Sunday, July 20, 2014

RC Mitsubishi Eclipse Part 1: 3D Modeled Shell

This here is one of my long term projects: a 1/8th scale remote controlled Mitsubishi Eclipse. I don't feel like going into much detail currently, but in this part I will be taking a 3D model of a 2nd generation Eclipse and creating a scaled mold that can be used in a vacuum former to create a shell for the car. A 3D model was very hard to find for free, but I did eventually find one.

First I had to import this .3ds formatted file into Solidworks. With a premium version, this can be done with the ScanTo3D feature. This must be first enabled under Tools>Add-Ins. Once done, the .3ds can be opened like any other SolidWorks file.

Then I could move on to modifying the model to the correct scale. However, this cannot be done to the part file as it is with the meshes. So, we convert this to a .STL which also allows us to modify and measure the model unlike the meshes. I then measured the length of the model and found the ratio of it to the needed length of the model to fit the 1/8th scale of the real car. This ratio is then inserted into the Scale feature (found under Insert>Features>Scale) which scales the model to the correct 1/8th scale.

The next step is to create the carbon fiber base chassis to fit the shell. This method (basing it off of a real car) makes it so much easier to design the car as not everything needs to be created from scratch. As for creating the actual shell, i'd need to get a hold of a vacuum form machine.