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  1. #1
    3D Printer Noob
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    speedometer needle

    Hi everyone,
    just joined and ready to start a new hobby. My first printer might be a CR-10S Pro.
    My idea is to design and print speedometer needles for vintage motorcycles to begin with.
    Is it even possible to print them with this setup or should I leave the printing to the pro's?
    The smallest cross section of the needles are 1x1mm and they are up to 50mm long.
    Also, is PLA a good material for it because it is supposed to be brittle and I have to sand it
    for a smooth surface.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    Welcome to the forum nadelman!

    You have embarked on a parlous journey making vehicle parts with a 3D printer. I only say this because of the nature of the material we are using.

    The 1x1mm size is not a serious problem as 1mm walls are basically the minimum most FDM printers will do reliably. You can tweak it to something less but consider 1mm the norm.

    You will have a hard time finding UV stable plastic to survive in the elements. I've had the Sun warp PLA parts just with gravity. therefore PLA would not be my first choice. ABS... remember all those 80's cars where the dash is curling up? Never mind ABS. PETG? It has hope but is very slick and hard to manage. Also getting opaque PETG might be difficult. You would not want to make the parts dark, as that too will just deform even PETG. Going to higher temp stuff like Nylon or carbon filled materials might get you there. I would highly recommend extensive testing before making offerings you may regret making if things go south in a matter of months.

    Weren't the originals made of metal?

  3. #3
    3D Printer Noob
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    Oct 2019
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    Thanks for your detailed response and yes,the ones I have in mind were metal. The holder could be printed.
    There is a reason that nobody is offering replacement needles. That does not mean I give up.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    Chem etching or laser cutting of sheet stock. And a lot of loving care on the details. Chem etch will present a slight taper on the edges and laser cutting will generate a little slag that must be dealt with. I prefer chem etch in general but gets a little expensive. Shop around.

 

 

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