Not too many people are aware of the partnership between WIKISPEED and Alibre Design, in which WIKISPEED, using Alibre CAD software and a carbon fiber composite body (similar to the body of the Boeing Dreamliner 787), was able to create a lightweight, safe, affordable vehicle that achieves more than 100 MPG.
For the record, the Seattle-based auto company was asked to headline the exhibit at the Future of Flight Earth Day event in Seattle, because the WIKISPEED’s body is similar to the Dreamliner.
Also for the record, the Earth Day celebration at Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour (Ref: www.futureofflight.org), will take place on April 22, 2011 at 8415 Paine Field Blvd., Mukilteo, WA 98275.
The WIKISPEED SGT01 and Alibre Design Collaboration
The WIKISPEED SGT01 is an ultra-light, four-passenger car that is easily configurable with different seating and body styles; meaning parts and body panels can actually be interchanged to transform the vehicle from a sedan to a pick-up or even a convertible.
This entire concept shares its approach to fuel efficiency, modular engineering and composite carbon fiber exterior construction with Boeing’s own innovative, next-generation aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner.
In the news release relayed to me by Jamie Anderson of Lois Paul & Partners, WIKISPEED used Alibre Design to create the modular four-passenger SGT01 whose parts and body panels can actually be interchanged to transform the vehicle from a sedan to a pick-up or even a convertible. The design is so flexible that even the engine can be switched from gasoline to electric in 30 minutes.
“Alibre’s 3D CAD software is at the very core of the design and engineering of the SGT01, and this crucial technology is the key for providing the vehicle with its unique modularity,” said Joe Justice, founder of WIKISPEED.
“The Alibre-enabled modular components are at the very foundation of the other four advantages the SGT01 brings to the market – ultra fuel efficiency, a 5-star equivalent crash safety in simulation, powerful acceleration and top speed, and most of all, the vehicle’s affordability. We even rely on the AlibrePowered.com user community forum to help recruit designers, engineers and others interested in contributing to the ongoing collaboration that is the WIKISPEED project,” added Justice.
This is not the first showing of WIKISPEED’s SGT01. Fact is, it placed in the top ten in its vehicle class in the 2010 Progressive Auto X Prize, a global competition to build cars that achieved at least 100 MPGe in real-world driving.
The SGT01 runs on regular gasoline, meets all road-safety regulations based on lab simulations, and is uniquely modular in design – thus delivering fully interchangeable parts and body panels including the drive train, suspension, safety structures and interior seating.
Again, the key feature of the design is it its flexibility. The design is so flexible that even the engine can be switched from gasoline to electric in 30 minutes, and owners can also quickly switch its lightweight body from a sedan or coupe to a pick-up/SUV or even a convertible.
“We continue to be impressed with the creativity and engineering that the WIKISPEED team has demonstrated with the innovative SGT01,” said J. Paul Grayson, chairman and CEO of Alibre, Inc. “We’re pleased to be able to support WIKISPEED and other like-minded, innovative start-up teams and budding entrepreneurs alike, who continue to rely on Alibre Design™ to solve design challenges and create new innovations through our powerful and extremely affordable software. Alibre is proud to join with WIKISPEED and the other success stories in our next ‘industrial revolution,’ which gives us all hope for the future of our economy and our ability to compete in the global marketplace,” said Grayson.
More About WIKISPEED
Based in Seattle and led by Joe Justice, WIKISPEED is a collaborative team of over 70 experts and volunteers dedicated to offering ultra-efficient, ultra low-cost, mass-production road-legal vehicles.
In 2010 the team’s SGT01 prototype placed in the top 10 in their class out of 136 cars overall in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize. WIKISPEED is entirely funded by micro-investment and donations through their website.
WIKISPEED is sponsored by Alibre Design, Ampstech, Kenworthy Machine, Mecsoft and Skunk2 Racing, with consulting donated by Lotus Engineering and Hondata. Additionally, Irish Car Hire, South Seattle Community College, and the University of Washington have contributed parts or time. The experts at Honda Racing Line have generously donated support for the power train and suspension systems, and Delta Wing Racing has contributed to the aerodynamic analysis of the body design. Here is their web link:
More About Alibre, Inc.
Alibre www.alibre.com is the leading global provider of cost effective professional grade mechanical CAD, CAM, and PDM solutions. Founded in 1997, Richardson, Texas-based Alibre is led by Chairman and CEO J. Paul Grayson (previously CEO of Micrografx) and other graphics visionaries who are changing the landscape of 3D mechanical CAD/CAM software. Alibre develops Alibre Design™ and Alibre CAM™, the fastest growing parametric CAD/CAM solutions on the market.
A small fraction of the cost of comparable software, Alibre Design offers the same core features as SolidWorks, Pro/E, Inventor, and other mid-range solid modeling packages at a cost that is affordable to any business or individual. Alibre CAM extends Alibre Design to provide integrated 2 1/2 to 5 axis CNC machining.
Used by an immensely diverse user base, Alibre Design and Alibre CAM provide design and manufacturing solutions to Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, consulting firms, machine shops, start-ups, hobbyists, inventors, teachers and students. Alibre products are distributed in 50 countries and in 15 languages. For more information on Alibre, or for a free trial of Alibre Design and Alibre CAM, please visit www.alibre.com.
Reporter note: As a former design engineer, I have reviewed this software and have a personal copy, early version, of course.
About the Author: After 39 years in the auto industry as a design engineer, Frank Sherosky now trades stocks and writes articles, books and ebooks via authorfrank.com, but may be contacted here by email: [email protected]
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