DIY 3D-printed Tachometer replica
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Thread: DIY 3D-printed Tachometer replica

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    QuestionDIY 3D-printed Tachometer replica

    I'm currently in the process of making a working replica of the OEM tachometer gauge for my Kadett C, using 3D-printed brackets to hold the guts of a generic 52mm tachometer in the original gauge cluster. I'm close to having a working prototype, Ill add a link to the 3D files when it's done if anyone's interested.

    To get the gauge face looking authentic, I'm thinking of making a vector file to send to my local sign-maker to cut out vinyl stickers.
    I've tried to recreate the gauge face (witch I believe is close to identical between the Kadett C, GT, Ascona/Manta) by photoshopping images of an original gauge, but due to my severely lacking skills in photo editing, I can't get it to look anywhere near right
    To get the look authentic, I think the easiest and best solution is to get a scan of an original gauge face plate. The problem is that I have currently no way of getting my hands on one...
    If anyone has a tachometer laying around, it would be greatly appreciated if you could provide a scan of the face plate.

    If there's any interest, and if anyone is willing to provide detailed measurements I could try to make similar brackets for other gauge clusters as well, as these tachometers aren't exactly getting easier to get a hold of
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    Hello,

    Artig prosjekt, det finnes jo litt lite instrumenter, sliter med å finne instrument til tank som passer til senderen oxo.

    Jeg prøvde å lage noe slikt selv for en del år siden, for jeg fikk tak i ett instrument sett som var kvitt, men med km til 240 og tacho til 9k, men jeg ble ikke fornøyd, skrev ut på no slags fotopapir, men det blir ikke helt bra. Fukt å sånt, blir litt bulket, og med kontorskriver da så ble vel ikke det sorte 100% heller. Åsså blir det ikke noe fint når en får kutta ut til kilometertelleren, da det blir kvitt å fillete rundt synes jeg.

    Tacho'n ble som sort km, har ikke noe bilde av den for akkurat nå.
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    Artig å se din løsning på problemet

    I stedet for å se etter en tankmåler som passer så får man tak i adapter som omdanner signalet fra senderen til å passe med hvilken som helst tankmåler. Bare google "fuel gauge signal converter" eller noe sånt, så finner du flere forskjellige produkter
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    Detroit,where my home was 2 Fast 4 U's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevil View Post
    Hello,

    Artig prosjekt, det finnes jo litt lite instrumenter, sliter med å finne instrument til tank som passer til senderen oxo.

    Jeg prøvde å lage noe slikt selv for en del år siden, for jeg fikk tak i ett instrument sett som var kvitt, men med km til 240 og tacho til 9k, men jeg ble ikke fornøyd, skrev ut på no slags fotopapir, men det blir ikke helt bra. Fukt å sånt, blir litt bulket, og med kontorskriver da så ble vel ikke det sorte 100% heller. Åsså blir det ikke noe fint når en får kutta ut til kilometertelleren, da det blir kvitt å fillete rundt synes jeg.

    Tacho'n ble som sort km, har ikke noe bilde av den for akkurat nå.
    Quote Originally Posted by Halictus View Post
    Artig å se din løsning på problemet

    I stedet for å se etter en tankmåler som passer så får man tak i adapter som omdanner signalet fra senderen til å passe med hvilken som helst tankmåler. Bare google "fuel gauge signal converter" eller noe sånt, så finner du flere forskjellige produkter
    In English maybe?
    Opel Ascona;
    Only built from 1970 - 1975




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    Google translate shows:

    Fun project, there are some small instruments, struggling to find instrument to tank that fits the transmitter oxo.

    I tried to do something myself some years ago, because I got hold of one instrument set that was rid of, but with km to 240 and tacho to 9k, but I was not satisfied, wrote out on some kind of photo paper, but it doesn't get very good. Moisture to that, gets a bit dented, and with the office printer then the black did not become 100% either. Thus, it doesn't get any good when one gets cut out to the odometer, as it gets rid of ragged around I think.

    The Tacho was black km, have no picture of it for right now.

    _________________________

    Fun to see your solution to the problem

    Instead of looking for a tank gauge that fits, you get an adapter that converts the signal from the transmitter to fit any tank gauge. Just google "fuel gauge signal converter" or something like that, you'll find several different products.

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    Thanks for the translation, I forgot it is a english forum,
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    Solo II is fun in a GT! okieopel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevil View Post
    Thanks for the translation, I forgot it is a english forum,
    I just found out this that "fuel link conversion modules" actually exist because of you guys.

    https://www.classicparts.com/1947-87...ctinfo/24-953/
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    Quote Originally Posted by okieopel View Post
    I just found out this that "fuel link conversion modules" actually exist because of you guys.

    https://www.classicparts.com/1947-87...ctinfo/24-953/
    I'm glad to be of service. Sorry about the Norwegian, Here's a bit more cohesive translation

    Originally Posted by Trevil
    Hello,
    Fun project, there are few instruments, I'm struggling to find a fuel gauge that fits the sender too.

    I tried to do something similar myself some years ago, I got hold of one gauge set that was white, with km up to 240 and tacho to 9k, but I was not satisfied with the color, I printed out on some kind of photo paper, but it doesn't look very good. Moisture makes it go a bit dented, and with an office printer the black did not become 100% either. And it doesn't become satisfactory when one cuts out the hole for the odometer, as it gets ragged around the edge.The Tacho was done the same way as the speedometer, I don't have a picture right now.

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    I didnt know of it either, and now I really *really* want one....
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    Are you worried about the strength of the 3d printed parts? From my experience, it is easy to get a bit of warp or delamination on the parts. I've printed with PLA, ABS, and carbon filament.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinz View Post
    Are you worried about the strength of the 3d printed parts? From my experience, it is easy to get a bit of warp or delamination on the parts. I've printed with PLA, ABS, and carbon filament.
    No, not really. I'm printing in PLA at the moment, I haven't had any issues so far. I'm thinking of annealing the parts before final assembly, that will all but eliminate the risk of delamination. If I do encounter problems, I expect they will be heat related (it gets quite toasty under the dash when I run the heater), but I don't really expect it to be an issue. I'm thinking of trying PETG if I cant make it work with PLA.

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    Über Genius First opel 1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halictus View Post
    No, not really. I'm printing in PLA at the moment, I haven't had any issues so far. I'm thinking of annealing the parts before final assembly, that will all but eliminate the risk of delamination. If I do encounter problems, I expect they will be heat related (it gets quite toasty under the dash when I run the heater), but I don't really expect it to be an issue. I'm thinking of trying PETG if I cant make it work with PLA.
    Just remember that PLA is biodegradable and won't live for a long time in an area that cycles moisture to heat.

    PETG is also my next experiment. It's pretty stable stuff.
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    I enjoyed the carbon fiber I used to use. Looks cool too.
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    Red faceProgress!

    Quote Originally Posted by First opel 1981 View Post
    Just remember that PLA is biodegradable and won't live for a long time in an area that cycles moisture to heat.
    A coat of plastic primer will put a stop to that

    Anyways, I'm getting close, I've done one more revision (hopefully my final one) with som minor tweaks that I'll print tomorrow (I would print it now, but my flatmates would kill me, it's the middle of the night ). I've attached pics of the latest prototype parts. The last thing to do except the printing is to trim the tachometer body down so it doesn't foul the face plate.

    I've also wired up a set of gauges for the center console. It's not 100% like the original gauges, but it's close enough for me (once I 3D-print a cover to cover up the sides)
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    Sorry for the late update, as usual I've been severely distracted by other projects, 3D-printer failures and just life in general.

    Anyways, I've printed the final iteration of the bracket, it seems to fit well and holds the tachometer snugly.
    I also printed a placeholder gauge face, just to get a feel of how it will look when completely done.

    I wanted to experiment with making the ticks and numbers transparent for the backlight. I printed the first two layers with transparent filament, and paused the print and switched to black filament before it started with the features. The black filament ended up being too transparent, but I think it works as a proof of concept anyways. It may work better to just print a plain disk in transparent material only, and get a vinyl sticker cut out for the top. I wont go the route of transparent gauge faces for this project though.

    So basically the only thing remaining to do is to get the vinyl stickers for the gauge face made, and to fit the needle. I'll post a link to the files on thingiverse.com when I've uploaded them there if you want to copy this project.
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    Pedal Smasher Autoholic's Avatar
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    Is this going back into a car? Or a piece of art for home?
    "Autoholism is an incurable addiction medicated daily with car porn." ~Zeppi

    1973 Opel GT project car - Plans: 2.5L CIH, Weber 38 DGAS, Getrag 240, Lowered 1", Watts link, exterior color - Rainforest Green Pearl, interior color - tan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Autoholic View Post
    Is this going back into a car? Or a piece of art for home?
    This is going back into my 1979 Kadett C when its done, it didn't come with a tachometer, just engine temp. and fuel tank gauges.

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    I would recommend a different route for your tach then. Have the gauge face printed on thin (like 2 to 3 mm thick) white acrylic from a company like the one below. They create stick on gauges for those wanting to restore gauges this way, but I've talked to them to see if they also would print a design on acrylic. They said that they can do this. So, you could have the tach and speedo printed on thin white acrylic and they can cut it out exactly as needed. Then, you just illuminate the back of the acrylic. Light will shine through anywhere there isn't black paint. I thought about doing this for the GT's gauges but I decided not to over what is vintage and what isn't. Gauges of classic cars at the time, all had metal faces without illuminated numbers. Lighting came from around the edges of the gauge. I'm going to stick with that and just improve the lighting. LEDs and reflective painted walls inside the housings to really get the light to shine out from the edges. But, I still remember what I had thought about doing. It would work in your situation and you'll like the look better.

    1968-1973 Opel GT w=1062 White Face Gauges - Whitegauges.net

    This is pretty similar to how OE's make illuminated gauges I believe. But, you're not going to get the kind of tolerances you need for gauges using a tabletop FDM printer with a 0.4 mm nozzle. If you are hellbent on 3D printing this, I'd go with a 0.2 mm nozzle and go with the most precise settings you can. Or, pay a company like Shapeways to print it using a SLA printer.
    Last edited by Autoholic; 06-27-2019 at 04:25 PM.
    "Autoholism is an incurable addiction medicated daily with car porn." ~Zeppi

    1973 Opel GT project car - Plans: 2.5L CIH, Weber 38 DGAS, Getrag 240, Lowered 1", Watts link, exterior color - Rainforest Green Pearl, interior color - tan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Autoholic View Post
    I would recommend a different route for your tach then. Have the gauge face printed on thin (like 2 to 3 mm thick) white acrylic from a company like the one below. They create stick on gauges for those wanting to restore gauges this way, but I've talked to them to see if they also would print a design on acrylic. They said that they can do this. So, you could have the tach and speedo printed on thin white acrylic and they can cut it out exactly as needed. Then, you just illuminate the back of the acrylic. Light will shine through anywhere there isn't black paint. I thought about doing this for the GT's gauges but I decided not to over what is vintage and what isn't. Gauges of classic cars at the time, all had metal faces without illuminated numbers. Lighting came from around the edges of the gauge. I'm going to stick with that and just improve the lighting. LEDs and reflective painted walls inside the housings to really get the light to shine out from the edges. But, I still remember what I had thought about doing. It would work in your situation and you'll like the look better.

    1968-1973 Opel GT w=1062 White Face Gauges - Whitegauges.net

    This is pretty similar to how OE's make illuminated gauges I believe. But, you're not going to get the kind of tolerances you need for gauges using a tabletop FDM printer with a 0.4 mm nozzle. If you are hellbent on 3D printing this, I'd go with a 0.2 mm nozzle and go with the most precise settings you can. Or, pay a company like Shapeways to print it using a SLA printer.
    Thanks for the suggestion. But as I said in an earlier post, I was just experimenting, the gauge face I printed was just a placeholder. I don't expect to get text that small to look good with a .4mm nozzle.
    I'll keep the original style of lighting, just let light out in front of the gauge face. I'm going to print a plain and flat disk and get a vinyl sticker printed to match the original gauge I'm replicating. I can get a nice discount at my local sign-maker, as I used to work there. That's also how I know they can match the original finish pretty closely.
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    Pedal Smasher Autoholic's Avatar
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    Are you going to replace the shift pattern with a gauge?

    I don't know if you're still looking for tach patterns, but here are some images...

    https://www.k-t-e-c.de/php/tachosche...hoscheiben.htm

    https://xtuners.com/shop/opel-vauxhall-kadett-gallery
    Last edited by Autoholic; 06-27-2019 at 07:09 PM.
    "Autoholism is an incurable addiction medicated daily with car porn." ~Zeppi

    1973 Opel GT project car - Plans: 2.5L CIH, Weber 38 DGAS, Getrag 240, Lowered 1", Watts link, exterior color - Rainforest Green Pearl, interior color - tan

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