Here is the 3 wheeled vehicle that a team of three of us managed to design and build in 7 weeks:
The 3 wheeler project all started at Rugby College as part of a General Engineering training course. We had to work in teams of 3 and come up with a project that included design and manufacture of a product in 7 weeks. Our team consisted of an Electrical Engineering graduate (Myself), an Electrical and Electronics graduate and a Mechanical Engineering with Manufacturing Systems graduate. This represented a broad range of experience and knowledge. One of the team members had an old motorcycle that had suffered crash damaged; however the engine was still in good condition. We decided to design and develop a new working vehicle in 7 weeks, with the overall aim of eventually passing an MOT and getting it road legal.
We looked at the motorcycle to help us consider various vehicle options since our plan was to use at least the existing engine. We identified a potential problem that the motorcycle engine is design to power a chain, whereas in general 4 wheeled vehicles use a drive shaft powering a differential. We decided that given time constraints and for simplicity we would limit our ideas to three-wheeled vehicles, utilising the existing bike engine and swing-arm for the back wheel. Therefore the design of the drive system consisted of copying the mounting points from the motorbike to the frame design. This not only simplified the drive system but also kept the cost of the project down because existing parts were being used instead of having to purchase new ones.
Given these criteria we researched various three-wheeled vehicle options. The website www.3wheelers.com provided an interesting A-Z history of three wheeled vehicles. We also researched the legal requirements for self built three-wheeled vehicles, to help us make it road worthy.
Here are a few 3 wheeled vehicles that provided us with some inspiration: