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What should happen to the future of the defroster vents?

  • Have Autoholic keep working on this, despite any issues with time frame.

    Votes: 3 23.1%
  • Turn over the project to OGTS for them to reproduce.

    Votes: 10 76.9%

  • Total voters
    13
  • Poll closed .
1 - 20 of 69 Posts

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Pedal Smasher
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2,073 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm not fond of doing this, but I understand the needs of others goes beyond what I want to do. I'm still working on the defroster vents project. I have a set of fantastic vents dissembled into the halves and I've painted them a matte green to help with scanning. I purchased an Einscan SE 3D scanner about a month ago. It's a great tool and I like using it... but there is a steep learning curve. I've spent well over a dozen hours on just one half of the passenger side vent... and I still don't have a usable 3D scan. The problem has to do with discrepancies when I'm doing a 360° scan. If there is a problem, I have to start over. I've realized that in order to do this, at least for the passenger side vent due to its particular size, I'll have to manually do 360° scans. It's a PITA. The scanner is fantastic but it's still limited in how it understands an object. I've learned more about how this 3D scanner works and working with it will require a lot of time.

Because I know and understand that many desperately want replacement defroster vents as soon as possible... I've conceded the fact that my time frame might not be fast enough for everyone else. So, I'm holding this vote. I will send OGTS my fantastic set of vents, ready to be scanned by whoever they choose, and turn over the future of this project to OGTS if that is the desire of the forum and facebook. I still would love to see this through and I want to make it all work. Due to my job consuming vast amounts of my time and a particular individual being rather vocal about his displeasure of not having vents despite the fact that they haven't been reproduced in over 40 years, I'm willing to let all of you decide the future of this venture. I've already done a lot of work to try and move forwards, but I also know OGTS is waiting to see what becomes of my efforts. My goal was to see a set of vents sell and ship for less than $100. In my opinion, turning over the project to OGTS will likely require that price to double. It's a reality of the complexity of the vents.

At all times, I want what is best for the Opel community. So, I need your input. The vote will be anonymous. If I was to turn over the project to Gil, I would imagine roughly a year before anyone had vents. If I kept at it, I cannot specify a time frame but only my desire to accomplish whatever I can over the coming summer break from my work. Both solutions would use injection molding. This hasn't been an easy decision and I still have a use for the injection molding machine I've been working on. So, decide for yourself what you're wanting to see happen. I will not be disappointed in either outcome, there are pros and cons to both sides of this for me. I will still support the development of the vents in either outcome, as I'll still be happy to provide Gil with one of the best set of vents you'll ever find and I'll still provide my professional input on what needs to be done. As I've mentioned multiple times, there are some serious design flaws that need to be dealt with. The poll will close in 14 days, at which time I will agree with whatever the democratic vote decides.

Also, in the spirit of being up front and honest with all of you, while I believe I could pull this off there is a part of me that would be happy to shift this over to OGTS. Within the next year and possible half a year, I'm looking to buy my first house and once I do, I'd have a greater ability to pursue projects. With this in mind, it could be in excess of a year before I'd have a production-ready solution. When all this started, OGTS was tied up in other investments. That is less of an issue now from what I understand.

Thank you.
 

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Bikini Inspector
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5,771 Posts
If it was so easy or profitable, OGTS would have it done already.

And don't be surprised if They turn down your offer. They March to the beat of their own drum.

Thanks for your efforts though.
 

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Pedal Smasher
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2,073 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
True, they could turn it down. I’m only doing this if they wanted to take over and it would mean the community gets vents faster. I’m running into problems trying to get scans done and that’s the next critical step. So, it’s not that I haven’t been working on this. My progress has been hitting the same brick wall lately.
 

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Pedal Smasher
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2,073 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
No, I’m keeping the 3D scanner. I’m just trying to be considerate of other people’s needs and wants.
 

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Opel Key Master
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4,947 Posts
I have a company in Vietnam that would be able to make them, but they want an initial order, in which I couldn’t cover, but some things if you want quick, it can be done. Usually anything I’ve had this company make will be 3-5 weeks
 

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Pedal Smasher
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2,073 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Keith, do you know what the initial order was? I've found companies in America that will do any order size, but with American companies you also get American-priced overhead.

The biggest challenge I face really is the 3D scanning. Once I have the vents as CAD models, it gets easier from there. My plan for molds is pretty easy to pull off and roughly half of the injection molding machine is done, which was also the expensive half.
 

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Opel Key Master
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4,947 Posts
They will price it out to as many as you want. If you send them measurements with pictures, they can probably give you an idea of what the molds will take to make, and price per part, they can tell you price breaks. In most cases I want to use USA companies only, the problem is that they are so busy being busy, they are not really interested in doing work for small manufacturers unless they can bend you over in the process.
 

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Non Civilian
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2,084 Posts

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Detritus Maximus
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2,135 Posts
Keith, do you know what the initial order was? I've found companies in America that will do any order size, but with American companies you also get American-priced overhead.

The biggest challenge I face really is the 3D scanning. Once I have the vents as CAD models, it gets easier from there. My plan for molds is pretty easy to pull off and roughly half of the injection molding machine is done, which was also the expensive half.
A couple questions if you don't mind...
Your injection molding plans.....are you planning metal or urethane molds?

In your scanning efforts, is it the contours and shape of the vents giving you problems? If so, would producing a negative mold of the vents be easier to scan? I'm not really familiar with the details of scanning, but I have some friends that built their own scanner and 5axis router to scale up sculpture to carve foam.
 

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Pedal Smasher
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2,073 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I’ll be using urethane molds.

The geometry of these vents can get tricky. Things could get easier if I find a longer version of the cord that goes from the scanner to the turn table. I’m going to try to do that, so I can scan farther away. This will get me the whole vent in a 360 degree scan. The accuracy goes down a tad but it’s still in acceptable ranges for this. I’ve just recently taken the scanner off of the stand it comes with. If you look up EinScan SE, that’s what I have.
 

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Detritus Maximus
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2,135 Posts
I read thru some of the info on it. Sounds pretty neat. Are you able to piece together parts of different scans?
You'll have to excuse me if ask sub-basic questions, but this is the first I've thought about how all this works. I'm old school, silicone/urethane molds, then lay up in fiberglass, carbon, old sheets, etc.
 

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Pedal Smasher
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2,073 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Yes, I can piece together different scans. The software does everything as a project. Within the 360° scans, I can't do anything. I can improve alignment between 2 or more 360° scans, and each 360° scan can range from 8 to 180 scans. If I disconnect the turn table, I could manually do a 360° scan and make sure each scan is aligned correctly. This might be what I have to do, and I've been dreading that. YouTube has some pretty good reviews of the EinScan SE that can help anyone understand how this scanner works. I can choose between a textured scan which will include color and a non-textured scan which will just be the shape. I can adjust the sensitivity of the software to deal with different objects. It has a lot of ability, but it's still trying to build composites of numerous scans. Each scan can have tens of thousands of data points.

I've glued the vents to cardboard that is painted black, as the scanner cannot pickup black. That bit of info meant the vents had to be painted. I painted them green because there are more green photo-receptors in a camera sensor (this is why green screens are the best within CGI). As I've learned more about how the scanner works and thinks, I believe a matte white would actually be better for a coating on hard to scan parts.

Once I have the 3D scans done, then the CAD models would be worked on to improve overall shape and redesign the turning vanes so the whole vent can be used. There is more on that bit in the gauging interest thread. After the CAD models are finalized, then CAD models of the molds would be created. From there, 3D print the molds and smooth them out to remove layering. After the molds are done, inject them with plastic. The CAD side of this project is the most difficult and has slowed me way down ever since I got the new 3D scanner. The gauging interest thread, while long, really dives into the various problems that have slowed me down while pursuing this. This also isn't my job, I'm not making any money while trying to figure this out. So, my actual job comes first and I highly doubt there are many special education math teachers on this forum. The job consumes huge chunks of your time. The best window of opportunity for me to make progress on this, is during the summer break. So, 2 months out of the year and last summer was spent waiting on vents and a 3D scanner that didn't live up to its advertising. Looking back, I could have shifted focus to the injection molding machine but part of that was also dependent on funds.
 

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Your Noble Friend ;-)
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4,020 Posts
I can scan the parts to you, w/o charges but shipping the originals back. I have access to an industrial scanner (this one here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cr2aSgDn0m4). Before you get all exited, the result of the scan is a point cloud, or a polygon mesh surface. Let's first see what kind of data you need before we get all exited. We can not generate any native CAD models since we are not into reverse engineering, "only" using our 250K$ scanner for measuring of parts.

There are companies that make Urethane prototype parts, they can make a silicone mold from your original parts and then cast the Urethane part in this mold. The resulting parts have very good mechanical properties and can be painted as well. Expect ~ $ 2,000 to $ 4,000 per mold, and $ 30 - $ 50 per part. Each mold can make ~ 30 - 50 parts, then is goes in the scrap bin.
They could also make the mold from data, but that would require them to first 3D-print a part from that data and then make the mold from it, but that would be an unnecessary and costly addition. I'll PM you a contact to not post their information in a public place.

Dieter
 

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Can Opeler
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3,252 Posts
Oof! That’s expensive Keith, but if was the part cost 40$, with s $3000 mold and 50 parts per mold you could sell them for $150 each ($300 set) I bet it would be hard to sell 50 though at that price.
 

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Pedal Smasher
Joined
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2,073 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Dieter...

That 3D scanner is epic. I might just take you up on that offer. I’m gonna give another idea a shot with my scanner. If it doesn’t work, then I’ll let you know I want to try your scanner out. I understand about point cloud, all 3D scanning starts like that. When I view the scans mine creates, it’s all point cloud at first.


The scanning really is the hard part here.
 

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Detritus Maximus
Joined
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2,135 Posts
I can scan the parts to you, w/o charges but shipping the originals back. I have access to an industrial scanner (this one here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cr2aSgDn0m4). Before you get all exited, the result of the scan is a point cloud, or a polygon mesh surface. Let's first see what kind of data you need before we get all exited. We can not generate any native CAD models since we are not into reverse engineering, "only" using our 250K$ scanner for measuring of parts.

There are companies that make Urethane prototype parts, they can make a silicone mold from your original parts and then cast the Urethane part in this mold. The resulting parts have very good mechanical properties and can be painted as well. Expect ~ $ 2,000 to $ 4,000 per mold, and $ 30 - $ 50 per part. Each mold can make ~ 30 - 50 parts, then is goes in the scrap bin.
They could also make the mold from data, but that would require them to first 3D-print a part from that data and then make the mold from it, but that would be an unnecessary and costly addition. I'll PM you a contact to not post their information in a public place.

Dieter
That's a fairly high price for a silicone mold, but I guess that's a professional. I've worked with making some complex molds and can make a decent two or three part mold. I do question the suitability of urethane in a location that sees direct sunlight (potentially a lot) and is subject to 100* temp fluctuations. However, with some decent planning, making molds of each half could be done and then lay them up in fiberglass or carbon.
It sounds complicated or tricky, but it's actually fun to do.
 

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Pedal Smasher
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2,073 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I've already looked at Urethane and ruled it out as an acceptable solution. These vents need to be done using injection molding. If OGTS or Splendid took over, it would be injection molding. If I produce the vents, same thing.
 

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Registered
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569 Posts
Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith View Post
Why limit yourself to OGTS? Why not add SplendidParts to the list?


Because they would charge $300 a set and it would cost $200 in shipping to the US.
That seems like a pretty harsh comment about SplendidParts. Other than the lack of speed in filling orders, I have found them to be quite fair and reasonable, and I think your $200 shipping comment is a bit unfair. As it is, based on other information that has been posted, $300 per set may actually be a reasonable price given the production costs.
 
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