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Old 08-19-2016, 06:55 PM   #16
Uber E30
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I dont think thats what they do, the titanium one talks about sintering with a laser. You take a look though you probably understand the process better than me.

https://i.materialise.com/3d-printing-materials
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:36 PM   #17
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Hey,

That technelogy is very awesome but very expensive. We nearly bought one of those 3D printers but the samples they sent us were not that strong and the cost for material is crazy expensive, something like $100 - $200 per pound for plastic.

I just ran the gear in their pricing system and they told me $65 per gear for aluminum, so $130 a set + shipping. Steel was $376.00 a set. I wouldn't trust platic since the previous plastic gears we made fell apart, but they were $30 per set + shipping.


Not awful if no other solutions exist. Even if they price was reasonable, nothing that is 3D printed has the same quality as a regular part. When they print by layers, sometimes the material does not bond to the lower levels. For most things, that is fine. But for small teeth on a gear, they will get torn up right away. We did not fully realize that when we printed the first gear in Nylon about a year ago but even nylon was wrecked after a few uses.


Thanks for trying to help tho! One day the prices will drop on this sort of stuff. For now, it is a great tool for people protoyping and people who need a single gear (like this) but not for mass production.
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:07 PM   #18
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Yup, two open, close sequences shredded the printed gears. This was on a clean, smooth operating top.

(I am Mike's test pilot... )


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Old 08-19-2016, 10:10 PM   #19
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250 seems like its going to be a struggle though. We have less than 200 active members and I'm guessing just a few of them are Cali tops. My top is sluggish so I'm in for whatever you do but I know moulding is $$$ and might leave you high and dry.
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Old 08-19-2016, 11:57 PM   #20
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Diff note, have you cleaned and dry lubed your top mechanism? Makes a difference and relieves stress on all parts.


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Old 08-20-2016, 01:23 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Diff note, have you cleaned and dry lubed your top mechanism? Makes a difference and relieves stress on all parts.


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Planning to give the whole top a once over and readjust the straps, clean/lube everything etc pretty soon. Thats why I got pumped for gears, figured I would just throw new ones in there at the same time.
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Old 08-20-2016, 02:37 PM   #22
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Yeah, 250 gears might be tough, but I think the market exists.

This site, eBay and word of mouth will be my friends for the next few months.

Thanks for the help so far. Looks like new gears are coming in about 1 month. I will keep you all posted tho.
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Old 08-21-2016, 01:55 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBMWs View Post
Diff note, have you cleaned and dry lubed your top mechanism? Makes a difference and relieves stress on all parts.


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What's the best way to clean the channels Rich? I got some teflon based lubricant a while back, is there an amount that is considered "too much" to spray in there? I think I sprayed some in and worked the top a few times, scared it moved it all to the front.

Also, really in for this gear. All the stock ones will disintegrate at some point!
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Old 09-02-2016, 12:46 AM   #24
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Hi All! I have to apologize, I think I may be holding up the gear creation as I spaced on sending a motor to Mike. I will do that by tomorrow afternoon. No good reason except very busy as of late.

Thanks Andy for reminding me!

Mike, Please PM me your shipping address. Thanks!

Cheers! Rich
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Old 09-02-2016, 02:29 AM   #25
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Will do,

And no, you are not holding anything up yet. Thanks for reaching out tho
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:45 PM   #26
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Mike, sent today via Priority Mail. Cheers!


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1998 318ti Sport - "Max" Schwartz II/Schwartz sport interior, S52
1997 318ti Sport - "Tiny" Schwartz II/Schwartz sport interior
1995 318ti Active - "Blanca" Alpineweib III/Schwartz leather interior

Other Current Bimmers: 2006 530i / 2000 2.3L Z3 / 1997 1.9L Z3 / 1999 540it

1997 318ti Sport - "Huera" - RIP
1995 318ti Active - RIP
1995 318ti Sport - "Tiny" Sold
1994 325i Sedan - "Jade" - Sold
1991 318ic - "Bert" - Sold
1985 635csi sold
1984 533i "Max" Sold
1984 318i sold

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Old 09-08-2016, 08:48 AM   #27
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Just wanted to chime in. I am buying a California top model and my top does not work. I actually don't know if the motor works or not as the previous owner put some rubber sealant around it to keep it from leaking. I've been bouncing between restoring the top and putting in a glass top and I saw someone do and I think it's dope. However if I do need this part I will buy it. Also is there a general cali top thread? I do have questions as to where to get parts and how to replace them.

Thanks!

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Old 09-15-2016, 05:03 AM   #28
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Hey Rich, Got your package. Thanks again.

Everyone,
I am still waiting on the gear sample yet. I only requested a sample size of 4 gears for initial testing so the company is waiting for some downtime before they get me the sample. I am testing them first in the sunroof gear assembly Rich sent me. If all goes well, they get tested in an car. If it passes a real life test, pre-sales go live! If it fails, we change the gear material.

Ralphy2011, I hope you go with restoring it but I am a little bias. haha. If it is honestly glued shut, it might be a nightmare so it depends on how much free time you have coming up. If the gears are bad, you should consider buying a set for future use. Maybe you will want to restore it for spring, or maybe it will help resale value. haha, just follow this thread so you can stay updated
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Old 09-15-2016, 05:41 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotmilk400 View Post
Hey Rich, Got your package. Thanks again.

Everyone,
I am still waiting on the gear sample yet. I only requested a sample size of 4 gears for initial testing so the company is waiting for some downtime before they get me the sample. I am testing them first in the sunroof gear assembly Rich sent me. If all goes well, they get tested in an car. If it passes a real life test, pre-sales go live! If it fails, we change the gear material.

Ralphy2011, I hope you go with restoring it but I am a little bias. haha. If it is honestly glued shut, it might be a nightmare so it depends on how much free time you have coming up. If the gears are bad, you should consider buying a set for future use. Maybe you will want to restore it for spring, or maybe it will help resale value. haha, just follow this thread so you can stay updated
As it turns out restoring the top will be heaps cheaper than getting glass cut to fit. So I will be going the restoration route. I may start a thread so people can follow my "build" (more of a restoration but build I shall call it because build things will happen)

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Old 09-15-2016, 05:49 AM   #30
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I hope you do, that would be very awesome and much needed!
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