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3rd Brake Light Visor prototype by Uncle Mush  

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Uncle Mush
(@uncle-mush)
Member Moderator
Posted by: @dev

 I decided to put my efforts into testing primer adhesion since that is a concern. If the flex primer I use works then it would the way to go forward and if not then we need to have a better solution.  

When I send the next version out to our testers, I will prime with the special automotive plastics paint I picked-up on Friday.  If you like, Dev, I can send you a primed and an unprimed one as well so you can A/B test it against the primer that you use.  The guy who owns the automotive paint store that is helping me with this project has specialized training in painting plastics and I trust him, but if there is another way to go -- especially if it is just as effective and less expensive -- I'm all for that.  It would seem that one of the biggest unknowns is the test of time and what happens with each material over time as both the HDPE and the paint(s) shrink.

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Posted : October 7, 2019 10:04 am
dev
 dev
(@dev)
Just a member. Moderator
Posted by: @uncle-mush
Posted by: @dev

 I decided to put my efforts into testing primer adhesion since that is a concern. If the flex primer I use works then it would the way to go forward and if not then we need to have a better solution.  

When I send the next version out to our testers, I will prime with the special automotive plastics paint I picked-up on Friday.  If you like, Dev, I can send you a primed and an unprimed one as well so you can A/B test it against the primer that you use.  The guy who owns the automotive paint store that is helping me with this project has specialized training in painting plastics and I trust him, but if there is another way to go -- especially if it is just as effective and less expensive -- I'm all for that.  It would seem that one of the biggest unknowns is the test of time and what happens with each material over time as both the HDPE and the paint(s) shrink.

I like this. I don't think there is any need for testing on my part. I will leave it to the professionals as im sure they have it figured out and will not be an issue moving forward.  Apart from the fitting this was my major concern and now that you have taken care of it, there is no point to testing until it is fully painted.  

Where I can place my efforts is in a DIY tutorial on how to paint it for the home user who doesn't have experience in paint. 

 

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Posted : October 7, 2019 10:48 am
Not 2 Old For 2 Seater
(@not-2-old-for-2-seater)
Estimable Member

In the past, when some ignorant folks complained about how much it costs to buy Moded parts for the Spyder, I really was not sure how to "Educate" them as to the cost of prototyping, sales, service, returns, etc.

In the future, I will just refer them to this thread to allow them to see how, exactly, "The Miracle Happens," and new custom parts become available.

It really takes a Village to bring one of these good, new ideas to fruition.

I salute all of you who are "Putting Skin In The Game" to take this exciting project to fruition! 👍 👍 

Paul

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Posted : October 8, 2019 9:08 am
Uncle Mush
(@uncle-mush)
Member Moderator

Hey y'all . . . just a quick update.  I have actually spent a little more time the last couple of weekends on this project.  Progress is slow due to limited time and energy.  I've tried routing the edges for a continuous curve of the edges, but that didn't work out so well.  I thought if I could route the edges, I wouldn't have to heat stamp/mode the piece.  Where I am in the process right now it to hand form the edges (that's almost done) and then I'll have to pour another mold of that finished piece and then see if I can go back to the idea of heat stamping/molding the finished product.  To be continued . . . 

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Posted : October 21, 2019 11:25 pm
Rdawg
(@rdawg)
Active Member

if you need another tester, I would be happy to apply prototypes to my Yellow MR2.

We have lost the hot weather here in Tennessee too, which is good since my AC has been awol since the JDM swap.

Watching this thread with great interest

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Posted : October 22, 2019 7:17 am
dev
 dev
(@dev)
Just a member. Moderator

Thanks for the update UM.  The better you make it, it will certainly sell well in many markets.  

 

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Posted : October 22, 2019 9:49 am
Uncle Mush
(@uncle-mush)
Member Moderator

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Update . . . 

I was back out in the shop today working on this project.  I made a new buck and it came out really nice.  I then pulled a mold of it and almost didn't get the buck out because I didn't use a release agent.  Aghhh!  The previous attempts really didn't need a mold release because of the factory finish of the HDPE.  This time I finished sanded the whole piece which left microscopic lines for the molding material to grab on to.  It grabbed so tight that the mold and buck started bowing during the curing phase and I had to get the buck out ASAP before the mold cured to that shape.   I finally got it out with only a little damage to the buck -- but all on the back side, so if I need to use it again, it should be okay.  

I then set the mold up with a press-to-fit top and tried heat molding the 1/8 inch HDPE.  That first attempt didn't work.  So I tried it again, letting the HDPE heat even more to make more malleable.  That sucked too.  Press fitting the mold is not going to work.  Now that I've tired it, I can see a lot of reasons why it won't work.

Back to the drawing board . . . 

My previous experience with making products out of HDPE was vacuum-forming 1/16 inch HDPE and that worked fairly well.  Attempting that with HDPE twice the thickness may be a real challenge.  I'm willing to give it a try, though.  First I will have to make a new vacuum table and new platens specific to this mold.  The real challenge will be getting the platens into my oven.  I made some eye-ball estimates and the platen will likely be larger than my oven can accommodate.  My hope is that I can rotate the platen while heating the HDPE and do so without getting cold spots as I need the HDPE to be uniform temperature so it levels out in the vacuum. 

My plan is to use the mold I pulled today and then modify it so I can use it as a vacuum mold.  To do that I will have to drill holes in the mold which means once I start drilling holes, there really is no turning back.  The holes are necessary for the vacuum to draw the malleable HDPE down into the mold -- hopefully.  The upside (if I can make it work with 1/8 inch HDPE) is it will take the contours of the mold.  The downside (if it works) is that for every hole, there will be a dimple in the HDPE that I will then have to sand off and then finish sand before priming and shipping.  That's a lot of extra work, as HDPE is not the easiest thing to sand to a paint-ready surface.  Another unknown with this process is how well the HDPE will take the surface of the mold.  It should be exact, but that could change depending on the temperature when I mold the piece and, again, I have never worked with HDPE this thick before.

If the vacuum-forming process doesn't work, I think I will be out of options for supplying a paint ready product to market.  I could supply cut pieces that the end user would have to shape via sanding the edges and then finish sand and prime, but at that point I think we would loose most potential buyers because it is just a boat-load of work that most people don't want to do.

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Posted : November 3, 2019 7:53 pm
Not 2 Old For 2 Seater
(@not-2-old-for-2-seater)
Estimable Member

Keep up the good work!

Regarding oven size:  if you know someone who has a Vulcan commercial stove; I am sure you could get your mold to fit in there.  I had one and used to make batches of 48 cookies at a time.

Paul

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Posted : November 4, 2019 6:27 am
dev
 dev
(@dev)
Just a member. Moderator

Thanks for the update UM.  Sometimes it is a struggle and learning experience but with perseverance it might just come together. Hang in there I know what its like. 

 

 

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Posted : November 4, 2019 1:41 pm
Uncle Mush
(@uncle-mush)
Member Moderator

December 20, 2019 update.  I've done nothing on this project since my last update.   Life has been too busy.   I've not forgotten,  though. 

Any of our testers want to weigh-in on the test pieces I sent out,  now that winter is in full swing?

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Posted : December 20, 2019 9:29 am
haloruler64
(@haloruler64)
Honorable Member

What's a winter? We don't have seasons. 

I drove my car to LA. No change. Honestly it seems super stable. I removed it in LA to show a friend what was under it, and the car has mostly been parked since then. Not too much use. 

2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder, 2017 Lexus CT200h F Sport

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Posted : December 20, 2019 9:33 am
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