These days, with the advancements in modern computers streamlining everything, vehicle design is far more refined than it used to be. We can now scan parts of the original bike, then we know how to design the body to fit perfectly with the bike. Where trial-and-error and countless hours of working with foam and fiberglass, then sanding pounds and pounds of body-filler off, used to be the only way to get the desired result, now nearly all of that can be plotted and viewed in 3-D on a computer screen and the exact size, shape and fitment can be shown without ever even making any dust.
That isn’t to say the process is fast or in any way inexpensive – quite the opposite, actually. However, we at ROADSMITH feel our investment in this department has been, and will continue to be worth every penny, as all of these models will be produced in volume for many years to come. This method is far more precise and it gives us the ability to design and produce far more intricate shapes and styles with the kind of accuracy that was merely a pipe-dream in the past!
Because of this, the possibilities of design today are nearly endless. Another neat thing that is worth pointing out is the use of 3D printers and how that has helped in testing shapes and designs in a more tactile way. For instance, when designing the HTS1800 we used a plastic 1/12th scale model that we mated with a 3-D-printed 1/12th-scale ROADSMITH Body and Wing Guards to better be able to visualize what the finished trike would look like before we moved ahead in the design process.
For now, however, the next step in the process is for a life-sized wooden model to be produced for the purposes of making a pattern for the fiberglass molds.
Once the life-size wood pattern is coated with tooling gel and polished to a perfect luster molds will be built off of it. Then the production molds will produce perfect reproductions for years to come.