This is the second installment of a three-part series on the development of the All-City Space Horse dropout. Today, we go from the physical sketchbook to the virtual 3D modeling program.
From the 2D sketches shown in the last post, I created this very rough first 3D model:
This is a good opportunity to point out that our axle interface is shorter than many (but certainly not all) semi-horizontal dropouts of this type and all track ends. Track ends, such as our Hennepin Bridge dropout, are designed around the user’s need for several gear configurations without having to adjust chain length. As a result, that style dropout tends to have a lengthy axle pad. The Space Horse dropout was sized so that a single-speed or fixed rider would have sufficient tensioning capability in a single-gear configuration without having to use a half-link in their chain.
The overall shape of the dropout was driven by its need to be as visually and as structurally compatible as possible across all sizes of Space Horse frames. Below, there are several quick screen shots of the dropout applied to geometries across the size range.
For the next step, I dropped in the rack and fender mounts and added a web between then to make them more robust. Also, I re-surfaced the dropout to add the indexing stop at the front of the axle pad (to be discussed more later).
Before prototyping the dropout, I rendered the dropout on a complete frame. In case you were wondering, all of the steel frames and frame parts I render are shiny red with stainless accents. Like any reasonable human being, I have always wanted a shiny red bike (I have never had one).
Here are some emotional photos of the resulting rapid prototype:
After a few minor tweaks to the design based off of the rapid prototypes, we started to collaborate with our dropout supplier.
In the next episode I will discuss the tooling process and final development.