Thesis Project on Alternative Fuels

It is the last minute push to get all the major deadlines done! I am currently finishing up the little design details that I am glad I worked ahead schedule-wise, in order to have luxury to not over-look the elements that make everything come together.

My final thesis project is composed of six major illustrations on alternative fuel technology.

First, I begin with the manufacturing process. I had limited reference for this portion of the thesis due to “trade secrets” in the automotive industry. Firstly, I completed a one-on-one tour of the Honda plant in Alliston, Ontario where I was able to ask as many questions as I could possibly come up with about the daily functions of the plant. During the tour I was able to quickly sketch as we walked and to put my thoughts together into a map which informs the viewer of the flow of manufacturing vehicles.

Honda Manufacturing Plant

The second part of the manufacturing process in my thesis became more of a safety information graphic in the relationship between robot and human workers. Based on what I learned from the Honda Plant, I was able to prepare an illustration that reflected a time-delayed process where the robots and humans worked together. A component of metal was placed by the human on a stand which the arc welding robot would then pick up and weld onto the main frame of the vehicle.

Robot Versus Human in Manufacturing Process

Another aspect of the alternative fuels thesis which I chose to illustrate where components of various vehicles. Thanks to Gerry Malloy, Automotive Journalist with the Toronto Star, I was able to gain numerous research photos of the Toyota Prius Hybrid Synergy vehicle. I chose to fully illustrate the vehicle components under the hood, with a phantom view of the Hybrid Synergy Drive.

I began this illustration with a hand drawing of the major components. I then scanned in my drawing and utilizing my photo reference, filled in the missing “gaps” digitally. Using Adobe Illustrator for all the linework, I then brought the illustration into Photoshop and digitally painted with my Wacom tablet.

Toyota Prius Hybrid Synergy Drive

As a comparative of various alternative fuel vehicles, I created an information graphic that illustrated the difference between internal combustion engine versus electric vehicle versus hybrid versus hydrogen fuel cell. Creating the main components of all four vehicles in 3D modelling software, I then created the exterior of the vehicle as a line drawing that I produced and painted digitally. The purpose of this illustration is to inform consumers of the vehicle options that are available at the moment.

Vehicular Comparisons

Another comparative illustration I create involved the same four vehicle types. This time I researched the molecular breakdown of the exhaust that is emitted from the different vehicles. Research included quantity, as well as the breakdown of molecule types for the four vehicles. Also, the typical scientific look for molecules as an issue in order to inform my appropriate audience. In the end, I modeled the molecules in Strata and then in Photoshop, pieced layers on top of layers to create my intended affect.

Molecular Comparison

My final thesis piece involves a political statement of the current view with alternative fuel technologies, in particular electric vehicles and the factors that play into where we stand as a society. These include government, car manufacturers, gas companies, coal manufacturing plants and consumers. We all play apart in what is happening now and where our environment is headed in the future. This final piece is a two-tiered information graphic as well as trade show booth intended for display to the public. It was modeled in Strata, a 3D modeling software.

Utopia Versus Reality


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