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Author: Subject: 3D printed wheel centre caps..Possible?
tims31

posted on 6/7/20 at 11:05 AM Reply With Quote
3D printed wheel centre caps..Possible?

Hi following on from locking my wheel hub, I have been thinking about wheel centre caps but when I have looked previously I had no luck in finding any for my wheels.

This has got me wondering if it would be possible to get some 3D printed. I have no idea about 3D printing and don't know if the locating tabs shown in the attached image would allow the flexibility to keep the cap located without snapping off.

It seems like someone else has already tried judging by this image but could any of those that are experienced in 3D printing tell me if its possible. Also, what programme would I need to use to produce a file so these could be printed. As you can probably tell, I have no idea about 3D printing but would like to get to know more.

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I would need my caps to be deeper than the one above as the shaft and nut protrude through the centre of the wheel.

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Something like this

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David Jenkins

posted on 6/7/20 at 11:28 AM Reply With Quote
There's no reason why it shouldn't work - the hardest part would be to get the design files drawn up. Usually the design software would generate a STL file that could be processed and printed.

If you have a STL file then there are lots of 3d printing agencies who could print the parts for you - I found loads with a Google search.

A decent agency should be able to print in something durable, such as ABS or Nylon. ABS is printable on a home printer, but it can be a real PITA at times. Nylon is only for really skilled folk as it requires a much higher print temperature than found on a run-of-the-mill home printer. Don't use PLA as it degrades over time, and softens at quite low temperatures.





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tims31

posted on 6/7/20 at 12:07 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by David Jenkins
There's no reason why it shouldn't work - the hardest part would be to get the design files drawn up. Usually the design software would generate a STL file that could be processed and printed.

If you have a STL file then there are lots of 3d printing agencies who could print the parts for you - I found loads with a Google search.

A decent agency should be able to print in something durable, such as ABS or Nylon. ABS is printable on a home printer, but it can be a real PITA at times. Nylon is only for really skilled folk as it requires a much higher print temperature than found on a run-of-the-mill home printer. Don't use PLA as it degrades over time, and softens at quite low temperatures.


Thanks for that, guess i'll do some reading up and see where I get. Any suggestions on programs to do the design in?





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nick205

posted on 6/7/20 at 12:10 PM Reply With Quote
Echoing David's comments, there's no reason it shouldn't work. Getting the 3D model produced might be the costly part. The spring tabs you need to secure the cap in place could be reinforced with ribs inside to stop the snapping off too easily. If you find a 3D modeller with some plastic component design experience they'll understand this aspect and should be able to design the features in for you. You'll need to have accurate measuremants of the wheel centre where the part has to fit into as well.
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watsonpj

posted on 6/7/20 at 12:19 PM Reply With Quote
Hi
yes I'm about to do some myself in either abs or petg either will be good. I'll do one of mine as a try out and share some images. I was going to make some flexures with tunable bumps on the bottom to hold them in as that seems to be the normal way of holding them in.
Once I'm happy with mine if you want to supply some dimensions I can print some for you if you want.
The shape/design can be anything you want i hadn't model anything but just knocked something together quickly like below..

doesnt even have to be completely cylindrical could be fluted on the side or if you want writing or logo it can be in any orientation, so straight across or around the perimeter.

fury hub cap
fury hub cap


Pete

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tims31

posted on 6/7/20 at 12:59 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by watsonpj
Hi
yes I'm about to do some myself in either abs or petg either will be good. I'll do one of mine as a try out and share some images. I was going to make some flexures with tunable bumps on the bottom to hold them in as that seems to be the normal way of holding them in.
Once I'm happy with mine if you want to supply some dimensions I can print some for you if you want.
The shape/design can be anything you want i hadn't model anything but just knocked something together quickly like below..

doesnt even have to be completely cylindrical could be fluted on the side or if you want writing or logo it can be in any orientation, so straight across or around the perimeter.

fury hub cap
fury hub cap


Pete


Excellent, thats exactly what I would be after. I was thinking of using the Fury badge logo I have and creating an outline of this in Illustrator to go in the centre cap.

I'll get some dimensions and send onto you Pete, thanks. Obviously add some beer tokens for your work...

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[Edited on 6/7/20 by tims31]





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r1_pete

posted on 6/7/20 at 01:11 PM Reply With Quote
Car SOS had some printed for a mk1 astra gte with the cross pattern wheels, so yes perfectly doable.
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tims31

posted on 6/7/20 at 02:33 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by r1_pete
Car SOS had some printed for a mk1 astra gte with the cross pattern wheels, so yes perfectly doable.


I should have looked on Youtube first, there are loads of posts about printing wheel caps....





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BenB

posted on 6/7/20 at 07:35 PM Reply With Quote
If you haven't got a 3d printer this is an excellent reason to get one. I use mine weekly. All kinds of projects lend themselves to 3d printing. The average sit-on-a-sofa-watching-netflix type person would never use it but I reckon on this forum most people would find one very helpful. I've recently discovered PETG and it's good! ABS I liked for a while but without a heated enclosure it's hard work due to delamination. PLA is rock hard but brittle and UV destroys it. I still use ABS for small stuff when the delam isn't going to be an issue.
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nick205

posted on 7/7/20 at 07:03 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BenB
If you haven't got a 3d printer this is an excellent reason to get one. I use mine weekly. All kinds of projects lend themselves to 3d printing. The average sit-on-a-sofa-watching-netflix type person would never use it but I reckon on this forum most people would find one very helpful. I've recently discovered PETG and it's good! ABS I liked for a while but without a heated enclosure it's hard work due to delamination. PLA is rock hard but brittle and UV destroys it. I still use ABS for small stuff when the delam isn't going to be an issue.



Well said!

I too think many LCB forum members would enjoy having one and make regular use of it. There would probably be a fair bit of design sharing going on between members as well.

Guy I work with (for example) wanted a replacement knob for his gas BBQ. Couldn't get one from Homebase or the BBQ manufacturer, but it could have been 3D printed pretty easily giving his BBQ a few more seasons use.

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tims31

posted on 7/7/20 at 07:05 AM Reply With Quote
Thanks Ben, I'm not one for sitting around on the sofa watching tele much. I'll be looking into 3D printers soon but for now I dont really have the funds to buy one.

Will give me time to do my research and find out more about them.





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Mr Whippy

posted on 7/7/20 at 07:56 AM Reply With Quote
If you have windows 10 it may have Paint 3D on it which allows you to design things with solid shapes and then has the option of sending the models to Companies who can then print them. I haven't used it myself other than model a few parts but looked quite good.
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SteveWalker

posted on 7/7/20 at 09:09 AM Reply With Quote
You can download AutoDesk's Fusion 360 free, for non-commercial use. I can't remember if it is a 12 month licence or not.
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HowardB

posted on 7/7/20 at 09:40 AM Reply With Quote
fusion 360 gets good reviews - there are many others sketchup is the most oft picked web tool. TinkerCAD is used by some big players for 3d printing trial parts.

There are many more some are available for 7day trials but may not allow saving out of parts.

I like Solidworks





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David Jenkins

posted on 7/7/20 at 09:48 AM Reply With Quote
I use OpenSCAD - but that's a nightmare unless you're used to writing programs!

It's free though, and runs on almost any platform.





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tims31

posted on 7/7/20 at 10:00 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by HowardB
fusion 360 gets good reviews - there are many others sketchup is the most oft picked web tool. TinkerCAD is used by some big players for 3d printing trial parts.

There are many more some are available for 7day trials but may not allow saving out of parts.

I like Solidworks


I have used skecthup for some design things but never something that would be made from the file and a while since I used it. I'll look at a few of these suggested and see where I go. Have replied to your U2u Howard, thanks.





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nick205

posted on 7/7/20 at 10:03 AM Reply With Quote
Many many years ago I used Solid Edge 3D CAD at work, but then moved to a sales role. Now I ask favours of our CAD engineer if I need/want things modelled for a look-see. He's pretty fast and has a good understanding of injection moulded plastic design and sheet metalwork as well. It often helps save time and effort before I start hacking at bits of material to see my ideas will work.

I have tried using Sketchup, but must admit I lost patience with it. I think I felt I should have been getting quicker results (perhaps too impatient to spend time learning how to use it effectively).

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BenB

posted on 7/7/20 at 12:00 PM Reply With Quote
I use Freecad as it's free and open source. I looked at alternatives but decided if I was going to learn a whole CAD system it would have to be one which I could use long term. It's actually good. I don't have anything to compare it with but so far so good! Only limitation is it doesn't do threads but I cut them.
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tims31

posted on 7/7/20 at 12:06 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nick205
Many many years ago I used Solid Edge 3D CAD at work, but then moved to a sales role. Now I ask favours of our CAD engineer if I need/want things modelled for a look-see. He's pretty fast and has a good understanding of injection moulded plastic design and sheet metalwork as well. It often helps save time and effort before I start hacking at bits of material to see my ideas will work.

I have tried using Sketchup, but must admit I lost patience with it. I think I felt I should have been getting quicker results (perhaps too impatient to spend time learning how to use it effectively).


Agree with you about Sketchup but there are lots of quick tutorials on Youtube that got me started and enough for what I needed to do but not what I would call a complete CAD solution but okay for computer modelling.





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pmc_3

posted on 7/7/20 at 12:33 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tims31
Thanks Ben, I'm not one for sitting around on the sofa watching tele much. I'll be looking into 3D printers soon but for now I dont really have the funds to buy one.

Will give me time to do my research and find out more about them.


We've got one at the office Martin, Joe is always making bits with it. I'll find out what software we use and drop you a message.

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tims31

posted on 7/7/20 at 12:49 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by pmc_3
quote:
Originally posted by tims31
Thanks Ben, I'm not one for sitting around on the sofa watching tele much. I'll be looking into 3D printers soon but for now I dont really have the funds to buy one.

Will give me time to do my research and find out more about them.


We've got one at the office Martin, Joe is always making bits with it. I'll find out what software we use and drop you a message.


Thanks Pete, that would be good. Hope to speak to you soon....





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loggyboy

posted on 7/7/20 at 01:14 PM Reply With Quote
IMO Sketchup is superb, especially for 3d printing. Apart from some basic questions asked from a colleague, I picked it up really easily and found it one of the most intuitive and simple design programs id used. (compared to Autocad, revit, fusion etc).
I do all my 3d printing with sketch up and have mocked up some pretty good and complex designs from it.

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With regards to centercaps, there's a guy on cliosport done some recently, but in PLA i suspect they wont weather well (PLA is prone to warping with heat and moisture). However once designed the price to print is so low they could be considered disposable, or you could prime and paint them to seal them better.

https://cliosport.net/threads/3d-printed-speedline-2118-centre-caps-%C2%A320-25-posted-set-of-four.832908/ (not sure if that link will work for non members)





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David Jenkins

posted on 7/7/20 at 01:15 PM Reply With Quote
tims31 - you're probably starting to realise what a can of worms you're opening!

The real hard work in 3D printing is the design of the part, followed by the inevitable redesign when the part doesn't quite fit properly, or doesn't do what it is supposed to do. This means that it is way cheaper to learn how to design your own parts, rather than pay someone to do it for you. The actual printing is just a mechanical process that's easily learned, and that usually takes very little time. It's just a craft - the more you do it, and the more care you take with experience, the better your end-products will become.





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motivforz

posted on 7/7/20 at 01:31 PM Reply With Quote
I've offered on here before, but if anyone wants a small CAD design job done FOC then drop me a line. Happy to do anything to help out on LCB as I've had so much info from this forum. I did the gearstick and handbrake trim surround on my old Fury which turned out alright. Modellers putty and gloss black paint meant you almost couldn't tell it was 3D printed (almost - not quite!).
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harmchar

posted on 7/7/20 at 04:40 PM Reply With Quote
I started to dabble in the 3D printing after getting a deal on an Aldi special. A Balcho Touch. 149 iirc.
I also used Fusion 360 as it's very well supported on YouTube with helpful videos.
Problem I can see with the design above is printing the raised lip (highlighted in green). If printed as it's modelled, the internal would have to be solid or infill. If printed the opposite way with the green highlight on the print bed, the centre with the logo/writing would be floating off the bed, which can't be done.
Would be interested how another printer/designer would get round this.
Good luck with the project.

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