Stylish 3D printed replacement for a 2003 Honda Odyssey A/C control knob
Obviously, a little finishing work (i.e. sanding) is due and then some paint. I think I'll paint it black with a thin stripe on the "beak" so the backing light will be visible through the off-white PLA.
I'd like to make another but I also have concerns about the PLA getting too soft on a black dashboard in the hot sun. So I'm planning on making a silicone mold of this printed part so I can cast it in resin and have a version that will be be able to better withstand the heat of a car interior. This will be interesting, I've never done a two-part mold of a 3D printed part, only open-faced molds of a couple previous projects.
Once that's done, I'll paint and stripe the cast ones for permanent use.
Does it fit the car?
Now that the model was just right to fit the car functionally, I could have some fun trying to adapt the classic "chicken head" design within dimensions that would work well in the car and printed it out.....
It exceeded my expectations and turned out great!
I found that the printed knob was *very* accurate except for the inside D hole, which printed about 6% too small, probably due to the natural "squish" of the PLA. Back in 123D Design, I expanded the hole by this amout and, to save time, I printed only that part of the model - it fit perfectly!
Having not designed an original mechanical part to fit onto a commercial product, I used my calipers to measure every dimension of the original knob where it interfaces with the car - the shaft receptacle and the proper circumference lip design. The top at this point was just a simple stand-in. I printed this as a proof-of-concept for the basic functional design and to prove that my 3D printer (Flux 3D Delta) could give me the accuracy that this project needed.
The "D" shaped part of the original knob broke.