Transportation[edit | edit source]

This section is for discussion and cataloging of open source vehicles that may be used for the Open House project. The most practical open source vehicle designs at present are various kinds of human powered vehicles, scooters, and bicycles for which many open or public domain designs are currently available. And with the advent of low cost electric hub motor sets made in China, any vehicle using bicycle wheels is now easily adapted to electric power. The most useful of these are wooden designs based on CNC cut materials, such as the Sandwichbike. (whether the Sandwichbike is open source is not clear at the moment. Some references claim it is, but this doesn't seem to be mentioned on the developer's site. There are many other similar open bike designs) We anticipate three basic human powered vehicles being featured in the project; a general purpose bike, a work or cargo bike, and an Amish-style kick-scooter.


However, there would be much expectation for a project such as this to feature an open source automobile. Open source vehicle designs do exist but are hampered by the high difficulty for their fabrication and restriction from public road use. The most-likely OS car design to use is the electric OSvehicle for which a readily available kit can be purchased. But this kit only provides a chassis. To make a functional vehicle a body would have to be crafted to compliment this chassis. This could be readily done with 3D printing, which has been well demonstrated with recent 3D printed vehicles. This, however, requires very large format printers that are unlikely to be available or affordable for personal use in the immediate future. Another practical possibility for crafting a vehicle body comes to us from Czechoslovakia and the historic vehicle known as the Velorex. The Velorex was a novel three-wheeled microcar developed in the 1950s by the company of the same name. It featured a very simple two-stroke engine and a tubular steel space frame structure which was enclosed using a leatherette and fabric covering with simple snap-on attachment. The velorex was surprisingly practical and well suited to the relatively low-tech production capabilities of the country at that time. (how the vehicle avoided becoming the default vehicle for the developing world is hard to imagine) A similar body design could readily be combined with the OSvehicle chassis and fabricated with conventional bicycle fabrication techniques. With modern architectural fabrics like teflon-impregnated fiberglass an extremely durable vehicle body could be easily fashioned with simple tools.

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Authors Eric Hunting
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 26 pages link here
Aliases Open house transportation
Impact 354 page views
Created August 31, 2015 by Eric Hunting
Modified July 14, 2023 by Felipe Schenone
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