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Help Revising My Thesis Project Folio Pages

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Hey guys, I'm having trouble making my senior project into a good portfolio piece. It was sponsored by Volvo and Hypershot, and I think it's a really cool solution to an obvious problem, but it just doesn't read well. Need some help doing the layout, and graphics so that it can explain itself, without having me walking people through it.

 

Here's how it is, currently:

 

192473_fvG1smYsVYUcstPKYc9ZfwQEO.jpg

192473_MAC755XCmIAgT7KgIORjEVTl5.jpg

192473_RMEPNFpBhYHtiUrHO94RoM8Dl.jpg

192473_i9LG1dvYSigZiEXx3B0whazcV.jpg

192473_VrYZxYe4MnlU6nKHLK5AXQ2t5.jpg

 

I already have some things I'm going to do in the next revision, but I'd like to hear even more input first. I would really appreciate a hard critique. If you think this isn't even a good design solution and shouldn't be shown, let me know.

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Running through a couple things:

 

First off, your pages have a lot of content that stands out, yet has nothing to do with your project. Your name, project title, brief, corporate logos all take up a lot of real estate. I would graphically downsize or remove a lot of it. A thin bar on the sides or across the top or bottom with the title/date/name is probably more then adequate and less visually intrusive into your layout.

 

From a project perspective, it's fairly clear what you did and why it's valuable, but looking through the story it tells is a bit strange.

 

For example on the sketch page, the sketches are all nicely done but they don't tell me the story of how you arrived at this result, especially when half the sketches seem to be more about the cab design than the trailer/fairing concept. It would be nice to see a more linear story that says "I started looking at cab designs, and then this his how I progressed and developed the fairings". If you were doing the CFD analysis yourself, it would be nice to show some of those iterations and how you refined the overall design to where it is now.

 

My biggest concern would be about the overall development of the final solution. Did you just find a shape that reduced the drag the most and render it? It would be interesting to see how potential issues were examined and how this approach fits them the best.

 

Some concerns I have are things like the trailer fairings - how often are drivers switching trailers, and would they need to be able to swap these to a different trailer on site? If so are there ways of making that easier?

 

-Would these have an impact on driveability, such as from heavy cross winds?

 

-With the over the wheel fairings, is there still an easy way of checking and maintaining tire pressure/replacing tires incase of a blowout?

 

-The rear deck of the trailer is very tall, have you thought at full scale how the driver would have to attach/clip on the big rear fairing?

 

It tells a good story, but as your final project you want to make sure the works get presented as a deep development story that shows how you identified the problems and the details about how the solution solves them. Playing devils advocate, at quick glance right now I have no way of knowing if you just spent a semester drawing trucks and then rendered out some simple shapes on your model the night before the project was due and then cited X% as improvement.

 

Hope some of that was constructive.

 

Cheers,

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Running through a couple things:

 

First off, your pages have a lot of content that stands out, yet has nothing to do with your project. Your name, project title, brief, corporate logos all take up a lot of real estate. I would graphically downsize or remove a lot of it. A thin bar on the sides or across the top or bottom with the title/date/name is probably more then adequate and less visually intrusive into your layout.

 

Point taken.

 

From a project perspective, it's fairly clear what you did and why it's valuable, but looking through the story it tells is a bit strange.

 

For example on the sketch page, the sketches are all nicely done but they don't tell me the story of how you arrived at this result, especially when half the sketches seem to be more about the cab design than the trailer/fairing concept. It would be nice to see a more linear story that says "I started looking at cab designs, and then this his how I progressed and developed the fairings". If you were doing the CFD analysis yourself, it would be nice to show some of those iterations and how you refined the overall design to where it is now.

 

Yeah, that's what I'm having trouble with. I mean, I started sketching truck designs, but wound up getting in contact with Volvo like 3 weeks into my project, but I didn't want to just discard my sketches. Maybe I should discard them though, since they aren't really relevant. The other thing is, yeah, I can show more CFD analysis, but I already feel that 5 pages is sort of long. When I have that many pages on a project, it seems that people's eyes start to glaze over by page 4. Seems like 3 pages is the sweet spot, so ... what I'm really having trouble with, is how to PARE DOWN this thing. It has a lot of info. The first page is kind of necessary to setup the whole thing, IMHO. Which leaves me with 2 pages... one for sketching/ideation, the other for a final rendering. The problem with that idea is that there's quite a few aspects to this design... the rear fairing, the retractable side fairings, the wheel fairings, the lower front lip, etc. I'm not sure if maybe i should just revise the project and just focus on the rear fairing, since it the most noticeable, and just leave everything else out, or what.

 

My biggest concern would be about the overall development of the final solution. Did you just find a shape that reduced the drag the most and render it? It would be interesting to see how potential issues were examined and how this approach fits them the best.

 

I tried a few shapes, but the cone wit a slight upwards taper worked best using COSMOSFLOW in solidworks.

 

Some concerns I have are things like the trailer fairings - how often are drivers switching trailers, and would they need to be able to swap these to a different trailer on site? If so are there ways of making that easier?

 

-Would these have an impact on driveability, such as from heavy cross winds?

 

I guess I was shooting for fleets that owned many trailers, and they'd implement this on all of them. For crosswinds, doubtful. It would require fullscale testing, I suppose, this is just a concept afterall.

 

-With the over the wheel fairings, is there still an easy way of checking and maintaining tire pressure/replacing tires incase of a blowout?

 

You can see the seam in some of the renderings, others it just sorta got blown out. I modeled toolleess fastners, that allowed quick removal for a blow out. Again... would like to show those, but it already seems too long/wordy/complex. Shoudl I just remove them?

 

Overall I'm just pretty frustrated with the presentation. I think there's an obvious problem, and this is a good step toward the solution, but .. it just isn't coming across well at all.

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I find it really interesting on the way you approached this problem. Not the typical solution I usually see people do. For example, when I first saw this, I thought you would design a new truck from the ground up, making it all cool looking and stuff, but something like this would be super expensive to do. Instead you went for a much lower cost way of solving the problem.

 

I find it especially interesting cuz it reminds me of a bodykit on cars. For example people who fix up their cars for performance and not just looks.

 

Like cyberdemon noted, the sketches arent helping at all. In fact its creating a disconnect between your identification of the problem and your solution. The story goes from part 1 to part 10 with part 2-9 missing. Just a suggestion, but I feel like your project is very bodykit-ish, aftermarket parts you can put on to your semitruck. Maybe sketches showing how these parts reduce drag and show the explorations of different shapes and looks could be an interesting area to look at.

 

The funnel at the end bothers me a bit though, again as Cyberdemon noted, the height of a semi is pretty high. I imagine takin it down would be extremely difficult and annoying. I wonder because, a semi carries goods. And you need to open and close, drop off, load, unload. Maybe there is a better way then attachin a large cone at the back?

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Heres some things to consider if you're having issues with the presentation.

 

What is your main format? Web viewing? 17x11 printed?

 

This is your thesis, so its fair to say your presentation can and should be a bit more detailed then a project you did for 3 weeks your sophmore year. You really want to outline your process in such a way that it tells the story about how you arrived at your solution.

 

Right now you have 2 boards dedicated to the front/rear money shots. That might be appropriate for small web viewing, but on print you should be able to consolidate those shots onto a single spread.

 

If you did detail out things like the fasteners, installation, consider adding that as a seperate page that just shows the design details and a brief sentence on each that explains them. eg "Toolless fasteners enable quick installation and removal for maintenence".

 

You can also consider how this info will be displayed. If you just want this for your web portfolio and have a more detailed process book for your thesis you could present in your interviews, then perhaps this is unnecessary. You probably have enough detail for a website/teaser, but if this is for your main portfolio you should definately present the full scope of the project even if it means optimizing it for large scale print rather than small scale screen.

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with the exception of the retractable pieces coming back from the cab of the truck I don't really see how this is much different than existing designs . . . perhaps you could clarify

 

did you do an analysis of the existing design as seen in the link below in cosmos, and if so did you have a noticeable increase in aerodynamic efficiency?

 

http://www.atdynamics.com/index.htm

 

As far as I can see the biggest improvement with your design would be the retractable side coverings but I also think these would tend to be the most problematic. They would need to be under considerable tension to prevent them from flapping (if so does this make them hard to attach to begin with?)

 

Secondly due to the pivot point location they would need to be able to expand and contract a considerable distance when making a sharp corner (not a big deal but something to consider) Truck cabs can pivot about 90 degrees when making a sharp turn.

 

although this is a sever example here is a picture illustrating this issue:

 

http://media.lehighvalleylive.com/express-...om_665xauto.jpg

 

Anyways I didn't mean to pick apart your thesis, in fact I think the cone on the back is kind of neat. It makes it look like its rocket powered or something.

 

In regards to your board though I tend to agree with the above comments, there is definitely a disconnect between your sketch page and your final design. I think it would nice to see some development sketches of the aerodynamic pieces leading up to your final design instead of truck cab sketches.

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