2020 - Volume #44, Issue #1, Page #21[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Amphibious Vehicle Rides On Giant, Inflatable Wheels
He made the inflatable wheels from heavy-duty laminated pvc tarp that he sewed together on a conventional sewing machine using professional vapor barrier sealing tape. The tarp was attached to plywood wheels mounted on tubular axles. To power the vehicle, Borg used 4 motors from AC immersion concrete mixers already geared down to 80:1. He added a 3:1 sprocket reduction to move the 6-ft. diameter wheels with 1/2-in. chain. Borg used motor control circuitry from a cordless drill to control the bigger motors, which are powered by 15 14.8-volt batteries connected in sequence.
To inflate the tires, Borg ran a garden hose to each tire from a shop vac. He used a 3D printer to make connectors for the air hoses and electrical components. He says the 3D printer is ideal for producing lightweight parts that aren’t readily available elsewhere.
He configured a pivot steering system to turn the vehicle, which has a top speed on land of nearly 18 mph. On the water, Borg says it travels at about 1 1/2 mph. Whether land or water-borne, Borg says driving the vehicle is “wonderful, like taking off in an airplane”.
When he’s done driving, the fabric wheels deflate to make the vehicle easy to store.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Axel Borg (makershare.com/projects/inflatable-car-sort).
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