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taaron

Custom 3D Printed Fender Mirrors

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Hey everyone, so I've finally got my car back to where I can start making parts for it. I came up with this design for custom fender mirrors and wanted to see what people thought. Right now they're just printed in PLA (easy and available) but the final product I'd like to get done in ABS or ASA. Has anyone ever printed parts in either of these materials that then lived outside? I've heard ABS isn't great with UV however in researching commercially available fender mirrors, most are also made of ABS. 

 

Anyway, onto the design. The idea behind everything was a transition from retro to modern. I wanted to slope the mirror out of the fender, however I did want to keep the classic bullet look, so I tried to make it look fluid. There's a hollow tube for running all the wires through it. The backside features a small turn signal light, the mirror side is going to be something special. I don't want to get too far into it, but the idea is it'll will fix my biggest issue with fender mirrors, their uselessness. If the reception is good, it'd be something I'd consider trying to manufacture (I could do custom designs). 

 

Diameter is 90mm, length is ~150mm, height is ~140mm. Ignore the roughness residual from the printing. 

 

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Design looks interesting. It shouldn't really matter what material the mirrors are printed out of as long as it's strong enough to withstand the aerodynamic forces and temperature swings the car is likely to encounter. Personally, I would paint the plastic with an automotive paint and primer as part of the post-processing step, which will also help to hide any layer lines that you don't get sanded out.

 

TBH, this has given me the idea of designing and printing my own mirrors. Perhaps something close to the original long stalk fender mirrors.

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8 minutes ago, ZHoob2004 said:

Design looks interesting. It shouldn't really matter what material the mirrors are printed out of as long as it's strong enough to withstand the aerodynamic forces and temperature swings the car is likely to encounter. Personally, I would paint the plastic with an automotive paint and primer as part of the post-processing step, which will also help to hide any layer lines that you don't get sanded out.

 

TBH, this has given me the idea of designing and printing my own mirrors. Perhaps something close to the original long stalk fender mirrors.

 

Yeah, PLA isn't a good option specifically for the temperature. The outside of the car can fairly easily getting hotter than the glass transition temp of the PLA (un-annealed) and can start to deform fairly quickly. Yeah as far as finishing goes, the thought was give ABS an acetone bath to help seal it up then prime and paint like any other part. 

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Yeah I would prototype with PLA, and then do the finished pieces in ABS or PET. Probably want to do a lot of shells for rigidity. I've never actually tried acetone smoothing, but I would probably just give the layers a quick sanding and then fill in the difference with high-build primer.

 

What are your plans for the reflective part of the mirror? Any ideas for adjustment?

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I've heard good things about PETG. I went to pick some up this weekend and bought the wrong size hahaha. Its nice having the second set available to measure off because its surprisingly flexible. Originally I had a 3mm shell but I honestly think I may drop it down to a 2mm solid. Guess thats the nice thing with having the printer, can experiment as much as I want. 

 

I can take some pictures of the one I have at home, but its not the method I'm going to go. Unfortunately thats the part I want to keep secret until I have everything finished. 

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PETG prints pretty easily if it's fresh, but it's pretty hygroscopic so you need to keep it sealed and dry until you use it. It is a lot stringier than pla, and is a bit unforgiving if your printer isn't calibrated properly. Layer squish needs to be just right or you'll have delamination issues or it will stick too hard to the bed. I've seen pictures where prints have taken chunks out of glass beds because the PETG stuck too well.

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On 12/27/2018 at 6:29 PM, taaron said:

They are turn signals! I haven't had a chance to test their output yet. But I've deleted a lot of lights on my car, and wanted to have some kind of signal output that was different. 

Any progress on the side mirrors? they are looking really good 

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So I'm happy with the design, unfortunately this part of my project is on the back burner for the moment. Focusing on getting my engine back in and running. But I'm super happy with preliminary testing.

 

The plan for now is going to be to print them in ABS, finish them with acetone smooth and regular sanding, then mount them up.  

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