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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
I received the first batch of parts a few days ago, after a few rounds of failed attempts to make the anodized aluminium parts. The laser cutting was making small singe marks in the metal, and the bending process also marked up the surface. Fortunately after a lot of polishing and a darker shade of anodizing, the aluminium looks good. The aluminium part alone is a bit warped from cutting the circular holes:

Hood Automotive design Automotive exterior Tints and shades Shade


However, the carbon fiber frame straightens it out almost completely:

Wood Gas Liquid Water Metal


Whatever twist is left, is completely straightened out once installed in the car.

The Porsche crest is held in place with some special nuts that come with it. The nuts have a gasket built into them, and this gasket needs to be squished flat in order to fasten the nut:

White Light Product Font Auto part


Once the centerpiece is installed, the misalignment with the red intake caps became apparent. I knew that this was possible, but was hoping that it wouldn't be too visible. Here are a few views of the misalignment between the centerpiece and intake caps:

Automotive design Bumper Hood Automotive exterior Personal luxury car


Hood Luggage and bags Motor vehicle Trunk Bag


Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive design


Not only is the intake cap stagger distracting, but the 5 degree tilt angle on the centerpiece's wings don't look right next to the caps. In order to solve this, I designed a couple of "wedges" that install under the intake caps that remove the stagger and add a 5 degree inclination:

Light Product Font Urban design Sleeve


The wedges are so large they need to be printed in multiple pieces, and take about 8 hours per side to print. Here is what one of the wedges looks like:

Automotive tire Automotive lighting Automotive design Bumper Automotive exterior


Here are the wedges installed on the stock intake caps:

Automotive air manifold Vehicle Automotive fuel system Motor vehicle Automotive design


To be continued in the next comment...
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
With the wedges in place, the red intake caps are now aligned with the centerpiece:

Motor vehicle Hood Automotive design Automotive exterior Bumper


Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design Trunk Automotive exterior


Hood Motor vehicle Trunk Automotive lighting Automotive exterior


With the car buttoned up, I think it's looking better. The next three photos are in the dark, with only the car's interior lights on:

Trunk Automotive design Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Vehicle door


Automotive lighting Vehicle Motor vehicle Car Automotive design


Automotive lighting Hood Trunk Motor vehicle Vehicle


The photos don't really do it justice. It looks a lot nicer in person.

After doing all this work, I realized that I can probably mount the centerpiece directly onto the intake wedges instead of on its own mounting base. This would reduce the parts count and save a good chunk of cost. The next step will be to modify the wedges so that the centerpiece mounts directly onto them. I also have to add some alignment landmarks to the wedges so that it's easier to install them in exactly the right spots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
I've finished designing the new base pieces for the intake caps and centerpiece:

Sleeve Font Art Illustration Graphics


Bumper Automotive exterior Automotive tire Rectangle Slope


The new base (one of which is shown above) drops right onto the stock intake caps, and are sized so that they're self-aligning to the car. On the inboard side of the bases are oval pins that hold the centerpiece in place. The centerpiece's wings act as springs to hold itself snug without rattling around. The red intake caps are mounted on top with 3M double-sided tape.

In order to print these large bases effectively, last weekend I got a larger and faster 3D printer. With the new printer, it takes around 16 hours to print a set of parts. I'm also using my old 3D printer to make the smaller parts.

Bumper Trigger Gun barrel Automotive exterior Gas


In the photo below, you can see one of the base pieces mounted on the stock intake cap:

Automotive fuel system Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Bumper


Here is how it looks in the car at night. The intake caps are no longer staggered:

Automotive lighting Hood Trunk Motor vehicle Car


Now starts the task of producing the bases en-masse for those who are patiently waiting for their set...
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
I've also been working my new design of intake caps, which now has the logo painted on instead of printed. When testing the paint mask for the first time, I stumbled upon something interesting:

Musical instrument accessory Tool Trunk Bumper Luggage and bags


The paint mask, which in this case is matte black vinyl, actually looks nice! I may try making a proper set (without any air bubbles) and see how it handles the heat from the engine bay. It reminds me of the 2017 911 RSR livery:

Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Hood
 

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I've also been working my new design of intake caps, which now has the logo painted on instead of printed. When testing the paint mask for the first time, I stumbled upon something interesting:

View attachment 277218

The paint mask, which in this case is matte black vinyl, actually looks nice! I may try making a proper set (without any air bubbles) and see how it handles the heat from the engine bay. It reminds me of the 2017 911 RSR livery:

View attachment 277219
I think that looks great. I think it would really look good if you used some carbon fiber wrap instead of the black vinyl.


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I can attest that his design skills are awesome. I purchased a set of red intake caps for my 987 and they fit and look great. I have not permanently installed them yet being I’m still waiting for my clear engine cover to come in.
 

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OK...guess I'll go first.

I'm a sucker for a white car with red interior.
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Hood




I've been following OneTimeCS's journey on the clear cover. He and I both have a white Cayman S.
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Vehicle registration plate




The only red in my car were the seat belts so I painted as much trim as I could...red.
Car Vehicle Gear shift Motor vehicle Car seat cover




Then I got the clear engine cover with the red intake plenum covers. Just to add a little more red...I painted the centers of the filler caps.
Hood Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Automotive design




And now OneTimeCS blesses us with the Centerpiece. It truly is fine just as it comes...but I can't leave well enough alone ;) I wanted more contrast and thought the aluminum part needs to be a little brighter in color and match the rear filler cap trim piece so I sand blasted it and finished it in a stainless moly resin. And, you guessed it...I painted the carbon fiber...red.

Automotive lighting Hood Trunk Car Motor vehicle


Thanks OneTimeCS...I think it looks like jewelry back there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Thank you, CLB63 for sharing your customized engine setup. I think that's one of the things I truly like about designing all these parts: there are endless possibilities of personalizing the car. I've seen many 981 clear engine cover installations over the past 3 years I've been making them, and no two cars are the same.

I'm playing around with a different red intake cap design, and here is what my engine bay looks like now:

Vehicle Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tail & brake light Car


I'm not sure what I think about the red/black caps yet. They're ok I suppose. I might eventually change them for a Gulf livery themed design. Either that, or every time Porsche introduces a new RSR livery I could follow suit.

Here is a friend's base Cayman without the crest:

Motor vehicle Car Hood Automotive design Automotive lighting


Now that I've caught up with production of the first batch, I can share some of the more obscure details of the engine centerpiece design. Early on in the design process, I researched the different flat-rate shipping options from USPS, UPS, and FedEx. In the end I found that UPS's offering was the best match, and found a box that worked well. This is a mundane but important detail - if the engine centerpiece was 1/2" longer, flat rate was no longer possible and the shipping costs would have gone up by 33%. To ensure that the design wouldn't cause any shipping issues, I included a model of the box interior volume:

Azure Rectangle Art Font Aqua


When designing the original mounting base for the engine centerpiece, I designed it so that it easily aligned to engine landmarks for proper positioning. Just as I did for the other accessories installed in the engine bay, I chose to avoid using screws and nuts that could potentially fall into the engine bay. In order to achieve this, the mounting base needed to have pegs that the centerpiece clamps onto. The aluminium wings of the centerpiece act as springs to keep everything under tension, and they're easily adjustable by gently bending the wings inwards or outwards. The original mounting base was designed to be small enough to fit in my 3D printer:

Rectangle Plumbing fixture Shade Automotive lighting Automotive exterior


However, after installing the first unit in my car I realised that the red caps needed to be tilted to visually line up with the centerpiece. This made things difficult because I knew that any wedge I designed to be mounted under the caps would be too large for my 3D printer. The wedges were designed to be printed in 3 parts that used dovetail joints to join together:

Automotive lighting Bumper Rectangle Automotive design Automotive exterior


All 3D printed parts I make for automotive use are made of ABS due to its material properties, especially with regards to temperature. One nice thing about ABS is that you can use acetone to melt it. After joining the 3 parts together, I wicked acetone into the joints. After a few seconds, the parts are fused together.

Looking at the logistics of making two wedges in six pieces and separate mounting bases for the centerpiece, this was looking to be very time-consuming and more expensive than it needed to be. Printing time would be about 25 hours per set. I made the decision to redesign the wedges to become the mounting base as well, which required a ground-up redesign. I also decided to invest in a larger 3D printer which could print the entire footprint in one go. The new design dropped the print time to 13 hours per set.

Automotive tire Bumper Automotive exterior Automotive wheel system Auto part


While the new wedge/mounting base design's footprint fits inside the new printer, it's still printed in 4 pieces in order to provide the best balance in geometry, light weight, and strength. The four pieces are an upper piece, lower piece, and two pegs. The pegs are printed separately so that I could orient them for the highest strength and resolution from the 3D printer. The upper and lower pieces are designed with overlapping structural areas as well as a couple alignment holes. I thread screws into the alignment holes to hold the parts together in perfect alignment while I acetone-fuse them:

Automotive lighting Bumper Automotive exterior Rectangle Watercraft


When printing the parts, I chose a 15% infill with triangular structure, which gives a good combination of light weight, fast print time, and structural rigidity. Below is a photo that shows the upper and lower parts of a base while it's being printed, with the interior infill structure showing:

Automotive tire Grey Automotive lighting Automotive exterior Gas


It took a half dozen iterations to get the fitment correct, but the end result is a 3D printed base that drops snug onto the engine's stock intake caps and provides the proper alignment for the red caps and centerpiece. Another welcome byproduct of the new base design is that it removed the stagger between the red caps in their original positions. Everything looks much more symmetric in the engine now.

Hood Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive exterior Auto part


Since the centerpiece snaps into place with simple spring tension, accessing the area underneath for engine maintenance/repairs is very simple. Just squeeze the wings inwards a bit and lift the centerpiece out. The mounting bases stay in the car, but they're not in the way of any serviceable part of the engine.
 

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Thank you, CLB63 for sharing your customized engine setup. I think that's one of the things I truly like about designing all these parts: there are endless possibilities of personalizing the car. I've seen many 981 clear engine cover installations over the past 3 years I've been making them, and no two cars are the same.

I'm playing around with a different red intake cap design, and here is what my engine bay looks like now:

View attachment 277440

I'm not sure what I think about the red/black caps yet. They're ok I suppose. I might eventually change them for a Gulf livery themed design. Either that, or every time Porsche introduces a new RSR livery I could follow suit.

Here is a friend's base Cayman without the crest:

View attachment 277441

Now that I've caught up with production of the first batch, I can share some of the more obscure details of the engine centerpiece design. Early on in the design process, I researched the different flat-rate shipping options from USPS, UPS, and FedEx. In the end I found that UPS's offering was the best match, and found a box that worked well. This is a mundane but important detail - if the engine centerpiece was 1/2" longer, flat rate was no longer possible and the shipping costs would have gone up by 33%. To ensure that the design wouldn't cause any shipping issues, I included a model of the box interior volume:

View attachment 277442

When designing the original mounting base for the engine centerpiece, I designed it so that it easily aligned to engine landmarks for proper positioning. Just as I did for the other accessories installed in the engine bay, I chose to avoid using screws and nuts that could potentially fall into the engine bay. In order to achieve this, the mounting base needed to have pegs that the centerpiece clamps onto. The aluminium wings of the centerpiece act as springs to keep everything under tension, and they're easily adjustable by gently bending the wings inwards or outwards. The original mounting base was designed to be small enough to fit in my 3D printer:

View attachment 277443

However, after installing the first unit in my car I realised that the red caps needed to be tilted to visually line up with the centerpiece. This made things difficult because I knew that any wedge I designed to be mounted under the caps would be too large for my 3D printer. The wedges were designed to be printed in 3 parts that used dovetail joints to join together:

View attachment 277444

All 3D printed parts I make for automotive use are made of ABS due to its material properties, especially with regards to temperature. One nice thing about ABS is that you can use acetone to melt it. After joining the 3 parts together, I wicked acetone into the joints. After a few seconds, the parts are fused together.

Looking at the logistics of making two wedges in six pieces and separate mounting bases for the centerpiece, this was looking to be very time-consuming and more expensive than it needed to be. Printing time would be about 25 hours per set. I made the decision to redesign the wedges to become the mounting base as well, which required a ground-up redesign. I also decided to invest in a larger 3D printer which could print the entire footprint in one go. The new design dropped the print time to 13 hours per set.

View attachment 277445

While the new wedge/mounting base design's footprint fits inside the new printer, it's still printed in 4 pieces in order to provide the best balance in geometry, light weight, and strength. The four pieces are an upper piece, lower piece, and two pegs. The pegs are printed separately so that I could orient them for the highest strength and resolution from the 3D printer. The upper and lower pieces are designed with overlapping structural areas as well as a couple alignment holes. I thread screws into the alignment holes to hold the parts together in perfect alignment while I acetone-fuse them:

View attachment 277446

When printing the parts, I chose a 15% infill with triangular structure, which gives a good combination of light weight, fast print time, and structural rigidity. Below is a photo that shows the upper and lower parts of a base while it's being printed, with the interior infill structure showing:

View attachment 277447

It took a half dozen iterations to get the fitment correct, but the end result is a 3D printed base that drops snug onto the engine's stock intake caps and provides the proper alignment for the red caps and centerpiece. Another welcome byproduct of the new base design is that it removed the stagger between the red caps in their original positions. Everything looks much more symmetric in the engine now.

View attachment 277448

Since the centerpiece snaps into place with simple spring tension, accessing the area underneath for engine maintenance/repairs is very simple. Just squeeze the wings inwards a bit and lift the centerpiece out. The mounting bases stay in the car, but they're not in the way of any serviceable part of the engine.
It looks really nice and very well thought out, based on your clear expertise. While I’m not interested per se in the product, I do like the way it looks, I’m more interested in your printing skills. I have been trying to successfully print ABS and PETG and would love to know your slicer profile. I use Cura and an Ender 3 Pro with a glass bed, in an enclosure.


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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
It looks really nice and very well thought out, based on your clear expertise. While I’m not interested per se in the product, I do like the way it looks, I’m more interested in your printing skills. I have been trying to successfully print ABS and PETG and would love to know your slicer profile. I use Cura and an Ender 3 Pro with a glass bed, in an enclosure.


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ABS is really sensitive to temperatures and clearances. It's almost required that you use an enclosure. I use Simplify 3D for my Craftbot XL and Makerware for my Makerbot Replicator, but Cura is as good as it gets. I much prefer using a glass bed than anything else, as it gives (in my opinion) the nicest, most robust surface to work on and sticks when it's supposed to. Feel free to send me an email at [email protected] with what difficulties you're having, and I can give some feedback.
 
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