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Do you want something 3D printed for e30?

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    Do you want something 3D printed for e30?

    I just ordered a 3D printed to get my feet wet and i hoped to be able to make some items and little bit of cash. I just bought a 3d printed gauge pod for the e30 and lets say i am not impressed with fitment or quality. Id expect better.

    There is someone that makes some really cool ashtray cupholders but if you guys think of something that we need or have a good idea let me know. Once i get settled in my first few prints im going to give my first try at drawing the OBC gauge pod. I may try to think of something for a gauge mount around the steering wheel as well. My roomate wants cupholder for the e28 so thats on the list as well.

    Anyways just throwing it out there. Im no expect at all but id say im a little above noob level. Any tips or input would be appreciated.

    OBC delete plate
    Check panel delete plate


      What kind of printer did you get?


        I went with and ender 5 pro, seemed to be best bang for the buck and i knew two guys with a ender 3. I got fusion 360 downloaded the other day and started messing with it. Delete plates should be super easy to make i think. Im starting with making a nicer gauge pod for where the OBC is for my wideband.


          There are already a lot of people printing E30 parts and definitely some better quality than others. Unfortunately people usually shopping on ebay will opt for the lowest price thinking they are all the same, but these aren't injection molded parts from the same factory in China sold by multiple sellers. Machines, materials, and settings make all the difference. If your roommate has an E28, you'd be surprised how many of them are looking for parts and most people with printers don't have access or own an E28.

          Best of luck to you in your printing adventure. Be patient, don't be stubborn about materials or settings, and don't give up if you can't figure something out. If you give it enough time researching and troubleshooting you'll have flawless prints in no time. However, it can be a real pain sometimes.
          1986 325e Pearl White on Grey Houndstooth 24x,xxx miles M30b35 Swapped
          2002 525i Jet Black on Sand Beige 13x,xxx miles
          "This 2.5 liter inline six cylinder is smoother than my silk Versace underwear." -Vehicle Virgins


            You've got a ways to go before offering parts. I've been printing for about 2yrs and there's definitely some growing pains before consistently churning out parts quality parts. Creality uses high wear parts so there are few things that need to upgraded after the printer gets a few hours on it. It'll print beautiful at first and you'll think you've conquered another hobby but then it'll come back down to earth. I've got 4 Ender 3's and two CoreXY printers in my farm and they're a ton of fun. If you haven't already I recommend Chep, Teaching Tech, Nexi Tech, RCLifeOn, Makers Muse, Uncle Jessy, and 3d Printing Nerd as a few high quality youtube channels to follow for great tips and experiments with upgrades or mods and software changes you may be considering.

            Welcome to the hobby.
            1990 325i Cashmere Beige

            "I don't like question marks. They're like exclamation points, but think they're fancy because they're curved. I won't tolerate it." -MNChiefsan


              I printed an enclosure/bezel to fit a 2.8" Nextion display in the OBC opening. Happy to share the CAD model if anyone is interested.


                Originally posted by mikey.antonakakis View Post
                I printed an enclosure/bezel to fit a 2.8" Nextion display in the OBC opening. Happy to share the CAD model if anyone is interested.
                please do, sounds great!
                91' 318is 90' 325is

                Originally posted by Sonny
                Buy the E30s, they ain't gonna last long
                E30 can make you, E30 can break you
                "He who controls the Nova's, controls the Boomers"


                  Having access to an 3D printer is nice for sure.

                  I recently got asked to print the clips for the lines above the fuel tank after posting something I printed for my ix on my build thread.
                  You do need to have some understanding on how to design stuff so it is easily printable though.

                  Probably overkill but I used the CMM at my work to scan the contour of an original clip

                  1990 325iX Touring - November 2018 R3V Car Of The Month

                  1980 Volkswagen Golf mk1 1.1
                  1974 BMW 2002 Touring



                    Just had another idea. What about 3D-printed plastic valve covers for the M10, M20, and M42 engines? Would be a cool weight reduction piece that borrows a page from the M5x engine’s book of weight reduction tricks. Not sure how well they would be able to hold up to engine bay temps when the motor is fully warmed up. 3D printed plastic intake manifolds for those engines would be nice to see as well but not sure if printer can handle something that big.


                      Intake manifold = danger danger danger (for the vast majority of printers out there ). If it cracks and you're not ready for it, the results could be pretty awful (unintended acceleration).
                      Valve cover would be tough too, they are both pretty big parts that wouldn't fit on the vast majority of hobby printers... And PLA, the most commonly used hobby material, is probably not an ideal material for oil and gasoline (or the engine bay heat).

                      Probably better to print a mold, if anything, and make actual parts from carbon fiber or potentially fiberglass.

                      For what it's worth, I 3D printed a couple intake manifolds for our Formula SAE car out of ABS plastic. The intake is out in the open and not subject to much heat at all, very much unlike an e30 engine bay. It didn't hold up great, and that car got driven probably 50 miles or less. I made another one at one point but wrapped it in fiberglass, it held up pretty good but was uglyyyyyy


                        FDM printers don't print solid, they have minute gaps between layers. Try printing a vase and filling it with water. It will leak. ABS can be vapor smoothed which will seal it and other materials can be coated in something though. Still not the best.


                          Yes, it is difficult, though possible, to print something that won't leak without coating. It is not gaps between the layers so much as porosity due to tiny flaws, if there were gaps between the layers the part would just fall apart, gaps in any direction point to underextrusion. The material itself can be porous after printing, and a sectioned view of a print under magnification will show that the extrusions are like noodles stuck together. They are fused to each other on the faces where they touch, gaps would be a flaw in this due to bad process, but there are voids where the extrusions are not fused that are inherent to the FDM process and pores will lead to these voids. A 3D printed part cannot be relied upon to be air or watertight because of this. This journal article uses leak testing as a measure of quality of the print on the micro scale.

                          The heat would be more of an issue in an engine application though anyway, not the leaks. The most important thing to understand about 3D printing is that the strength of the part will be highly anisotropic. You need to make sure something can be oriented in a way that takes advantage of the strength of the material itself because it will always be significantly weaker when loaded such that the layer adhesion is being relied upon. The noodles stuck together analogy explains this; the material is not a solid chunk but many extrusions fused at their contact points. There are voids where the noodles don't touch, because they are some approximation of round, and the area being loaded is smaller than the footprint of the cross-section because of that. So even printed at the ideal temperature not underextruded, and not over-cooled, and layer adhesion is perfect, there just won't ever be as much strength in the direction normal to the layering because there is not as much material bearing the load. There are some things you can't print and expect good results because of this, a 3D printed part will just not be as durable as in injection molded part. For parts that can't be 3D printed and used, you can 3D print bucks for laying fiberglass or carbon fiber, or patterns for investment casting.
                          Last edited by varg; 05-24-2020, 05:15 AM.
                          '91 318is, M20B25, T3/T04E 60 trim (18psi), megasquirt, coilovers, Z3 rack, cold AC
                          [b u i l d]
                          [Car of the month: April 2018]



                            This is a cool thread. I came here (to r3v) to post a question, but after seeing this post I'm having a whole wave of new ideas.

                            So, guess I'll just post my original question first. I'm designing (& will be 3D printing) a shift knob and have a question about a very specific detail. The shaft that the knob fits onto has a slot/notch that seems to be at a slight (5-10° or technically 170-175° I guess) angle. My question is, does the bar that fits into the slot run perfectly transverse to the design of the shift knob, OR, is it at a slight angle so that the shift diagram aligns perfectly transverse/square with the car? In other words, is it true to the transmission or twist slightly towards the driver?

                            I have no actual way of telling since the knob I'm going off of came off my old car (RIP), and the knob on the new E30 is some aftermarket POS (more on that in a sec). If anyone has any insight into this, I'd love to hear your thoughts/knowledge!

                            Now more on some of the other thoughts/ideas.

                            So I became an E30 fan seven or eight years ago when I got my first one, and that only solidified two years ago when I got my second one. My background in Industrial Design has led me down a path of using CAD & 3D printing to fix a couple things on my E30s over the years. In the past year or so I've started getting bored with my day job and I have a bunch more ideas & projects in the works for 3D printing things for the E30. So I started & a YouTube channel (nothing posted yet on either since I'm just getting started (haven't really launched or publicized anything yet)) and was going to start posting some of these projects & products in hopes that I could eventually combine my passion & career at some point - this shift knob being one of the several things I've started with.

                            After seeing this thread it got me thinking maybe the site could develop into a community of E30 enthusiasts that use 3D printing to fix, upgrade, and do other sweet mods to their cherished classics. Eventually it could even be like a little marketplace for custom, 3D printed E30 parts?

                            Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts on that, feel free to comment share ideas, maybe this is a terrible idea top to bottom.. Otherwise if you have any insight on the slot angle It'll help me finish one of my first projects!


                              Heh. 3d printing. Heh.

                              Kinda like pop psychology, try it for a while before you try to fly with it.

                              One of the (many) things I've learned is that how a part is formed is a
                              significant part of its design.
                              So injection molding is very different from subtractive forming is very
                              different from additive forming.

                              Don't get me wrong- for gauge pods, sunvisor clips, cupholders and the like, it's awfully fun.

                              But home 3d printers and materials are years away from printing a valve cover.
                              Even farther from an intake manifold, unless it's for ITBs.

                              now, sometimes I just mess with people. It's more entertaining that way. george graves