It’s amazing how quickly the number of applicable uses for 3D printing have come about. When combined with 3D scanning, an even more incredible function emerges, 3D copying. Just like with 2D printers and scanners, when you combine the two technologies you create a copy machine. As the technologies behind both 3D scanning and printing develop further, and costs are reduced, the ability for almost anyone to make near-exact copies of millions of everyday objects will expand.
One Sunnyvale, California woman named Lenore Edman, who also is the founder of EvilMadScientist.com, has seen this technology’s capabilities first hand. Her parents had recently dropped by her house in her dad’s 1934 Dodge Brothers pickup truck. For those unfamiliar with this vehicle, it’s a gem for anyone with an eye for vintage trucks. The Dodge Brothers company, now known just as ‘Dodge’, was founded in 1900 by brothers John and Horace Dodge. Restoration of vehicles from that era are common and certainly a hobbyist’s dream. This means there are still a decent number on the roads today.
Edman’s father who obviously loved the vehicle, found the need for a passenger side mirror. Eighty years ago, when they manufactured this truck, vehicles did not usually come with a mirror on the passenger side. Today, however, most states require two side view mirrors, not to mention it’s much safer and easier to drive such a vehicle with a mirror on both sides. The problem… how do you get a matching copy of the driver’s side mirror, only reversed to fit on the passenger side, when no such mirror was ever produced by the manufacturer?
Well, if you have access to a 3D scanner and printer, this is quite easy! What Edman’s father did was scan the driver’s side mirror, have a CAD model created for that scan, mirrored the model, and then 3D printed it. To get the exact look of its left side twin, he had it sand casted with aluminum, and then painted black. As you can see by the photos, the new mirror turned out quite well, and although some adjustments will need to be made so that the positioning of the actual mirror is ideal for the driver, there have already been several requests from friends and fellow vintage car enthusiasts for similar parts.
Edman writes on her blog, that her father has also used the scanner to help him produce insulation board for between the cab and the engine compartment, only instead of 3D printing the part, he used a computer aided laser cutter.
Let’s hear your thoughts on this technology which has enabled individuals to produce objects that never would have been possible only a few years ago. Have you ever done anything similar? Discuss in the 3D printing & vintage car forum thread on 3DPB.com.[Image Source: evilmadscientist.com]
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