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Technical 3-D Printing Taillights

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by scotts52, May 19, 2017.

  1. scotts52
    Joined: Apr 7, 2008
    Posts: 2,260

    scotts52
    Member

    Wondering if anyone has tried 3-D printing any plastic lenses when they couldn't find any. How were the results? Of course it's not exactly traditional but what are you supposed to do if you can't find lenses? Case in point, my 55 Pontiac wagon. The lenses are made of unobtanium.
     
  2. scotts52
    Joined: Apr 7, 2008
    Posts: 2,260

    scotts52
    Member

  3. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,031

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I have not tried it, but it should be do-able. The key will be finding the proper translucent filament, that will survive outside, etc.

    I will look at the filament catalog.

    I am sitting across the room from a pretty good FDM 3D printer, typing this on a CAD workstation, too.
     
    scotts52 likes this.
  4. I would think it would be easier to either print one to use as a plug to make a mold, or print the mold halves themselves and cast one or ten.
     
    slv63, Bcuda69 and 31Dodger like this.

  5. I agree. Plus, there are probably YouTube videos on how to make taillight lenses.
     
  6. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,031

    gimpyshotrods
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    Not sure adding all of those steps is going to prove advantageous over just taking the lens out of the printer and using it.
     
    slv63 and Tim_with_a_T like this.
  7. It's fascinating stuff for sure. Years ago this would have been science fiction and if anyone even suggested it, they would have been laughed out of the room. It's a brave new world we now live in.
     
    lothianwilly71 and Texas Webb like this.
  8. Inked Monkey
    Joined: Apr 19, 2011
    Posts: 1,829

    Inked Monkey
    Member

    They did it in an American Restoration episode for the old dude at Pawn Stars. I think they were working on a Chrysler? Rick didn't end up using them because he wanted NOS
     
  9. Rocket Man 57
    Joined: May 21, 2016
    Posts: 33

    Rocket Man 57

    Why stop at a tail light? I have been looking into the possibility of printing an intake for an olds 371 set up for a modern fuel injection system.
     
    mario711 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  10. scotts52
    Joined: Apr 7, 2008
    Posts: 2,260

    scotts52
    Member

    I'm open to having someone print out the aforementioned 55 Pontiac wagon lenses. The problem would be trying to find a set to use for an example.
     
  11. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,729

    alchemy
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    Kinda being in the taillight biz, I know it's important to have the lenses made from plastics with UV resistant materials. If you can get 3D printer materials that do that, go for it.
     
    H380 and 31Dodger like this.
  12. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    finding a filament that will handle the job is the tough part , but making a core out of a durable material then a silicone plug and cast them would be the way to do it . that way if it gets damaged you can cast another one instead of having to find the code and wait to have it printed .

    as for the manifolds they been doing this for about 10 years at GM and Ford , Not with a cord machine but with laser/powder , and they are not just dry manifolds either , they have run some wetflow ones too .
     
  13. 41woodie
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 1,092

    41woodie
    Member

    I've lived too long.
     
  14. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    they look like this ??? [​IMG]

    if so the place where I got the picture has one.
     
    49ratfink likes this.
  15. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,031

    gimpyshotrods
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    Filament is easy.

    The code is one mouse click away.
     
    c322348 and Poh like this.
  16. Gofannon
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 627

    Gofannon
    Member

    Is there a filament available that is suitable for distributor caps?
     
  17. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,031

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yes.
     
  18. CoolYourJets
    Joined: Dec 16, 2016
    Posts: 172

    CoolYourJets
    Member

    This technology is going to seriously destroy the plans of the guys who are selling NOS stock for their retirement.

    No more buying the warehouse of the Ford dealership going out of business and selling it off on Craigslist.

    Want a '32 Roadster? Just print it! Think that's bogus, lets talk in 20 years.
     
    Olds Dad likes this.
  19. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,200

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    Nothing beats NOS, there's always a market for the real deal. Still, we just started looking at this process in the last couple weeks. Need some impossible top hardware for a J-Duesy.
     
    mgtstumpy likes this.
  20. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,419

    anthony myrick
    Member

    we have a 3D printer at school in our drafting dept.
    looking into having amber lenses printed for the front of my bus roof, the cops don't like red lenses facing forward
    the drafting teacher says she can scan and print if we can find the correct translucent printing material
    will probably proceed with this at the start of next school year
    the cool aspect of this technology is that you can add custom features to any part you can print, change shapes, add words, correct date stuff for restos change colors........
    folks are already printing cars and houses
    maybe one day I can print me a chopped 50 Merc and new 392 Hemi block
     
  21. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,031

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I am going to see if I can find my spare Falcon tail light lenses, and see if I can render and make one (in my oh so copious free time). Translucent filament is out there, it will just be a matter of selecting exact color (brands vary), and figuring out the balance of layers to transparency.
     
    anthony myrick likes this.
  22. Brand Apart
    Joined: Jan 22, 2011
    Posts: 781

    Brand Apart
    Member
    from Roswell GA

    I need reverse lenses for a 65 valiant or barracuda, might look into this if I can't find them
     
  23. Corvette Fever
    Joined: Feb 18, 2014
    Posts: 142

    Corvette Fever
    Member
    from Michigan

    I would love to have a spare set for my 53 T&C.......I missed a set on eBay that was $500. Would be nice to have a backup, they didn't make to many to start with and NOS is crazy money........anybody printing windshields? Same story......hard to come by.


    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  24. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,667

    Kan Kustom
    Member

    The old guys that jump right in and figure out this new technology amaze me. I stubbornly wait for things to go back to the way they were. Been waiting a long time now.
     
    Montana1 and TagMan like this.
  25. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,031

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    47.
     
  26. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,667

    Kan Kustom
    Member

    Believe me. I wasn't singling out anyone. Just making a statement about the guys my age that keep up with life's changes. I have a hard time accepting change. My problem admittedly.
     
  27. The technology to use for something like a tail light lense would be a photo polymerized process (SLA, DLP, CLIP) or possibly a sintered process (SLS, SHS). They can produce parts with nice surface quality and clarity.

    Nah. There will always be a market for NOS parts. We've been through things like this before. "The availability of reproduction XYZ will kill the market for NOS or original pieces." Insert any number of things for XYZ - Ardun heads, Halibrand quick change center sections, Brookville '32 roadster bodies, UPAC 5W coupe bodies, etc, etc.

    Parts like fenders or quarter panels are not well suited for the current additive manufacturing processes or those that are likely to be the next generation of processes. Additive manufacturing processes may be useful in the manufacturing processes used to produce such stamped steel parts, though.
     
    cretin likes this.
  28. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,031

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

     
  29. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,718

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    Plenty of videos on YouTube, I had a lucite hood emblem reproduced down here by a local from the weather beaten OEM one. Some fine wet sanding and it was good to take a mold from. Had a few made in OEM colours; amber, black, blue, green and red. Grill trunk badge.jpg
     
    cretin likes this.
  30. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,454

    abe lugo
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    3D outputs are Not for a long term outdoor use item. Even the best of them still need some clean up and elbow grease to be used.
    I always write in on these posts. Given time and money you would be light years ahead finding NOS items.

    If you know you have a unique item. You still should clean, mold and cast the item in proper materials. Then you can make clean duplicates.
    3D is not a replacement for craftsmanship. Which something to be desired for some of these new generations to come.
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.

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