3D printed parts

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I've seen some people are printing parts on this forum, 3d parts are not a new thing but there is still a need for it. I'm considering (if I can find the capital to start it) starting up some kind of business to make custom lines of parts for anything but mainly to address the needs of the 4th gen SHO. I've had plenty of ideas, and plenty of time to look into it, today I decided to look into the actual design process and it seems simple enough to figure out. there is a lot more research that ill need to do but before I go through the whole gauging interest page or even buying the equipment to do it with, but i thought I'd shoot some ideas here. I've got a name, I've got ideas, and I have designs, now i need money and interest and I'll do it. I haven't used any kind of CAD program since high school so keep the criticism constructive please as these are essentially rough drafts:

First up is the center dash gauge pod, it has 3 52mm pods, a "visor" and a tapered design (literally my first attempt at any of this so I have to clip the long part off the end)Frantic Kasi JabanFrantic Kasi Jaban 1Frantic Kasi Jaban 2

Next im somewhat proud of, foglamp inserts to take the place of the DRL insert but retain the DRL bar. I still have to work out light mounting for both the fog lamp itself as well as the DRL bar but the insert itself was taken from a ford parts website and uploaded into the CAD program, it lacks contour which I also have to figure out but we are just starting here. SHO in raised letters on the lamp housing also, If I do this it would be available in different colors/materials and an optional kit including the MKT headlight switch that matches our factory **** and harness.Foglamp insertFoglamp insert 1Foglamp insert 2

Last is a pet peeve of mine that may already exist but I cant fit 2 big coffee cups in my cupholder, and on long trips with my wife we both have these massive stainless cups and we have to take turns as to whos is stacked on whos. this would slip into the pocket to the right of the gear shift with minimal overhang on both sides to accomidate the 4" diameter upper section of the cup, I may decide on an optional low profile version that just adds another cup holder to that spot.
Frantic JarvFrantic Jarv 1Frantic Jarv 2

The dimensions on these first runs are best guess, I am seeing how much demand there would be for the designs I already have and seeing if there are any other ideas that could be remedied with printed parts. I have enough background in the parts industry to sustain on more than just Taurus parts even as a side hustle, but this forum and the SHO were definitely the inspiration. feel free to share ideas for other parts, how to improve what I have here, and what you think of what I already have.

Moderators: I'm not selling anything or asking for money for a start up, just sharing an idea and if there is interest I will make real offerings with prices in the proper area.
 

Nova

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Very cool ideas, I'd be interested in the foglamp inserts.

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got a line on a printer I can use for prototyping and possibly buy. going to tweak the dimensions and a few other things and see about making a few proofs.
 

Ta2dResqr

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got a line on a printer I can use for prototyping and possibly buy. going to tweak the dimensions and a few other things and see about making a few proofs.
I'd be curious which printer you are looking at. I have some experience and have a printer at home. If you have questions, feel free to message me and if I can't help, I can point you to some good information areas.

Not criticism at all, just things I noticed on the current ideas:

-When the gauge pod was originally designed, the concerns were retaining the factory method of attaching to the dash (push in tabs) and the speaker. The current design also has a sloped side so that it appears more factory.

-The cup holder idea is a problem I have run into also. There is an insert for the front pocket that makes it a cup holder (BG1Z-54047A74-CA). This isn't perfect for larger diameter cups. The concern I see with your current model is the door that covers that slot. I think you may need to stagger the height on the extension with the driver side having a slot or raised level to accommodate the door and the passenger side being lower to meet the console. The lower section may have fitment issue being square as well. I know the insert is contoured.

I also have a couple apps that I use for scanning items that I can point you towards if you are interested. It comes in handy when trying to match parts together. You can take the scan and then cut the pieces you need out to adapt to your model. If you really get into from a business angle, they have scanners that will be more accurate than the phone apps.
 
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Thank you @Ta2dResqr this is exactly what I was looking for,

as far as the gauge pod goes, that was me playing with the program which led to actually trying to make something i had in my head, probably the roughest of all of the examples for sure. that said I did not realize that the current available models attached in place of the speaker grille, i thought they were an overlay that bolted through. with that in mind, I can remedy that (the scanner app you were talking about could help with that), as for the speaker I cant see a way to retain it other than some mesh over top with a circular hole or just a punch of pinholes to allow sound to come out passively, I could see finishing the plastic in some padded vinyl to match the dash with a piece of mesh over the top where the speaker would be to try and keep it as factory looking as possible. I also thought about a second design that would flare out to match the dashboard contour and essentially make it flat across, but I wont get too far ahead of myself since as of this moment its all concept.

the cupholder, I thought someone had come up with that by now but didnt know ford did lol, that one started as an insert for the cupholder itself and was offset to account for the console door but I realized there was not enough space to put 2 side by side without elevating the cupholder above the console completely which would be uncomfortable and goofy looking, so i shifted the design to a single cup holder for the forward pocket and completely spaced the door. that one will need some tweaks for sure since I couldnt remember if the bottom of the pocket was flat or ramped.

as far as printers, I have been looking at a few on amazon with a 12x12 bed, i just looked to get an idea of prices but if you have any recommendations on a quality printer that wont wipe me out financially im open to suggestions. also very interested in the 3d scan app
 

elc32955

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JMS, shoot me a PM - we need to collaborate a bit methinks. I was working on an improved blanking plate for the Sedan Interceptor center console - for the SI Ford used a plate made out of thick steel! It needs to be plastic for sure. I was also going to incorporate three 52mm holes in the top section for a gauge ensemble, or two 58MM for the oversize gauges. The blanking plate fills the space where the shifter would go normally since on the SI's it's on the column (for most vehicles...). It's a preferred mod for the cop cars to install the factory center console, mine came out of a 2016 SHO.

Thanks
Eric
 
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So after my weekend it looks like I have a lead on some start up money, just have to do the work to get it, im guessing between what I have left to learn, finding the right printer for the price im happy with, and sorting out designs (while working full time, maintaining a house, spending time with my wife, and raising children) I'm shooting for September / October for starting printing, between now and then i'll be working on designs and trying to get some proofs made. The speaker pass through will be something I work on for sure. Also, going to be working on some PI parts. by all means if you have requests or ideas keep em coming, I'm doing all I can on my end to get things in motion to make this happen.
 

mooniesdl3

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I’ve been 3D printing for several years and I’ve recently to begun printing the higher temperature filaments. For most all of the higher temperature filaments you will need a printer with an actively heated chamber, high temperature hotend for any glass or CF filament you will need a hardened steel nozzle. Good luck with it, 3D printing can be fun but it can also be frustrating.
 
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Ive been researching and watching you tube every spare minute I've had for the last 24 hours, with some help from @Ta2dResqr I think I've come to a decision on a printer, still working on the capital, but i may be making some miniature proofs soon. I had some time today so I started playing with designs again, this time I added the speaker provision, I went with a square pattern to be different and I personally like it better, I also raked the face of the pods back 15* so they are more angled upward rather than aimed toward the console lid, the tabs to snap in place are rough measurements and not 100% correct but i am listening and this aught to be a snap in replacement for the factory speaker cover (or blank). still working with rough measurements until I get the time to attempt a scan or take measurements with a caliper so still in the concept phase but here is an updated gauge pod, this time adding the 2 oversize 66mm gauges as recommended by @elc32955 Thank you all for your feedback and help so far.

tried and true 3pod 52mm

Fantastic InariFantastic Inari 2

2 pod 66mm 0* clock
Gauge Pod2 2podGauge Pod2 2pod 1

2 pod 66mm 15* angled toward driver clock
Gaugepod2 2 pod angledGaugepod2 2 pod angled 2

and the bottom of all the pods with the provision for the speaker.
Fantastic Inari 3
 

Ta2dResqr

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Here is a sample of the OEM speaker cover.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/325328073958
As you can see, we should be able to steal the white clips off the factory making it so you just need the black "I" shaped posts. I believe the previous design was open on the bottom for simplicity. If going with the partially sold bottom like you have, you may need to recess the solid plate or enlarge the speaker hole to clear the speaker. This link has a couple pictures midway down showing where the cover goes and what is under it.
https://www.mobileedgeonline.com/ford-taurus-sho-audio-upgrade/
 

Nova

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Like @Ta2dResqr said it is open on the bottom and also the front part was open as well. It came with 2 different plexiglass faceplates 1 with 2 holes and 1 with 3 holes, and it's held by 4 screws. So that way the buyer can decide of he wants to run or gauges. And it also makes it simpler for you since you don't have to make 2 different versions of the pod itself for 2 or 3 gauge.

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For clearance concerns as well as wiring demands I'm working on hollowing the base to be open on the bottom except for support for the mounting tabs. As for the idea of interchangeable face plates to suit more needs with one design, I can work up a model that would support that, I can see the shroud around the gauges in your picture @Nova so I would imagine it just has either slots or backing plates with screws to swap the face. regardless of the success of that design I will still offer non-interchangeable models for 2 reasons, I think it will make the part more solid and sleek without the screws visible, and the other reason is I enjoy the designing so I plan to keep everything custom to order. If you want a unit with a single pod for a 5" tach I will design it and collaborate until you are satisfied with it and for SHO parts at least I will test fit it in my own car so when it gets to you there's no question for fitment. for wild custom orders there will be a fair amount of responsibility on the buyer to clearly explain the desired result, dimensions, etc and ultimately approve the design. but I want to work with people to make cool stuff, I dont plan on making more than a couple at a time, one for order, one for stock kind of thing.
 

kryptto

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For clearance concerns as well as wiring demands I'm working on hollowing the base to be open on the bottom except for support for the mounting tabs. As for the idea of interchangeable face plates to suit more needs with one design, I can work up a model that would support that, I can see the shroud around the gauges in your picture @Nova so I would imagine it just has either slots or backing plates with screws to swap the face. regardless of the success of that design I will still offer non-interchangeable models for 2 reasons, I think it will make the part more solid and sleek without the screws visible, and the other reason is I enjoy the designing so I plan to keep everything custom to order. If you want a unit with a single pod for a 5" tach I will design it and collaborate until you are satisfied with it and for SHO parts at least I will test fit it in my own car so when it gets to you there's no question for fitment. for wild custom orders there will be a fair amount of responsibility on the buyer to clearly explain the desired result, dimensions, etc and ultimately approve the design. but I want to work with people to make cool stuff, I dont plan on making more than a couple at a time, one for order, one for stock kind of thing.
@Junkyard_Mad-Scientist get a proof of concept made first other ideas are great - get feedback from the field and adjust as you go. The front could be an appliqué, vinyl "stick on" graphics. That then introduces a vinyl cutter - but I can dream. If you need anything I can lend support too - let me know.
 
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@Junkyard_Mad-Scientist get a proof of concept made first other ideas are great - get feedback from the field and adjust as you go. The front could be an appliqué, vinyl "stick on" graphics. That then introduces a vinyl cutter - but I can dream. If you need anything I can lend support too - let me know.
I started vinyl 2 years ago, the market is flooded (thanks cricut) so beyond a hobby its not a solid business even as a side hustle, but I do plan to offer some cutting services too. im still coming up with a few additional services ill make available that i'll offer when I'm ready to start taking orders. I am working across a few designs but i'm spending most of my time on the original gauge pod, ironing out as many problems with it before going to proof phase. speaker grill, hollowing it out, mounting tabs. once I think ive covered everything I can and the dimensions are close im going to scale proof (I have a mini printer I can use for free) and if that comes out good ill either source out printing for the full scale proof or ill order my printer.

My wife wants the printer because our fridge shelves keep breaking and whirlpool wants $100+ for replacements so buying the printer is when not if lol
 
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Okay, had a good deal of down time today so I started messing with the 3 pod and hollowed it out, now the speaker grill is visible from the under side and it is wide open for wiring and speaker clearance. of course I will double check clearances and tab location etc before final proof but this is where its at.
Gauge Pod 2Gauge Pod 2 1Gauge Pod 2 2

Now for the modular set up, I ran with what I thought the old one may be set up like, basically a 1/8" plate that slides in a channel from the under side and is secured with screws on the bottom so everything is close to seamless. this was quite the task but for a concept its close to what I would consider putting in production. as always some fine tuning is needed. is this closer to the other unit @Nova ?
GUAGE POD MODULAR 1GUAGE POD MODULARGUAGE POD MODULAR 2
 
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