About 30 years ago, Joshua Chung was flipping through a book on concept cars and came across an image of the Auto Union Type C, which dominated the Grand Prix during the 1930s. The car was dubbed Silver Arrow. Its rounded corners, smooth chassis, and ventilation slits reflect the aesthetics of the Buck Rogers comic strips — the shape of the future anticipated by the people at the time. Last October, when he saw a notice on the 3D content community GrabCAD announcing the Crazy Cart contest, Joshua sought inspiration from the same classic car.
“[The Auto Union Type C] looked so simple but extremely elegant,” said Joshua. “I couldn’t turn my eyes away from it. Since this challenge was announced, I was thinking that maybe I can somehow make it back on the road again.”
To win this contest, Joshua would need to recapture his favorite racecar’s shape, look, and attitude in a Razor USA crazy cart, create a 3D model of his idea in Siemens PLM Software’s Solid Edge CAD program, and produce photorealistic renderings in Luxion KeyShot.
Joshua said, ” I have been using Solid Edge since 2000 to 2007, when I was working as a mechanical engineer at the Biomedical Engineering Center (now it is called Biomedical Technology and Device Research Labs) in Industrial Technology Research Institute, Taiwan. As a Ph.D. student at the University of Pittsburgh now, I work mostly on Solidworks and Inventor, the two major CAD software used in my lab and among students.”
The biggest challenge in creating a Union C-style crazy cart, Joshua said, was surface modeling. “Even though the 2D sketch may look nice from many perspective views, while building into a 3D model, there is always something looks weird and need to be reshaped,” he recalled. “Therefore, it is a back-and-forth process of adjusting sketches and surfaces until I am satisfied with the results. After trying different surfacing tools and solid building such as extrusion, revolve, sweep, or loft, my solution ended up with the BlueSurf. This is a new feature to me because there was no such function when I was using Solid Edge seven years ago. It took me several days watching almost all the YouTube tutorials, making models and testing what it can do and, more importantly, cannot do, and trying many different ways to create the same model in order to find my dreamed surface.”
Joshua was familiar with Photoview 360, the built-in rendering tools in SolidWorks, but new to Luxion KeyShot. “I do not have much experience with rendering because most of my work and research do not require high quality rendering or animation,” he said. “After watching [KeyShot] tutorials online, I found its interface is really straightforward. I could easily find what I need in KeyShot. Most materials were default material. I did use free environments. However, some backgrounds were too clear to me, so I had to make adjustments to blur out slightly in the Photoshop.”
Recording his process, Joshua wrote, “To match the [Union C’s] stylish shape, [I made] several modifications to the original Crazy Cart design. I made a four-bar linkage mechanism for the side drift-control bar. This modification shifted and straightened up the handle, which makes it look more like the brake appeared in most old race cars. The other modifications, including extended footrest and gas pedal and tilted steering wheel, help reduce the knee height, ease the access to the steering wheel and eventually shape into a classic race car.”
Last December, when the points for submitted designs were tallied up, Joshua’s entry came out on top. The Union C crazy cart was the first-prize winner, beating out roughly 40 other designs. (DE editor Kenneth Wong was among the judges.)
— KeyShot (@KeyShot3D) December 22, 2014
Joshua said the victory was a surprise to him, because he didn’t anticipate winning. Nevertheless, he’s receiving
- a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 256 GB Intel i7 ($1,549);
- 3 Month Subscription of Solid Edge Premium ($1,050);
- a license of KeyShot Pro ($1,995); and
- a Razor Crazy Cart ($399).
Joshua currently works with people with disability at the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, Human Engineering Research Laboratories, at the University of Pittsburgh. He said, “I will probably design modification parts for crazy cart so that children with disabilities can have fun with it.”