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Thread: Tail Light Print

  1. #1
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    Tail Light Print

    Printing a tail light. This is version 1 after a prototype print that had some flaws. Now at 68 print hours and getting close if nothing goes wrong. Some rather complex geometry design in what appears as a rather simple taillight.

    Have to admire the designers of old who did the blueprinting with pen, paper, and brain power alone. The mold casting must have been awesome to put together too.
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    I appreciate the effort But may I ask Why ? Ed

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    President Member thunderations's Avatar
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    Looks like a fun project, but I too wonder why. Those tail light housings are pretty plentiful fairly cheap used and probably some NOS ones are available. I have a nice used set from a 64 Daytona I'm parting out.
    Great job and they look amazing.
    1966 Daytona (The First One)
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    Lighter is faster.

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    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    That was a Great Test of your excellent skills, now make something that Dozens will buy to cover your expenses and time.

    1953 C & K Side Grille center BARS

    1954 C & K Side Grille center BARS

    1962-1964 GT Hawk Rear Quarter Top, Transition Mouldings (Chromed Castings) that actually FIT!

    64 Jet Green.jpg
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




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    President Member garyash's Avatar
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    I've always had the sneaking suspicion that the artistic guys formed something up that looked good on the clay models in the design studio, then the draftsmen made the drawings after the tooling had been made. It didn't mean that the drawing actually matched the tooling or production parts. I've seen this on a number of trim parts for which I ordered the official drawings from the Studebaker National Museum. So, if your drawing matches real parts, that's good! You can use 3D printed PLA parts for investment casting by the "lost PLA" method without going through silicone rubber female molds and wax submasters, especially if you use clear PLA. It works for one or two copies, but silicone rubber molds and wax copies are cheaper for short production runs.

    printed parts.jpg
    Gary Ash
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    Really cool stuff. I am wondering what 3d printer you use? Also what is the cotton around the bed doing. Also looks like you are printing without a raft. Is it a solid part or fill?
    I don't recognize the software you are using to draw with.

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    Printer is Creality CR-10 -400. Large print bed and Z but a bigger 500 mm is now available. Bed is heated to 50 C and cotten helps hold the heat from radiation. Printer was in the garage and temperatures stayed in the 38-48 F range. Used a brim with side tape support to enforce adhesion to the bed. Not a solid. The back side is a copy of the back side just like the front side.
    Slight error in the geometry dimensions which I hope to correct in version 2. Not perfect but getting close. Very long learning curve and requires post print detailing (tom c)
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    Silver Hawk Member 52-fan's Avatar
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    Lots of interesting things going on with 3D printing. I wonder if we will ever have replicators like on Star Trek.


    "In the heart of Arkansas."
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    President Member 345 DeSoto's Avatar
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    Do you think you could use this to make a 289 Roller Cam?...

  11. #11
    Silver Hawk Member Chris Pile's Avatar
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    I've always had the sneaking suspicion that the artistic guys formed something up that looked good on the clay models in the design studio, then the draftsmen made the drawings after the tooling had been made.
    You are correct, Gary..... I was a tool and die maker for Beechcraft for many years, and it was not unusual for engineers to come down to the shop knowing what they wanted, but not how to draw it (on CATIA, no less). So one of us would make a full scale part in plaster for them, and THEN they would go draw it after getting some points off the nearest CMM. These guys could NOT think in 3-D, and yet they worked in virtual reality.
    The only difference between death and taxes is that death does not grow worse every time Congress convenes. - Will Rogers

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    Add me to the list of those who ask, "Why attempt to 3D print a part that is cheap and plentiful?" I must have at least six pairs of these in my stash, and nobody has ever asked for one.
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

  13. #13
    President Member (S)'s Avatar
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    Is there a strong material that could carry a 'load'? Like ABS? I want a plastic water manifold housing.

    Lighter is faster.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 52-fan View Post
    Lots of interesting things going on with 3D printing. I wonder if we will ever have replicators like on Star Trek.

    We're getting there.

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    Made some measurement changes and mirror printed the opposite side. The lens and chrome insert dropped perfectly into the pattern. No adjustment trim was needed and the screw holes are dead on. Some post cleanup and surface smoothing and it will be ready for install. The file will be reworked some more and reprint both sides in ABS or PC filament for longevity. Weight came in at 275 grams. No more 9 lb factory tail lights.
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    Test mount installation. Will sand down, prime and color match next.
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    For drag racing, isn't weight on the rear an advantage? Or at least less of a disadvantage as weight at the front? I am still skeptical of the usefulness of this project, unless as an exercise in learning the methodology. Now, if you could 3D print '53 and '54 grille shells and bars, and vacuum-chrome plate them, you'd have a ready market. Even the headlight rings. And Hawk grilles (the finned Hawks, and surrounds for the GTs).
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

  18. #18
    President Member swvalcon's Avatar
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    I second the grille surround on the gts. If you could make those and chrome you have a market.

  19. #19
    President Member (S)'s Avatar
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    It used to be a slight advantage. Now days a good tuned suspension and slicks 'plants' the tires. Some of these engines are only so powerful, so shedding weight is like adding more power.

  20. #20
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    Showed the new taillights to a Lexus yesterday evening. Record run for the Super Lark clone and first sub 12 second pass. He launched rather early while staging so I went ahead and nailed it. Yesterday was my birthday. 71 and having fun (well trying anyway).
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  21. #21
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    How about doing that with the 53 and 54 C/K tail lights that are no longer being repopped?
    Bo

  22. #22
    President Member garyash's Avatar
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    The 1953-55 taillight housings are good examples of where the drawings won't lead anyone to the correctly-shaped parts. You can draw them up on the 3D CAD system, but it takes a lot more work to blend the shapes to a smooth surface. As I recall, Dick Steinkamp went through the exercise some years ago and estimated it would take about 300 pairs of lights to break even after the costs of development and tooling, even at $200 or more per housing - and Chinese costs have gone up a lot since then. These are not ever going to be CASO items. Here's a glimpse of how a 1955 housing might look after chrome plating.

    What happened to the 1953-54 tooling? I thought those were produced. One very tough aspect of making parts like those is getting excellent quality chrome. If it isn't the right color or it peels after 6 months, customer screams will be very loud. When I made the M5 bumper guards, I had them cast in 316L stainless so I would never have to answer a complaint about chrome quality. I sold all the ones I had made, but it took 10 years and I won't make another batch due to increased costs and my unwillingness to wait another 10 years to get my money back.

    taillight_housing2_1955_chrome.jpghousing_dwg_3d_lines.jpg
    Gary Ash
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    '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
    '48 M5
    '65 Wagonaire Commander
    '63 Wagonaire Standard
    web site at http://www.studegarage.com

  23. #23
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    [What happened to the 1953-54 tooling? I thought those were produced.

    Very good question. I've dropped Jim a note of inquiry. I'll let everyone know the answer when I get word. Ed had them remade years ago, but then stopped. As I recall, he said something about fitment, plating and cost vs demand? Which, as you've noted, is about what you mentioned enduring through your ordeal with the M-5 bumper guards.
    Bo

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