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Technical 3-D Printing Taillights

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

  1. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,466


    I have an entire AR-15 lower that I 3D printed from carbon fiber reinforced co-polymer polyester. I probably spent 10-minutes cleaning it up after printing.

    It has had over 1000 rounds through it, and has been exposed to harsh cleaning chemicals. Zero issues.

    We use FDM and SLS 3D printed parts on assembly line production machines and testing machines, to make individual pieces of equipment that retail for upwards of $250,000, on long runs, with perfect repeat-ability.

    Little to no cleanup, constant exposure to harsh chemicals, and cyclic exposure to high intensity UV light. Zero issues.

    If your 3D printed parts are not long lasting outside, you are using the wrong material.
  2. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,485

    abe lugo

    All I'm saying your not going to print clear or tinted glass, Yet. At least on the budget 95% of folks here are on. Glad to know those lasting polymers do exist though.

    Just like removing rust with a 250k laser rust blasting machine.
  3. wsdad
    Joined: Dec 31, 2005
    Posts: 1,258


    Wouldn't it just be easier to cut them out of a chunk of plastic? A CNC machine makes more sense to me than a 3D printer. It's like trying to make a head by welding layer upon layer of steel, verses cutting a head out of a block of steel.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  4. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,320

    anthony myrick

    there are printers that do that, CNC controlled welders that can print objects in metals
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  5. Bcuda69
    Joined: Jun 9, 2017
    Posts: 2


    Scott, you could work with See their materials. They have UV cured frosted acrylic they claim is watertight and suitable to 176°F. They can also produce items in metals by lost wax process.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  6. RTi04
    Joined: Sep 5, 2015
    Posts: 54


    I've done a fair amount of 3D printing, and I don't think the technology is there yet. SLA (UV-cured resin) will give you the best result, but it's not UV stable and will get yellow and very brittle soon after being exposed to sun. Any FDM process (where filament is melted and built up layer by layer, like Makerbot, etc) can be UV stable, but the resolution will look like garbage. It would require a TON of sanding and polishing to get it to where you'd want to use it, and even then...probably not. As people have mentioned, your best use of a 3D printed lens would be to use it to make a mold for casting. If I remember correctly, the UV cured frosted acrylic that Bcuda69 mentioned falls under the SLA problem - it uses UV to cure the resin during the printing process, but doesn't stand up well to constant UV exposure (though I might be wrong).
  7. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,466


    I am working with full size commercial FDM 3D printers, not hobby stuff. If 0.0015mm is not accurate enough, I cannot help you.
    Bcuda69 likes this.
  8. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,466


    Here are two images, direct from the page of our Stratasys Fortus 900mc:
    Bcuda69 likes this.
  9. rladams65
    Joined: Aug 21, 2021
    Posts: 22


    I am about to venture down this path for a '62 Mercury Monterey. My plan is to design & print in PLA until I get a pretty good fake. Then use the PLA as a form for a silicon mold and cast the replacement in resin. Not sure what I will do about the chrome accent on the crown of the lens - either some metal paint to be done with it or cast a metal accent, chrome dip that, and then JB ClearWeld it onto the lens.

    Considering the cost of a [not very good] replacement and the crazy price for a nice example, I have plenty of space to experiment.

  10. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,415

    David Gersic
    from DeKalb, IL

    Find the thread on the Ford dash “waterfall” being done as a 3D print. I don’t know if the chrome there would hold up to outdoor use, but it might give you some ideas.
  11. cretin
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,963


    A friend of mine makes 3D printed tail light lenses. I’m not sure what filament he uses, but he prints them in clear and then he sprays them in red candy. Here is some of his work.
    D810FFE5-0541-4EAE-B026-72C93D472BDD.jpeg DE87D32B-3DED-4E64-8787-A1FAB2147C4E.jpeg 43908239-ACFA-4AE1-B829-1661A5E570A9.jpeg 25162F6A-8B17-484B-9917-5FD5948670E3.jpeg D8F2B378-917B-4DE3-82F7-A02C11F87752.jpeg 4ADE0B28-D877-42F3-8395-D55985931114.jpeg
  12. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,969

    Rand Man

    My son works for a rapid prototyping firm. Like others have said, most everything that comes out of a 3D printer requires hand finish work.
    Deuces likes this.
  13. hotrodjack33
    Joined: Aug 19, 2019
    Posts: 2,638


    Well, 3D printing isn't very traditional...but I guess having to pay $250 for a NOS tail light ain't all that traditional either...:(
    SS327, Deuces, blowby and 3 others like this.
  14. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,746

    from kansas

    To me 3d printers ain't nothing more than another tool for us to use.

    Mig welders, plasma cutters etc ain't traditional either but we still use them everyday to build our dream cars ;)
    loudbang likes this.
  15. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,076


    Wow, those look great!

    Deuces likes this.
  16. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 4,176


    Your buddy has talent. He could do a few at a time of those that are difficult to find.
  17. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,485

    abe lugo

    I like the ones above but those still needed some clean up. Or light sanding to make the clear and tint stick. A this point they are printing some cool stuff. But once again. Save up and buy the real deal. You will eventually find it at and ok price if you wait it out.
    Otherwise have a friend that can print some out and you can just spray them red tint. Nevermind having the know how to make 3D files and set them up and all that tech mumbo jumbo.
  18. Those look good. I'm guessing he's not using a machine that melts layers of filament together though.

    Inexpensive FDM printers that use spools of material are not creating parts that look like that.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021

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