Wiper switch $$...possible to 3D print own parts? - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-05-2016, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
hi_on_jeeps
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Wiper switch $$...possible to 3D print own parts?

Let me start by saying I drive a 1995 Jeep Wrangler. Recently, the metal "bracket" on my wiper switch broke, which to me, shows very poor manufacturing or material choice, considering the plastic and electrical components outlasted the metal ones. See the attached image for the metal "bracket" I'm talking about.

OK...some times things just fail. I can accept that. But when I went online to find a new replacement part (no I don't have a junkyard near me), I was shocked to find that I have to buy a whole new wiper switch and they are NOT CHEAP. The cheapest one I could find (w/tilt & inter.) was about $80. I feel like I shouldn't have to replace the entire switch, considering it is the mounting bracket which broke, not the switch. The bracket should cost $5-$10 at best considering it's a metal casting.

Does anyone know where I can buy just the metal mounting bracket? I've seen the switches sold with plastic mounting brackets, which made me think that maybe I could 3D print this part, but I would need the drawings. Does anyone know where I could find the drawings?

In general, the Jeep Forum/community should start a database for such things where you can download drawings for cheap parts and print them yourself!

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post #2 of 15 Old 06-05-2016, 07:01 AM
jay-h
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I would think that 3D printing a part in plastic where the original metal part failed seems like a doomed plan. Injection molded performance plastic (typical for these parts) will be significantly stronger than printed.

I know it feels painful to spend $80, but how much is your time worth?

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post #3 of 15 Old 06-05-2016, 10:57 AM
arbakken
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Here's the problem though, if you found someone to 3d print that piece out of plastic, it would cost at least $80. If you could find someone to 3d print that out of metal, it would be $2000.

Hate to say it, but $80 is pretty okay for that part.
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-05-2016, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by arbakken View Post
Here's the problem though, if you found someone to 3d print that piece out of plastic, it would cost at least $80. If you could find someone to 3d print that out of metal, it would be $2000.

Hate to say it, but $80 is pretty okay for that part.
I can 3d print PLA for $0.05 a gram at my university, if I use their filament, so a $80 part would be a little over 3.5lbs? My friend was using some online thing where you upload your file and people bid on the job, he was printing similar items for less than the cost of shipping.

I think it might be this site. They will charge a flat rate set up fee, then charge you either per gram or per hour of print time, then charge you shipping. Depending on the person you select you get different material options.
https://www.3dhubs.com/

Here is a Kg of PLA for about $30, http://www.amazon.com/RioRand-Filame...=1&*entries*=0

Where are you coming up with this $80 cost to print a fairly simple bracket?

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post #5 of 15 Old 06-05-2016, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay-h
I would think that 3D printing a part in plastic where the original metal part failed seems like a doomed plan
Jut food for thought.... Chrysler was paying an engineer to design that switch as cheap as possible while holding up to typical use. If they could have saved just a few cents by making the bracket out of plastic they would have. It's metal for a reason.
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post #6 of 15 Old 06-05-2016, 12:28 PM
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this is the factory part from 1995? its over 20 years old and its not made well enough..thats f..... funny.

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post #7 of 15 Old 06-05-2016, 12:46 PM
jay-h
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Originally Posted by sbcranger View Post
Jut food for thought.... Chrysler was paying an engineer to design that switch as cheap as possible while holding up to typical use. If they could have saved just a few cents by making the bracket out of plastic they would have. It's metal for a reason.
Basically true. Nit pick: If I'm not mistaken, that's actually a GM component.

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post #8 of 15 Old 06-05-2016, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay-h
Basically true. Nit pick: If I'm not mistaken, that's actually a GM component.
I wouldn't know I am a cj guy, but would not be suprised in the least.
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post #9 of 15 Old 06-05-2016, 05:02 PM
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The CJs had GM steering columns as well. All Jeeps did for decades. It wasn't till after Chrysler bought Jeep that they started to move away from all the GM and Ford parts they used to be built with...

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post #10 of 15 Old 06-05-2016, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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It's not the original factory part. I actually replaced it a few years ago with an after market one. I suspect that that may be the reason for the lack of quality. In fact, one of the reviews I just read about this part said that metal bracket failed on them immediately....so I do suspect they're not manufacturing these like they use to.

$80 is a lot for a mounting bracket. If you think otherwise, we're in two different financial brackets.

As for the 3D printing, there was a comment made above that it's not a cost effective solution. I'm not sure what type of 3D printing they were referring to, but as was also pointed out above, I can print this on my desktop 3D printer for probably $10 or less. Obviously I would need the drawings first though, which yes, requires me to invest some time which = $. That's why I thought I would ask here if there was an existing source for the drawings.

As for the strength and integrity of the 3D printed design...I would be skeptical too, but I would be willing to gamble for $10. It can't be any worse than driving around without turn signals. If it held up for a year...I'd be satisfied.
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post #11 of 15 Old 06-05-2016, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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OK.....I'm not going to make this a debate about 3D printing....but I do think that would be a good alternative to try. As for buying the part, what are some good reputable companies to order through?

Here's a thought, can I just order the part designed for "w/o tilt & inter" then remove the bracket from that part and place it on my existing switch? Does the "tilt or inter" option alter the design of that mounting bracket? I suspect that maybe the "tilt" option does, but I don't see how the "inter" option would. Any thoughts on this approach? It's about a $50 price difference.
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post #12 of 15 Old 06-05-2016, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kruzin
The CJs had GM steering columns as well. All Jeeps did for decades. It wasn't till after Chrysler bought Jeep that they started to move away from all the GM and Ford parts they used to be built with...
yes but wiper switch is a knob in the dash...and yeah amc ( cj era jeeps) was a hodge podge of the cheapest parts available whether it be fomoco or gm. I think what would make the 3D printing cost prohibitive is creating the tech drawing unless you can supply the needed file or have some meads of 3D scanning. Most do not. Aftermarket parts can be hit or miss with what I'm assuming is pot metal. Could be full of voids and cold spots in the casting. Try a pick n pull if you have them in your area. If it is indeed a gm switch try to find out what else it fits to see if you could track down a good oem piece.

As far as the cheaper switch working find the part numbers and go by pictures, could be the same part but i would figure it to be different due to options
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post #13 of 15 Old 06-17-2016, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by baritone_mike View Post
Where are you coming up with this $80 cost to print a fairly simple bracket?
I got a quote once to get something 3d printed from a really high end place, they wanted so much I gave up.

Fast forward to 10 minutes ago, I'm getting something printed for work and got a quote from the first place for $400. I got a quote on 3dhubs.com for $30... That probably explains how off base I was
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post #14 of 15 Old 06-17-2016, 09:11 PM
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How much to 3d print a whole wrangler? You know it's coming!
post #15 of 15 Old 06-17-2016, 10:18 PM
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How much to 3d print a whole wrangler? You know it's coming!
I have a 3d printed wrangler! It's a Christmas ornament my daughter made for me. Glad I'm getting something out of all that college tuition I'm paying.
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