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SC- 1st Gen (1992-2000)

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Old 01-28-17, 11:09 PM   #31
KahnBB6
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^^ I do feel scanning and 3D printing discontinued parts for replacements will become a thing... just as soon as practical ways to do it emerge. For instance, affordable methods of accurately scanning interior plastics, even large pieces such as the SC interior door surrounds.

MLeopard, I can confirm today that you are correct and that I was overly optimistic about fitting three 52mm gauges inside a single 1-DIN panel. I actually ordered the three gauge bezel pictured in my post above which was designed for an MK4 VW Golf radio area (by 42 Draft Designs). As far as I could tell I was dealing with a true 1-DIN opening in that generation Golf so I figured the bezel must fit into my Metra 2-DIN bracket that I've had sitting around waiting to be used.

NOPE

I think the internal mounting area of that car's dash must be the standard 2-DIN size but the external bezel area the panel goes into is larger than what we have. And as you observed the gauges are very tight in the pictured bezel and not at all easy to fit into your custom 1-DIN frontal area in your CAD file.

Smaller diameter gauges would probably fit in a neat little row but the only way to have three 52mm in that strictly defined 1-DIN space is, I assume, how you did it by staggering them.

You never know unless you try! But now I think I am leaning towards your CAD design for flush gauges below a standard 1-DIN radio.

...

Or, as another crazy idea... putting the two 52mm gauges offset to the left in a tight configuration and figuring out some other data/readout purpose for whatever remaining space is available even if that is a very common and inexpensive LED voltmeter panel (which would save the need for a 52mm voltmeter gauge). Either that or some non-round LED wideband panel or LED air-fuel ratio panel or a combination of a couple.

I'm just thinking out loud at this point and you did share these for others to play with them after all but that and the staggered three-gauge mockup you came up with I think are great options for this design you've come up with!

Last edited by KahnBB6; 01-28-17 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 01-28-17, 11:54 PM   #32
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Or, as another crazy idea... putting the two 52mm gauges offset to the left in a tight configuration and figuring out some other data/readout purpose for whatever remaining space is available
You could just leave that extra space blank, allowing various cutouts to be made for switches.
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Old 01-29-17, 04:25 AM   #33
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^^ That too, yes. I guess I was thinking first in terms of data-displaying things being on this 1-DIN section (gauges and a small electronic display) but yes, switches could go there too.
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Old 01-29-17, 06:11 PM   #34
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Kahn, funny you found that VW DIN plate too. I strongly considered getting one to see if I could make it work before going down this path.
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Old 01-29-17, 11:12 PM   #35
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Kahn, funny you found that VW DIN plate too. I strongly considered getting one to see if I could make it work before going down this path.
MLeopard, great minds think alike! That was some serious digging you did to find it too as it appears to be rather obscure outside the VW Golf community.

I assume it's not useful at this point but if you wish I can take any pictures or measurements (I have a digital caliper gauge handy) or compare it to my OEM dash opening or my Metra 2-DIN bezel for SC's. I plan to list it on eBay since I cannot use it but while I have it and since you're experimenting I'll be happy to contribute with it if you can think of anything.

It is quite close to fitting when you eyeball it but once you get it up close it's obvious that it will not despite being classified as a "1-DIN" gauge panel. I am sure it fits perfectly in an MK4 Golf's dash. Construction is decent and clean ABS plastic but nothing special. It makes me think the VDO Vision Black gauges it was designed for must be self-anchoring either to the back of the panel or to another part of the inside dash opening with their own bracket.

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Old 01-29-17, 11:25 PM   #36
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MLeopard, the more I look at it I really like your three gauge offset variant. Did those VDO Vision Black dimensions also cover the rear? Do you think the two outer gauges would clear the tight arrangement internally? I assume most gauges are round with no protrusions other than the bezels themselves. And that MK4 gauge panel at least demonstrates those models can fit in tight places.

Now I am wondering if there is anything digital/LED based that is narrow and thin worth inserting in the small area below the middle gauge. I doubt there is another engine instrument or readout that small that could be justified other than perhaps small generally available status LEDs or conventional bulbs for some sort of status indicator. All gauges have their own identifying labels anyway.
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Old 01-29-17, 11:45 PM   #37
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Also, what CAD software are you guys using to create these designs? I tried an open source CAD editor/viewer with a couple of these files but they seem to require different file extensions? CAD software is all very new to me
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Old 01-30-17, 12:26 AM   #38
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Solidworks.

It's not free, but PM me I can possibly help you get a license.
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Old 01-30-17, 12:54 AM   #39
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Thank you 2JZ4lyfe! I found it. I see they have a fully functional trial available and that is probably fine for me to mess with one or two projects once I know exactly what to open and have my intended change notes ready.

For the physical 3D plastic printing do you guys have any preferred service you would recommend? I found Quickparts 3D Systems based in Atlanta, GA that takes online submissions. I am not sure the rates they charge but it looks like they do everything. Maybe they're too big a company to bring small CAD files like these?
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Old 01-30-17, 05:24 AM   #40
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MLeopard, the more I look at it I really like your three gauge offset variant. Did those VDO Vision Black dimensions also cover the rear? Do you think the two outer gauges would clear the tight arrangement internally? I assume most gauges are round with no protrusions other than the bezels themselves. And that MK4 gauge panel at least demonstrates those models can fit in tight places.

Now I am wondering if there is anything digital/LED based that is narrow and thin worth inserting in the small area below the middle gauge. I doubt there is another engine instrument or readout that small that could be justified other than perhaps small generally available status LEDs or conventional bulbs for some sort of status indicator. All gauges have their own identifying labels anyway.
Yes, their dimensions also covered the rear, I looked specifically at the screw on mounting cup. They also have gauges that use the more typical U-bracket. You would probably need to rotate the gauges to get the U-brackets to fit. Even with the stagger and relief cuts that I added, it's possible the wings that mount the bezel would need to be trimmed to clear the mounting cups.

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Also, what CAD software are you guys using to create these designs? I tried an open source CAD editor/viewer with a couple of these files but they seem to require different file extensions? CAD software is all very new to me
I'm using Solidworks. Windows 10 has a built in 3D Builder app. I've realized over the weekend that I didn't upload a compatible file type for it though. I'll address that tonight.
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Old 01-30-17, 06:23 AM   #41
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I personally am using Solidworks Premium 2016. No idea what license I have as it's through work.
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Old 01-30-17, 03:19 PM   #42
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Ah, I'm an OS X user here. I'd probably have to install a virtual machine to use it.

MLeopard, thank you for addressing those details! I will have to give it a try whenever I can get one of these files 3D printed. I figured the internal mounting might be tight and require a little modification. That's why I though the offset two gauges plus some sort of other data readout, LED or panel such as an AFR or even a Voltmeter might be another good alternative layout. Personally I love the three offset gauge layout best!
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Old 01-30-17, 06:30 PM   #43
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Ah, I'm an OS X user here. I'd probably have to install a virtual machine to use it.

MLeopard, thank you for addressing those details! I will have to give it a try whenever I can get one of these files 3D printed. I figured the internal mounting might be tight and require a little modification. That's why I though the offset two gauges plus some sort of other data readout, LED or panel such as an AFR or even a Voltmeter might be another good alternative layout. Personally I love the three offset gauge layout best!
In that case, you might check out Autodesk Fusion. http://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/overview. I've messed with their stuff a little before. It's a different experience for me as a Solidworks user but it seems capable of doing everything you'd need.

No problem tweaking the models. You and t2d2 tossed out some good ideas.

I've uploaded STL files of everything now as well. That's the format most 3D printing software will want to begin with.
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Old 01-30-17, 07:10 PM   #44
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Autodesk Inventor is somewhat like Solidworks aswell.
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Old 01-30-17, 11:03 PM   #45
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In that case, you might check out Autodesk Fusion. http://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/overview. I've messed with their stuff a little before. It's a different experience for me as a Solidworks user but it seems capable of doing everything you'd need.
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Autodesk Inventor is somewhat like Solidworks aswell.
Thanks guys! I will give it a try!

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No problem tweaking the models. You and t2d2 tossed out some good ideas.

I've uploaded STL files of everything now as well. That's the format most 3D printing software will want to begin with.
I appreciate you humoring us a bit with some tweaking! Thank you for the uploads. I am going to see if I can open them here.

Is each variant an individual CAD file or are all the variants switchable inside one file before an output file is locked (similar to how multiple layers are in a Photoshop project file before the desired ones are selected and "flattened" prior to export)?

Edit: I got the one original "gauge_panel.STEP" (with the two gauge spacing) to open in Autodesk Inventor. It looks great in there and fully manipulable. The other file, "gauge_panel.SLDPRT" seems like it needs another software to open (probably Autodesk Fusion or SolidWorks as you both mentioned).

The other template variants don't seem to be there unless I am just not familiar with how the layers or options inside these files work.

Forgive a beginner. I don't want to take us way off topic from the designs into a software tutorial.

Last edited by KahnBB6; 01-30-17 at 11:16 PM.
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