Chris Tackland displays his Playa Bumper Car at 2013 Maker Faire

by Linda Hubbard on May 29, 2013

We continue to highlight Menlo Park residents who participated in the 2013 Maker Faire. Here Chris Tacklind shows off  his Playa Bumper Car. The car is built from an open source program that enables a user to build a platform art car. The program includes CNC router instructions. Parts, including three sheets of plywood, result in a working car for about $1,000. He explains more about it:

“A Playa car [to have at Burning Man] has special requirements that are usually an afterthought.  I made a list and built them into the design:

  • Seats two people
  • Comfortable seating
  • Suitable for napping
  • Compartments for water
  • Compartments for emergency dust mask and goggles
  • Color change lighting
  • Decoration supports
  • Fat wheels
  • Sealed bottom
  • Shade structure (future)

“The seating is taken directly from my Twill design in the fully reclined position. I designed the power train for Euro Disney 21 years ago. I kept the prototypes all that time for just such an occasion.

Chris Tackland playa car_hori

“The Playa car is something that I wanted for myself. It was not very interesting to just make one for myself – it is more fun to design something open. Then others may do the same. Then I’ll get a better one next year! Using the open source model is important to the Twill project.”

In addition to his work at Twill Tech, Chris consults on a variety of engineering projects.

Photos by Scott R. Kline


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