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Old 07-03-2015, 06:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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3d printed mirror delete plate for the Metro

Darin has been bugging me for forever to use the 3d printer to make a blanking plate for the Metro to get rid of the passenger side mirror. Well, I finally had some time between last night and today to get it done.

I started with a cardboard cutout to get the general shape I wanted, and the mounting hole positions. Then, I got it modeled up in CAD. I had to make it in 3 pieces because the printer can't print larger than 5"x5". They lock together with a little dove tail.





So, I got the parts printed out, and got it mounted up to the car. But, the face that you see with the parts is the bottom side of the printed item, and with my current setup you have to scrape it off a perforated board. This makes the black plastic white. Also, ABS doesn't hold up to UV well at all. So, I went about top coating it.





I started by sanding the blanking plate to smooth it out. The, I used some glazing putty to fill in the little pores in the plastic (it doesn't print completely solid).





I didn't do a great job filling it in, but it just fills stuff in and gets sanded off.





This is how it looks after sanding it down all nice with 240 grit.





Then, I primed it.





This didn't turn out perfect either, but not bad.





Then it got a shot of satin black.





Once it dried up, I put it on the car again. Looks better than most of the other panels on it!


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Old 07-03-2015, 07:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice write up. I like the note of the small imperfection too. I love that in our discussions... imperfections are part of the art. Still, this will look perfect up to about a foot or less, and still look very good right up close to a few inches. My mods look good or fair at 10 feet, but never perfect. Hahaha!!
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Old 07-03-2015, 07:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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very nice, you may be able to sell these for common cars like Honda Civics (hint
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Old 07-03-2015, 07:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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very nice, you may be able to sell these for common cars like Honda Civics (hint
Agreed, though it is too late for me since I bondo-ed my blank... hey, I wonder if you could print small support beams to glue to the back of these connected sections and therefore keep that slight concave buckling from happening... does that make sense?
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Old 07-03-2015, 08:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That looks great! Do you have an inside mirror on that side?

How long did the process take you? How much did it cost?
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Old 07-04-2015, 07:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by California98Civic View Post
Agreed, though it is too late for me since I bondo-ed my blank... hey, I wonder if you could print small support beams to glue to the back of these connected sections and therefore keep that slight concave buckling from happening... does that make sense?
Yep, it does. Its fairly sturdy as is. If I print more out, I probably would thicken up the connection joints a little. Right now, it is just 1/8" thick with a bit of a lip around the top and back.
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Old 07-04-2015, 07:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xist View Post
That looks great! Do you have an inside mirror on that side?

How long did the process take you? How much did it cost?
I do not have a inside mirror. I very rarely drive this car on the freeway and just don't have a huge need for a right side mirror.

The whole design process took a couple hours. I printed and scrapped out my first piece because it fit, but didn't look quite as nice.

The cost was a few bucks in material. Much much more in time.
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Old 07-04-2015, 08:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think it looks great!
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Old 07-04-2015, 10:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Woohoo! I want one.

I think you could definitely find a market printing these out for popular cars that didn't have OEM mirror blanks available. Last gen Metros, all Prius, all Insight, ? ...

I'd modify mine with a small convex mirror mounted on the blank, though (complemented with a larger interior side mirror). I sometimes have to back into extremely tight spaces and need to be able to see the side of the car.
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Old 07-04-2015, 10:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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How many hours did it take to design, and what do you think you're time is worth? Say if i were to send you a mirror plate off a 1st gen Insight. Us Insight guys could each chip in some to design a blank, and then you could sell us the mirror delete plates.

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