By Evan Yares, 3DCAD Editor
Recently, Judges from the Design World editorial staff, Siemens and Microsoft selected Steve Triplett, Owner of Trinity Frame & Fabrication in Dallas, as the winner of the Design World/Siemens Engineering Design Contest. More than 60 submissions were received for this online competition.
We asked our readers: Do you have an engineering dream? Something you’ve thought about doing, but blew off, because you couldn’t justify the upfront cost of the CAD software? Possibly an idea for a Kickstarter project, a concept for a Burning Man mutant vehicle, or design to contribute to a non-profit project?
The basis of Steve’s idea is a rear engine driven reverse trike—two wheels in front, one in the rear—that is operable from a wheelchair.
Steve said that he built his first engine driven cycle in 1969 at the age of 14.
“As a senior in high school, I built a drag bike chassis in a Vocational Machine Shop class and won a first place trophy at a major custom car show,” he said. “The hook was set!”
“I have been in the motorcycle industry most of my career. I attended Braniff Aviation A&P school in the late 70s to learn mechanical discipline from the best. In the 80s, I apprenticed under a master machinest to learn motorcycle frame building and general machine shop skills. I incorporated all my training into starting a motorcycle shop in 1994,” he said.
His shop specializes in frame repair, fabrication and prototyping. In 2013, the shop received its WMI (World Manufacturer Identifier) and is prototyping a handicapped three wheeler that can be operated from a wheelchair.
In Steve’s reverse trike concept—which was selected as the winning contest entry—the chassis lowers to the ground to facilitate backing the chair into the vehicle from the front and then the steering nacelle closes in front of the rider. The vehicle then returns to normal ride height and the rider enjoys an unobstructed riding experience very similar to a conventional motorcycle. Current trikes for people with disabilities are of the “chariot” style, where the rider is behind the powerplant and enclosed in a box. Steve feels that this idea would benefit many paraplegics, as well as our returning vets, who have been injured and would like to ride.
Steve won a one year subscription of Solid Edge valued at $4,200, to help him make his dream a reality. He also will be receiving a Surface from Microsoft to help get his business up and running, valued at $850.
“It is an honor to receive this prize,” he said. “It will help me to finish a dream project of mine using state-of-the-art technology. I am excited to have Siemens as a team member! I want to thank Design World for bringing me relevant market data and the opportunity to compete in this contest.”