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Jim

Speedo Binnacle Covers Group Buy - Round 2

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Hi folks..

 

Last year I ran a Group Buy for some remanufactured "speedo binnacle" trim pieces. These are the little plastic covers that fit over the two screw holes, either side of the bottom of the instrument cluster. These parts are no obsolete, so I commissioned a company to 3D scan and print new pairs, but with some small improvements in the design to make them a bit more durable as the old ones were prone to breaking. The finish isn't quite OE (not quite smooth) but you simply don't notice once they're fitted.. and either way looks much better than not having anything there at all! :)

 

In the end we sold about 50 pairs, and I've had people asking me ever since about doing another run. I've not yet spoken to the company about another run as of yet, but figure I should gauge some interest first.

 

So here's some pictures of what they look like when fitted:

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1fJDWZF2UmyMlNuWm1kZkVWcFE/edit?usp=sharing

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1fJDWZF2UmyVklEM2tJdjJYLVU/edit?usp=sharing

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1fJDWZF2UmycnlncUNQMU9LY3c/edit?usp=sharing

 

Prices to be confirmed but expect them to be in the region of £12-£13 a pair delivered. I know it's not cheap but 3D printing, sadly, still isn't cheap.

 

Post here if you're interested so I can gauge what sorts of numbers to look into getting produced. Thanks :)

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Jim, do you have the 3d image file, I've a friend at work with a fairly good 3D printer and I'd ask him to try doing one for me.

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I don't unfortunately. The company owns them I think. I have a file they sent me which contains a copy of the drawing but is like a self contained executable, but no idea if you can extract the drawing file from it - I suspect you can't. Will try and find it.

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ah, that's a pain, .eprt files seem to be a non-editable file for conveying designs to customers and I'd imagine the company that did the original 3d drawings would be very reluctant to give you the 3D CAD source files.

If anyone knows a way of getting .eprt files to something like .stl format that would be handy!

Either that or one of us needs to make the 3D models again :(

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I do have a feeling if someone has a full blown copy of SolidWorks they'd be able to import these EPRT files and export them in a more sensible format..

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Have you considered modelling them in something like Sketchup then uploading them to a site like Shapeways? That way, there is no batch run, and people can order individual ones if necessary? You may be able to get a better finish, as they have some very expensive machines, as well as the normal extruded filament printers?

 

Might even work out cheaper?

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The problem is the actual modelling part. The work to scan the pieces, and re-work them was done by the company that printed them.

 

Going through Shapeways would be ideal but it would mean either re-doing the work, or getting the 3D files from the design company but I suspect they wouldn't hand them over. I would be willing to ask though.

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Would it not be the case of just someone redrawing it in 3D? I use Rhino and can export directly to a 3D printer, however I do not have said printer to run test pieces. I can model something up if perhaps myself, David and his friend can collaborate and run some test pieces?

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you do really need the original CAD package files or one of the common 3D file formats, if you can't get the files from the company Jim then I think one of us needs to try to re-create it so we're not tied to one supplier, it's amazing how complex such a tiny bit of trim can be!

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Indeed. I will drop the guy an email but I think really the business is as much that they hang onto the files and print them on demand rather than give away the files. I was charged virtually nothing for the design work that was done to be honest. I could find out if there would be a cost to release the original files as it may work out cheaper longer term for us to buy them, then print them elsewhere..

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My friends on hols still, but if we do go down the route of re-creating it from scratch I'm sure if nothing else he'd do a few prototype prints for me, TBH apart from slightly weird chess pieces he's not really found a use for it yet, I broke a plastic release arm on my kettle the other day but as he told me of course the 3D plastic re-melts at about 100 degrees :lol:

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My friends on hols still, but if we do go down the route of re-creating it from scratch I'm sure if nothing else he'd do a few prototype prints for me, TBH apart from slightly weird chess pieces he's not really found a use for it yet, I broke a plastic release arm on my kettle the other day but as he told me of course the 3D plastic re-melts at about 100 degrees :lol:

 

:)

 

My only other concern is, if they don't release the 3D files to me, where we'd stand with reproducing the improvements they made to the original design. They were my ideas / suggestions but they executed the designs. If we then copied that into our reproduction of the trim piece, I wonder if we could be sued?! Hmm...

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there's plastic reproduction trim clips for every make of vehicle on ebay Jim, I bought some Nissan ones, clearly they are moulding copies of the genuine ones and motor manufacturers register hundreds of patents for every new model of car, I wouldn't worry, just change it slightly if you're really paranoid :) it's not like they are a unique design, it's just a barbed screw cover :)

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Good news is that we (the CCGB I guess!) own the files and they're happy to send them to us in a useful format. Looks like we're in business :)

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OK chaps. I've registered on Shapeways and am doing a test print of these in two different types of black plastic as I thought it was worth exploring all avenues, so we'll see how they come out. They're due to arrive before the end of the month so I'll get em on my car ASAP.

 

Total price for the two pairs was only $14 shipped so under a tenner for two pairs. So even we can either pursue this route, or look into our options with davidwort's mate but either way this next set we do will be a lot cheaper than the previous set :)

 

Cheers.

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Yaaay! I feel almost helpful :D

 

 

Hopefully, we'll be able to 3d print most of the interior in the future!

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We just need to get someone who can do some 3D modelling / scanning!!

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OK - the two pairs of prototypes have been shipped by Shapeways. I'll let you all know when they're here and when they've been test fitted - will see which material is most suitable!

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Test pairs have landed. So I tried in two types of material - one looks terrible (Black Acrylic), the other looks really good (Black, Strong and Flexible - their name, not mine!). Even almost has a quite nice OE style finish to it compared to the first load I had done last year.

 

Hopefully going over to my lock-up tomorrow to fix my aux water pump so will take these with me and test fit them and then we're go for orders :)

 

Here's the crap ones:

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1fJDWZF2UmyT09uTjc0bHBTQXc/view?usp=sharing

 

Here's the good ones:

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1fJDWZF2UmyQW0yRHJzdExseU0/view?usp=sharing

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