Time for a 3D printer?


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Time for a 3D printer?

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:51 am



I had the satellite antenna on my satellite radio fail last month. I actually thought it was the cradle that was the problem. My radio was many years old, and had been sitting in the sun and rain for a long time, so I just went out and bought a whole new radio, which included a cradle and antenna. An extra bonus, the new radio gets more channels than the old one, at no extra charge.

I put the new radio and cradle on the bike, plugged in the old antenna - and had the same problem. I was about to leave on a trip, so I took the new antenna, threw it up on the glareshield, zip tied the wire temporarily onto the bike, and left. It worked fine.

Yesterday I tore things apart to install it properly. The radio is mounted on my handlebars, so I run all the wiring for it inside the handlebar covers (where all the switch wiring goes through). In order to do so, I had to pull the handlebar covers off. To do that, there is a little piece of plastic that screws in place on the back that has to be removed first:

Handlebar cover plate
Handlebar cover plate

This piece of plastic is in kind of a "C" shape, and the arms of it hook into grooves on the cover to keep the cover in place. It then has a screw on each end that screws into the handlebar.

Mine have been removed a few times, and are pretty bent up and old. When I was putting everything back together and screwing this into place...SNAP. It broke.

Ah well, I'll just get a new one, it's a little bitty piece of plastic, can't cost more than a buck or two, right? Might as well replace both while I'm at it, as the other one is pretty bent, too.

I go to Cyclemax's OEM parts site to look up the part number (53111-MAM-A60ZE). The price? $38! Each!!

Not in this lifetime am I paying $76 for about 10 cents worth of plastic.

I'm strongly thinking that it's time to start looking at 3D printers.



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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by virgilmobile » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:00 pm

Guess what...I just made a replacement for mine...Ya want the model file.?
A pain to print it in ABS plastic due to inherent shrinking but I resolved that too.

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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by virgilmobile » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:13 pm

By the way...Due to the cost of a top of the line printer that can print large objects I opted for a DIY kit...Lots of adjustments and tinkering but cost effective...and there's plenty of online support of which some of it is wrong.
It's the original Anet A8..not the Korean look alike.
I only got it for other needs(custom prothetic supports) and not for the bike parts...
Already having a good computer,my investment amounted to around $225.
Also..... remember...these are printed in very fine filament strands melted together (0.1mm)...There not at all like the injected molded parts...They do look good enough for the parts needed.
The cover I printed does not have the "grain" look of the OEM parts...

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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by virgilmobile » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:18 am

Y'all wanted to see.
Each layer of the part is 0.1mm thick..
It's about 180mm long , 25mm wide and 5mm thick..
This amounts to 50 layers it has to print.
The extruder travels up to 60 mm/second.
The part will take a bit over 3 hours.
Total time on the printer for the texture mat and both parts is 10 hours.



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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by Uncle Fester » Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:56 am

I broke that same piece, and for now I used thin zip ties (3 of them) on each side to keep everything closed up like it should be.

I have not done it yet, but I decided I am taking the rubber bar covers off the bike , putting the wires in wire split loom, and calling that good, no more rubber bar covers. . . . !
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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by FM-USA » Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:35 am

Few years back I added a couple wires to the left bar and like others had similar refitment issues.
What I did was Dremel out a little more space for these wires. Sloppy looking sure but unseen on the outside.
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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by urbanmadness » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:15 pm

I too have been thinking about a 3d printer (and a cnc router mill). My problem is, I cant justify either. In my "spare" time, I also fly Quad copters and I have been thinking about applications for that particular hobby. It's not the money, so much, it's space.

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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by virgilmobile » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:35 pm

The only way I could justify the cost was to be able to make something that is not avaiable anywhere...
I initially wanted one to make something for my Goldwing however it wasn't worth the cost of the printer..let alone the many hours learning how to 3D model in a computer program (of which I still don't work in CAD) and get to the final steps to send it to the printer...
Trust me..theres a big difference between getting a 3D model off the internet and printing it and making your own ideas come to life.
What did justify the cost was being able to make stuff for my better half to help in her rehabilitation of muscle control in her right hand after her stroke...
Stuff for the bike is extra..$225 to print a couple of plastic retainer strips???NO WAY...Print a custom fitted finger support for my wife so she can use her hand..PRICLESS..
Working with PLA and ABS plastics,I have found some really neat applications other than "trinkets" that set on the table.
I actually have plenty of space...The problem is the smell...PLA isn't too bad but melting ABS gets pretty noxious...It sets in a screened porch with a fan..

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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by FM-USA » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:13 pm

In days of old, I made finger splints from plastic milk jugs. Propane torch & the mold was a broom stick.

Other items? Assembled odd shapes with duct tape & used 2 or 3 layers of Jersey Gloves to hold it around the mold. Final tweeking was done with a quick spot melting. Sure the part was rough but it was usually unseen.

System still works good today but doing it less. 2 part 5 min. epoxy is almost a wet dream. ;)

.

.
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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by RBGERSON » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:39 am

WOW..I thought 3D printers were hundreds if not thousands of dollars ..who knew you can have one for $140...and can make upgrades for it on it for next to nothing.

Not that I need one, just what a cool toy..

Although in watching a few utube guys it seems getting it running well is a bit of a challenge.
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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by virgilmobile » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:10 am

In the last couple of months,I have learned the "tricks" to get the DIY printer to do exactly what I want.I spend more time at the computer modeling than setting the printer.
Getting a DIY printer set up...
Well first thing is to be certain you get the original..I've heard of problems with the "look alike" one's..Mine cost about $200 shipped.
Assembly , mods and alignment are done at the same time...Expect a all day project.
What gets you is the extras you need...
More filament
A 3/4" plywood base to mount it on
A better spool frame and spindle.
Some brackets to secure it.
New type of linear bearings.
Extra parts.

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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:03 pm

So I have to apologize to Virgilmobile, as I received his care package in the mail weeks ago...and have not had the time to install (or publicly thank) him. Seriously...12 hour days, 7 day weeks, July has been grim. :)

The covers are of quite high quality - I'm surprised at what came out of his printer. The screw holes are angled just like the originals, and the back side is textured. I like the personalization touch:

Grip cover holders - made by Virgilmobile!
Grip cover holders - made by Virgilmobile!

He also sent along the switch housing he has been working on. It allows the mounting of a circular pushbutton switch in the front, to push with your thumb. The back side has a cover, but it can be easily drilled to mount a second switch that you can actuate with your finger:

Virgil's switch housing
Virgil's switch housing

The mounting points are on the bottom of the left side handgrip of every GL1500:

Where the switch housing mounts
Where the switch housing mounts

Virgil did a fantastic job measuring and engineering this, because it fits perfectly:

Switch housing in place
Switch housing in place

Just amazing Virgil, I'm really impressed! And thanks so much!

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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by virgilmobile » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:04 pm

You are quite welcome and Thank You for the comments.
The switch mount should also fit the GL1100 and GL1200..I'm not positive about the GL1000 altho I suspect it's the same mount.
My intention was to make a switch housing that's easy to reach and can be configured with different switch setups.
Mine has one rocker by my thumb for the driving lights and a momentary button at my finger to flash the high beams.
It's amazing what one can make given enough time and persistance.It's all in the details.

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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by MikeB » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:57 am

That is amazing Virgil. Very impressed with your work.
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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by virgilmobile » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:28 am

Truth be known.This isn't the first one I designed.I have at least half dozen made that we're not "just right".
The switch holder is made from 12 separate pieces bonded together in a computer program before there sent to the printer.
Just 1 silly millimeter off in any direction or spacing ruined many prototypes.At 15 hours each.
I'm getting better at this computer design..The covers only took 2 attempts and 6 hours on the computer to get it "just right".

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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by MNAspencade » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:52 pm

I too have an A-8 printer and have used it to make a new visor knob for a riding buddy. The technology is quite nice for making ones own specialty pieces. And YES the learning curve is a bit big on both the CAD and CAM. I have just finished building a 4' by 8' cnc router and still getting it tweaked and settled in. I am hoping to be able to cut some aluminum and brass pieces and trinkets for the wings but not having a heated garage up north here may slow things down till spring. I think I can get up to speed on the design side of things over the cold winter months. Keep up the great work Virgil it looks great. I too am missing one of those covers - great idea to print them. I will have to look into your technique for texturing - interesting. Thanks

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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by SG_Jay » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:59 pm

Going off topic here, but I see that you're in Jacobson? I'm just a shot north of you in Grand Rapids. Small world eh? I actually go through your area quite a bit, my wife and I start off a lot of our rides taking the river road into Palisade. It's a great road to cruise on. I myself will run it alone when I have a couple hours to kill, then I cut across to Emily and loop back north to home. Anyway, I couldn't help but recognize a fellow northerner. Maybe we'll see you on the road sometime. :D

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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by virgilmobile » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:52 am

MNAspencade wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:52 pm
I too am missing one of those covers - great idea to print them. I will have to look into your technique for texturing - interesting. Thanks
I have a glass plate,blue painters tape...2 coats of thinned white Elmer's glue as the bed pre-heats...then I print a thin layer of PLA plastic.I "textured" it in MS paint then brought it straight to CURA and set it to extrude a mm. Thick.
When it was finished..I reset the bed a mm. Setting the nozzle to touch the PLA sheet....switched to ABS filament and printed the pieces right on top of the textured PLA sheet.
ABS sticks to PLA better that any other method I've tried.(I tried every suggestion..50/50 results)..When it cool off the PLA simply peels of the ABS.
A bit tedious to do but this prevented my ABS prints from breaking loose from the bed.

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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by MNAspencade » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:27 pm

Sweet technique - I never thought of using pla for a "texture sheet" then abs on top - thanks for the tip.

Yes, River road south twards Brainerd is a favorite afternoon ride for me. See you on the road !

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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by virgilmobile » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:12 pm

Here's a few pictures.Print your ABS using the PLA bed temperature.
The ABS won't let go till the PLA has cooled.It sticks so well it warps the PLA.







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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by WingAdmin » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:02 pm

I just realized I never posted pictures of the installed pieces. So here are Virgil's masterpieces, installed on my bike:





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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by NOVAwing » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:06 pm

You guys with these 3d printers are awesome.

Wish i had the room to get one.

Any chance one of you could bring back to life that aftermarket ignition switch shelter with the hump for 2 round, (or whatever) gauges?

That is something I would love to have and I would think a lot of others would to.

I abhor the thought of cutting into this body to mount any accessory. Especially when those parts are finite and somewhat tough to find.

Im dreading over where to mount this voltmeter from cyclemax that I didnt think through lol. I also wish i had a place for usb power near the center of the cockpit.

Also could you make a replacement plate for the stock radio to mount an aftermarket stereo lol?

Just my thoughts, im sure there is probably serious limitations to why these cant be 3d printed but cant hurt to ask lol.

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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by virgilmobile » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:53 am

3d printing is a challenge...It's nothing like molding plastic into a shape.
You can't print in mid air and there is a maximum angle or ledge that you can get the plastic to form to...
Everything is printed from the bottom up and ( on my printer) has a maximum size of 220mm square box...
Larger items have to be printed in prices then glued together...
Theres the time to print too...Just the 2 covers for the Admin takes 4 hours.
I made a 6" flower pot...2 days to print.

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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by virgilmobile » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:01 am

I'll look into the cover you described..Just to see if it can be modeled for the printer.
Was that a cover over the existing part or did it replace it?

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Re: Time for a 3D printer?

Post by virgilmobile » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:16 am

By the way...there is a way to build what your talking about...The area that's off the print bed has to be supported by a sacrificial lattice "scaffold"...
If you can post a picture I'll give it a go.



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