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I was a good boy this past year and Santa Claus brought me a 3D printer for Christmas! I have wanted one for awhile now to play with and make plastic things, R&D, etc, and I finally got one.

I downloaded and printed out a few items from the internet to get a feel for the printer (first time using one) and figured it was time for me to make/print something useful. So my first, from scratch item, was a shift knob for my 67 Mustang. I built and designed it in an old version of SolidWorks, sent it to Cara for conversion for the printer, and then 4+ hours later it was all done. In case you aren't familiar with 3D printing, the knob is not solid, it has 1.2mm thick walls and an internal structure to help support it and make it strong. I was actually able to print the threads (1/2"-20 in case you were wondering) and aside from them being a touch tight, I couldn't be happier with the results. I cranked my print settings down to get a smoother print at the cost of slower speeds. There were a few spots that needed touchup with a file (start of threads and outer bottom knob edge) because of the sacrificial pad it created to keep the knob stable while it printed, but other than that it came out pretty nice looking. I am planning on filling in the indented numbers and shift pattern with a contrasting color to give it a bit more pop, but otherwise I am super happy with the results!
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Awesome, looks like machined aluminum.

Next I suggest a turn signal lever that is only about 4" long. It should have a thin spot at least 1/2 away from the threads to be a break away spot so if it breaks it wont happen right at the threads and be hard to remove.
Make 2 and sell me the second one after the test fits:)
 

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Nice...I would love to have a 3D printer...would make so many things much easier. It would be perfect for making things that you could later wrap in carbon fiber. Just how big an object are the capable of printing?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Awesome, looks like machined aluminum.

Next I suggest a turn signal lever that is only about 4" long. It should have a thin spot at least 1/2 away from the threads to be a break away spot so if it breaks it wont happen right at the threads and be hard to remove.
Make 2 and sell me the second one after the test fits:)
I’m not so sure the basic PLA plastic I have currently will be strong enough as a turn signal. It would probably require a metal insert to keep it from breaking near the threads. But I could easily make it hollow and glue a big nail or metal rod inside to make it stronger!

I might just try that...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Nice...I would love to have a 3D printer...would make so many things much easier. It would be perfect for making things that you could later wrap in carbon fiber. Just how big an object are the capable of printing?
The one I have can 200mm x 200mm x 250mm. They make bigger ones but they cost quite a bit more too (and have a bigger foot print as well).

I need to order some ABS filament, you can make multiple pieces and then glue them together fairly easily with good results. Plus ABS is a bit more flexible and resilient to breakage than the PLA. Lots of experimenting to do!
 

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That is wicked BAD ASZ .
Now you have me pricing 3 D printers.
 

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For finished prints I like to use nylon. It's much tougher than PLA or ABS. For the knob I would do a much higher infill for the final piece.

Nylon requires better ventilation and is trickier to work with. But the results are much better.
Never looked at nylon until you mentioned it. It seems to be a bit more involved (needs more heat) and is very hydroscopic. But the finished parts would be very durable.

I have been playing with infill percent as well. Most parts I have printed for "fun" I have used 10% infill, for my shift knob I used 30%. I took my Mustang for a drive today and its still in one piece after banging through the gears!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Awesome, looks like machined aluminum.

Next I suggest a turn signal lever that is only about 4" long. It should have a thin spot at least 1/2 away from the threads to be a break away spot so if it breaks it wont happen right at the threads and be hard to remove.
Make 2 and sell me the second one after the test fits:)
I made a short turn signal lever... 4” is quite short compared to stock length! I pressed in a metal insert about 3/4 the length of the entire arm (starting from the threaded end), it is plenty strong. There were tiny divots running the entire length, so I tried sanding it some to smooth them out, that’s why the finish is a bit dull compared to the other printout. What diameter steering wheel do you have that you need such a short lever? I can’t use it, so PM me your address and I’ll get it in the mail. :)
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Im pretty sure I read about a member here that broke their turn signal while shuffle steering. Maybe they can be customer #2:)
 

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I would be interested if there is a way to integrate an on/set/off button for cruise control. Are there 3 circuit buttons like that? I assume so since ceiling fans have 3 or 4 speed settings off of one pull cord.
 

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Never looked at nylon until you mentioned it. It seems to be a bit more involved (needs more heat) and is very hydroscopic. But the finished parts would be very durable.
PLA is pretty gyroscopic too. I even built a dry box.

Sadly I haven't played with the printer for a while.
 

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I made a short turn signal lever... 4” is quite short compared to stock length! I pressed in a metal insert about 3/4 the length of the entire arm (starting from the threaded end), it is plenty strong. There were tiny divots running the entire length, so I tried sanding it some to smooth them out, that’s why the finish is a bit dull compared to the other printout. What diameter steering wheel do you have that you need such a short lever? I can’t use it, so PM me your address and I’ll get it in the mail. :) View attachment 740790 View attachment 740791 View attachment 740792
I got them both and they are great. One got a slight flaw on the threads beginning, it might have been me since the hole is not square in the steering column. I was a bit scared screwing it in, it was tight. I found a screw that fit and ran it up and down the threads several times and it got better. I'm still amazed it can print so fine and accurate.
The longer one would be a fine replacement length, it can be reached with hands on wheel rim or be great for a smaller wheel but still too long to miss my fingers going underhand on a spoke and cranking the wheel. The short one will be harder to hit and I'll use it from now forward. It could actually be a little shorter but you notice the effort required to signal with a short lever yet it feels solid. It has already taken a good whack from my head If it makes it through a 100* summer we can call it a winner.
I'd be happy to pass the other longer one forward if someone wants to try it.


PS. How did you model them? A scan then tweek to your desire?
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Very cool! I too have thought about jumping into a 3d printer, but have wondered what practical applications I would have for it. This gives me something to think about!

Phil
 

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I plan to buy one soon myself...just make sure you get one capable of printing Nylon and you can make engine pieces with it like adapter plates for intake manifolds, velocity stacks, etc etc...if you get a large enough one, you can print an entire intake manifold(though not sure how well that would turn out if you cant hone the runners
 
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