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Poll

Which parts would you be interested in buying? (Also, tick your preferred color)

Driver Left Vent
18 (19.4%)
Driver Right Vent
17 (18.3%)
Passenger Left Vent
7 (7.5%)
Passenger Right Vent
9 (9.7%)
Opera Window Clasp
4 (4.3%)
Lock Pull Surrounds
7 (7.5%)
Interior Door Handles
6 (6.5%)
Beige Color
2 (2.2%)
Blue Color
7 (7.5%)
Dark Grey Color
4 (4.3%)
Black Color
11 (11.8%)
Custom Parts (List in Post)
1 (1.1%)

Total Members Voted: 21

Author Topic: Reproducing Plastic Parts  (Read 10626 times)

Offline SchizophrenicMC

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Reproducing Plastic Parts
« on: 10:15:42 PM / 21-Jan-15 »
So, I recently got another S12, and it's generally in good shape, so I've been considering recasting some of the plastic components. I'd like to get a show of hands here to see who would be interested in buying various plastic recasts of S12 parts, eg vents, opera window tabs, etc.

I have a bit of experience in molding and casting, but it is a bit expensive. Like $150-200 a gallon for molding silicone and $85 a gallon for urethane resin, plus about $8/oz of tinting agent to color the plastic, expensive. So if I'm gonna make this happen, I'll probably need to set up a group buy to get the materials.

If I recast parts, which, if any, would you guys be interested in? Check each item you'd be down to buy in the poll, and your interior color. If you don't see something you'd like listed, suggest it and I'll throw it in the poll. Just bear in mind, this is hard plastic items only, and only stuff that's fairly small.

Depending on how this turns out, I might recast stuff, and I might even be able to make some new stuff, like cupholders or something.

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Nah, quoted for future use because not only is it lame and old, but it's a direct link to Schizo posting up homoerotic menswear fanfiction.
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zololn: wheres the check engine light on the s12?

Offline rednucleus

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Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #1 on: 11:20:31 PM / 21-Jan-15 »
what about a 3d printer??

Offline SchizophrenicMC

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Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #2 on: 11:48:35 PM / 21-Jan-15 »
If I had the initial investment to buy a 3D printer, I'd do that. But even as the prices come down, they're still really expensive. There's also the matter that the urethane is stronger than PLA, though that shouldn't be too big a deal in this application.

Of course, if you wanna buy me a 3D printer, I can 3D print all these parts, and more.  :laugh:
Nah, quoted for future use because not only is it lame and old, but it's a direct link to Schizo posting up homoerotic menswear fanfiction.
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zololn: wheres the check engine light on the s12?

Offline Basic

Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #3 on: 07:43:13 AM / 22-Jan-15 »
you could 3D print ABS, it's stronger than PLA.

Additionally, you make try casting clear corner lenses/turn signal lenses. They are had to find and should be a relatively easy casting. Hard part I would think would be getting the material to be nice and clear.
« Last Edit: 07:57:39 AM / 22-Jan-15 by Basic »
Hey, truck engine + truck turbo - why not?

Offline SchizophrenicMC

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Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #4 on: 09:53:00 AM / 22-Jan-15 »
Optically clear casting resin is expensive, hazardous to use, and only available in industrial sizes.

And I could 3D print ABS, but I don't know anybody with an ABS printer. Probably my best bet if I want to bring a 3D printer into the mix is to use it for prototyping new parts, then use those prototypes as a buck for new molds.
Nah, quoted for future use because not only is it lame and old, but it's a direct link to Schizo posting up homoerotic menswear fanfiction.
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zololn: wheres the check engine light on the s12?

Offline Basic

Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #5 on: 12:47:27 PM / 22-Jan-15 »
I'm not super familiar with casting, but I know that at hobby lobby they have a clear casting resin that is supposed to be for stuff like leaves and rocks and stuff. That may work for lens. After a quick search it's polyester resin. Doesn't seem tooo expensive.

I have also heard that PLA parts can deform in a hot car. I had seen where someone had printed a cell phone holder for their car and it deformed in the hot sun. Maybe an issue for direct to manufacture 3d printed. won't be an issue if used as a plug for casting.
Hey, truck engine + truck turbo - why not?

Offline dustins12

Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #6 on: 01:22:38 PM / 22-Jan-15 »
Highly interested in seeing where this goes and would be interested in parts that you produce. Keep us updated on this.
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Offline SchizophrenicMC

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Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #7 on: 04:29:23 PM / 22-Jan-15 »
I'm not super familiar with casting, but I know that at hobby lobby they have a clear casting resin that is supposed to be for stuff like leaves and rocks and stuff. That may work for lens. After a quick search it's polyester resin. Doesn't seem tooo expensive.

I have also heard that PLA parts can deform in a hot car. I had seen where someone had printed a cell phone holder for their car and it deformed in the hot sun. Maybe an issue for direct to manufacture 3d printed. won't be an issue if used as a plug for casting.


Polyester fades with exposure to UV light and isn't highly durable like urethane. There's also the matter of keeping air bubbles out of the castings, which requires the construction of a vacuum cabinet- more costs. These bubbles don't matter in a hobby scale, but for production of automotive lenses, these are serious concerns.

But I agree, 3D printing may well be a good way to create prototypes and bucks. To that end, I went ahead and reupped my license for AutoDesk Inventor. I should have tried to pull one of my vents today while I was over at Bryan's, dumping some Marvel Mystery Oil into the engine, but I decided it was too cold to do anything else. I'm gonna get some practice modeling tonight. Who knows, maybe this will open up the door for gauge pods or cupholders.
Nah, quoted for future use because not only is it lame and old, but it's a direct link to Schizo posting up homoerotic menswear fanfiction.
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zololn: wheres the check engine light on the s12?

Offline SchizophrenicMC

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Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #8 on: 04:41:26 PM / 23-Jan-15 »
So, I got the driver left vent out of my car in one piece today. The process begins:

Nah, quoted for future use because not only is it lame and old, but it's a direct link to Schizo posting up homoerotic menswear fanfiction.
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zololn: wheres the check engine light on the s12?

Offline Basic

Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #9 on: 08:27:40 PM / 23-Jan-15 »
you going to make it as an exact replacement? I would be fine with a fixed vent, so long as I can cover those ugly ugly holes.
Hey, truck engine + truck turbo - why not?

Offline SchizophrenicMC

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Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #10 on: 09:08:01 PM / 23-Jan-15 »
I'm gonna make it as an exact replacement. Retooling for a fixed vent would make the fixed vent even more expensive. I may design a gauge pod based around the vent body if the mood strikes me, though.

I've decided I'm probably going to go with 3D printing for 2, maybe 3, of the parts, but I'm going to cast the rest. Because of how some of the parts actuate, I'm going to need the flexibility of ABS or PLA more than the structural rigidity of urethane.

The one thing I'm not sure about yet is the center slat- it's made of metal. I don't know if urethane will be strong enough for it.

I do know, it's the only slat that didn't break when I was tearing the vent down. Fortunately, two of the broken slats were easily repaired, and I only really need one for casting reasons- the 4 slats around the main slat are identical.

I'm trying to come up with the best plan for casting this main vent body. I also need to get my hands on a driver right vent. I believe all the parts will be identical other than the body itself, which will drive the price of casting it down.

In the meantime, enjoy some images:










Post Merge
I made some more modeling progress today. This is mostly for mockup purposes, though I do intend to 3D print the slider and vertical slats, once I get some tighter measurements.

A big challenge I have yet to address is the central horizontal slat. I call this the master slat, because it drives the other 4 slave slats up and down, and it's made of metal in the stock application. Nissan obviously recognized it would encounter the greatest force. I don't know if urethane will be sufficient for it, though I don't believe I can make it out of any stronger material on my own. And I can't be the only one with a completely  missing vent, so it doesn't make sense to not include it in the finished product. I'll need to do some testing.

At this stage, I've gathered that the two driver-side vents are the only real items with any popular demand, but I think I'm still going to move forward with replicating the rear quarter window latches, because those will be very simple castings. I'm also probably going to make a gauge pod for the driver right vent, once I get a good casting for that vent body made up.







« Last Edit: 06:09:40 PM / 24-Jan-15 by SchizophrenicMC »
Nah, quoted for future use because not only is it lame and old, but it's a direct link to Schizo posting up homoerotic menswear fanfiction.
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Offline IggyEGuana

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Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #11 on: 10:55:21 AM / 27-Jan-15 »
in for updates

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Offline SchizophrenicMC

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Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #12 on: 11:42:25 AM / 27-Jan-15 »
Well now I can update the thread and it'll actually bump post:

A lot has happened since the last update. I've 3D printed some prototype parts, redesigned some bits, and rebuilt the tabs that were missing from my driver left vent body. The group buy on the CS12 facebook page has filled up and if all the funding rolls in this week, I'll be able to start getting materials for casting. Rumor is, there's a vacuum degasser hiding in the Dallas Makerspace. If I can find that, it opens up some better silicones for molding.

I'm gonna get started on cleaning up these printed prototypes today and adding the finishing touches that'll make them casting-ready. I also think I'm going to abandon trying to print a prototype for one part, which just doesn't want to come out right, and use the old ways to redesign it.

Pics:






Nah, quoted for future use because not only is it lame and old, but it's a direct link to Schizo posting up homoerotic menswear fanfiction.
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zololn: wheres the check engine light on the s12?

Offline IggyEGuana

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Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #13 on: 12:06:52 PM / 27-Jan-15 »
coolness to the fullness
Post Merge
never knew they were called opera windows. and good call on the lock pull surrounds
« Last Edit: 12:07:57 PM / 27-Jan-15 by IggyEGuana »

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Offline SchizophrenicMC

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Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #14 on: 12:30:00 PM / 27-Jan-15 »
Apparently they're not. I was told "opera window" referred to a window, especially a rear window, that hinged open with a latch. Apparently it's just a vented quarter window. But people know what I'm talking about.
Nah, quoted for future use because not only is it lame and old, but it's a direct link to Schizo posting up homoerotic menswear fanfiction.
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zololn: wheres the check engine light on the s12?

Offline weitrhino

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Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #15 on: 03:36:22 PM / 27-Jan-15 »
I've been away for the week and have just found this thread and I'm damn impressed.  Good show, Schizo.  I'm sure you'll make a lot of S12 owners happy, myself included.

Offline Basic

Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #16 on: 09:44:10 PM / 27-Jan-15 »
Love the progress on this - this is awesome. I wish there was a makerspace around here, I would make little stuff like this all the time
Hey, truck engine + truck turbo - why not?

Offline S12_Lifer

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Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #17 on: 09:49:09 PM / 27-Jan-15 »
Can't wait to see the end result.  I need these vents!

Offline motavated

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Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #18 on: 06:24:14 PM / 28-Jan-15 »
I'm down for one. Add me to your list of people interested

Offline SchizophrenicMC

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Re: Reproducing Plastic Parts
« Reply #19 on: 07:15:07 PM / 28-Jan-15 »
Yeah, the demand has been overwhelming. Hell, I'm in need of a vent myself. The first run is already all bought up- only took a couple hours for the group buy to fill up. It's gonna be awhile before they're in full production. It's looking like early March before the first sets go out. I still need to get a few more parts in hand, and I'm waiting on the last of the group buy money to roll in, so I can buy all the materials for making the molds and casting the first run.

My progress today was a bit less than optimal, but I didn't sit on my ass. Got the passenger vent out and pulled the inner duct with the shutoff valve for the vent body I've been working on. For the most part, the parts here are ready for casting, though I still have a few more prototypes to make. Gonna give everything a much more thorough cleaning before casting, too, of course.

Pics:





Nah, quoted for future use because not only is it lame and old, but it's a direct link to Schizo posting up homoerotic menswear fanfiction.
Quote
zololn: wheres the check engine light on the s12?