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3D Printed Car Parts

More and more people are toying with 3D printing for car parts. If you've printed any parts for your car, please post some articles in this section describing how you did it. Whether if was for your DSM or not. With more and more OEM DSM parts becoming obsolete (no longer produced) 3D printing will become a popular option in this community.

Here are some resources I found to give people more info on getting started with 3D printing car parts.




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my98gsx

Supporting VIP
785
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Aug 14, 2005
Wappingers, New_York

Ludachris

Founder & Zookeeper
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2,488
Nov 12, 2001
Newcastle, California

ec17pse

Freelancer
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2,701
Nov 1, 2008
London, UK, Europe
3D printing is good. I got into it about a year and a bit ago! I wanted to go from drawings to a prototype testing before having such things CNC machined etc.

While not everything is super accurate its pretty close! I can make a thread or even a housing for a spherical to slip into. Depending on the heat it can slip right in or it might need a small sand to clear. Yes it can take hours to do and then not like it vs the CAD drawing butbthats what prototyping is all about!

The Company I do kit cars for is very interested in my developments and way forward so has tasked me with doing some parts for them from cad to printed snd once approved can go into CNC production for the cars! Thats great news and a good way to progress with this kind of market.

Remaking parts is good if they are strong enough for heat and weather! Im about ready to start printing Carbon fiber and if all goes well can even use them on some areas since its as strong or even stronger then billet alloys! Crazy nowadays you can do this from a printer!

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ec17pse

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Nov 1, 2008
London, UK, Europe
There's going to be a big market for 3D printed parts in markets like this as more and more parts are discontinued.
For non critical yes, but strength is an issue on some things so can only be used for testing fitment but not used in plastic form. Even the carbon prints might not always work but are a huge step forward for sure
 

Ludachris

Founder & Zookeeper
7,873
2,488
Nov 12, 2001
Newcastle, California
For non critical yes, but strength is an issue on some things so can only be used for testing fitment but not used in plastic form. Even the carbon prints might not always work but are a huge step forward for sure
Yeah, I was thinking more body parts and parts that don't need to be strong. You'll see more body parts, interior parts, even engine bay parts, but not things like transmission gears or control arms - prototypes, sure, but not final products. At least not yet for most of us.
 
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ec17pse

Freelancer
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Nov 1, 2008
London, UK, Europe
Yeah, I was thinking more body parts and parts that don't need to be strong. You'll see more body parts, interior parts, even engine bay parts, but not things like transmission gears or control arms - prototypes, sure, but not final products. At least not yet.
Well it depends on your budget! Gears can be metal printed now and be plenty strong enough! But those mark forged machines are like 100K plus! Koenigsegg 3D print their Iconel turbo turbine housings in one due to casting problems for space so its very possible now if budgets allow it. Mine is not LOL but a huge companys yes very with the right demandto warrant the time and profit.

Everyone thinks printing is cheap and while yes it is but what people dont know is the extensive amounts of time to CAD draw it and it all adds up!

Resin printing is also a very nice way for great finish printing vs extrusion. Those can be a bugger to setup and need constant fluid changes to work well so they cost more to buy, run and maintain but end quality for visuals is much nicer and zero strands or inserts to break out like the extrusion ones have and.... Zero warping
 
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Ludachris

Founder & Zookeeper
7,873
2,488
Nov 12, 2001
Newcastle, California
Well it depends on your budget! Gears can be metal printed now and be plentry strong enough! But those mark forged machines are like 100K plus! Koenigsegg 3D print their Iconel turbo turbine housings in one due to casting problems for space so its very possible now if budgets allow it. Mine is not LOL but a huge companys yes very with the right demandto warrant the time and profit.

Everyone thinks printing is cheap and while yes it is but what people dont know is the extensive amounts of time to CAD draw it and it all adds up!

Resin printing is also a very nice way for great finish printing vs extrusion. Those can be a bugger to setup and need constant fluid changes to work well so they cost more to buy, run and maintain but end quality for visuals is much nicer and zero strands or inserts to break out like the extrusion ones have and.... Zero warping
Yeah, that's not going to make it to hobbyists in this community anytime soon, if ever. I'm talking in terms of the opportunity to see 3D printed stuff in this community and other popular platforms where parts are becoming more scarce.
 

ec17pse

Freelancer
5,383
2,701
Nov 1, 2008
London, UK, Europe
Yeah, that's not going to make it to hobbyists in this community anytime soon, if ever. I'm talking in terms of the opportunity to see 3D printed stuff in this community and other popular platforms where parts are becoming more scarce.
Most likely not, a company could pickup on us and offer it but i dont think anyone of us personally will do that scale or buy one.
 

bastarddsm

Proven Member
5,414
1,252
Aug 26, 2003
Mendota, Illinois
It would be helpful is guys doing the 3d printing work would be honest about the results. To be fair, the parts I've seen made do not have the surface finish, and do not have the durability of the oe stuff. But the plus is that we can still get it. The next step would after 3d printing is used to verify fitment/ect, would be to use that model and have a real mold made so it could be oe quality. I've been doing a lot of researching on injection molding and the like. I have the machine to make the molds. One thing I'm going to do sooner than later is CF timing covers. I'm tired of the plastic shitboxes.

Anyway, the 3d printing is neat, but it's kind of a detriment. Like some of these replacement clips, it would be very hard to recoup the costs of doing a mold and all that to make oe quality, when guys can 3d print ones and sell them for half the cost. Many will buy the cheap stuff because they don't know any better/ won't have the car long/ dont care/ect. Some stuff it's great for, but the guys making and selling need to do a good job of keeping what should and should not be printed in mind.
 

ec17pse

Freelancer
5,383
2,701
Nov 1, 2008
London, UK, Europe
It would be helpful is guys doing the 3d printing work would be honest about the results. To be fair, the parts I've seen made do not have the surface finish, and do not have the durability of the oe stuff. But the plus is that we can still get it. The next step would after 3d printing is used to verify fitment/ect, would be to use that model and have a real mold made so it could be oe quality. I've been doing a lot of researching on injection molding and the like. I have the machine to make the molds. One thing I'm going to do sooner than later is CF timing covers. I'm tired of the plastic shitboxes.

Anyway, the 3d printing is neat, but it's kind of a detriment. Like some of these replacement clips, it would be very hard to recoup the costs of doing a mold and all that to make oe quality, when guys can 3d print ones and sell them for half the cost. Many will buy the cheap stuff because they don't know any better/ won't have the car long/ dont care/ect. Some stuff it's great for, but the guys making and selling need to do a good job of keeping what should and should not be printed in mind.
They dont always come out great no but depends on the item and end result for use! If its looks then you can fine print and its much better or go resin printing which give the best results going but depends on the printer.

I can print holes and bushes and rodends and they all slip into each other nicely so quality wise my printer does amazingly well! If its that accurate to allow items to print seperately and then go together i say thats good quality right there!

Some visual items can be dipped or acetone smoothing. Most stuff is not ultra strong till you get into the carbon blends and then those can be mega strong!
 

96dsmftw

Supporting Member
251
144
Jun 23, 2011
Richmond, Kentucky
I drew this up to try and rid the A-pillars of gauges so I don't have to look around the gauges on the Autocross course. Fits pretty good and I like the angle of the gauges to the driver. I'll probably redesign it with some holes for lights/switches.

On the topic of molds, I have watched plenty of videos where people 3D print molds of parts. I have also seen someone draw a wing up in CAD then create a box around it and extrude to surfaces of the wing (I guess). This made a mold of the wing that he cut into pieces and 3D printed each piece. He glued them all together afterwards, sanded it, sealed it, and laid carbon in it. It leaves it up to the person making the part, you can either print the part then make a mold or draw the part/mold and 3D print the mold.

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ileagleracing

Supporting VIP
292
139
Sep 27, 2007
no fixed address, Oklahoma
If you go to Xometry.com, you can get quotes for various materials from cad models.
There is a big difference between higher end machines and the hobby machines.
Same goes for 3D scanning; I got my 2g cast suspension parts 3D scanned by an Additive Manufacturing company up in Montreal that did stuff for the Aerospace industry, got a tour and saw their 3d metal printer in action, cool stuff.
I've had these 3D printed parts on my street mod car for more than a few events now:
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I got these printed these out of Ultem, to survive engine bay heat, but went too thin in a couple areas and one broke, time for Version 2:
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jdxnc

Proven Member
336
245
Sep 15, 2009
Stanstead, Vermont
This is something I'm pretty proud of, I designed and build this lockout shifter add-on to the OEM shifter, it's provides both 1-2-1 and 2-3-2 protection. I've run mine all 2021 as well as another in a friends car. Hoping to make some refinements and actually start producing them.

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Justin DuBois

Proven Member
679
493
Aug 15, 2019
Oakland, California
Ya know those plastic defrost vent parts on top of the dash in direct sunlight? Ya know how the dash shrinks and the edges of the vinyl pull back and now there is a gap around the edge of the plastic defrost vents?

It would be nice to see a replacement defrost vent with a wider flange to cover the gap.
High temp material.
 

99OZDSM

Proven Member
268
43
Jun 16, 2007
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Lots of cool projects here and I have also been thinking about the scarcity of DSM parts in the future. It's one of the reasons I recently purchased an Ender 3 V2. Not high end by any means but a starter machine to learn. I have some basic CAD skills but have never 3d printed before. Any tips for a beginner?
 

Myk984g63

Supporting VIP
106
31
Oct 8, 2020
Bakersfield, California
I drew this up to try and rid the A-pillars of gauges so I don't have to look around the gauges on the Autocross course. Fits pretty good and I like the angle of the gauges to the driver. I'll probably redesign it with some holes for lights/switches.

On the topic of molds, I have watched plenty of videos where people 3D print molds of parts. I have also seen someone draw a wing up in CAD then create a box around it and extrude to surfaces of the wing (I guess). This made a mold of the wing that he cut into pieces and 3D printed each piece. He glued them all together afterwards, sanded it, sealed it, and laid carbon in it. It leaves it up to the person making the part, you can either print the part then make a mold or draw the part/mold and 3D print the mold.

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Interested in purchasing one from you!
 

PoiBoi

Probationary Member
10
9
Apr 19, 2021
Pasadena, Maryland
I just started on a usb insert to replace one of my coin trays next to my power windows switch with usb chargers. I'll share once I get it finalized.

3d printing/modelling is part of my job, if anyone needs some assistance prototyping or such hmu. My cars are both 6th gen galants though so my testing abilities are limited.
 

TK's9d2TSi

Supporting Member
6,250
3,246
Sep 11, 2017
Cincinnati, Ohio
I bought a 3d printed degree wheel adapter. It started making a cracking noise on the first revolution and by the time I was done, it wasn't reusable. IDK if the material they used. Great product had I been able to reuse it.
 

jdxnc

Proven Member
336
245
Sep 15, 2009
Stanstead, Vermont
I bought a 3d printed degree wheel adapter. It started making a cracking noise on the first revolution and by the time I was done, it wasn't reusable. IDK if the material they used. Great product had I been able to reuse it.
Material selection and temperature make a huge difference on durability. Too little heat won't fuse the layers properly and some materials are just not great for functional parts.
 

Kryndon

Proven Member
804
459
Jan 10, 2014
Bulgaria, Europe
I recently started modeling an R33 GTR's bumper indicator surround because those are discontinued and usually go for $500 a pop USED. I am also going to draw up those pesky spark plug wire spacers on our engines and see how long they will last for. Also I'd need to make me a brake fluid reservoir bracket like Samuel's.

Unfortunately I work much slower with Solidworks and I don't have access to CATIA anymore so it's kind of a pain. CATIA is just miles better.

Also, I think that metal printing will become way more accessible and affordable so it's definitely worth investing the time and R&D to make plastic-printed replacements, whose files we can later use to have metal printed. I reckon a 3d metal printed part would have very similar characteristics of those made by powder sintering.
 

Justin DuBois

Proven Member
679
493
Aug 15, 2019
Oakland, California
tinkercad is surprisingly easy to use and decent for making 3D models from primitives.

That's how I made my in-car Pi computer box:
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rabenne

Proven Member
1,820
826
Apr 21, 2006
Racine, Wisconsin
I recently started modeling an R33 GTR's bumper indicator surround because those are discontinued and usually go for $500 a pop USED. I am also going to draw up those pesky spark plug wire spacers on our engines and see how long they will last for. Also I'd need to make me a brake fluid reservoir bracket like Samuel's.

Unfortunately I work much slower with Solidworks and I don't have access to CATIA anymore so it's kind of a pain. CATIA is just miles better.

Also, I think that metal printing will become way more accessible and affordable so it's definitely worth investing the time and R&D to make plastic-printed replacements, whose files we can later use to have metal printed. I reckon a 3d metal printed part would have very similar characteristics of those made by powder sintering.

Like plastic printing, metal printing is mostly a tool for development or a gimmick for bragging rights. Don't get me wrong, the company I work for has produced "production" parts for McLaren from titanium using a DMLS setup, but the cost was INSANE. I have trouble seeing this price come down any time soon, but technology never ceases to surprise me...

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I have been prototyping a new tool in maraging steel and the post-processing work alone is enough to have me try something else next time around. I'd rather pay the machinists to prototype parts because they present me finished parts, requiring no post-processing work besides heat treat.

@bastarddsm
I cannot wait to see what you do with injection molding, that is an exciting prospect!
 
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