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Student profile: E-bike creator Tommy Leigh

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Unleash Space is where University of Auckland students go to create what they can imagine. For Tommy Leigh, a Bachelor of Engineering and Music student, this meant creating his very own electronic bike.

Tommy set out on this self-directed project as a way to get around the city in a more economical and environmentally friendly way, as well as a way to develop and demonstrate his technical engineering abilities. His plan was to convert his own mountain bike into an e-bike by using an old car alternator as a motor.

Having access to Unleash Space’s state of the art equipment has allowed him to advance his project to the next stage by prototyping and testing his assumptions and measurements. In particular Tommy has used the 3D printer to create parts to help him attach the motor and drive parts to his bike frame.

For Tommy getting the e-bike to a drivable state isn’t where his journey ends, even though he says it should be traversable in the next few weeks. He plans on continuing to develop and refine his mechanisms as much as he can.

Tommy said that commercialising the e-bike mechanisms that he has been working on wasn’t on his mind when he initially set out to make his bike but definitely sees a market for cheaper e-bike alternatives.

“I took a few steps to save money without sacrificing quality, such as making my own battery packs and using an alternator instead of buying a motor. With a bit of optimisation it’s certainly possible to make this sort of electric bicycle available to the general public.”

Sign up for free equipment training and create what you can imagine at www.create.ac.nz 

Tommy Leigh
Tommy Leigh

social media

Unleash Space is where University of Auckland students go to create what they can imagine. For Tommy Leigh, a Bachelor of Engineering and Music student, this meant creating his very own electronic bike.

Tommy set out on this self-directed project as a way to get around the city in a more economical and environmentally friendly way, as well as a way to develop and demonstrate his technical engineering abilities. His plan was to convert his own mountain bike into an e-bike by using an old car alternator as a motor.

Having access to Unleash Space’s state of the art equipment has allowed him to advance his project to the next stage by prototyping and testing his assumptions and measurements. In particular Tommy has used the 3D printer to create parts to help him attach the motor and drive parts to his bike frame.

For Tommy getting the e-bike to a drivable state isn’t where his journey ends, even though he says it should be traversable in the next few weeks. He plans on continuing to develop and refine his mechanisms as much as he can.

Tommy said that commercialising the e-bike mechanisms that he has been working on wasn’t on his mind when he initially set out to make his bike but definitely sees a market for cheaper e-bike alternatives.

“I took a few steps to save money without sacrificing quality, such as making my own battery packs and using an alternator instead of buying a motor. With a bit of optimisation it’s certainly possible to make this sort of electric bicycle available to the general public.”

Sign up for free equipment training and create what you can imagine at www.create.ac.nz 


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