and come back in a tracksuit.

R-Design is a trim level in Volvo parlance and it won’t come as a surprise to you to hear that the XC90 R-Design follows the format of other more sporting Volvos.

You get a bodykit and a smattering of extra kit in your R-Design package, which starts production in May 2015. Expect the first right-hand drive UK cars in July.

What do I get on my Volvo XC90 R-Design?

You’ll spot the gently sporting XC90 by its bodykit first; this is merely a cosmetic upgrade, with no mechanical tinkering. The grille and deeper front spoiler are new at the front, while the roof rails and door mirror caps are matt silver.

Look closely and you’ll spot the silk-effect metal window surround while the twin exhaust pipes are integrated into the rear valance.

Naturally, it rides on whopping 20-inch alloy wheels to give the big-rimmed look so beloved of buyers trading up to sporty trims (and damn the ride quality). It’s rare that we champion such models as the best choice.

Inside the Volvo XC90 R-Design cabin

More gripping Contour sports seats are fitted inside, there’s a perforated leather steering wheel and gearknob and R-Design branding is blunderbussed around.

It’s telling that Volvo has whipped out the R-Design pack so early in the XC90’s life. Proof, if it were needed, that customer upgrade packages are an important profit centre nowadays; punters want to stand out and will happily pay handsomely for the privilege.

It’s a tactic that’s worked for BMW (M Sport), Audi (S Line) and Mercedes-Benz (AMG trimline). Now Volvo’s liberally offering on its range of hatchbacks and SUVs, too.

Read our review of the last Volvo XC90 R-Design here.

Article source: http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/News/Search-Results/First-Official-Pictures/Volvo-XC90-R-Design-2015-first-pictures/

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World’s First 3D Printed Car Took Years to Design, But Only 44 Hours to Print


One day, in the not-too-distant future, you’ll be able to walk into a car dealership, choose a design — including the number of seats — and have a 3D printed car by the end of the day.

This is Jay Rogers’ vision. Rogers is the CEO of Local Motors, the company that just built the world’s first 3D printed car known as the Strati. The electric, pint-sized two-seater was officially unveiled last week at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, Illinois.

See also: In Good Taste: 3D Printing With Nutella

“Telsa made the electric drive train famous, we’re changing the whole car,” Rogers told Mashable, clearly still relishing his community-based design and his company’s moment in the 3D manufacturing sun.

According to Ford Motors, most cars have somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 parts. The Strati has just 49, including its 3D printed body (the largest part), plus more traditional components like the motor, wheels, seats and windshield. While many 3D printed car models exist, there haven’t been any other drivable ones that we could find.

Strati’s 3D-printed body.

Image: Local Motors

The original design for Strati, which means “layers” in Italian, did not bubble up directly from Local Motors. Rather, the company — similar to the inventions company Quirky — encourages members to share vehicle design ideas, which the community then works to perfect and productize. The finished products are then sold online and in retail stores by Local Motors.

Local Motors launched a project 18 months ago that sought to simplify the car design and manufacturing process through Direct Digital Manufacturing. When it put out the call for workable 3D printed car designs, it received more than 200 submissions, ultimately choosing a design by Michele Anoe, who is based in Italy.

Rogers said Anoe’s design stood out because it fit perfectly with Local Motors’ desired production technique, combining 3D printing and a subtractive machining.

Yet even with the design in hand, Local Motors spent the better part of a year finding a company that could print the first car. The eventual production partner, Oak Ridge Labs, found a company with the base of a large laser printer, which they retrofitted with a 3D extruder. The second half of the 3D production process took place in a separate Thermwood Corp. manufacturing routing machine, which refined the overall look of the car.

Printing the car took roughly 44 hours, and milling it to perfection took another full day. Local Motors then built the Strati over the course of four days at the IMTS.

“We probably could have done it in two days or less,” Rogers said — but they stretched it out for the show.

Printed in carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic or ABS, the finished Strati can drive at speeds up to 40 mph and can travel 120 miles on a single charge. It’s fine for a neighborhood jaunt, but is not yet allowed on highways. Rogers said there are plans to test the car extensively before selling it to customers or putting it on the freeway.

The Local Motors team builds the Strati 3D printed car.

Image: Local Motors

Auto manufacturers like Ford have been using 3D printing techniques for decades, but according to a company spokesperson, currently only uses the process for prototyping. (So far, there haven’t been any 3D printed parts in Ford vehicles.) Thus, the concept of building a vehicle almost entirely through the 3D printing process is likely intriguing to traditional car makers like Ford.

Although the Strati is just as expensive as a full-sized sedan, Rogers does not envision it as a luxury item. Instead, he believes it will be an affordable and highly customizable option that could be widely available by 2016 for between $18,000 and $34,000.

“It will be positioned like a car for the masses, or many different cars for the masses,” Rogers said.

Bonus: What Is 3D Printing and How Does It Work?

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Article source: http://mashable.com/2014/09/16/first-3d-printed-car/

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Why Le Mans car designers are turning to 3D printing


Printing in 3D has been described as the “future of manufacturing” and is increasingly being used to make everything from film props to food.

The technology is also being used to make parts for motor racing cars.

BBC Click spoke to Dan Walmsley, Team Principal at Strakka Racing about how the technology makes it faster and cheaper to test out their designs.

Watch more clips on the Click website. If you are in the UK you can watch the whole programme on BBC iPlayer.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-29167884

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Arizona-based company builds 3-D printed car, drives at Chicago show


Several groups worked together to build a driveable 3-D printed car during the six-day International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago.

In a press release, Chandler, Ariz.-based Local Motors called the 3-D printed Strati a first-of-its-kind concept car. Local Motors worked with the Association for Manufacturing Technology, Cincinnati Incorporated and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to 3-D print and rapidly assemble the car during the Sept. 8-13 event.

Engineers started out by 3-D printing the car using a process called Broad Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM).

Local Motors said it held a six-week challenge and received more than 200 entries from 30 different countries before chosing the Strati as the winning design. Michele Anoe of Italy submitted the Strati design, which calls for the car’s body to be 3-D printed in a single piece — an approximate 44-hour process.

The 3-D printed car is made from ABS plastic that has been infused with carbon fiber. Local Motors said it believes it is the first company to ever attempt to print both the body and chassis components of a vehicle together, although others have built cars before using a 3-D printing process.

After the vehicle was printed, Local Motors said it outfitted the car with mechanical components, such as motors, wiring, suspension and a battery.

For a finale, the completed Strati was showcased and then driven around the venue Saturday, but Local Motors said it could not drive the car around on city streets due to vehicle regulations.

You can see the steps on the Strati building process on Local Motors’ website.

Article source: http://ktar.com/265/1766488/3D-printed-car-built-driven-at-Chicago-manufacturing-show

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How San Francisco Is Designing Its Metro Train of the Future


On September 11, 1972, crowds lined up for hours to be the first passengers aboard the sleek and high-tech trains of the new San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit system. In the lead-up to the opening, newspapers had envisioned a gleaming future for train travel in America. One wire report asked readers to imagine “traveling 30 miles in 20 minutes, relaxing in a soft lounge chair, reading a newspaper during the smooth ride.” One headline announced “Transit System for Space Age.” The new BART trains lived up to that visionary billing: the spaceship silver, the hexagonal shape of the cars, and the plush aqua interiors had a sci-fi sort of feel, like this was the kind of train that would someday whisk you across cities on the moon.

A full 42 years later, those same exact train cars are still on the tracks, and they don’t feel so futuristic anymore. A lot more people are riding BART today than during the system’s early years. Average weekday ridership is now about 400,000, up from just over 100,000 in the late 1970s. And though the 1972-vintage trains have undergone remodeling and the system has been augmented with a few dozen newer trains, the overall state of BART trains is old, crusty, and cramped. “We have old cars,” says Aaron Weinstein, the agency’s chief marketing officer. “Our fleet is one of the oldest in the nation.”

There have been considerable advances in the technologies used to make train cars over the last four decades—from seats that are easier to clean to communications systems that can display information dynamically to lighter structural materials that reduce energy demands. Train operators around the world understand these changes, and periodically update their systems with newer models of train cars or better signage systems. Washington D.C.’s Metro system will be integrating brand new train cars to its system next summer that feature floors that are easier to clean and handrails that reduce clogging around doors. Chicago’s CTA will begin adding 800 new cars to its fleet in 2019 with designs that remove unpopular center-facing seats.

“Our fleet is one of the oldest in the nation,” says Aaron Weinstein, BART’s chief marketing officer. (BART)

Nearly half a century after the system’s launch, BART will get its own long-awaited makeover. The so-called “Fleet of the Future” plan will put between 775 and 1,000 new BART cars on the tracks between 2017 and 2023, at a cost between $2.5 billion and $3.3 billion. But the overhaul is more of a full reimagining than a cosmetic touchup—from the big-picture look of the car itself to the minutiae of floor patterning and handrail grips. BART used the chance to rethink how the trains look on the outside and feel on the inside, how they accommodate the crowds of today and the near future, and how they subtly control rush-hour crowds and all those bicycles. The designers behind this project are focusing on the many minor details that together make a train ride either smooth or crowded or terrible or great.

In other words, BART asked what the redesign can do not only for its train cars but for the system as a whole. It’s industrial design mixed with interior design, plus a splash of social engineering. And with the right touch, BART might even be able to hold on to that futuristic feel for another 40 years.

•       •       •       •       •

The process of designing the Fleet of the Future began in 2009. Initially it was less about design than data. BART looked at various rider data and surveys that it regularly collects to begin figuring out what the system and its riders needed and wanted from a new train.

Weinstein says the agency surveyed how riders felt about the existing cars. They asked riders to email ideas for improving the cars, and to send pictures of elements they liked from other transit systems around the world. They conducted “seat labs” in stations to let riders test out different seat spacing arrangements—a matter of inches and centimeters that determines, to a large degree, the entire spatial design of the car interior. They even shipped in loaner seats from metro systems in Boston, Washington, and Los Angeles to give BART riders the feel of different seat designs.

BART’s current fleet of trains hasn’t changed much since the system launched in 1972. (Maurits90/Wikimedia Commons)

BART looked at demographics, too, says Weinstein. The agency considered how population growth rates would affect the demand for trains, and how the aging Baby Boomer population would affect the need for seats designed for seniors and people with disabilities. It also considered BART’s scattered geography. The system serves as both an urban metro system and a regional commuter system, which can result in a dramatic difference between its weekday riders and its largely leisure- or tourism-based weekend riders. Meeting the needs of these various groups requires a good understanding of how each group uses the system.

So when BART contracted BMW Group DesignworksUSA in March 2011 to create the conceptual design for the new train cars, the agency first handed over all its ridership data, surveys, and observations. Weinstein says the data-rich approach is critical to making sure the new designs will actually benefit the people who use BART.

“We’re planning on ordering up to a thousand of these cars,” he says. “We can’t really afford to be wrong.”

•       •       •       •       •

BMW Group DesignworksUSA, you might rightly guess, designs a lot of BMWs. Though a subsidiary of BMW, DesignworksUSA spends half of its time on projects for other clients. It’s designed a computer mouse for gamers, lawn mowers for John Deere, and a mega-yacht for a mega-millionaire, among other things. Much of the work centers around transportation of one sort or another, and much is on display in its offices 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles, in Newbury Park, the kind of exurb built for corporate offices.

When I visited the DesignworksUSA studio in late July, creative director Johannes Lampela offered an example of the level of detail given to design projects such as the new BART cars. He showed me thematic collections of swatches of materials—fabrics, carpeting, metals, plastics—all of which were intended to represent a specific feeling or place or lifestyle. One was breezy, one was more mechanical, another was earthy, and another somehow conjured the feel of a nightclub with $18 cocktails. These were the initial composites from which an overall design aesthetic is based.

A rendering of the new BART design shows how colors on the floor of the train will distinguish seated leg space from standing areas. (Courtesy BART)

Though color schemes and tones of plastic and floor coverings are all important elements of train design, the guiding element is the seating arrangement. Lampela ran through the three design concepts he and his team created for BART. They were essentially those swatch palettes exploded out into every nook of a train car: a seat-heavy version named Commuter Comfort; a more open and airy version named Social Interaction; and a colorful car with customizable elements called Reflecting the Community. When BART showed the three options to riders, most preferred the Social Interaction design. Lampela agreed this flexible arrangement is well-suited to BART’s wide variety of riders.

“We’ve created a central area that is more social, more lounge-like, and then we have more typical commuter seats in the back, so this allows for the longest distance commuters that enter the train first to sit in the more comfortable seats,” he says. As the train fills, more people will sit in the L-shaped seats in the center of the car, and eventually stand in the empty space between them. Colors on the floor of the train distinguish the leg space of someone sitting in a seat from the standing area for another rider. Lampela said these subtle differences can play a big role in guiding how riders position themselves. “We can start directing traffic differently,” he says.

The design encourages more people to load into the center of the car, where there’s more room for standing. Because BART expects its ridership to continue to grow, packing in more people is a priority. To make that easier, BMW Group DesignworksUSA designed a third door in the middle of the car. The design directs riders with bicycles to enter at the center doors, where there’s more room and new bike racks, while wheelchair users are directed to use the doors at the ends of the car. The doors themselves are an innovation. Similar to the sliding door of a minivan, the new doors slide together and pull back in when they close, creating suction with the car and reducing the amount of ambient noise inside the moving train.

The designers also paid close attention to the way riders choose and use seats. During a research ride at rush-hour, designers observed the two rows of bench-style seats on the current BART cars and noticed that aisle and window passengers tend to lean away from each other. “Those kinds of observations led us to make the side-by-side seats in the new cars more separate,” says Lampela. They added a narrow strip of plastic material between the seats, creating a small but visual separation. “Even something very thin that separates seats gives more social comfort.”

Even after riders voted on their favorite concept, the DesignworksUSA design faced additional scrutiny. Weinstein says riders were surveyed on the final concept, and they offered thoughts on nearly every aspect of the design, including the exterior appearance, the floor, the digital screens, lighting, handrails and stanchions, the color scheme, and, of course, the bike rack. All this feedback helped to revise the concept. But a concept is not a train.

•       •       •       •       •

In 2012, BART contracted the train manufacturer Bombardier to handle the transition from conceptual design to physical train. Bombardier believes a train design must promote safety, offer comfort, and remain within the confines of the client budget—in that order. Given that rubric, conceptual designs don’t always translate perfectly into a manufacturable train.

Daniel Deschenes, an industrial designer at Bombardier who supervised the bid and the start of the BART project, says it’s common for small design details to get tweaked during the manufacturing phase. Whether it’s the foam used for cushions or the protective material on the back side of the seats, many little changes are made, often due to cost constraints. The manufacturer also has to pay attention to things like the weight and quantity of the materials being used, like stanchions and handrails. “The weight you add you carry each and every day for 30 or 40 years,” he says. “That’s a lot of energy.”

Another rendering of the new BART cars; the first 100 are expected to begin service in 2017.  (Courtesy BART/Bombardier)

Though most of the changes to BART’s design were small in scale, some bigger ideas from the conceptual phase didn’t pencil out. One design idea included a rim of light around the front face of lead train cars that could change based on the route—yellow for the Pittsburgh/Bay Point line, for instance, or orange for the line connecting Richmond and Fremont. It was a good usability concept, says Deschenes, but the price point for the light technology was just too high. “The technology wasn’t there yet, so we had to remove that feature.”

The evolution of train design is somewhat slow, especially compared to an industry like personal automobiles, says Deschenes. That means new technologies and products—from light rims to train-length digital displays to curved screens—can be hard to implement. “The non-recurring cost is really a different story in our industry than, for example, the car industry, where you can spread it over two million units,” he says. “We can’t do that.”

Even the all-important seat layout is up for review in BART’s cars. Though Deschenes says this part of the design is usually set in stone by the time a train project nears prototyping, Bombardier had to adjust the placement of wheelchair space so it removed only two seats rather than three. “Revenue seats,” as they’re known, are important to transportation authorities, so Deschenes and his crew made it work. The BART design is getting close to final and the project is edging its way toward production, but even after more than five years of ideas and designs and adjustments, more changes are practically guaranteed by the time the first cars start rolling.

•       •       •       •       •

In April, Bombardier built out a full-scale half-car model for BART to show off to its customers. The sample car made the rounds to different stations throughout the Bay Area for riders to see, enter, and try out. Though this seems as close to a final product as you can get, it’s actually just another step in the long process of surveying the public about the design.

Weinstein says the agency continued to collect feedback from people about the design at these events, especially from wheelchair users and bicycle riders. The placement of the floor-to-ceiling stanchions in the center area between the doors came under fire from wheelchair users, who found them difficult to maneuver around. Bicyclists worried that the proposed three-bike rack might not provide enough space. Weinstein estimates that nearly 35,000 people have provided feedback or survey results during the five-year design process. And the process continues.

“As much as you stare at a set of specifications or a rendering for hours on end, you don’t always see everything,” he says. “And now we’ve had tens of thousands of eyeballs on our work, and people see things that we don’t see, or have different needs than we have in our use cases.”

At its June meeting, BART board members voted to approve some last-minute changes to the proposed design. Bombardier is scheduled to deliver 10 pilot train cars in the summer of 2015 for testing. As a result of the recent concerns over wheelchairs and bicycles, two different internal layouts will be manufactured—one with the poles moved two more inches off center to create more room for wheelchairs, and another with both poles and bike racks removed to create larger open spaces. BART is expected to test these pilot cars in revenue service in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Ultimately, the first 100 new trains are expected to arrive and begin service in 2017, with the remaining cars—for a total of up to 1,000—to be delivered on a rolling basis through 2023. Exactly how these trains will look is almost finalized, but the back-and-forth design and manufacturing process may continue right up until the first new BART cars arrive. Which is probably for the best. The BART riders of the 2050s are depending on the right decisions being made today.

This article is part of ‘The Future of Transportation,’ a CityLab series made possible with support from The Rockefeller Foundation.

Article source: http://www.citylab.com/commute/2014/09/how-san-francisco-is-designing-its-metro-train-of-the-future/380181/

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Theriault unvels Maine-themed car design


Posted: Saturday, September 13, 2014 6:00 am

Theriault unvels Maine-themed car design

Associated Press |

PORTLAND (AP) — NASCAR driver Austin Theriault’s car is sporting a Maine-themed paint job in the blue and white colors of the state’s flagship university.

The Fort Kent native’s car, unveiled Friday, features a lobster and a lighthouse on the driver’s side, and a moose, trees and blueberries on the other. The blue and white colors are those of the University of Maine Black Bears.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Saturday, September 13, 2014 6:00 am.


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Article source: http://www.journaltribune.com/sports/article_26afc860-3af4-11e4-a4b7-879218d103a4.html

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Organization to design car, help poor countries


Men in Kenya ride in a Basic Utility Vehicle. The Basic Utility Vehicle Baylor organization will design a similar vehicle in competition. The design may be incorportated into future models used in Africa.
Courtesy Photo

By Viola Zhou
Reporter

As many people in Third World countries walk through hills and ponds in a struggle to get water and goods, engineering students at Baylor University are hoping to make a difference by building vehicles that can bear large amounts of weight and run on rough roads.

The effort is charged by BUV Competition, an event taking place in April next year organized in Ohio by the Institute for Affordable Transportation.

“The organization will design and build a vehicle specifically for solving transportation problems faced by the Third World,” said Flower Mound junior Sarah Johnstone, a mechanical engineering student who is president of BUV Baylor.

Johnstone said this organization is about applying what is learned in class and making a permanent impact on these African people.

“I believe there are a lot of students on Baylor’s campus who have this kind of enthusiasm,” Johnstone said. “But they have no outlet because Baylor has never had a project like this before.”

Dr. Douglas Smith, associate professor of mechanical engineering, is the faculty adviser for BUV Baylor. He said a more durable and cost-effective design of students’ vehicle may be incorporated into cars the competition organizer will manufacture in Africa. It is also possible the students’ original design will be used.

Smith said another benefit to having students participate in this kind of program is they can identify themselves as a part of humanitarian outreach activities.

The organization plans to complete the design in the first half of this semester and finish the whole vehicle before the competition in April. But money and space are the two challenges it is facing now, Smith said.

“We have to get somebody to look into fundraising and see whether we can get enough funds to be able to purchase things for the car,” Smith said. “And we have been looking for a place on campus where students can go between classes and be able to work on the car.”

He said he is confident solutions will be found to get the organization started.
Smith said he first came up with the idea to set up a BUV organization in Baylor because he saw an enthusiasm among engineering students in applying what they have learned to help others.

“It is a perfect fit for Baylor with a Christian mission,” Smith said. “Perhaps students here with a similar mindset are looking for a project they can work on and apply their engineering knowledge to help in some way.”

Johnstone said she jumped on board when she first heard this idea from Smith.

“I’m very passionate about helping people and using my skills to benefit other people and that’s what BUV stands for,” she said. “It’s all about utilizing your skills and applying what you know and doing what you can to help other people.”

The organization already has a design team composed of three mechanical engineering seniors and one electric engineering senior. Many other students have shown interest in participating as news of the project spreads.

Crowley sophomore Joshua Engle, an engineering major, is attracted by the concept of BUV after attending a briefing session.

“It is an organization that really has a practical purpose for humanitarian cause,” Engle said. “You can actually use your engineering skills to help people who don’t have the materials and power to help themselves.”

Johnstone said the membership is not limited to engineering students.

“We are going to accept whoever wants to be involved,” she said. “If they don’t have any experience with tools, somebody can teach them, and they can learn on this project how to build these vehicles.”

Smith said he expects BUV Baylor to last for years, but his first goal is to be ready for next year’s competition in Ohio.

“That would be successful just to get the group together for this common cause of building a car,” Smith said. “But certainly to get a car running in April and compete, that would be excellent.”

Article source: http://baylorlariat.com/2014/09/09/organization-to-design-car-help-poor-countries/

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Ford car makers wear ‘age suits’ to design for older drivers


Among the many new innovations in computerized vehicles, including driverless cars, displayed at the Intelligent Transport Systems conference in Detroit this week, Ford Motor Company is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its “age suit.”

The auto company is designing cars for an aging population by using specialized suits to make anyone’s body feel 20 to 40 years older. The custom-made suit was first developed in the 1990s.

The wearable items add about 14 kilograms and simulate neck stiffness, joint pain, back problems and various eye conditions — issues taken into consideration by ergonomics engineers while conceptualizing new vehicles.  

“It really does give you an appreciation of some of the limitations,” said Nadia Preston, a Ford ergonomics engineer who has worn the suit. “I found just taking simple steps was a challenge, getting in and out of the vehicle.”

She said the third-generation suit helps designers understand the needs of an aging population, while the designs benefit everyone.

“Nobody ever complains the gauges are too large or ‘Wow this is too easy to read,’” she said. “It’s going to serve all walks of life.”

John Piruzza and his wife Giuseppa are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary with a new Ford Lincoln, and said when shopping for a new car at their age, certain features become a priority.

“If you drive long distances, you have to have a nice comfortable car,” said Piruzza. “You open up the door, it’s nice and heavy, that tells you the car is built solid.”

The CBC’s Lisa Xing tries on a special glove that mimics hand tremors. (CBC )

These are the same issues Scott Ohler, a sales manager at Performance Ford Lincoln in Windsor, said concern older customers.

“Usually they’ll come in with a complaint about a vehicle they currently have—too low to the ground, hard time getting out, we’ll use that as a point of reference and look to make recommendations on what they’re driving currently,” said Ohler.

Each detail of the cars, including the placement of handles and design of the steering wheel, is carefully considered.

Special suit to understand pregnant women

Ford also uses what it calls the “empathy belly,” another suit that helps engineers understand the limitations pregnant women experience in their third trimester.

It also adds 14 kilograms and gives the person wearing it the appearance of being pregnant, while limiting their mobility and comfort.

CBC Windsor’s Lisa Xing give the suit a try. Check out our video as she takes us through the experience.

Article source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/ford-car-makers-wear-age-suits-to-design-for-older-drivers-1.2762417

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Chandler’s Local Motors debuts 3D printed car this week (Video)



September 8, 2014 — Local Motors co-founder and CEO John “Jay” Rogers talks about his company and their new 3-D printed car.


Chandler-based Local Motors hopes to mass produce this 3D printed car.








Hayley Ringle
Reporter- Phoenix Business Journal

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Chandler-based Local Motors is making the first 3-D printed car this week in Chicago using a large-scale manufacturing 3-D printer.

The car is being printed and assembled live at the International Manufacturing and Technology Show in Chicago, the largest machine tool show in the Western Hemisphere, said Local Motors’ co-founder and CEO John “Jay” Rogers. The process started Sunday and will finish Friday.

“We are the first company to make a 3-D printed car using carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic,” Rogers said. “The seats, body, chassis, dash, center console and hood will all be 3-D printed.”

Check out a time-lapse video during the prototype printing process last week by clicking here.

The low-speed car will run with an electric motor and drive no faster than 40 miles an hour.

The car’s design was chosen from among 200 entries by thousands of voters in the company’s project challenge a month and a half ago.

The winner is Italian designer Michele Anoe, whose Strati model will be made into the first 3-D printed car using the large-scale manufacturing printer.


Watch the video above to learn more about Local Motors’ 3D printed car.


The printer was designed and built in partnership with Local Motors, Cincinnati Inc. and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

The actual printing process takes about 44 hours from one 3-D printer.

If all goes as planned, the car will be driven Sept. 13.

The goal is to commercialize the Strati within the next year and sell it for $30,000, Rogers said.

While a typical car has 25,000 parts, the Strati has just 25 parts, he said.

Hayley Ringle covers technology and startups for the Phoenix Business Journal.



Article source: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/blog/techflash/2014/09/chandlers-local-motors-debuts-3d-printed-car-this.html

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