Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Speedbird Update

As you may have previously noticed, my pal English Stephen is incredibly (obsessively perhaps) detail oriented. He has been working on a custom dimensioned rigid rear frame section for quite a while now. He requires both non-standard length and angles to obtain the desired stance he is going for. He is also insistent the frame section look as much as the original factory piece as possible. Custom angles mean he cannot just "reuse" the stock dropout castings.

He spent considerable time creating molds to cast the one-off piece. He then spent significant time and money having the castings poured. After a fairly long wait he received the castings and ultimately decided the quality would not meet his standards. He opted to start over from scratch.

He started by designing the new casting in Solidworks, itself not a trivial feat. He then took that design and printed it on a 3D printer. What a stunning part.

Stephen made some subtle changes to the part and asked me if the new design was loyal enough to the stock casting. I assured him it was. The following is the "printed" part. Simply stunning. Next comes the finished product in steel.

So, what would Edwin Turner himself think about all this newfangled technology from a purely craftsmanship perspective? I think this paragraph from Clew, Jeff (2012-01-19). Edward Turner – The man behind the motorcycles might help to form an opinion:

One of the younger staff who had interviewed for employment with the new Triumph company was Jack Wickes, aged 21. His job began as print boy, which involved delivering blueprints to all the different departments. Jack later transitioned into a new role turning Edward’s sketches into general schemes and sometimes into full colour illustrations. He also submitted his own ideas for approval which, if completed in the office and accepted, could be seen on future production models. His design of the now familiar Triumph headlamp nacelle is just one example. A very good working relationship developed between the pair; Jack had a high regard for his boss who, although not a qualified engineer, was a very shrewd person. Edward would often refer affectionately to Jack as “my pencil”, an understatement if ever there was one!

In my opinion Edward would have been just fine with applying the technology.


Flathead45 said...

I hereby concede the crown belongs unquestionably to English Stephen!!

Beautiful work.

Vorhese said...

I want some!