After we modeled the components necessary for construction, we used the laser cutter to produce them in wood for prototyping purposes. We then began the methodical process of attaching the different plates to the mainframe.
It never really strikes you when modeling just how many screws you will have to turn by hand…
The Magic Finger Joints in action. Note we did not secure one joint due to a lack of ¼”-20 nuts (more of which should arrive soon)
Some of the lessons we learned during this process was that assembly actually required a significant amount of forethought and planning. Parts had to be assembled in a specific order, or they became extremely difficult or impossible to attach near the end. There were many instances where we had to disassemble something we spent 10 minutes or so bolting together because we realised we had messed the order up. A key example is the seat plate, below:
This beast was a nightmare to assemble due to many reasons. The sheer number of screws required sure didn’t help
Initially, we attached the vertical support plates to the horizontal plate, then the seat. However, the weight of the seat meant it was then nearly impossible to bolt the entire assembly to the central 80/20 bars. We had to unscrew the seat, attach the plate assembly to the bars, then attach the seat at the very last step (which was still rather difficult).
Still, we managed to get the front half of the vehicle assembled in the end. At this point, the motor, wheels, and bicycle fork had all still not yet arrived, so it was as good as we got.
There’s a good reason for the weird position of his hands, really. We were testing out where we would have to place the handlebars for a comfortable grip.
We were rather happy with the result, fortunately. The wood managed to bear the weight of the driver somewhat, indicating that the full structure built in aluminum had a good chance of maintaining strong structural integrity.