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Discussion Starter #1
The Covid let me with no job that lead me to kind of reinventing myself, so while I gather clients for my new designing/engineering consultancy freelance work. I had some time to develop what I find a very cool project: A fully 3D printed vehicle, I called it the Jellybean because its shape reminds to that sweets. And I will like to show it to you, and hope you like it.

The Jellybean3D is a fully DIY Open Source 3D printed electric vehicle.

It is Designed to be made with standard hobby printers and easy to find/work PLA, and/or maybe PETG plastic. Some small parts printed with Nylon. And some off the shelf components like motor, battery, lights, screws, etc.

This is an experimental project that aims to explore the limits of hobby 3D printing.
This project does not aim to reproduce a standard vehicle construction. Many things can go wrong, but I am sure we will enjoy and learn through the process. :)

I am making some videos about the project progress, construction, info, etc.: Jellybean3D

Any suggestion, help, contribution is really welcome.
120763
 

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Buenos dias Gonzalo,
this is an interesting project, and a very nice design and concept. I would like to know more about your inspiration (from NZ...?), too.
To be honest, I doubt that your concept to print all the structural parts, too, will work. I feel that axles and suspension will need some metal (or at least good fibreglass or carbon fibre) to make them last longer than a couple of moments. Anyway, appears to be a very nice idea to me.
I must have an old CATIA-instllation somewhere in my desk, so we could share some ideas.
Do You intend to make it street-legal, some day? I assume that this would be a huge (if not impossible) task, especially in Spain. By the way, where do you come from, there?
Markus
 

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To be honest, I doubt that your concept to print all the structural parts, too, will work. I feel that axles and suspension will need some metal (or at least good fibreglass or carbon fibre) to make them last longer than a couple of moments.
True, but I suspect that the "etc" part of the off-the-shelf parts list in this statement:
It is Designed to be made with standard hobby printers and easy to find/work PLA, and/or maybe PETG plastic. Some small parts printed with Nylon. And some off the shelf components like motor, battery, lights, screws, etc.
... will include hubs, bearings, spindles or hub carriers, all braking system components, and many suspension components.

All that would be printed would probably be body parts. And yes, I agree that's a problem for anything structural: polymers are generally not adequate for structure in a vehicle without some sort of reinforcing fibre. It is possible to "print" with a polymer filled with short carbon fibres, although that's not likely within the capability of "standard hobby printers", and is not a common material.
 

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Hey Gonzo this looks like a really interesting project, im a great fan of using additive manufacturing and have been luck enough to work in the industy on and off for the last 10 years. I was recently helping my previous workplace look at large scale additive manufacturing for producing composite mould tools and components for aircraft.
Ive done a fair few projects on using FDM printingto make parts and bodypanels, you should check out the guys at Scaled3D they have just completed printing a full electric vehicle, the bucket seat sat on top was made using one of our combined projects.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
this is an interesting project, and a very nice design and concept. I would like to know more about your inspiration (from NZ...?), too.
To be honest, I doubt that your concept to print all the structural parts, too, will work. I feel that axles and suspension will need some metal (or at least good fibreglass or carbon fibre) to make them last longer than a couple of moments. Anyway, appears to be a very nice idea to me.
I must have an old CATIA-instllation somewhere in my desk, so we could share some ideas.
Do You intend to make it street-legal, some day? I assume that this would be a huge (if not impossible) task, especially in Spain. By the way, where do you come from, there?
Markus
Thank you Schelle63 for your words. Answering to your concerns and adding more info:
  • The shape of the body (But just the shape) was greatly inspired by the Velopetta fromhttps://www.velectric.co.nz designed by Peter Vullings. I asked permission to him, and I have to attribute as it corresponds. As well I was inspired by more vehicles, you can see them in this video I made:
  • The project is quite experimental and risky. But I am not fool enough to print things like axles, bearings, hubs, motor, etc. That will make no sense at all because it is not job for a 3D printer at all, and most of them are just commodities.
  • In a few days (maybe weeks) I will "open" the documentation including 3D files so you will be able to see it in more detail, you are really welcome to give ideas and help.
  • I will like to make it street legal, but as you Spain is a no go way for that. Anyway I plan to use it with peddling system, so it may pass like an e-bike...
  • Malaga
 

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The project is quite experimental and risky. But I am not fool enough to print things like axles, bearings, hubs, motor, etc. That will make no sense at all because it is not job for a 3D printer at all, and most of them are just commodities.
That makes perfect sense, although some of those components (metal structures such as suspension arms, hub carriers, and brake calipers) are quite producible with additive manufacturing (or "3D printing")... just not hobby-grade printers that can only deposit thermoplastic. So why call it a "Fully 3D Printed DIY electric car" instead of what is really is: a "DIY Electric Car with Fully 3D Printed Body"?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
True, but I suspect that the "etc" part of the off-the-shelf parts list in this statement:
... will include hubs, bearings, spindles or hub carriers, all braking system components, and many suspension components.

All that would be printed would probably be body parts. And yes, I agree that's a problem for anything structural: polymers are generally not adequate for structure in a vehicle without some sort of reinforcing fibre. It is possible to "print" with a polymer filled with short carbon fibres, although that's not likely within the capability of "standard hobby printers", and is not a common material.
Yes brian, you are right, As I commented before: I do not pretend to to print things like axles, bearings, hubs, motor, etc. That will make no sense at all because it is not job for a 3D printer at all, and most of them are just commodities.

But all the rest will be 3D printed as it is a self supported structure, I mean it is not a body bolted over a metal frame as manny have done already before.

As you say plastic itself is not so stiff and strong as other materials like composites or metals.
But with 3D printing it is possible to create internal structures in the parts that are impossible to do with other manufacturing systems. So it is possible to get final parts quite strong if properly designed.
As well I am using other tricks in order to enhance the unibody strength. Starting from the "egg" shape...

120817
 

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Yes brian, you are right, As I commented before: I do not pretend to to print things like axles, bearings, hubs, motor, etc. That will make no sense at all because it is not job for a 3D printer at all, and most of them are just commodities.

But all the rest will be 3D printed as it is a self supported structure, I mean it is not a body bolted over a metal frame as manny have done already before.
Right... so it's a fully 3D-printed body (or unibody, since it is a unitized body and structure), not car.

As you say plastic itself is not so stiff and strong as other materials like composites or metals.
But with 3D printing it is possible to create internal structures in the parts that are impossible to do with other manufacturing systems. So it is possible to get final parts quite strong if properly designed.
As well I am using other tricks in order to enhance the unibody strength. Starting from the "egg" shape...
Actually, components with internal structure can be made by other methods. Composites with cores (typically honeycomb or foam, in metal, composites, or polymers) have been common in race and custom vehicles for many years; even some travel trailers have cored composite construction now. 3D printing may be a way to produce them more easily and less expensively - which is good :) - but it's not the only way to get internal structure.

The egg shape is cute, but not structurally useful unless it is a complete shell - with an open top and doors, it's no longer an egg.
 

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You CAN make a car body using hundreds of small 3D printed parts
But why in the name of the wee hairy one would you want to???

Use the correct tools for the jobs!!

Don't hammer in nails with your micrometer
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
You CAN make a car body using hundreds of small 3D printed parts
But why in the name of the wee hairy one would you want to???
Well, because I like to try new things and new ways. In other words, I like to research.
Same as many other people here and worldwide.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Actually, components with internal structure can be made by other methods. Composites with cores (typically honeycomb or foam, in metal, composites, or polymers) have been common in race and custom vehicles for many years; even some travel trailers have cored composite construction now. 3D printing may be a way to produce them more easily and less expensively - which is good :) - but it's not the only way to get internal structure.

The egg shape is cute, but not structurally useful unless it is a complete shell - with an open top and doors, it's no longer an egg.
Yes, there is other ways to create internal estructures but not with the control and in the shapes that can be done in a 3D printed part. ;)

It is not a full egg shape as its "broken", but still better than a boxy shape.;)
 

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Well, because I like to try new things and new ways. In other words, I like to research.
Same as many other people here and worldwide.
Use the correct tools for the job - and experiment
But don't use your micrometer as a hammer!
 

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Speaking of using a vernier caliper (much better than micrometer for balance) as a hammer, there are some belt printers on Kickstarter right now (and another coming on the 18th), so your longerons and formers can now be printed in one piece...maybe carbon-reinforced nylon would be a good choice?
 

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Speaking of using a vernier caliper (much better than micrometer for balance) as a hammer...
But a micrometer has a much more massive "hammer head" portion. :)

... there are some belt printers on Kickstarter right now (and another coming on the 18th), so your longerons and formers can now be printed in one piece...maybe carbon-reinforced nylon would be a good choice?
That makes sense, but are we going from common home 3D printer to Kickstarter promised products, and from common media to carbon-reinforced? Then I would suggest moving the rest of the way to a different construction method... ;)
 

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Carbon fiber reinforced filament (it's chopped, not oriented strands, so far from coming close to a real composite) is common - you can get it from a number of vendors and sellers where you get other filament. Kickstarter's a risk, but printing a car out of PLA will fold up, lol

The constraint here is "3d printed". Can it be done, more whimsical than reality. Some of you are missing that.

Not the right, or optimal way to do build a car, but one where you're on a small desert island with a 3d printer and a box full of axles & wheels and you want to cruise for chicks and get to the grocery store (yes, I know what I just wrote).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
As remy_martian says it s not the right or the optimal way to build a car. I am very aware of it.

Provably the most reasonable way to build a vehicle like this, will be using a fibre glass/carbon body and reinforce it with internal ribs or a metallic chassis underneath, or may be both. Been there done that.

Even if going throw the 3D printing way, to use just hobby printers is not the right or optimal way. I am aware of that as well.
The most reasonable way of 3D print a car like this, it is probably to use a huge 3D printer and print it all at once or may be in some big parts. But I do not have the resources or access to a printer like that. AND IT IS NOT CHALLENGING, it has been done already by many.
B30.jpg
And as stated in the description: "This is an experimental project that aims to explore the limits of hobby 3D printing.
This project does not aim to reproduce a standard vehicle construction. Many things can go wrong, but I am sure we will enjoy and learn through the process."
 
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