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Major project Process booklet

Charlie french

D E 1080 : Maj or P roj ect C harl i e French

Trans portati on Des i gn Northumbri a Uni v ers i ty - Sc hool of D e sig n c .frenc h91@roc k etmai l .c om 07 4 11603 293

How do we Break the link between fuel and food costs ? Establish a fuel self sufficient farming industry, incorporating sustainable energy solutions

TIDE is an agricultural vehicle concept which introduces a new approach to agricultural engineering and fuel production. Through the implementation of tailored systems TIDE works to deliver a carbon and cost neutral tractor, capable of performing above and beyond the equivalent diesel tractor. In the current economic climate, the cost of food is directly linked the cost of fuel. With increasing environmental pressures and dwindling oil reserves, food prices are being forced ever higher. By introducing a sustainable system which produces enough energy to sustain the running of the tractor, and also provide power for other applications on the farm, the link is broken, opening up the opportunity of a more competitive market for farmers. In addition to showcasing a new approach to fuel and drivetrain for tractors, this vehicle advances the design and usability of tractors through the introduction of features such as integrated lift arms and a tilting cab.

Sketching This section shows a collection of the sketch development for the project. Form was explored with consideration for functionality and drivetrain layout determined within the exploration project Full sketch development can be seen in the sketch collection book which accompanies this project

Initial sketching

RefI ned sketching


Based upon an earlier sketch, this render shows the intended nature of the bodywork of the tractor, encapsulating the cab while remaining divided to help with the replacement of parts. Since this render changes have been made through modelling to most areas of the design, most noticeably the steps. This render should be taken as the preproduction concept which has been refined through the engineering stage of the project.

General arrangements A large part of the design of the tractor was determined through the evolution of the technical drawings. This section shows the progression of these designs.



One of the original concept layouts derived from sketching, the concept incorporates moulded rear wheel arches, not a usual design feature of tractors. To accommodate the travel of the wheels due to suspension the arches have to be placed high, making for an awkward design.



Having both front and rear arches fixed rather than moving with the wheels lifts all of the styling of the tractor and makes it look top heavy and cumbersome. It also emphasises the narrow front end of the vehicle.



This design was led by the idea of building the cab steps into the rear wheel arch. By fixing the front arches a large void is created behind the front wheels where the step would ordinarily be situated.



Considering the first three concepts, improvements were made, moving away from fixed arches to independent arches. The design was led by the theme or removal, celebrating the feature of the removable power plant. The large rear grab handles are intended to suggest function.



A refinement of version four, this concept was the first to include the integrated front loader arms. This was the first realistic design proposal.



Developed from version five, this concept features the tilting cab, which forced changes to the side panels and the inclusion of wider side steps, intruding into the void between the front and rear wheels.



Refined through the final model making process, this concept has higher rear bars, which sit wider over the rear wheels, and grab handles running from the roof. This is also the first concept to show the outer positioning of the headlights.



A refined and rendered evolution of version seven, the major changes are the wheels which are slightly smaller and positioned closer together to improve manoeuvrability.

Modelling The majority of the modelling stage of the project will be outlined in the critical justification document. This section shows some of the progression of the project through image documentation

COMPUTER AIDED DESIGN It was intended to have both a physical model and a 3D computer model of the tractor, however time constraints forced the effort to be placed on the physical model. This allowed for greater form development, whist utilising CAD for the production of components such as the tyres

The tyre design was developed in Autodesk Alias Automotive. Nine versions were produced in total, each developing to meet Pro/Engineer tolerances ready for 3D printing, and featuring new details such as central ribs, curved chevron tread patterns and tapered treads. At each stage, steps were taken to ensure an A class surface quality to ease the process of 3D printing. The final version was finished in Solidworks to ensure the surface normals were correct before producing the 3D print at a cost of around ÂŁ250. The 3D print was finished and used to produce a cast for the production of 4 silicon tyres.

In addition to the physical model, I had planned to include a CAD model of the tractor within the project, modelled in Alias Automotive. Unfortunately time commitments to the physical model diverted my time away from the CAD version. I hope to complete this soon, and use it to better highlight some of the key features and details of the design.

A major advantage of a CAD model over a physical model would be the ease with which animations and striking images could be produced, however it would never carry the same impact as having a large scale physical model which can be explored and interrogated by all.

The time devoted to the model making stage of the process has placed less emphasis upon the flat work, but has delivered far greater developments to the design than sketching or CAD modelling could have. I have gained a great understanding of the physical form, much as I did on placement by developing the design of the vehicle in three dimensions. At the end of the project I consider the work which has been done in the four years at university, and from first year remember a quote from a design communication lecture.

A1000 picture is equivalent to words, but a model is worth 1000 pictures�


Major Project - TIDE Tractor  

Process book outlining the route followed through the major project