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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so I've looked for 3 hours and because I'm useless I can't find anything!

This is addressed to anyone who knows anything about 3d printing

How much would it cost to pay someone to print these?

Honestly, I just want a rough idea but can't find anything anywhere and I can't make sense of the business quotes ones and having to upload STL files (I think my phone hates me)

Thanks in advance


 

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Interesting! I just happen to do quite a lot of 3D printing, as it happens. Mostly boot-clips for Ampera & door-switches for the same, but I've also done some larger items not-unlike these.
I've downloaded the leaf-rim-petal-curved-vent-valve-v24.stl & run it through my slicer. It's going to take me 3 hours to print one piece, and it will use 50 grams of ABS plastic. ABS costs me 4p/gram, so you're looking at raw material cost of £2.

I'm happy to have a go at these for you, price will be £4 each plus postage. Ping me a message if interested!
 
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Just looked at the Grill block. This measures 96.5 x 134.5 x 295mm, too tall for my printer. In principle I could make this in 2 parts & join together with an acetone-weld. But it appears to be modelled as a completely solid block of material. You're probably best off getting something like a chuck of very rigid dense black foam rubber or somesuch, and carving it to shape. It's going to be very hard to print this as an ABS item, due to thermal contractions as the layers build up & the height of what you're printing gets tall; these upper layers like to cool off, contract, and split away from the warmer layers below. I'm not volunteering for this item!

You could try uploading it to shapeways.com, but I suspect the quote will make your eyes water.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
So grill will be better using foam or something I presume - have seen people do this so I'll look into it

And the petals then, we're looking at £20 per wheel plus postage?

That's not bad actually. I'm guessing that accounts for two different designs, valve and non valve? Also, is abs the best material to use for something like this? Am looking at cheap ways to increase range while I save up some money for the more costly stuff such as battery swap for example, but that'll be ages away yet!
 

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@HandyAndy 's offer is a very good one. But beware the originator of the design has "lost" a number of these, possibly due to the nature of the roads in his country. Whether the current design is more secure is open to question.
I have made grille blocks using correx floor protection sheets, about £4 for a 8' x 4' sheet from a DIY warehouse which is easy to cut and flexible.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's great advice thank you, I wonder if there is a better way of fixing them to the wheel without them popping out

As for the grill I think that is the way forward thank you

Only other option i can think of is flat wheel covers but I can't find any anywhere that are suitable or any other alternative
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What increase are you expecting for your £80 of inserts?
It's not the money its the range

I'm saving £1500 a year Vs my diesel, so to me that's money spare to have a play around and see

I've previously had no interest in modding cars, I don't understand the importance of visual appeal

In my leaf 24 a 5% improvement, which many have implied, still equates to 0.9kw useable energy, which is about an extra 3 miles

That's actually relatively significant and makes a big difference in the leaf
 

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In my leaf 24 a 5% improvement, which many have implied
That make be possible, but probably only at high speeds where aerodynamics are significant. Around town it may actually be worse as you're increasing the inertia in stop/start conditions.

Honestly I'd try using plastic sheet and duct-tape or suchlike to experiment at this stage* (that's what I call cheap) rather than throwing £80 (that could be saved for that future upgrade) at it blind.

(* We're going into winter now, so with the road dirt and low light levels it won't look that bad.)
 

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You are unlikely to be able to accurately enough measure a 3% improvement in aerodynamics because of all of the other variables. I think that this is a matter of blind faith and making you feel better and more confident in the car. A bigger improvement would be to cut your speed by a similar % (so 1-2 MPH) and improve things that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Good advice thank you

Most of our driving is motorway so I figured I'd need the aerodynamics at that range

I like the idea of testing with tape first to see, thank you - the grill looks like it's only going to cost a couple of quid to block it off with correx so that's an easy one to start with

Thanks again
 

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Correx comes in big enough sheets to make temporary wheel covers to tie-wrap on out of the spare from the grille block.
There's also an intriguing open area around the rear axle between the battery pack and the rear diffuser that's ripe for fitting an undertray. Compare the LEAF to an e-Golf and you'll see what I mean.
 

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Good point. It's no problem for me to modify the STLs & put holes through the "clippy" post that sticks up on the inside, the bit with 2 lips which are all that retain it. You might be able to put all 4 petals in, then do a daisy-chain using cable-ties, something like that. But you'll need to be sure that these don't hit any discs or brake drums around; those could get hot & melt something like this. Have a look & see what you think.

Another possibility that would work out much cheaper is you cut petals out of solid sheet plastic, get some sheet that's say 3mm to 4mm thick; I can then remove the correx-bit from the STL, which will greatly reduce the material required. I would then simply print off the hook sections, and these could be fastened to the plastic maybe using some stainless steel countersunk screws or similar. I can print off a thin template with holes in to act as a marking guide for cutting the plastic & making the holes. ABS on a 3D printer is a very expensive way of printing flat sheets - far better if you can find something else for that part of the job. Correx is too flimsy for this approach, as it will simply crush under any screws you use. If you can find ABS sheet, that would be perfect, as you can use acetone as a solvent to fuse the parts together as well as putting in a couple of screws to get the location correct.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Correx comes in big enough sheets to make temporary wheel covers to tie-wrap on out of the spare from the grille block.
There's also an intriguing open area around the rear axle between the battery pack and the rear diffuser that's ripe for fitting an undertray. Compare the LEAF to an e-Golf and you'll see what I mean.
I had a look and I'm trying to get my head around it

Which gap on here do you mean?

 

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It's not the money its the range

I'm saving £1500 a year Vs my diesel, so to me that's money spare to have a play around and see

I've previously had no interest in modding cars, I don't understand the importance of visual appeal

In my leaf 24 a 5% improvement, which many have implied, still equates to 0.9kw useable energy, which is about an extra 3 miles

That's actually relatively significant and makes a big difference in the leaf
Main advantage of the inserts will probably be reduction in brake disk corrosion: wind blown rain over the winter and splashing from road brines will be reduced.
 

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Hey Chad, Don't try to make these in a two part design, the idea is great out of the box. I printed mine in white pla. I will say that due to the heat buildup in the summer on the front brakes going down big hills in germany the front ones warped a little (also i forgot to remove my dala air dam so my aircon temporarily malfunctioned and probably caused heat to be push out of the motor bay through the wheels)

Anyway I have a printer with an anet a8 with a 1mm nozzle setup and can print probably 1 to 2 a day. How desperate are you to get your hands on them? Also what colour do you need as id have to buy in some filament most likely. Been meaning to print a second set for my other leaf and replace the warped ones at the front. can print the dala air block too if you like.
 

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A 1mm nozzle wil certainly speed things. I use 0.4 mm, my time estimate based on that. 1mm noz would go at least 2x faster, might be limited by nozzle heat power, layer adhesion etc. But I would strongly advise against using PLA. It starts to soften like a jelly above 50 C, so park up on a hot sunny day and expect to find them sagging. ABS is ok up to 100C, which is one reason I use it. PLA has its place, but not in cars imho.
 

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well I beg to differ, the back ones are fine in pla, the fronts warmed up due to my stupidity of leaving in the air damn in pretty much a heat wave. Paul Kennett and Dala's newer design also are more vented which would have probably made a world of difference. Just need to put a note in the calendar to remove the air damn before the summer really starts.

I haven't really been a fan of ABS due to the smell also it can be more brittle and these things have been designed to flex a little to allow easy installed and removal.
 

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Fair enough, make sure they stay cool, and they'll be ok. As for brittle, well, in normal room temperatures, PLA is a darn sight more brittle than ABS! I got the PLA Glass Transition temp a bit wrong, it's given here as 60C, not 50. But the stuff will begin to soften up at 50...

Note the elongation at yield; given as 6% for PLA, 20% for ABS. At that point, the PLA tends to snap. It's very stiff, and remarkably like matchstick wood in many ways. ABS is a darn sight tougher, and a lot harder to snap. Much more like Nylon when you go beyond the yield point. PETG should also be a good choice of material, but never tried that myself. I keep meaning to. But snapping shouldn't be an issue in this application.

136029


136030
 

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I tried to print petg on my anet a8 with a 0.4mm nozzle on an e3d clone. prints pla wonderfully as i have auto bed levelling, couldnt ever get a good print out of the black petg. Could have been a bad filament but i think i just didn't have the patience to do enough testing to get past the stringing and issues. I was trying to print 18650 holders for a friends ebike (18650.LT) for the website guy named agnius makes amazing no weld kits. Anyway he also prints better than me so we order the lots from lithuania in the end.

Short version PETG ergh.
 
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