Back in November our 3D printer lead us on an adventure to get the FR-S pieces ready. First problem is our bed size – it’s large – but not large enough to print the upper section in a single piece. Using software to cut it in half is easy – but joining the pieces back together takes some effort and precision. Large gentle curves with lots of support material can make it easy for separation during print. We saw a few failures, a few spaghetti incidents and even a case where the printer’s extension cord was “borrowed” 19 hours in to a job…
We ended up with nice smooth plastics and were excited to try them out in an FR-S at Don Valley North Toyota. We removed the shop interior and saw a perfect match with our bottom piece. The top piece wasn’t as good as we need for Brainiac. The center tongue didn’t line up exactly where it should – but maybe more importantly – the transition between the Brainiac plastic and the passenger console lacked impact and it was about 1/4″ too long.
We took turns with a file getting the trim small enough to fit for verification and for our photo shoot. Filing narrow extruded ABS is a challenge. It’s strong but can be brittle – and there’s a risk of cracking along the layers. Removing a 1/4″ meant we were well past the walls and into the infill. When we had it filed enough – it looked reasonably good in place – but we needed that overhang fixed!
After a few design discussions with Matt from ml24 we had the tongue moved, tightened up the right hand side and added a ridge to the shoulders of the design. Now the transition doesn’t look weak – it looks deliberate and strong. At least in the renderings that you can see below… Time to warm up the printer!