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OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
What is the basis or type of plastic being used?

Can the plastic be 'coated' or finished, and with what?

:popcorn:
 

Garandman

Member
What is the basis or type of plastic being used?

Can the plastic be 'coated' or finished, and with what?

:popcorn:
Most hobby printers use PLA, which doesn’t hold up very well in an automotive environment.

Some better hobby printers can process PETG, which has substantially better physical properties, particularly UV resistance, although it doesn’t paint or solvent bond well. Temperature resistance is much better than PLA: 70-80° C which is sufficient for many aftermarket automotive applications.

ABS can be painted or even plated, one of the reasons it is widely used for automotive parts and office equipment. Typically the part is post-processed first for a smoother finish by solvent honing, sanding or both. You can also solvent bond it, ultrasonically weld it, machine, drill, or insert metal inserts. Most hobby printers do not have the process control to run it, and it is considered finicky and exotic, while it is actually one of the lowest performance thermoplastics in the commercial 3D printing world. Temperature resistance is around 100° C so it can stand up in a hot wet environment.

We have a Stratasys printer that uses ABS. If you want something printed I’d need an STL file, the neutral file format widely used in 3D printing.
 
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turkeypie

New member
My designs are not open source, you can always make you own .stl files but you don't have my consent to reproduce mine. Notice that mine are PETG and printed on a TAZ 6, they paint up just fine.

Most hobby printers use PLA, which doesn’t hold up very well in an automotive environment.

Some better hobby printers can process PETG, which has substantially better physical properties, particularly UV resistance, although it doesn’t paint or solvent bond well. Temperature resistance is much better than PLA: 70-80° C which is sufficient for many aftermarket automotive applications.

ABS can be painted or even plated, one of the reasons it is widely used for automotive parts and office equipment. Typically the part is post-processed first for a smoother finish by solvent honing, sanding or both. You can also solvent bond it, ultrasonically weld it, machine, drill, or insert metal inserts. Most hobby printers do not have the process control to run it, and it is considered finicky and exotic, while it is actually one of the lowest performance thermoplastics in the commercial 3D printing world. Temperature resistance is around 100° C so it can stand up in a hot wet environment.

We have a Stratasys printer that uses ABS. If you want something printed I’d need an STL file, the neutral file format widely used in 3D printing.
 

Garandman

Member
My designs are not open source, you can always make you own .stl files but you don't have my consent to reproduce mine. Notice that mine are PETG and printed on a TAZ 6, they paint up just fine.
Glad you are having such success with your machine. I’ve been involved with 3D printing since 1989 and it’s nice not to have to explain what it is anymore.

Just to clarify, I was offering to print parts of their own design for other forum members, because I’m retired now and can do it for costs. Not sure there is much additional demand for “Getting2it Allyn Washington” but I don’t plan on pirating anyone’s work.

The Lulzbot is a pretty good little hobby printer, but here is the world I come from:


The machine he has his hand on can print 16”x16”x16” parts out of ULTEM (an aerospace material) to tolerances of a few thousandths. Considering it cost $175,000, I guess it should be highly capable, right? The little ones no the right only cost $30,000. At one point we owned 12 of them. We sold around $100,000 in parts per month. Dollar-wise, the hobby printer market represents a tiny fraction of money spent on 3D printing, now a $5+ billion industry.

For anyone else, you need some sort of tool to design the round disc in the size desired, create the letters, then project them into or out of the shape. There are many 3D tools that can do this, including some freeware.

There are many 3D models available online for free or at low cost. MakerBot’s Thingiverse is very big, but most of the models are toys, widgets, art, etc. For example, if you like the idea of replacing the MB emblem with a custom one as the OP did, others have made their designs available. Here’s a Sprinter peace sign. There’s also a Marijuana leaf emblem, a hood opening handle, speaker adapter, the window guide that often breaks, etc. Most of the parts I’ve loaded there are for motorcycles but I’ll start building stuff for Sprinter this summer. I think my first project will be a small console for USB and 12V plug, then perhaps a mold to thermoform interior wheel well covers.

For transportation parts, you might find GrabCad more useful. A lot of manufacturers have put their models on their to facilitate their use in product design. Printing out those models can be useful for layout, for example. There are several scale models of Sprinters there, some highly detailed. I tend to stick to useful widgets.
 
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Front dash cab ac/heat vent replacements could be worth your while, especially if you can make them more durable than what we get from MB. The originals must have been designed to fail. Replacing these vent louvers with the factory ones only guarantees you will need new ones at some point. Thanks for your consideration.
 

Garandman

Member
We’ve purchased new panels for both sides. Once I take the old ones out I can measure them up and see if it’s feasible. I can’t match the color exactly, though. I’ll think about modifying the design by adding a boss so that you can insert metal pins.

I was planning on giving away the old ones anyway. The top louver or two is missing.Hated to spend $200 on replacements but they bugged me.
 

Cheyenne

UK 2004 T1N 313CDi
We’ve purchased new panels for both sides. Once I take the old ones out I can measure them up and see if it’s feasible. I can’t match the color exactly, though. I’ll think about modifying the design by adding a boss so that you can insert metal pins.

I was planning on giving away the old ones anyway. The top louver or two is missing.Hated to spend $200 on replacements but they bugged me.
A quick tip on here many moons ago was to drill the side of the flap where the pivot had broken off from and use a spring loaded watch strap pin for the repair. That way you did not have to dismantle the entire vent to fit the the replacement louvre.

Worth looking at for your printer design? Watch pins are about a UK penny each on eBay!

I've got one to do when I find time.

Keith.
 

Garandman

Member
I'll look at it but it will be a while. My van will be in the shop for another week or two and then I have work to do.
 
About the broken vents, I have been thinking about super gluing them into place, just for the look, as a temporary solution until a better alternative shows up.

Of course, the first time a passenger tries to move them, they will break again. Maybe a note next to it asking please don't adjust the vent louvers. The one closest to the passenger door is the worst with two or three of the louvers broken. I blame MB for making such a weak vent. My drivers side vents have never broken. I know how not to break them. haha

I look forward to a better replacement piece. I am sure not going to spend $200! Too bad the louvers can't be made in metal. That tiny plastic pin will break in an instant.

The idea of inserting spring loaded watch pins is a good one. Thanks for that.
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
Most hobby printers use PLA, which doesn’t hold up very well in an automotive environment.

Some better hobby printers can process PETG, which has substantially better physical properties, particularly UV resistance, although it doesn’t paint or solvent bond well. Temperature resistance is much better than PLA: 70-80° C which is sufficient for many aftermarket automotive applications.

ABS can be painted or even plated, one of the reasons it is widely used for automotive parts and office equipment. Typically the part is post-processed first for a smoother finish by solvent honing, sanding or both. You can also solvent bond it, ultrasonically weld it, machine, drill, or insert metal inserts. Most hobby printers do not have the process control to run it, and it is considered finicky and exotic, while it is actually one of the lowest performance thermoplastics in the commercial 3D printing world. Temperature resistance is around 100° C so it can stand up in a hot wet environment.

We have a Stratasys printer that uses ABS. If you want something printed I’d need an STL file, the neutral file format widely used in 3D printing.
A quick google says that PETG is available in coloured filament, ie Black, which for me would or could eliminate post colour processing. Would solvent honing distort the colour?
 

Garandman

Member
A quick google says that PETG is available in coloured filament, ie Black, which for me would or could eliminate post colour processing. Would solvent honing distort the colour?
Haven’t used PETG so cant say. A quick GIS search yielded the following:

“A similar but much safer chemical that has been shown to smooth PETG is ethyl acetate, and as a matter of fact “non-acetone” nail polish remover is most often ethyl acetate. Sometimes it’s a different chemical as the active ingredient, so make sure when you’re checking for it at the local drugstore that it lists ethyl acetate. Functionally, the process is the same as acetone vapor smoothing, which you can read here or watch here.”

https://www.matterhackers.com/articles/how-to-post-processing-petg-3d-filament

BE CAREFUL! A lot of the solvents used (like the Weldon product mentioned) is a health hazard and some even an explosion risk.
 

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