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NeilBlanchard 07-09-2012 10:12 PM

CarBEN EV5 Full Sized Prototype Construction - 5 Seat Electric Car From Scratch
I've begun the construction process to build the first full sized prototype of my CarBEN EV5 electric car!

I bought 25 sheets of Dow XPS foam sheets today (a quarter of what will be needed in total), and began cutting the first one on my PhlatPrinter 3 CNC machine. All the drafting and major designing is done, and the 3D SketchUp model is "sliced" to eventually generate the g-code to cut the foam to form the core of the chassis.

All was going swimmingly, until the bit failed to lift up on the Z-axis far enough and then it plunged in too deep, causing the X-axis to drag and get skewed... I'm going to hopefully troubleshoot it with the help of the folks on the PhlatBoyz forum.

I video recorded the "event" and I'm uploaded it now to YouTube -- I'll link to it when it is ready. So, it is started but still not "flowing along" yet.

Cd 07-09-2012 10:27 PM

Godspeed !
Wishing you the best .

t vago 07-09-2012 10:28 PM

Looking forward to your progress.

MetroMPG 07-09-2012 11:29 PM


NeilBlanchard 07-10-2012 05:25 AM

Here's the video -- it is a noisy thing with both the CNC router and the small shop vacuum running:


You can see when the error occurred at about 10:50 -- I first thought it was a slippage on the Z-axis screw (which you can see me adjusting back upwards after pausing the g-code controller program) but it keeps plunging in. I was hoping that the pieces would be usable, but the resulting X-axis slippage meant that it ran off the back edge of the sheet...

NeilBlanchard 07-10-2012 08:55 PM

I have successfully cut the first 4 sheets for the CarBEN EV5 chassis -- only 89 to go!


I had to fix two problems: the voltage driving the Z and Y axes was too low, and the drive belt on the X axis stepper motor was loose. And I added back the two side roller rails so that they keep the sheet from shifting side to side. Each piece finished the cut *right* where it started; virtually perfectly...

Today was an amazing day! I've been working for over three years on this project and I finally have something *physical* to show for it! :-)

Video to come...

Weather Spotter 07-10-2012 09:18 PM


NeilBlanchard 07-10-2012 10:35 PM

Here's a couple of photos:

Here's the video of cutting the second copy of the F23 sheet -- it is fairly long and noisy, but I try to "narrate" as it goes along:


I ran out of space on the camera about a minute before the last part finished, but I'm sure you get the idea... ;)

Now I need to generate more g-code files - and cut hopefully 5 or 6 more sheets tomorrow. Then start gluing... :)

123 07-11-2012 02:48 AM

Nice can't wait to see it finished.

NeilBlanchard 07-11-2012 07:32 AM

Well, I hope you are patient. This will take a year, or two or maybe more.

I have to buy ~68-75 more sheets of foam (depending on how many "extras" I need), and then the real fun begins. Fiberglassing the inside and the outside, fitting it with suspension and wheels (likely custom rear suspension?) and working out the steering and the connection to the hinged front wheel skirts, buying at least the windshield and wipers for a Smart ForTwo, putting in the driver's seat, working out hinges and latches for the rear hatch and rear doors -- and THEN building the battery pack (hopefully around 50kWh+) and the drivetrain.

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