Modern CAD Technologies for the Home Craftsman And Students

Cutting Edge Technology that Makes Your DIY Projects Easier, Better, and Quicker ….and a powerful teaching aid   By Robert Q. Riley  Having done product design and development the old fashioned way, there’s nothing like today’s 3D CAD technologies and modern computer-driven fabrication.  They visualize the finished product just as it will appear in real life without what we used…

A three-wheeled hybrid

Electric and Hybrid Vehicles: Benefits, Challenges, and Technologies

Electric cars have been around since the inception of the automobile. But in the early race for dominance, the internal combustion engine (ICE) quickly won out as the best power system for cars. Although the electric power train was superior in many respects, as a source of energy, the battery was no match for the high energy content, ease of…

Wright 1902 glider soars over sand dunes

How to Develop, Protect, and Market New Product Ideas

“If you are looking for perfect safety, you will do well to sit on a fence and watch the birds….. “ Wilbur Wright     The thirst for adventure and creative expression is intrinsic to the human spirit. Nothing is quite as gratifying as venturing into uncharted territory to give birth to a new idea. Add to this the prospect of…

Valuable Internet Resources

  Welcome to our listing of specially selected resources on the Internet.  If you are interested in any of the subjects of this website, you will likely find helpful and interesting resources on this page. Alternative/Sustainable Energy The American Hydrogen Association: The American Hydrogen Association (AHA) is a non-profit association of individuals and institutions who are dedicated to the promotion of…

Automobile Ride, Handling, and Suspension Design and Implications for Low-Mass Vehicles

by Robert Q. Riley  When carried to the extreme, today’s emphasis on automobile mass reduction has significant implications for vehicle ride and suspension design. We therefore review traditional automobile suspension systems and offer comments on the special considerations of suspension systems of extremely low-mass passenger cars. The ride and handling characteristics of an automobile center on the characteristics of the…

XR3 Canopy open

The Dynamic Stability of Three-Wheeled Vehicles in Automotive-Type Applications

  by Robert Q. Riley with tilting three-wheeler contributions by Tony Foale The idea of smaller, energy-efficient vehicles for personal transportation seems to naturally introduce the three wheel platform.  Opinions normally run either strongly against or strongly in favor of the three wheel layout.  Advocates point to a mechanically simplified chassis, lower manufacturing costs, and superior handling characteristics.  Opponents decry…

Lisensing and Insuring Homebuilt Vehicles

     This document explains the licensing procedures and regulations in the U.S. that apply to homebuilt watercraft, hovercraft, three wheel vehicles, and passenger cars. It also provides tips on obtaining insurance. Vehicles that are operated on the public roadways or waterways must have a title and a license. With manufactured vehicles, the title is issued by the manufacturer to identify…

How to do various types of welding

How to Weld: An Overview of Different Welding Styles and Techniques

Although the subject of welding covers a lot of ground, it really doesn’t take a lot of technique or expensive equipment for the small (and sometimes not so small) jobs that the average home craftsman might tackle in his garage workshop. You’ll probably be working with steel about 1/16 to ¼ inch thick. (Leave aluminum welding to a professional until…

Abrasives: An Overview of Different Abrasives and Their Uses

by Robert Q. Riley The lady in the image above is using a die-grinder with an abrasive wheel.  You might use something like that for cleaning up sloppy welds.  When you’re talking about abrasives, however, you’re usually talking about sandpaper, not die grinder or chop-saw cutting wheels. Interestingly, sandpaper contains no sand, and it may not have any paper. The technical name…

One-Off Construction Using Fiberglass Over Foam

An Overview of How to Work with Fiberglass Over Foam by Robert Q. Riley   The automotive application of FRP/foam composite was pioneered in the 1970’s by the author’s former design firm, Quincy-Lynn Enterprises, Inc.  We used polyester resin and glass cloth laminations over a core of rigid urethane foam boardstock (fiberglass over foam).  Modern variations sometimes use an epoxy…

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