Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

How to design, build, and race a sculpture
nymedic881
Posts: 14
Joined: 31 May 2011, 7:17 pm

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by nymedic881 » 03 Jun 2011, 4:09 pm

tHANK yOU ELLIOT,hARRY HERE,Yes I enjoyed the maddness to the max this year as I have the last 4 years,which is why I can no longer stand by and watch, so I have to do this for my ego..err The Glory..lol Just will be needing a lot of hand holding and band aids,hell I'm 58 so I figure by the time 6o comes around I'll be in the race,by the way your link goes to some japan web site when I try it??? need all the input I can get...FOR THE GLORY!!!

Elliot
Posts: 49
Joined: 10 Jan 2011, 2:31 pm

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by Elliot » 03 Jun 2011, 4:29 pm

Well, I'm 59, so you are in the clear. I'm always willing to hold young newcomers' hands when they build a Racing Sculpture. You might want to start your own thread for chronicling your build. Think you can build a better fire engine than Ken B.?

Don't know why the link didn't work for you -- I just tried it and it worked. But you can also access a PDF version of "How To..." on KineticGrandChampionship.com. Once you get to it, you will also find my e-mail address so you scheme with me in secret. Of course, it would be best if we do it here so others can benefit. And do you know how to post pictures?

nymedic881
Posts: 14
Joined: 31 May 2011, 7:17 pm

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by nymedic881 » 04 Jun 2011, 1:42 pm

Elliot the site goes to a general page with lists and I see nothing on it about kinetics..lol as far a posting pictures here I'm a newbie to that as I am to kinetics..and hell yes I want to post a thread or someway you good people can laugh along as my mind and body goes down the toilet FOR THE GLORY..lol if I can't get to your site I could give ya my E-mail so I can cry in my ice tea with ya...thanks for dealing with me...Harry

Elliot
Posts: 49
Joined: 10 Jan 2011, 2:31 pm

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by Elliot » 04 Jun 2011, 2:30 pm

Whoa.... Were you using the link in my signature? I studied it and realized I still had the old defunct site on there. I've fixed it. Try it now.

To post pictures, you start by downloading the picture from the camera to your own computer. Then you need to place a copy of the picture on a web site where it is always available to everyone. There are many "photo storing" web sites; I use Photobucket, which is free. (You just have to put up with ads.) After establishing an account, you upload the picture to Photobucket. Now you are ready to put it in a post. Copy the address of the picture on Photobucket and paste that address into the post. (On Photobucket, use the bottom of the four addresses shown.) Always click on Preview to make sure everything looks right before you click on Submit.

It seems complicated, but I'm pretty well computer illiterate, and I still managed to learn it.

To post several pictures, or a long post, I start a Word document and paste the picture addresses into that, then copy and paste the whole thing into the post. Perhaps I make this more complicated than necessary, but it works for me.

nymedic881
Posts: 14
Joined: 31 May 2011, 7:17 pm

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by nymedic881 » 04 Jun 2011, 2:58 pm

Thanks Elliot,your link works now..lol and I'll give that info a shot when I start putting this nightmare together,so let me pick your brain quickly,which is better 3 wheel or 4 the wife Co-pilot thinks 3 wheels is unstable..I'm thinking sence there's only going to be 2 of us peddling 3 would be better and lighter,your input would be greatly taken into concederation...FOR THE GLORY...LOL

Elliot
Posts: 49
Joined: 10 Jan 2011, 2:31 pm

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by Elliot » 04 Jun 2011, 8:27 pm

Three wheels for sure. While this is less stable than four wheels, you minimize unstability by keeping the riders close to the axle with two wheels. Four wheels require suspension, and fancy steering geometry -- still there will always be more rolling resistance. Neither suspension nor steering geometry are needed with a "tripod".

If you build one wheel in the front, you will have lots of traction going up-hill in the dunes. In fact, it is possible to lift the front wheel.

If you put the one wheel in the back, you will have less traction up the dunes, but you will have a much better shot at coming out of the water without help.

So it is your call to build a tricycle or a taildragger.

I did have a two-man four-wheel Kontraption with front wheel steering -- the first version of "Henry Ford Goes Surfing" (see my signature picture) -- and the rolling resistance was horrible. I could scarcely believe the difference when I rebuilt it as a four-seater with center articulation -- the steering geometry problem went away.

nymedic881
Posts: 14
Joined: 31 May 2011, 7:17 pm

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by nymedic881 » 05 Jun 2011, 6:02 pm

sounds like everything here is a trade off,I may make myself crazy but going to work on a way to tranfer weight for exiting the water then return it for the sand..lol the idea struck me going through my junk stuff that old steel bedframes would make good chassis frames,just a thought..the wife/pilot is still having doubts about a tricycle lol so working 3 and 4 wheel ideas,the steering geometry is looking like a task and a half,but nothing comes easy,Elliot a personal Thank you for replying and your input..I am going to do this no matter how long or how many ER trips I have to make...lol...For The GLORY!!!! Harry!

Elliot
Posts: 49
Joined: 10 Jan 2011, 2:31 pm

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by Elliot » 05 Jun 2011, 8:13 pm

I figure the ideal Racing Sculpture would have three wheels, with three pilots, each driving his own wheel. I don't remember ever seeing one like that, but it might be close to unstoppable. Basically, the third rider would be seated on the steering fork. You would want him low to the ground because the single wheel has no stability. But it IS possible to run a drive chain to a wheel that turns -- Dave Hershberger did it with "Smile" a few years ago. A bicycle chain can turn 90 degrees in about two feet. Do you have a potential third rider?

Yes, everything is a trade-off -- in KSR as well as in the rest of life. The absolutely "perfect" Racing Sculpture may not be possible to build.

But there are a number of Sculptures that do very well year after year, with only minor mechanical mishaps, and that's what I shoot for. (Not quite hitting anything yet!)

If your better half insists on four wheels for stability, I would suggest rounding up two more riders so you all drive one wheel each. That was my most successful configuration so far:

Image

Elliot
Posts: 49
Joined: 10 Jan 2011, 2:31 pm

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by Elliot » 05 Jun 2011, 11:43 pm

Forgot to reply to one point: Bedframes. Yes, they can be used, but be aware that they are made of spring steel and extremely difficult to drill and cut. For cutting them you will want a chop saw (abrasive saw), and I don't think I know any good way to drill holes in them.

nymedic881
Posts: 14
Joined: 31 May 2011, 7:17 pm

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by nymedic881 » 06 Jun 2011, 10:49 pm

I found a great way to drill through spring steel when I was a NYC Firefighter,a harded punch then colbalt tipped drill bit works wonders as long as the drill is corded,it kills battery drills in seconds..lol another quick question about brakes ,would a set up like that on an E break on a car work..cable pulling shoes to wheel?? again I know I'm a P I A but am grateful for the help and yes as soon as I start building it there will be pictures and details to help others lol thanks again Elliot .harry

Elliot
Posts: 49
Joined: 10 Jan 2011, 2:31 pm

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by Elliot » 07 Jun 2011, 1:34 am

You are no pain Harry -- we are all here to brainstorm! In fact, I'm here voluntarily. :lol:

Soooo.... Did you drill safes on the side with those cobalt bits -- maybe in the Diamond District? :twisted:

I see no reason why an automobile emergency brake handle could not work -- provided the total leverage is adequate for the weight of the vehicle and the diameter of the wheels. You might want to read my little story about how I almost murdered the Mayor of Sacramento -- it's on this board somewhere.

I have seen a few internal drum brakes i KSR, but it is more common to see external band brakes from go-karts, lawn tractors, or some such. Light vehicles sometimes use bicycle brakes, including modern disc brakes, and motorcycle brakes are quite common. But for minimal drag, I like to use "stagecoach" brakes -- that is, a lever that rubs on the tire. That way you can easily make sure the brake block does not rub when it shouldn't.

One good thing about the automobile brake lever is that it is also a parking brake. You do need a parking brake on your Racing Sculpture. Of course, a bungee cord on the stage coach brake will often do the job.

So let's see.... Parking brake lever from a car, and connect the cables to levers that rub on the tires. You might have to juggle the leverages, but I like the idea. Your mileage may vary, of course. :roll:

nymedic881
Posts: 14
Joined: 31 May 2011, 7:17 pm

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by nymedic881 » 15 Jun 2011, 4:25 pm

Hey Elliot or anyone else who may know,How strong is PVC for making a framework,not a chassis but a frame to put the artwork for the nightmare to stay together...lol
(Thanks Again Elliot)

Tom
Site Admin
Posts: 39
Joined: 09 Jan 2011, 2:12 pm

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by Tom » 15 Jun 2011, 5:45 pm

I've never used PVC on a kinetic sculpture, but in college I built a frame for the back of my pickup truck to serve as a cargo frame and (when covered with tarps) as a camper. As the contraption was coming together, we called it the Plumber's Nightmare.

The problem with PVC pipe is that joints are not designed to tolerate a great deal of vibration. We found that the weaker joints--where we hadn't scrubbed the pipe as thoroughly or applied enough cement or there was some pulling stress--started failing within a days' worth of driving. Other joints held together for a few years--but that was after enough joints had failed that the entire rig was collapsible by dismantling it at the failed joints.

If you don't put much weight on the pipe (especially force pulling outward on joints during vibration), and you're careful to clean and apply cement thoroughly, you may find a frame lasts for 1 or possibly 2 days of racing. If you try to use it in a race, I'd bring extra abrasive, solvent, and cement so you can glue it back together on the fly. And be sure to factor in your design that it has to fail safe--if one or more joints fall apart at the worst possible moment on land or sea, ensure that would be acceptable.

-Tom
-Tom Jones
Kinetic Seer
http://www.KineticBaltimore.com/
Image

nymedic881
Posts: 14
Joined: 31 May 2011, 7:17 pm

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by nymedic881 » 15 Jun 2011, 5:51 pm

Tom thanks for answering..isn't there a way to renforce the joints ? was wondering if you drilled holes on eather side and then wired them together(along with gluing them)wouldn't that strengthen the joints?????? I only wanna build a square box with a lid made of PVC the rest will be made of a breathable?cloth to lessen wind Resistance.. just floating Ideas ..thanks for your help and input..Harry!

DrDiabolical
Posts: 10
Joined: 27 Dec 2011, 1:01 pm

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by DrDiabolical » 27 Dec 2011, 1:40 pm

Harry,

Assuming you're still monitoring this post, or for any other virgins out there, PVC or ABS plastic pipe can be used for SCULPTURE armitures, depending on how you do it. Don't use it for chassis parts unless you're very lucky. I'm not.

Here in Colorado, we have one perpetual kraft that has a non-structural "roll cage" (kinda looks like a Jeep's) made from PVC that gets topped by different artwork each year. I've also seen a "circus tent" theme framed in PVC, and I used 2" ABS for one of my machines. It needed a simple canopy made from a bedsheet (kinda like Fred Flintstone's car). ABS was considerably lighter than PVC and was already black which worked for my theme. But it wasn't stiff so I added wire rigging made from Stainless Steel saftey wire (because that's what I had) similar to what you would see in an old biplane. It worked for the Wright Brothers and it works in kinetics. The secret is not getting too heavy with your art, and not getting the PVC too warm. Remember, "plastic" is a physical property of PVC ploymer.

Speaking of warm, the stuff can be bent and shaped when its warmed up enough. I found this out the hard way when I once made a steam-box from a PVC tube and it collapsed under its own weight when the steam hit it. (hint, hint)

Hope this helps get the sprockets turning for a few folks.

Dr. Diabolical
evil genius

Candy Haus Frau
Posts: 4
Joined: 27 Feb 2011, 7:10 pm

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by Candy Haus Frau » 31 Jan 2012, 7:52 pm

On PVC:
We used PVC with great success on the Candy Haus (in 2010). The haus' frame is made entirely of PVC, joined together with PVC joints, and glued in place with PVC pipe adhesive. Once it was assembled, we attached blankets to the frame and then velcroed everything together.

In 2009, for "Snakehead" we made the mistake of using aluminum for our frame. It could not handle the vibrations of getting trucked up to Baltimore from DC on a flat-bed truck or the rigors of the race itself. By the end of the day, our sculpture looked more like a flat flounder than a fearsome snakehead. For another parade, we re-made the frame out of PVC. That worked much better. To create bends in the PVC, we filled the PVC pipe with sand and used a heat gun to get the PVC soft. Go slowly and use proper ventilation!

We also used PVC last year for "Bob". It worked very well for the structure of the sculpture. Good luck!

crazydave757
Posts: 15
Joined: 11 Jan 2011, 7:23 am

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by crazydave757 » 16 May 2012, 7:25 pm

Here is a link to my propulsion system designs for my kinetic sculpture.

http://www.kineticbaltimore.com/KSR/For ... &t=12#p170

crazydave757
Posts: 15
Joined: 11 Jan 2011, 7:23 am

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by crazydave757 » 16 May 2012, 10:37 pm

Here is a link to the pedal stations for my kinetic sculpture.

http://www.kineticbaltimore.com/KSR/For ... p=174#p174

crazydave757
Posts: 15
Joined: 11 Jan 2011, 7:23 am

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by crazydave757 » 17 May 2012, 1:31 am

Here is a link to the chain tensioner for my kinetic sculpture.


http://www.kineticbaltimore.com/KSR/For ... p=177#p177

crazydave757
Posts: 15
Joined: 11 Jan 2011, 7:23 am

Re: Virgin Kinetic Sculpture Racer

Post by crazydave757 » 18 May 2012, 1:30 am

Here is a link to the chain idler assembly for my kinetic sculpture.

http://www.kineticbaltimore.com/KSR/For ... &t=12#p181

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