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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, so I didn't want to hijack someone else's thread and I know there seem to be a ton of these Navpod threads popping up lately. You'll just have to deal with one more. I've started the prototyping process and my first thoughts are, "WOW these are some long prints!"

The first print that I have a video on takes a complete day to print. The second is going to take 3 days to complete. Now, granted I'm printing at 0.1 layer height for as tight of a look as possible. I really am not a fan of layer lines. I also have the option of printing at 0.06 mm layer height with this 3D Printer, but I can only imagine how long that would take. In the end, the final product I think will need to be done on a resin printer to achieve the near-perfect OEM look I am trying to achieve, but I am getting WAYYYY ahead of myself honestly.

For now, I'll say my goal is to see if I can provide Navpods to the community for around $150-$200 tops. It's going to take me quite a while to get to a final product with this because I will be doing torture tests throughout the prototyping process. I live in the Central Florida area and we are heading into summer, therefore, if I do produce a final product I'm willing to stand behind and sell, you can rest assured it has gone through almost the most brutal of environments considering the sheer heat, high humidity, and UV rays my car contends with when sitting in an unshaded parking lot of my job.

One reason behind my ability to offer such aggressive pricing is that the company I work for is a non-profit organization. They are not concerned with making money off of 3D priting but instead only charging for materials consumed. Since I work for the company, I do not pay anything for the usage of materials. If I can go lower on cost I will, but I need to charge and be fair on the cost of my time and the materials cost so I can replace the material I use.

This will take a few months because I want to test all summer long. Therefore, if you are expecting a Navpod before September, then I must urge you to look elsewhere. I haven't even purchased the final product printer yet because I am still doing research as to what resin printer will give me the best results.

Right now, I am using the Ultimaker S5 Pro for prototyping.
Wood Gas Electronic device Machine Shelving


I have access to a VERY wide swath of materials and have started with Ultimaker's Tough PLA, which according to them has a lot of the characteristics of ABS. Good impact strength and a melting temperature of 151C. Now I know PLA and ABS will yellow out when subject to UV rays, but I'm curious as to how long it will take to yellow out. I also have just about every color.

Rectangle Font Tints and shades Design Drawing
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I also have nylon which is good up to 185 degrees celsius and way better impact strength. That is going to be the material I try next. Not sure how that does against UV rays and yellowing out.

Publication Font Material property Pattern Mesh


Lastly, I do have some Stainless Steel composite that I want to see what I can make for the spyder out of this. Specifically, 316L Stainless Steel, but this stuff is expensive. Everything else is $50 a roll, but this stuff is $150 per roll, so I really need to know I'm going to use something that actually demands the usage of this material. The 17-4 PH I don't even know the properties of that haha.
Material property Packaging and labeling Font Electric blue Food


In any case, I should have the first part of the prototype done in 3 more hours, been printing since yesterday, but the main part won't be done until this weekend. I'll keep this thread updated of course.
 

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I'm actually really excited for you and us other SCers.

Sounds goofy, maybe, but that's exactly what I want to pitch when it comes to one off, or reproduction parts (get a larger 3D printer with a higher temp plate, etc..) - but I know squat about printing. 😅
 

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Love the time/thought going into this. The navpod is definitely an item that became unobtainium so its great when ppl with the ability pick up making such items again..just like various bracing pieces, aero, upholstery, etc.
 
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...so its great when ppl with the ability pick up making such items again..just like various bracing pieces, aero, upholstery, etc.
It really is. Owners and fabbers that take on projects like these keep our cars going.

I have something in mind to put out, but I've got a lot on my plate lately, and will need to do a bunch more homework on it first, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Has anyone created a viable model for the navpod yet? I haven't seen an STL. Would you sell the file and let us print?
The file that I am using is already up on thingiverse. Located here: MR2 Spyder NavPod by SpyderNav

If you get it right with all the time and materials wasted and end up with a worth good piece I would charge more than $200 for it.
Normally, if I was the one ponying up for all the materials I'd say definitely, but I'm not actually spending any money on these materials. My employer is and I've explained to them that this is good testing for the printer as a whole to determine pricing for customers, maximum achievable print quality, and material expertise and experience for myself that I can in turn include as information for class development. All in all, I think it's a win-win situation.

UPDATE Prototype #1:

So, definitely learned that 0.1 layer height is quite amazing for what it is. I'm super excited to see what resin can do. I'll start with the good...
Automotive lighting Automotive exterior Rectangle Amber Bumper


For still having visible layers it is astonishing to see how much detail is captured at 0.1 layer height.

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I cannot believe the cleanliness of the clips and I even got some of the original manufacturer part numbering to start to come through. Very hopeful that resin printing will bridge the gap and produce a flawless OEM look.

Camera accessory Cameras & optics Bag Material property Film camera


Bag Font Gas Rectangle Luggage and bags


Now for the bad. I have to say printing with the bezel facing down is NOT the way to go. I'm going to definitely flip the model 180 degrees and print on it's back side. The downside to this is I believe the bezel will be flawless, but at the cost of the flawlessness of the clips. However, I did print the dissolvable PVA support material at 35% infill instead of the recommended 50%, so I've already started print #2 with that change done and we'll see how that comes out after 3 days of print time 😲

Camera accessory Wood Rectangle Musical instrument accessory Gas


Bumper Automotive exterior Motor vehicle Rectangle Gas


Rectangle Musical instrument accessory Gas Wood Gadget


Definitely not happy with that bezel at all. Being that this is the part you would look at the most it is absolutely crucial this be as perfect as perfect can be, so yeah definitely printing another with the bezel facing up to the sky instead of down on the ground. Shame the PVA support material did not do a better job, but as I said kind of curious if my setting the support material infill to 35% instead of recommended 50% was just setting it up for disaster. However, learned some things and I'm quite hopeful for the next time I print this piece.

I kind of made the same mistake however with the 3 day long print piece as well of printing on the side that will face the sky and be the part you will see and look at the most through the front window. Ah well, all we can do is wait and see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
while printing for prototyping you can just section off a little corner... will cut down hugely on time & material use
Very true, did not think of that. Probably will do that for the nylon cause that stuff is a bit pricier, but not as much as the dissolvable filament. I had no idea that stuff was $100 a roll. I have 4 more rolls of the PVA dissolvable material, but still going to conserve a bit on that. Nylon is $70 a roll so not too bad.
 

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I wouldn't even bother with PLA other than for making cheaper test prints. ASA or ABS is probably the way to go for this application.

Is your end goal to create an unmodified replica of the original navpod? Because it's not terribly useful until it's been modified to fit another device.
 

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As far as "modified" it just has to be fit with different faceplates to hold whatever you want...gauges, screen, radio, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I wouldn't even bother with PLA other than for making cheaper test prints. ASA or ABS is probably the way to go for this application.

Is your end goal to create an unmodified replica of the original navpod? Because it's not terribly useful until it's been modified to fit another device.
That is exactly what I am doing, cheaper test prints, but I actually didn't even start with PLA. This is Ultimaker's Tough PLA+, which is supposed to be very similar to ABS. According to the Technical Data Sheet of their Tough PLA it has a melting temp of 152 (305F) degrees Celsius and softens at 63.7 (147.66F) degrees Celsius. Granted ABS is still better with a 93.8 (200.84F) degree Celsius softening, but this gets quite close and I want to test to see how well this Tough PLA holds up in the Florida sun during the summer, so it is serving a purpose. Remember, I teach classes on this stuff, so it's part of me expanding my first-hand knowledge, so I can teach it to others.

Yes I was also curious about creating a modified one. I’m not sure what one would do with an oem one
As far as "modified" it just has to be fit with different faceplates to hold whatever you want...gauges, screen, radio, etc.
@sacklunch I'm not sure myself right now lol. I'm just starting the prototyping process, but like you are alluding to, it will need to be modified to almost any screen we try to put in it.

@FormInFunction Based on my first prototype, I was starting to see this. I don't think it will be too hard to modify, but I will say that I am not a wiz at 3D modeling. However, I have another side-project in which I will need to start modifying 3D prints, so we'll see how good I can get at this over the summer.
 

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Take your time & do it right. Obviously it would be great to be able to offer then for sale but make sure you get it set for your own purposes first!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My idea is to do a Raspberry Pi carputer. I just can't find any offerings of headunits that I like for the MR2 and I don't like the placement of the radio so low in our cars, which takes your eyes off the road. I learned quite quickly in my Chevy Cruze that most android headunits are total garbage. I like the screen and all but 2GB of RAM is not anywhere close to being able to run Navi system apps like Waze.

Right now looking at this for a headunit because I think 8GB is the bare minimum for a very responsive interface. However, I'd love for some sort of dual-screen interface. Something where I have this on the bottom, but then another screen that fits into the Navpod. I don't know I'm very up in the air because I also feel dual screens is too much.

I don't need to feel like this when driving the Spyder...

Computer Personal computer Audio equipment Broadcasting Computer keyboard


So, perhaps all the electronics in the bottom where current headunits in the Spyder sit and then the screen only in the Navpod, but then running all the wiring is sounding like not so much fun. Also, that would require drilling a hole in the center console cubby on the dash (definitely no no from me). I don't want to destroy my dash. Also, in the back of my head is the feeling of anything bigger than a 6-7" screen would make the navpod modification to be a massive bump in the dash hindering visibility.

So, yeah, as is plainly obvious, still trying to find out where Iwant to go with all of this lol
 

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Where are you sourcing the metal clips for the assembly? Do you have a part number?

My personal conviction after having 3D printed part and messed around with the placement is that the design NEEDS to be modified to be useful. I honestly think a clean sheet design based off the cubby dimensions would be ideal, tailored to whatever application. Maybe one base and two different fronts that either fit an auxiliary gauge cluster or a head unit screen.

I think that one of those head units that has a separate screen from electronics would be a good option. It’s only a small cord between them, and I believe there is a way of routing it without cutting or drilling; there had to be a way of powering the Navpod originally. Definitely not an android head unit, but there are some decent ones that do android auto and Apple CarPlay.
 

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As far as "modified" it just has to be fit with different faceplates to hold whatever you want...gauges, screen, radio, etc.
This is actually something that I'm working on with my own navpod project which is along the same lines as this. I'm happy to see that the community is picking up on this.

I personally find the original 3D scan to be very difficult to work with, but I'm doing what I can to do just this on my navpod project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Where are you sourcing the metal clips for the assembly? Do you have a part number?

My personal conviction after having 3D printed part and messed around with the placement is that the design NEEDS to be modified to be useful. I honestly think a clean sheet design based off the cubby dimensions would be ideal, tailored to whatever application. Maybe one base and two different fronts that either fit an auxiliary gauge cluster or a head unit screen.

I think that one of those head units that has a separate screen from electronics would be a good option. It’s only a small cord between them, and I believe there is a way of routing it without cutting or drilling; there had to be a way of powering the Navpod originally. Definitely not an android head unit, but there are some decent ones that do android auto and Apple CarPlay.
So, the metal clips you are referring to, I'm assuming, are the two located on the dome-type of a piece that I just finished printing? I have not sourced those metal clips, literally just finished my very first prototype. As far as a part number, I doubt there is one because it is something that would have come as part of the Navpod's part number.

I actually wondered if anyone had a good close-up picture of that metal clip or even better would be if it could be taken off the Navpod and take a picture of it from multiple angles. I'm sure I'd be able to fabricate something out of sheet metal and would not be too hard OR and this is being super ambitious, but I do have stainless steel printing filament, I could try 3D printing some metal clips if I had good enough pictures to mock up a 3D model.

In any case, I will post pics of 2nd print later today.
 
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