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Old 03-12-2019, 11:55 AM   #1
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Fenders Flare - 3d Printing option

Hi all,

I am watching for fender flares for my e150 and I am shocked by the price of those plastic pieces. I do not see any other good options too.

I was curious if anyone already tried to 3d printer those pieces. If not I will maybe give a shoot to design one. if someone has a spare one I can do the design/scan it.

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Old 03-12-2019, 01:06 PM   #2
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I'm hardly up-to-speed on all the materials that can be 3D printed, but most of the 3D printed plastic I've seen is very hard and correspondingly brittle. You would also need access to a fairly large 3D printer to make something that size in one piece.




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Old 03-12-2019, 02:09 PM   #3
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I think the material is fine a good PLA would make it. Flexible enough.

For the size, we can make in 2. Should not be an issue.

It is certainly not
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Old 03-12-2019, 02:57 PM   #4
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Herb I have seen videos of flexible 3d printing filaments like TPU which looks almost rubber-like. TPU filament may be too flexible but I bet there is something in the middle.

As far as size and creating the flare out of multiple pieces, I am thinking if you changed the look a little bit to look more like Jeep pocket flares you probably wouldn't notice the lines between each piece as being that out of place. As long as you designed some sort of interlocking channel that helped join one piece to the next and kept everything lined up. It might look pretty decent.

My concern would be that with such a large piece, and needing 4 sets of them, would the cost of filament actually make it cheaper than the flares on the market today? I, admittedly, don't know enough about 3d printing to do that analysis.
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Old 03-12-2019, 05:01 PM   #5
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I'm a little late to the AM/3D Print party myself, but am coming up to speed quickly. We have several at the place I work, and the program I support is employing additive and 3d printing on a huge scale, plastic, stainless steel, ULTEM. I have a couple parts, in support of an experiment, being manufactured for me as we speak.


It's hard to believe 3d printing them one at a time, vs vacu-forming over mandrel and trimming in production quantities, would make any business sense. Buuuuuuut... the retail cost of Bushwacker flares for an Econoline van, sure does make one wonder.



If your programming time is after hours (therefore free), and you have access to a large format machine (again, maybe your employer and after hours), maybe some low-cost material, heck, there's no reason why not.


The old brittle stereo lithography (SLA) resin parts, used in design concept meetings, with there limitations are really a thing of the past. Material sets have advanced light years ahead of where they were 10yrs ago. Several OEM automotive manufacturers are right now, incorporating 3d printed parts into their production product lines. Something I never imagined back in the SLA days.


It would be a fantastic process for most of us to watch via a 'build thread'.


I say "Do It!"
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:09 PM   #6
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Would be cool to see a project like that go through production. Personally, I'd like to see someone come up with a viable hood scoop for the E-350 that would be sleek, sturdy, and look good - allowing heat to escape the engine compartment, and also protecting against water intrusion - Suspect there's a market for this.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsBeast View Post

It would be a fantastic process for most of us to watch via a 'build thread'.


I say "Do It!"
Yes!

I'd love to watch this sort of thing from the first step of creating the design or templates fitting the body too.

3D printing is certainly an up and coming process, the materials certainly are evolving all the time. For prototyping parts I can't think of an easier way to have something in hand for that final test of fitment.

Our own MGMetalworks has shown a few examples of parts created from CAD work and that's fascinating too.

Am not easily entertained or impressed----or am I?
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:13 AM   #8
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I think the easy way to start would be to 3D scan a bush version and clean it on the desktop. After it is just a 3D printing;-)
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:38 AM   #9
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I think the easy way to start would be to 3D scan a bush version and clean it on the desktop. After it is just a 3D printing;-)
I say go for it, but be very careful if you have any plans on selling them. Scanning someone else's product to produce it and sell it would be very uncool, and likely very illegal.




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Old 03-13-2019, 08:44 AM   #10
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I say go for it, but be very careful if you have any plans on selling them. Scanning someone else's product to produce it and sell it would be very uncool, and likely very illegal.

herb
Uncool, perhaps, but not illegal unless they have a patent on it.

Update: Looks like they do have some patents, and work to enforce them. Not sure if they have a patent on the bigger concept of a fender flare (can't imagine that is true), or rather more likely on the specific type of flare and mounting systems.

https://patents.justia.com/assignee/bushwacker-inc

http://www.aftermarketpress.com/inde...=82&Itemid=468
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