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Heater Control Fan Speed Knob Reproduction Project

Discussion in 'Early Jeep Restoration and Research' started by NCRenII, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. Mar 20, 2019
    NCRenII

    NCRenII yellow fever Sponsor

    Far Nor Cal
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    Here is a new thread so we can re-group on this project.
    The knob is on it's way to Focker for scanning.
    Once scanned the file can be archived someplace and sent or downloaded (?) out to be printed local to someone desiring one. -or-
    There is a member here that volunteered printing.
    I think it's appropriate for a price to be developed and settled on to cover the cost of production.
    There is the logistics involved of material costs and mailing and paying.
    In this thread please indicate your interest and quantity you want.

    There is some items that need to be known. The reproduced knobs appear will be made of abs plastic. 3d printing is NOT smooth, rather layered and "step like" and no holes will be made into the blank. The reproduced knobs will be sent out in that form and it will be the buyer responsible for smoothing and polishing and drilling and tapping and buying a set screw. Through p.m.'s I believe the knobs will be black plastic, smoothing could be by sanding, or carefully dipping in acetone for a couple hours (and hung to dry?). I'm unfamiliar with 3d printing and this is what I understand.

    Considering the above I'd like to include some discussion here regarding logistics of payment, delivery, and finishing. Other than that lets keep this thread about interest and quantity.
     
  2. Apr 10, 2019
    Focker

    Focker That's what I do, I know things and I fix stuff. Staff Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    The knob was dropped off at my friend's house today now that he's back in town.

    Hopefully it'll turn out. (y)
     
  3. Apr 10, 2019
    Focker

    Focker That's what I do, I know things and I fix stuff. Staff Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Ha...He just texted me.

    It took him 15 minutes to draw in CAD, and 1 hour to print.
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Apr 10, 2019
    Beach66Bum

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    Turned out great. With some sanding looks like it will clean up the lines, then polish.
     
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  5. Apr 11, 2019
    NCRenII

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    Interesting! How dense is the material i.e. same weight/hardness as original?
     
  6. Apr 11, 2019
    Focker

    Focker That's what I do, I know things and I fix stuff. Staff Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    It looks and feels great. He added the 2 holes, but he made them smaller so they can be drilled to taste.

    Here's the bad news and I'll be frank. So far this little knob is costing about $100. My time, Steve's time and my friend's time. Steve and I each have $4 dollars is just mailing! The material cost was only 0.15. I'm not sure how to make this worth it? :confused:
     
  7. Apr 11, 2019
    Rubicloak

    Rubicloak Member

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    :beer: ^^^Holy crap. But but but, they said that 3D printing is supposed to drastically reduce costs and make our lives simpler (y) Kidding of course.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
  8. Apr 11, 2019
    Focker

    Focker That's what I do, I know things and I fix stuff. Staff Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    It does, but the human element and shipping is a killer.
    :D
     
  9. Apr 11, 2019
    jeepstar

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    it can, and does. we used to go through the "model shop" but they charged upwards of 80 bucks an hour, inter-departmentally. now i make my own stuff, printed for a fraction of the cost.

    here at work we dont charge for the print time, because its a printer that isnt being paid to print. we have an hourly waged operator that operates the printers, like a bank of 10, he loads the ABS or carbon fiber spools. printer quality varies between print models, obviously. think kia vs lexus.

    i personally use a fortus 900 for my printing. i have scanned broken parts from the work van, things like the visor clip, and printed it to great satisfaction. i can also set the printer to a smoothest setting, fastest setting, etc.
    we tried some 3d smoothing paint, its like a clear epoxy but it didn't work too well because the stuff was out of spec when smooth.
    1st time we printed a to scale toilet, we soaked it in acetone to smooth it out, but that never really panned out either. since its porous, water would permeate throughout. now we found some chemical that you can hang your part over and the vapors seal it up all nice. don't ask me what the liquid is, i don't know. all i know is its nasty stuff.

    i scan clay parts with my faro arm, and using Geomagic software i convert the scan to a surface and make gauges. i do this daily, so i have plenty of experience. i can scan anything and convert it to a .STP file. i can then email it to you for you to print at home, or i can give it a try and see how smooth my print is. if anybody wants me to give it a try, let me know. our printer is pretty high quality. a lot better than the desk bots, or U-prints.

    here is a thing i printed with a smooth dictation in the print. this part supports soft clay, so smoothness is imperative. not sure how well the smoothness shows against the straight edge, but i assure you, its smooth.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
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  10. Apr 11, 2019
    jeepstar

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  11. Apr 11, 2019
    Focker

    Focker That's what I do, I know things and I fix stuff. Staff Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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  12. Apr 11, 2019
    NCRenII

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    I am working on one made from a piece of abs pipe. I simply cut a wedge shape, with dounded ends using a jig saw and started sanding away everything that did not look like the knob/toggle. I have yet to finish (drill stem hole and set screw hole and tap) and curious how to get the same approximate finish.
    I think anyone needing one can make using hand tools and about 2 to 3 hours time.
     
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  13. Apr 11, 2019
    jeepstar

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    I don't do much lurking in the other threads. I like the early CJ5 Tech, and the off-topic and the eBay and Craigslist Forum areas. And the fabricators section
     
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  14. Apr 11, 2019
    Lockman

    Lockman Since 1975 , It's not my Fault ! :shrug: Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Gee Wiz.... I just get folks into the things that they've Locked themselves out of ? :bow: ( I do fabricate and generate my fair share of various Key's, though)
     
  15. Apr 11, 2019
    Twin2

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    and here I always thought you were a farmer so to speak . maple (y)
     
  16. Apr 11, 2019
    Jw60

    Jw60 Recovering Jeepaholic

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    What is the plan to manage the .stp files
    I have the early push pull knobs and 4way on my list to model in my nonexistent free time.
     
  17. Apr 14, 2019
    NCRenII

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    Here's an update. I have two reproduction knobs and an original to compare. One repo is the one Fockers contact 3D printed, the other repro is one I made from a piece of ABS cut to shape. Both are very similar to the original. The 3D printed came with a flared out base side and a surface texture much like machining. Both need sanding and polishing to match the original. Given that I would suggest anyone wanting a repro to make one from a piece of plastic or search online and order a "Bar Pointer" of similar proportion. It's too labor intensive to 3D print and to finish to the smooth glossy. I have between 2 to 3 hrs cutting sanding, drilling, tapping, etc. I'm sure Fockers printer has similar time involved. It's simply not economically feasible to reproduce the knob in small batches and sell at a cheap price.
     
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  18. Apr 14, 2019
    Rubicloak

    Rubicloak Member

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    Thank you all involved for taking your valuable time to see if this was ever going to be feasible. Great community here.
     
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  19. Apr 14, 2019
    maurywhurt

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    I wonder if this approach could work as a less costly alternative, assuming a fair-sized batch of knobs were made?:



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    Note the use of the sanded dowel (around the 8:20 mark) to create the flattened face inside the knob's mounting hole corresponding to the flat side of the switch’s rotary shaft.

    If a reproduction heater control fan speed knob were made using the above method (or another method) to create the knob blank, maybe this same sanded dowel technique could be used; and if so, perhaps it could it be made to a tight enough tolerance for the new knob to have a "press-on fit" like the knob in the video, making a set screw unnecessary.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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  20. Apr 14, 2019
    NCRenII

    NCRenII yellow fever Sponsor

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    Casting is an option I considered. Not sure how "heat and sun resistant" the plastic would be. I felt if there were a source for casting resin with carbon black (uv resistant colorant used in all sorts of exterior plastics and tires). The difficult part of reproducing is the hole in the back too fit the switch stem. It has a flat side that indexes and is locked down by the allen set screw. I think the hole can be drilled to size and then pc7 or other epoxy placed in and then the stem (or a die made of proper diameter steel or brass rod with a side filed off) inserted and allowed to dry. Of course some form of release agent (vasoline) would be used to make sure epoxy does not bond to stem or die. After that's set drill and tap.
    I plan to use pc7 on the abs bar pointer I'm working on.
     

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