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TOPIC: Reproduction Sunvisor Clips

Reproduction Sunvisor Clips 3 years 10 months ago #6540

  • Mick
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I have recently been getting into 3D printing and will soon be taking a look at reproducing sunvisor clips. I'm just in the process of finalising some quality testing for post print processing and will then look to create the 3D model for the clips and make some prototypes.

At this stage I am not sure of the final details other than I'm confident that they can be made to a relatively high standard. The clips will be printed in ABS plastic - the same stuff that car bumpers are made from and so will be both flexible and durable.

The process of 3D printing produces a part that is not as smoothly finished as the original injection molded part. The print is constructed in layers which creates a part that has a noticeable 'grain' to the surface. The post print processing techniques that we are currently perfecting will help to smooth out this grain and make the 3D printed part more suitable.

One limiting factor is the color of the final parts which is due to the availability of the material in suitable colors. It is not a problem if you want clips made from primary colors or perhaps neon green or yellow but the more subtle variations of grey and ivory are currently hard to match.

I plan to find a suitable neutral color - perhaps an off white - that will not look out of place in most interiors. You could also paint them if you wish - all you need is a special ABS primer which available from all auto shops.

Not sure of price at this stage, depends on how long they take to design, test and produce. I'm guessing in the region of about $20 + P&P per pair.

I already have a few Type 34 owners interested in these, if you are interested just leave a reply below and I will add you to the list.

We can also reproduce other similar parts including possibly chrome finished items (we are currently doing tests for chroming ABS) so it will be likely that we can make parts like badges, emblems, trim parts etc. If you would like something reproduced, give me a shout and I will be happy to take a look.

If you are interested in 3D printing and want to find out more about it or even how to build your own 3D printer, we have just put together a community website - fizzfab.com. It covers all kinds of de-centralised & home manufacturing including techniques such as 3D printing, CNC manufacture and laser cutting. Please feel free to join up and get involved.
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Reproduction Sunvisor Clips 3 years 10 months ago #6541

  • Bobnotch
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Mick, I'd be interested in a pair. Color really doesn't matter, as I have some SEM paint (vinyl paint), or could epoxy prime them, and paint them a different color (like I do with other ABS parts).
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Reproduction Sunvisor Clips 3 years 8 months ago #6544

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So I finally managed to get some time to do a proof of concept.

I'm still working through a few quality issues with the printer but was able to knock up a quick design and print a test piece. The main object was to test for strength and make sure that the clip would not fail.

I tested the clips by trying to physically break them and they did not break so that's a move in the right direction

Here's the FDM printer I am using - I built this myself.



The test clip being printed.



Closeup of clip, you can see the definite layers created by the FDM method of printing. These layers are 0.3mm high. The finished item will be post processed to remove these lines and give more of a smooth finish. The clips can then either be used in the natural colour of the plastic or painted as required.



The finished test clip



Here's my attempt to break the clip by levering it apart with a pencil.



The result of my test was that it literally destroyed the end of the pencil. The clip is very strong and should not fail in service as the old ones did.




Next steps are to find the clips from my car and draft them up into CAD so that they are dimensionally correct. The test clip was improvised and so is not dimensionally accurate. I will also look to improve the fit of the visor into the clip to eliminate any excessive force required. The plastic I am using is a little less flexible than the original and so the tolerances need to be adjusted accordingly.

Will keep you posted of the progress.

Mick.
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Reproduction Sunvisor Clips 3 years 8 months ago #6545

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Almost forgot...

Here's the results of our tests for chrome plating plastic parts. These centre caps are for my mates 350 GTS Monaro (Aussie Muscle car). The printing process is exactly the same as for the sun visor clip.

The chroming process is the same process that is used for chroming metal - these are not 'plasti-chromed' they are actually chromium plated. The parts are specially treated with a conductive coating to allow the chrome to adhere to the ABS during the electroplating process. You cannot distinguish the finish of this part from the original.



The results are even better in real life, the picture does not do it justice.

The only downside of this process is that it is not cheap, but if you have something made from unobtanium such as the Monaro centre caps were, or you have a part that is too corroded or not possible to repair then reproduction is a valid alternative.

We drafted the Monaro cap from scratch by carefully measuring an original but broken centre cap, this was relatively easy as the object is geometric in shape. For more complex designs we can also laser scan the item.

If anyone is interested in one off reproductions give me a shout.

Mick.
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Reproduction Sunvisor Clips 3 years 8 months ago #6546

  • t3kg
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Very cool Mick!
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Reproduction Sunvisor Clips 3 years 8 months ago #6547

  • Bobnotch
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The part looks good Mick. It might be a little longer than the original, but I don't think it would really be a problem (other than not being 100% correct). I only say that, as the original pieces were square, thin, and easily broke. A little more meat on them sure wouldn't hurt. On my own car, I faked them, by making them out of aluminum. I used the 2 broken ones to get the rough dimensions I needed, so I could try and make them. They turned out ok, but I think I drilled the mounting hole on the wrong side.
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