Considering how large the simulator will be most people will probably think it consists of hundreds of different components but nothing could be further from the truth. At last count we had the total down to 24, this doesn’t count all the nuts, bolts and other readily available parts (of which there are a LOT) but these are solved problems which only need money to source. After reducing the manufactured sphere parts to as low as just two we took another look at the base.
The design as it stands uses five strong panels and two shiny ones to cover them, these repeat 12 times allowing us to use 3,4 or 6 wheels for movement. It is perhaps possible to reduce these to just two or three.
Using the same interlocking idea for the panels should create a very rigid structure that is also very easy to assemble and disassemble. Both panels could have ‘teeth’ with a hole to allow insertion of a metal rod to hold everything together. Initial tests of this idea for the panels proves it works really well. Another idea is to reuse the internal panel connectors to work as the external safety rim, if this works there would be another saving of two extra components.
All these ideas need to be tested but any chance to combine manufactured components needs to be seized….
edit: While I have some concerns about the strength and rigidity of the following idea it seems like it might be possible to create the base from just ONE manufactured component! Of course this assumes that the motor and wheel are connected by *magic* but I would guess there would be some off the shelf components to easily solve that problem… the top and bottom sections would also interlock (not shown)….