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3D Printed Car Projects

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I'm starting this thread for my own benefit really, so that I can document the highs and lows of 3D printed models and how I get around the short falls.

Feel free to comment or offer suggestions if my findings, trials & errors could be done a better or more efficient way.


First off I'd like to thank NimRod for getting the spark going again with this thread




To start with I have tried manipulating some of the bodies NimRod provided, I have a lot to learn software wise so is taking a lot longer than I expected.

That side of it is on hold for the moment.


So I purchased a couple of ready to print cars from the interwebby thing.


The first is a Studebaker Champion which I am using as my learning tool and have already found a lot out about how tricky bodies can be to print.


The Stude was all set up and good to go, came with body with mounting posts, interior, window form and lights.


The second is a Zonda, body all set to print but needs work to get the bits to print out good, I have managed to print this body good but haven't look at the interior and windows yet while I concentrate on the Studebaker.


Almost there with the Studebaker, I have been having trouble printing the body as the sides are arced so hardly anything touches the printer bed and the sides keep falling over.


I have manage to get only two decent bodies printed, one is on the go now that I have increased the supports for printing, it should print fine but then I have to see if I can remove the supports.


All fun and games, while that's going I have been making moulds for the interior and windows, which are as good as I am going to get them I think, at this stage anyway.


I have designed a chassis to suit based on my previous chassis designs, but I'm having problems with the motor pod, the bushes will go into the pod holders but then the pod splits if I try to remove them, I'll have to work on that.


I'll start posting photos soon.

Edited by ZeGas
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An early failure





This Corvair printed OK but is very thin, I am using a 0.20mm nozzle, I've got some 0.40mm on order so will try this one again with a larger nozzle to see if it improves the quality.



With supports



Supports removed

Top image is raw, bottom has a coat of casting resin, the whole in the roof was due to me gluing rather than blu-tacking a holding post for brushing, oops.


First Zonda attempt, I cleaned this up and then tried a trick I found on the net to smooth out.




Trick is to paint with both Rustoleum (my go to paint anyway) and a clear polyurethane immediately after. then in about 1/2 an hour do it again until smooth.

Theory is the polyurethane and paint react to fill in the print grooves.




This was with no sanding, It is OK but not great.


Here is a before and after of the Studebaker Champion.




I brushed on a coat of epoxy casting resin to the inside and out then sanded lightly, this is a much better option to smooth out and also adds strength to the body.

3D printing is layered and therefore is very weak in one direction.






Remembering this for process only not quality modelling, that will come later.


The photo makes it look more rough than it does to the naked eye.


Printed, then cast a mold for the windows and interior.

The windows were a bit thin in the height from the 3D print so mounted the plaster cast on a bit of balsa, also again the 3D print is layered so windows are not smooth so the plaster was sanded with 1200 grit wet & dry to make them more glass like.


The interior mold still requires a bit of filling and finishing to be ready.



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CC7 - It's the stuff I enjoy doing, if you like design then this is great.

Chas - The Stude is a beauty and although difficult to print it comes out lovely.




I've now sorted out a chassis and pod system for the Studebaker.


Still working on best way to straighten once printed, a hot bath is the way to go I'm sure, and have tried that but need to regulate the temperature to about 60 degrees, anything hotter and it starts to go too soft.

Also only cover the base of the chassis.

The biggest problem I found is even with the base only covered with water the top of the guide shaft still warps slightly which causes the guide itself to nosedive, I was using magnets to hold all bits down but may try with only a bit of weight for the guide shaft next time.

A quick drill straightened it up OK so no great loss.








There are two pods one for bushes, which has been thoroughly tested as there were issues with the pod splitting with bushes being removed, now all good.




And the other pod for these super cheap bearings I found on ebay.



Edited by ZeGas

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What about putting a piece of metal tubing in the guide carrier when you heat the chassis up.


You need access to a resin 3D printer Grant - saw a motor pod printed in resin - very smooth and very solid.

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That's a good idea DM, will adopt that one.


I think my printer could handle resin it's just a matter of availability, I'm just buy PLA / ABS from Jaycar it is close and handy.

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Looking good ZeGas, sprung pod and all. It's a whole lot different ball game now with 3d. Certainly lots of options.

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