Let me start by saying that I have wanted to build a velomobile for at least five or six years. I've been collecting little bits of research since then, but things finally reached "critical mass" just a few months ago. The combination of assistance from a Coroplast velomobile group on Facebook
, the rediscovery of some old CAD designs, and the results of extensive glue testing (yes) culminated in what I call the "Facet V1
("The Vector" seemed too generic, and "The Polygon" was too geeky.)
The Facet V1 is made almost entirely out of Coroplast
, the same corrugated plastic that many election signs are made from. The plastic shell is wrapped around a Catrike Expedition
recumbent trike. This is a well-known build method, with dozens of examples all over the net. I'd suspect that people have been building coroplast shells over their trikes ever since both objects existed in the same Venn diagram. So this is definitely not a new thing, but my Instructable is hopefully one of the most comprehensive you'll find anywhere.
I designed the shell of the Facet in Google Sketchup
, based on a design I obtained from a fellow in Belgium several years ago. After taking careful measurements of my Expedition, I re-sized and tweaked the shell to fit. After that, I unfolded the design in Pepakura
. I had full-size patterns printed on a plotter, then transferred those to large 4x8 foot sheets of Coroplast. Finally, everything was assembled around my beloved trike, using a glue technique I perfected for this specific purpose.
The result is stunning (IMNSHO). If you've got a recumbent trike, you should build a shell for it. If you don't have a trike, GET ONE, then build a shell for it! Be sure to click any images that interest you for the larger version - the quality is much better. All of the CAD files you will need are contained in Step 4. And of course, don't forget to vote if you like this project!