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Would a 3d printer make one of these?


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A few of you on here have 3D printers and I wondered how easy it would be to make three of these running bar end caps?



One of mine is lost and two are broken. I could leave them all off, but they look a little nicer with them in place. The bars came from craddocks, but they were absolutely no use whatsoever when I asked them if they could locate any spares.

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It does look printable - but it would have to be drawn on CAD first. Getting it spot on with all the compound curves will be tricky! If it's an outdoor part, I've found 3D Prints tend to be affected by UV long term becoming more brittle.

Personally, if it were me, I would make a Silicone mold (by setting the actual part in Silicone). Pop the original out, then fill the mold with high density Polyurethane or FastCast. A Silicone mold is good for about 30 parts - and they will be a much more accurate representation of the original.

I did this for one of the trim panels on my last Van which had shattered (when I kicked it). Glued all the bits together then cast it in PU.

More info here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Two-Part-Silicone-Casting/

Silicone: http://www.mbfg.co.uk/rtv-silicone/gp-3481-f.html

PU: http://www.mbfg.co.uk/liquid-plastics/axson-f32-fastcast.html

This is fairly hard but not brittle. A little more flexible than ABS - about the same as Skateboard wheels.

The same company sells a wide range of different hardness materials - and everything you might need to make a good job of it!

The parts are spray paintable - or you can add dye to the mix.

Although you'll have to invest £30 or so - it's a surprisingly useful tool to have in your arsnel! It means you can replicate any plastic part - so long as you have an original. I've used it to cast copies of 3D Printed parts too which are much tougher and much much faster if you need several!

The first (Black) X-Joint bushes were made this way from a machined original. Subsequent Red ones were made commercially. If you buy resin with a Shore A hardness of about 80-90, you can cast your own suspension bushes!


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As above really, it could be printed although the 3D model with all those compound curves wouldn't be simple. Having said that it may well be that the design itself could be simplified or customised to serve the same purpose as the original.

You'd want it printed in ABS rather than PLA, PLA is the "normal" material for 3D printing as it's easier to print and is biodegradable (it's produced entirely from renewable sources) but it's less flexible than ABS and more likely to degrade over time. Having said that PLA is less susceptible to UV degradation than ABS so maybe PLA would be better !

If you can post some dimensions and some more photos I can try and model it for you, it may be simpler than it first looks...

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Thanks all.

Dave, thanks for the offer, but I don't want to put you to any trouble. If it wasn't a long job, I could post you one of them - more accurate than photos and my measurements and you could see whether it was too intricate.

I might give Si's silicone moulding a try (partly for interest!) and see if I can get that to work.

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I have a hankering for a 3d scanner to go with my 3d printer but a long way off. I am fairly quick with 3D cad but would have to see it to find out the complexity before I could consider modelling it.

Once one has been mastered three or 1003 can be printed with little effort.They can be handed even.

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