#141  
Old 03-08-2023, 02:45 AM
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I know how you feel, I'm doing most of this project at 2am

Mike, you have a good point. It also appears to me that the radius in the lower corners of your dash is considerably tighter. I think we are going to find quite a bit of variance car to car, depending on how much foam is in those corners, how tight the vinyl is, how wrinkly it is, how much it has shrunk etc.

The issue with the height of the supports can easily be solved by making them the short height, and the installer adding washers or something under them, moving the plate closer or farther from the dash metal until they get the fit they want in the surrounding vinyl. And yes, I think rotating them to an X and leaving out the locating lugs would allow more leeway for adjustment ( BTW Mike, how did your individual posts fit into the radio hole?)

The corner radius we have a situation where too little radius and the plate won't go in, too much and it doesn't look perfect (again based on each different car). I'd say we have to err on the too much radius side ... so at least it will physically fit into the cavity.

If it's anything like the AC vent holes in a 68 GTO dash it can be all over the place. I don't think making these padded dashes is a very exact science.

I'd bet if we had 20 good photos of radio bezels installed in Firebirds we'd see a lot of variance. It's not like we are setting up rod bearing clearance here

Couple of days and Eric should have his new plate to try out.

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  #142  
Old 03-08-2023, 02:56 AM
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A couple more nomenclature explanations.
Cause everyone likes pictures



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  #143  
Old 03-08-2023, 03:15 AM
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Quite a difference in corner radii. I'd be willing to bet that in the years 70-77 they made subtle changes or updates to the foam composition/thickness, the manufacturing process, the vinyl thickness etc. that would affect areas like these corners. Perhaps even the color could mean a different weight vinyl.


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  #144  
Old 03-08-2023, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dataway View Post

If it's anything like the AC vent holes in a 68 GTO dash it can be all over the place. I don't think making these padded dashes is a very exact science.
I don't have a feel for how long it takes to mold a dash, but it's possible that GM had several molds running side-by-side to keep up with production demands? Each mold might have been carved out to "look about right". These were before the days of widespread CNC machining.

Just a theory....

Eric

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Old 03-08-2023, 08:55 AM
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It's a good theory
A quick look at the areas of a padded dash that were not meant to be seen and you might think they were all made in someone's garage. Same with most of the hidden surfaces on interior parts. I don't know how they were manufactured, but they have the look of something that involved a lot of "by hand" work as far as positioning parts in machines, gluing, fastening etc.

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  #146  
Old 03-08-2023, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dataway View Post
BTW Mike, how did your individual posts fit into the radio hole?
I thought they fit fine. Although, I did break both the studs off trying to remove the speed nuts because of the trimmer slot.
Pictures of the other dash.
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  #147  
Old 03-09-2023, 05:04 AM
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Mike ... so you are without a solution again? Were you able to remove the broken supports from the plate you made?
When I re-charge my shipping fund I can send out whatever kind of customer supports you need if necessary.

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  #148  
Old 03-10-2023, 11:28 PM
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Winner!
This one fits my car perfect. Locates nicely around the edges, into the dash. Back of plate is flush against the dash face. Mount studs reach out of the back of the dash correctly.
Remember that my radio holes are hacked out bigger so there is no locating there.
Textured insert is terrific.

Eric
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Old 03-11-2023, 02:54 AM
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Sweet. That looks great.

Now we need someone else to print one out and see if it fits another vehicle

I posted the updated files to: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5870011 (Eric, I used the photo from your last post in the description of the part to show how it looks installed)

Share them or the link as you see fit. I did save the files for the next to last revision before the lower corner radius was change, just in case. When and if some prints another one and it fits their Firebird too, then I'll ditch those files.

Thanks to all that provided info, photos, parts, ideas and measurements to get this project done.

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  #150  
Old 03-11-2023, 09:28 AM
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That's awesome thanks for all the updates, this was a cool project that was time consuming but worth it I think .....
Dataway again ...thanks fir the time and effort and the new files....awesome work

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Old 03-15-2023, 06:29 PM
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So just che king dtatway that website has the final settings on there now

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  #152  
Old 03-16-2023, 03:10 AM
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Yep, most current, and evidently final files can be found here:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5870011

They will remain the same unless someone has a problem with the fit. If a tighter radius is needed in the lower corners I can upload the files for that with an explanation in the description.

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  #153  
Old 03-16-2023, 06:13 AM
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Thanks. My son may do this for me this weekend but I wont see him till next month....
Hopefully someone else does it before me to see how it works on another dash....

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  #154  
Old 03-16-2023, 01:55 PM
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It's kind of a weird deal ... the latest file, which is tailored to ELarson's car specifically should fit INTO any dash, as the corner radius is larger, which leaves more room for variance between vehicles. But on a car with sharp original shaped corners it might leave a very small gap in those corners.

The file/design prior to that traced an OEM radio bezel, which had tighter radius, sharper lower corners ... which would ONLY fit into vehicles with very little warping, shrinking of the dash.

So the file as posted should fit most any 71-77 Firebird, the previous file might only fit 71-77 birds with a "perfect" dash in that area.

Same here, I'd love to see one printed out and tested in another vehicle.

Strangely ... I was under the misapprehension that everyone and their brother had a 3d printer because I spent so much time learning about them. Kind of a like a politician that spends too much time in DC losing touch with his constituents

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  #155  
Old 03-16-2023, 05:02 PM
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My cousin got one four years ago (nope probably further back than that);
I've been fascinated by the idea of being able to create your own stuff - and now there are 3d METAL printers!!
I can only imagine where that might take things, if the final product can have sufficient metallurgy to survive in engine or drivetrain components!?

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  #156  
Old 03-16-2023, 07:00 PM
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I don't even know what one looks like lol.......As soon as I have it in my hands I'll put it in and post pics... but like I mentioned it'll probably be at least a month

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  #157  
Old 03-17-2023, 01:29 AM
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I'm still fascinated by the printer on a daily basis. When I think of all the things I have thrown away over the years because some cheesy plastic part broke and either you couldn't find one, or the replacement cost more than the whole item.

If you are into electronics ... you can print custom enclosures with any mounts, holes, battery trays etc. all at one time.

Come spring time the tractors and equipment are all going to get new shift boots, bumpers, rubber mounts, bushings, knobs, end caps etc. all that stuff that the sun destroys, or gets lost, or worn out.

Downside is you have to be fairly fluent in CAD software and have a decent PC to run it, to design custom parts.

Just designed and printed this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_uY2WhcSfY for a friend in Germany, an enclosure for some electrical components.

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  #158  
Old 03-17-2023, 09:35 AM
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A number of years ago when 3d plastic printing was just starting to catch on, a guy at work had one of the early printers at his desk. At the time, I was designing a rather complex test rig for some aircraft engine parts. I had a design review coming up with the Chief Engineer at our customer company. I had our guy print 1/4 scale parts in plastic and took them to the design review, so everybody could look, visualize and actually assemble/disassemble them. The actual parts in metal were over $250k to build, so it was terrific to test-run the idea in cheap plastic first.

Eric

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Old 03-17-2023, 11:40 AM
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Yep, there is nothing like having pieces in your hand to get a feel for a design's viability. I just wish I could get back all the hours I wasted making things that didn't work in "real life" like they did on the drawing board

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Old 03-28-2023, 01:18 PM
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How is this 3-D printer different than what your setup does?
Doesn't seem to be like yours in a lot of ways?
(seemed like a good price?)

3-D Printer


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