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Thread: Questions regarding Custom Dash using Additive Mnfg.

  1. #1
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    Questions regarding Custom Dash using Additive Mnfg.

    Hi all.

    I am working on a project for school regarding dash customization. The task is to customize a dash and interface it with an Iphone using additive manufacturing. For those who don't know what additive manufacturing is, it includes any type mnfg. process which takes a CAD model and builds it up layer by layer to create a solid part. My group is proposing to create a customized dock for the iphone which would fit into a standard double-din compartment.

    So...The questions I have for you are...

    What kind of prices would you typically see for a customized dash (including material and labor costs)?
    Do you think additive manufacturing would be an improvement over typical processes like layering and coating fiberglass?
    How important is surface smoothness?
    Do you think an Iphone is a good replacement for a radio?

    In a month or so my group is going to actually build the dock using SLS, so I'll post pics then


  2. #2
    Senior Member powerslave's Avatar
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    Re: Questions regarding Custom Dash using Additive Mnfg.

    What kind of prices would you typically see for a customized dash (including material and labor costs)?
    -It depends on how much customizing youíre talking about. An entire dash would be in the thousand$$, especially if you were talking about fitting custom gauges and forming it to the car. But if youíre just talking about a single din or double din insert, then youíre not talking about very much.


    Do you think additive manufacturing would be an improvement over typical processes like layering and coating fiberglass?
    -Additive manufacturing or SLS systems or rapid prototyping machines are awesome. Iím a design engineer by trade and we use all of those processes. But in the customizing world, these processes donít always apply because every kit car and every dash is a little different. Designing parts from CAD files gives you a part that is exact and repeatable. But one part might fit on one car but not another. Thatís where the Ďcustomizingí part of the process comes into play. In answer to your question, itís not an improvement but itís more of a stepping stone. I think the idea of an iphone dock would be cool as hell and I think that if you created the dock, a customizer could take it a step further and flush mount it into his dash.

    How important is surface smoothness?
    -Surface smoothness is incredibly important. It canít be any more rough than the Iphone itself. Iíve never seen a docking station or clock radio or stereo that didnít have a smooth finish. SLS parts can be sanded and painted to look perfect though, so itís not really an issue.


    Do you think an Iphone is a good replacement for a radio?
    -I think itís a pretty good option, but I donít know about a replacement. If you really wanted an Iphone in your car, then get an Iphone with Bluetooth and a stereo head unit thatís Bluetooth compatible. Then when you get in the car, your Iphone is automatically connected to your stereo system. I know that doesnít exactly help with your SLS project though.

    If you want to do something cool with additive manufacturing, design a remote start system with a key fob in your pocket so that when you get near the car, it unlocks and activates the ignition system so all you have to do is walk up to the car, get in and push a start button. High end cars have this as standard equipment. Aftermarket companies make a similar kit, but Iíve yet to find it for less than $400-500 dollars.

    Anyway, thatís my $2 dollars worth.


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