Plastic Print Costs

Ok.. so what a lot of you will be wondering is how much the plastics are going to cost to print.  I say print because I want to make it clear that the plastic parts are 3D printed and are not popped out of plastic injection moulds.  To give you an idea the single top plastic part seen in the photo above would cost over $15,000 to just create a mould!! Yikes!!!

So like I mentioned before, we’ve partnered with a 3D printing service to bring the best quality prints (as close to an ABS plastic injection part as possible) at the most reasonable price we could find.  A video showing the print quality can be found on our YouTube channel.  The selected printing service is out of the US (I say the US because we’re a couple of crazy Canadians).

Shapeways calculates printing costs based on overall total dimensions of the print along with the volume of material needed to print the part.  Who knows what formula they use, but when we upload our 3D models the “calculating cost” spinner spins away and then generates the price.

Total Print Costs 02-05 350Z (2 parts): $228.91

Total Print Costs 05-07 WRX/STI (3 parts): $284.26

Shapeways also typically does flat rate shipping to wherever you’re located, so you don’t have to worry about crazy shipping rates.  They make it easy for us to post up the 3D models so that you can then order a print from Shapeways.  Workshop 12 doesn’t actually produce/manufacture plastics as someone in the middle, you simply order the model from our storefront on Shapeways and they will print out your items and ship them to you.

To set expectations, when Shapeways prints models, they will group them up with a bunch of other prints that have been purchased in a batch in order to load up their printers with as many parts as possible to provide low cost printing.  That means that anything else that someone ordered on Shapeways that is being printed in the same material gets loaded into the printer (rings, gadgets, etc.).  So it isn’t like they go and grab a part off the shelf, or stick something in the microwave for 60 seconds and then pop it out 🙂 .  That means it will take them a couple of days to print the part/batch, do a quality check on the part and then package it and ship it out.

As you’ll see in the video link above showing the print quality, there will be some texture to the part that you’ll want to sand and smooth out with some scratch filler primer before painting.

We know there was a lot of interest in the FRS/BRZ/86 plastics that we were working on, but before we actually spend the money to complete the 3D modelling for the connection clips and re-do the screen holder to fit a tablet we are trying to see if we can actually find a way to run the climate control from an Arduino and a custom shield.  If we can’t make that happen then we feel it isn’t worth spending the money to finish those plastics.  We just want to be open and transparent with you on where we stand with the FRS/BRZ/86.


That being said, we’ve purchased both the manual and automatic climate control units along with all the Toyota parts/plugs/servos to see if any harness can be made to retrofit the manual FRS climate control to be automated by Arduino.  There’s lots to figure out in both of the climate scenarios.  We hope by automating the automatic climate control we can learn a lot to then apply to the manual.  Both need to run the servos.

For shits and giggles we uploaded our existing 3D models of the FRS/BRZ/86 to Shapeways to get an idea of print costs and they calculate to be in the $360 range.  This will vary based on 3D model changes for the tablet holder and extra clips that we’re currently missing.

We’ll be blogging and videoing the test fitting progress of the plastics as well as the up’s and down’s of trying to first reverse engineer the climate control, and then control it ourselves 🙂

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