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Thread: How to do "mirror" a part?

  1. #1

    How to do "mirror" a part?

    Hi all,

    Basically I have one side of a pair of side skirts for my Mini, and I would like to know whether there is any technique that I can make a mirror image (reversed left and right) of the side skirt I have?

    If they the same I could have just made a standard fibreglass mould. But since I need it mirrored I'm hoping to hear some clever techniques

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: How to do "mirror" a part?

    There is one technique you could use but it's a bit hit and miss depending on the complexity of the shape you are trying to 'flip'. Basically you lay up a woven fibreglass fabric on to the part - you must use epoxy resin not a polyester as it is not flexible enough, and it must be a woven fabric not just CSM - you only need a very thin lay up, sometimes as little as two layers of 200gsm woven glass. Let it cure overnight and then carefully remove it. If you have used a good epoxy you should then be able to 'flip' the mould inside out and lay up a part on the reversed surface (sometimes a little heat can help to make the mould flip, but be careful not to use too much and distort the shape!). When cured you can remove it and it will be a flipped version of your original part. Obviously it will then need finishing as the surface will not be the same texture as the original part, but the texture of the outside of the temporary mould you made.

    I've done this a couple of times with specialist cars where replacement panels aren't available so you have to mould the opposite side and 'flip' them using this technique.

    There is no simpler way that I'm aware of, unless you want to get into the area of laser scanning a part, having the digital image reversed, having it CNC'd and then turning it into a part....

  3. #3
    Senior Member wbnemo1's Avatar
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    Re: How to do "mirror" a part?

    this sounds really cool..does it really work?

    any pics?

    Will

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    Re: How to do "mirror" a part?

    This has to be the MOST informative piece of information on this site (and there is a WHOLE LOT of informative info on this site!!!)!!!

    So basically, you just have to make half a plug, then use two layers of fiberglass weave with epoxy and turn it inside out for the other half -what a time saver!!! All these other guys have been painstakingly measuring and rebuilding until they get the exact shape, when they could have just done this!

    Thanks - I love this site!!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: How to do "mirror" a part?

    That is a very cool idea and I would love to see how it would work out. I may have to try it just to see how it works.

    The stuff I have done is not quite so elegant but also work more of less. These were with smaller parts mind you so a full rocker side kit may be a bit too much to do this way but an option all the same.

    Take the first piece and mold it. Same thing where you use a couple maybe 3 layers of regular resin and woven glass of mat whatever your preference. Once cured you take the mold off and sand the outside of the mold well if you have used waxed resin. If you have used non-maxed, the above process is not required.

    Once the mold is off the first piece, create a flat template of the mold where it would mostly be sitting against a flat surface. You make this plate to allow you to turn it over and have the same shape that you will lay your pidces against.

    You now mark every 1/2 inch or possibly smaller along the length of the mold. The smaller measurements would be for more complex parts. If you have a very complex part with lots of transitions and differing surfaces, this method will be pretty difficult but not impossible. Once you mark the mold, mark the flat piece you took from the inside of the mold as well so you have the same mark positioning.

    Once all the marks are in place, you draw a line across the mold at each mark. Essentially, you are doing cut sections of the mold pretty much the same as doing a 3d drawing and taking cuts of it to create form. This is the opposite side of the what the forms would be. You then cut at each mark line.

    Turn the cut pieces around and set them up against your flat template piece. The marks you put on the template should now help guide you for proper piece placement. When placing the pieces in the reverse order, remember you have a blade width that has been taken out of the pieces so lay the cut pieces a slight distance apart to account for the blade materiel that is no longer there.

    Once all the pieces are cut and reversed, you then lay a couple layers of fiberglass on to the outside of the pieces to maintain their position. Once cured, you turn the new mold over and see all the inside lines that you will need to now spend some time sanding into the proper shape.

    After all said and done, you now have a reversed mold that you can pull a part from , clean it up and then pull a second mold from to get a really nice shape and finish if you are making more than one.

    You can also do the same thing as above only when you take a mold, pull a part from the first mold and do the cut lines on that piece and then take a mold from the new reversed piece. About the same amount of work but sometimes a but easier to work on given you are working on an outside surface versus an inside surface.

    Good luck
    Don
    308 Ferrari replica
    Prova Countach 5000QV

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    Re: How to do "mirror" a part?

    Are you saying to turn each cut 1/2" strip inside out and rebond them all back together accordingly? That sounds great, especially for a highly detailed part that couldn't/wouldn't turn inside out!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: How to do "mirror" a part?

    Not turn them inside out. Turn them around so that the piece is, essentially, backwards compared to what it was on the original piece but in the same sopt on the overall part. Kind of hard to explain.

    This method works well for shapes that are not changing contours rapidly or have complex shapes since you have end up wiith "ridges" in the resulting piece/mold that need to be sanded down and filled appropriately to get back to the orgiginal shape only mirrored.

    You would not be able to turn the pieces inside out with regular resin based fiberglassing as it will cure to a hard shape not flexible as explained inthe first response.

    Cheers

    Don
    308 Ferrari replica
    Prova Countach 5000QV

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