Sunday, April 28, 2013

Milan GT almost completely done

Added the electrical panel a couple of days back.  Here is what it looks like.  It is just in front on my shoulder and very easy to reach with my right hand.  Nicely tucked out of the way  There is still space of the left wheel well to use for some other purpose. 
The turn signal switch is in the top of each steering lever.  Using the toggle switch there is very convenient location and I can still rest my hands on on top of the levers without triggering the signals.  The first switch is power on/off the next two control the headlights and the last one with the two LEDs above it is the running lights and turn signals.  To prolong battery life I can turn parts of the system off.  Turning on left and right signal lights is like having hazard lights. 

Just behind the seat on the bar supporting the rear fender is the battery.  Before I had the battery sitting on the floor but this is a better location.  The battery comes in a small pouch with a Velcro strap that makes hanging it here easy.  There would be room on the bar for at least three other battery packs.

This Milan does not have all lights the production version will have.  The rear light and brake light will normally be added into the back edge of velo below the rear handle.  The problem with adding them to this one is that I can't get inside to bond them in place without cutting a large hole in the bottom of the shell.  It is impossible to reach the back edge once the shell is assembled and the rear fender is in place.  They will have to be added before the top is bonded to the bottom.   The only other bits missing are the covers that go over the chain under and behind the seat.  Moulds for these are made but they need sanding and polishing.  

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Milan SL Flange

Just about ready to put the parting flange on the Milan SL pattern.  The nose reminds me of the high speed trains in Europe or Japan. 

I mounted the pattern on a rolling cart and then built up supports to hold the flange.  When I had the flange off to coat it with shellac you could really see how relatively skinny the SL is. 

Its a bit hard to tell with out one to contrast it too but you can see how little it is wider than your shoulders at the widest point.  The little swiggle about 2/3 way back is the small bump out for the shoulders.  It is wider at the front wheels as the shell tapers in towards the parting line so the wheels can be completely enclosed.  If they weren't enclosed it could be another bit narrower there too. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Reflective Stripe and Wind Damage

The first attempt at the reflective stripe came out quite nicely.  It does need a little modification but that is really minor.  I made up a pattern by taping plastic to the velo and drawing the shape of the strip on it.  Then measured coordinates of the  line so I could put it into my CAD program.  Took that file and transferred it into a file that the local sign shop could use to made the decal. Still have the Milan GT and decals to make and apply.  One more step closer to production.  
Reflective strip photo with flash.

Reflective strip without flash.
Wind Damage otherwise know as operator error.
This happened a couple of month ago.  The Milan was standing outside of the shop on a windy day.  It had been there for a couple on months with no problems.  I had thought of turning it to face into the wind as I walked by heading in to the house for lunch.  It was fairly windy with some good gusts.  The velo was sitting at about 30-40 degrees off the wind with the back end facing the wind.  Anyway  when I came out after lunch the door and hood were bend over the front of the velo bobbing in the wind looking like they were about to be ripped off.  I ran over and closed the door and then turned the velo to face into the wind.  I was a bit pissed off and didn't even look at the damage until much later.  A couple of beers that night helped.  What must have happened was that a gust got under the back edge of the hood as pressure built inside the velo from air going in the foot hole.   The gust must have been perfectly timed to lift to door.   We did have gusts up around 80 kph at the time.  When I took a proper look at the damage I was impressed on how well it stayed together.  There was no damaged at the hinge point that looks quite vulnerable just some cracking of the gel coat and some separation of the laminate at the crack.  The glass laminate has a polyester woven around the glass fibers.  It makes the laminate more damage tolerant.  I may just fix the door rather than make a new one as it makes for a good story.   I was originally going to replace the door as I wasn't quite satisfied on how the join line for the undercut came out.  Normally when riding you latch the door closed.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Last four moulds for Milan GT

The last four patterns almost ready for the moulds to be made from them.  The one on the left is the control panel which will have on/off, running lights/turn signals, one headlight and the other headlight switch with indicator LEDs mounted in it.  It will also have the control module and buzzer for the signal lights mounted in it.  It mounts just in front of my left shoulder high up on the shell.  This position minimizes the length of the wire runs.   The two in the middle are the chain covers that fit under the seat.  The right one is the right side storage compartment in front of the wheel well.   All the moulds have wide flange on them so I can bag or infuse them.  A couple of the parts would be a real struggle to do in a hand layup but that is mostly due to my impatience with hand laminating. 

The Milan SL patterns are now in my shop.  Once I have finished building these moulds for the GT we will be starting on building the moulds for the SL.  It does look quicker sitting next to the GT.  It is lower and thinner.  I can hardly wait to try it out.  The only problem may be that I may just be a little too tall for it.  I did manage to sit in the pattern so I now know that I have enough shoulder room but couldn't tell if my feet will fit.  It will be close thing in any case.