Having a hard time locating dash vents for a 73, the ones that sit on top of the dash.
Was thinking about having them made with by a 3D printer service.
anyone use such a service?, would probably be cheaper to run a dozen, than just the 2 I need.
Thoughts?

Last edited by George P
Original Post
If you get them printed make sure the company doing the printing provides some information on the material.

Make sure it is UV stable and can handle the interior temp of the sun load on the dash. Sounds silly on the temp, but some of these 3D materials will only hold dimension to about 110 F.
I have been doing a quite a bit of 3d printing. There is a wide variety of what people can do 3-d printing. I am surprised how how difficult some things can be. While it seems to be a good solution for one off individual items, Making things for consumption can be a bit difficult. Some things don't print well. The surface is often less than....production quality. The plastics often not appropriate.

Often the part needs more hands on attention to get right than some realize. Once the part is made a mold can be made. With a mold, a part can be casted of different materials. LOTS of opportunities!!:



The answer is 1970-71 Lincoln Mark III and Ford Thunderbird.

Unfortunately, they seem just as hard to find and as expensive (a dirty broken one on ebay is $25).
If your problem with the dash vents is loss of tension of the retainer tabs, I used the heat gun I use to heat shrink electrical tubing to warm the tabs to softness, reshaped them, then cooled them with a wet paper towel. Worked well.
I am late to the discussion but I had the same issue (irreplaceable defroster vents) for another car. I do not know the base plastic/material BUT my 3D printed vents came out PERFECTLY.

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Those look great.

I think it would be fantastic if all old cars (Panteras included) had a database of CAD files for 3D printing spare parts. This seems like a perfect application for it.
It was about $2500 (1/2 for computer scan/work on original vent and 1/2 for actual printing of 10 vents).

I now have the program so they are 1/2 price from now on! :-)
As an aside, these were ALSO Ford pieces that are not available as individual pieces.

FWIW - I have my own printer now.

I have not made anything for the Pantera yet, but I did print a seat release handle for my wife's car and a gear for an old pencil sharpener. 

I made a first attempt at a dash vent today.

I found some flaws in my model that I need to correct and I unfortunately copied the original so well that it has the same problem of fragile side tabs.20200114_14412820200114_15291520200114_15305920200114_153944

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We 3D print the cabinets for our small monitor speakers. Our biggest challenge (other than the time it takes to print) has been with consistent surface finish. If we achieve a nice finish one side then usually the adjacent side isn't the same. All the 3D printed cabinets are now sanded, filled, sanded then painted.  Higher resolution printing takes even longer and surface finishing is still required.

I suspect your vents will need to be, at very least, sanded and painted with UV resistant paint. Also, research the different plastic filament that is available. Different companies have standard and unique blends. Check the thermal specs.

Mike

 

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