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Offline waldo786

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Interest in reproduction plastic parts
« on: December 21, 2014, 01:35:36 PM »
Some of you may remember I started a kickstarter page some time ago with the intent of trying to reproduce plastic parts for our cars that are not currently being reproduced.  I am going to speak with someone who may be able to help with this.  I know I for one can't seem to find an upper seat belt anchor cover.  I have one good one but have looked everywhere and no one seems to have one.  From first impressions it looks like it will be possible to make even larger items with this person who has commercial sized equipment.  I won't know more until I meet with him about the quality of the reproductions or the big question how much it will cost.  Some things I imagine people would be interested in are seat belt anchor covers, front kick panels, dome light cover, possibly the plastic holders for the chrome pieces, and possibly other things like the steering wheel cover.  Just curious, but what are items you all might be interested in if this is feasible that I could ask about?

Offline popbumper

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Re: Interest in reproduction plastic parts
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2014, 12:28:27 PM »
Let me interject here please as I worked for an injection molding plastics firm for 18 months as a manufacturing engineer. We made airplane parts (tray tables, armrests, etc.), and the first thing that came to mind, of course, was "gee, I wonder if I can reproduce Pinto parts"?

Well, here's the rub. All of the tooling (meaning "molds") were procured from China, because American tooling costs are simply too high. Now, small parts like you propose would probably run in a small 37 ton mold (that's NOT weight, its a measurement of force and pressure in the industry), and if made from a lower grade steel (say P20, which is good for several hundred thousand shots) would run $5,000 to $8,000. Even if you went to an ALUMINUM mold (cheaper), you're still talking about $4,000 - there is no way you'll amortize the cost of the tool unless you build several thousand parts (not to mention processing fees when you order) - a cost per part on top of that.

Not to rain on your parade, I'd love to do this too, but there's just not enough demand for our parts to make it feasible. An alternative would be urethane casting in RTV rubber molds, but that's a process that requires some good vacuum equipment..... and a completely different mindset.....

Chris
Restoring a 1976 MPG wagon - purchased 6/08

Offline 76hotrodpinto

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Re: Interest in reproduction plastic parts
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2014, 01:28:51 PM »
How about those new fangled 3d modeling printers? Haven't played with one myself, but I see children are making very impressive stuff with them. Maybe it's a cheaper, more accessible way of re-popping some plastic.
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: Interest in reproduction plastic parts
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2014, 02:11:09 PM »
My son has a 3D printer.  He is a machinist by trade (in his early years at this point) and makes R/C car parts as a side job/hobby.  His printer cost around $3,500 (and no, I doubt he will ever recover the cost - that is why I said "side job/hobby").  The plastic has a rather low temperature factor and that could become a problem for parts that are used on an automobile interior. They are very slow too.  He made a small GoPro tripod mount for his sister and I think it ran all night.  Like any printer there is a "resolution" and the higher it is, the slower it is.

I have one of the three gauge pods that mounts in the heater control area.  As is typical the white plastic back piece is turning to dust.  I have talked to my son about using the 3D printer to make a new part.  While he has agreed in principle, getting him to actually do it is another story (so don't hold your breath).  Another piece I have considered is the white back piece for the speedometer/gauges.  I think the 3D printer is too small to make it one piece, but it seems possible to make two interconnectin g g parts.

So, the 3D printer may be an option for some parts. But, it has its limitations.  And for the person looking to recoup their costs..., maybe even more limited. Crazy kid, here he is making a knitting hook for someone.

Offline 76hotrodpinto

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Re: Interest in reproduction plastic parts
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2014, 02:39:24 PM »
Temp and resolution issues aside, I see the printers in libraries and other pay as you use places(kinko's etc..). So the investment part may not be much of an issue. And the way technology goes, just wait a week, and the options get better.
1976 half hatch 2.3 turbo w/t5.

Offline waldo786

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Re: Interest in reproduction plastic parts
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2014, 04:02:22 PM »
That is exactly my plan - use 3d printing.  My kickstarter page was for a home based one, but you are correct they are slow.  Different ones have the ability to use different types of material - we need ABS to tolerate the heat.  The PLA plastic prints faster and seems easier to use as you don't have to have a heated bed, but it will not stand up to the heat.  I'm going to see a local company that has industrial size 3d printers (some can print large objects) about making some parts for us.  They can also scan (not sure how good quality is) or even use CAD software to design things.  Going to see how much it will cost.  I will most likely be going next Monday (they're a little over an hour away) but I'll report back on what I find.  Those printers are very expensive especially the large ones so I think this might be a better option since he has the machinery. 

Offline Wittsend

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Re: Interest in reproduction plastic parts
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2014, 07:17:49 PM »
My son showed up with his 3D printer on Christmas eve.  He was showing me items he had made. There is now carbon fiber impregnated plastic, bronze powder impregnated plastic and seemingly something new all the time. The bronze impregnated part he made was interesting because you could feel the weight.  He is going to see if he can make me a factory style, three gauge pod, rear cover before he leaves.  Time will tell... .

Offline waldo786

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Re: Interest in reproduction plastic parts
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2014, 05:42:10 PM »
I went by the printing shop to day and they are making files for the part I need in particular and another one I've gotten some emails about if I had a spare.  Those are the upper seat belt anchor cover, and the dome light cover.  It does cost money so I'm investing some $ here.  I didn't get the plastic clips done but, if there is enough interest it is something I would be willing to do, so if you're looking for any of the clips that attach the weather stripping, rocker panel chrome trim, or chrome underneath the door windows, speak up and we'll see what we can do about it. 

Offline Pintopower

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Re: Interest in reproduction plastic parts
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2014, 09:29:28 PM »
I am a mechanical engineer. As such, I have been using 3d printing for a decade, normally for prototypes. Now, I have started my own company that makes 3d printed parts designed for production. I have primarily focused on toys as there is a huge demand for reproduction and custom parts but have now moved on to cars. The quality and materials are extraordinary and the prices are currently plummeting.  I have already created a dome light lens for the base model pintos that is already available and on sale. They are $25. I'll put a link to my storefront as soon as I get home. I've already designed emblems, replacement control panels, complete enclosures, as well as trim pieces. 3-D printing is certainly the future.
I have many Pintos, I like them....
#1. 1979 Wagon V6 Restored
#2. 1977 Wagon V6 Restored
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...Like i said, I like them.
...and I have 4 Fiats.

Offline Pintopower

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Re: Interest in reproduction plastic parts
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2014, 12:35:50 PM »
Here is the image as promised. I am making a revision to the lens right now to make it even stronger so that will be available as soon as I test it. Like I said, 3D printing is the future. I can already do unlike materials and rubber! I'm telling you, this is Star Trek stuff.


I have many Pintos, I like them....
#1. 1979 Wagon V6 Restored
#2. 1977 Wagon V6 Restored
#3. 1980 Sedan I4 Original
#4. 1974 Pangra Wagon I4 Turbo
#5. 1980 Wagon I4 Restored
#6. 1976 Bobcat Squire Hatchback (Restoring)
...Like i said, I like them.
...and I have 4 Fiats.

Offline pintosopher

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Re: Interest in reproduction plastic parts
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2014, 12:55:18 PM »
Well, this is certainly an interesting thread,
 I'm intrigued by this 3D printer stuff, having watched the painfully slow level of prototyping that I witnessed at my former employer . This was a shop that employed all levels of machinists and was set up for the CAD programming of Huge Machines to build Billet aluminum parts in volume. We also made our own molds for roto-molding plastic airboxes and other pieces. I wonder how quickly we could have built that Billet mold for the Honda S2000 cold air box if we had built a 3D version first. The market was screaming for those back in 2001, and we were still tweaking the design to accommodate our New S/Charger kit. Oh well ,past history..  :-[ Company was sold off and dismantled.
 Repop parts are now longer subject to the same cost limitations in Production.
 
 Now If Captain Shirk would just stop leaking tech to the past...  ;D

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Offline pintoguy76

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Re: Interest in reproduction plastic parts
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2015, 08:38:24 AM »
Id like to see alot more reproduction parts. Arm rests, door panels, the white plastic things behind the instrument cluster, stuff like that.
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