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Old 11-22-2018, 11:57 AM   #1
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Reinventing weep hole covers

Winter has stolen my freedom to do much on the MH, so it is time to break out the CAD program and 3D printer and try to make some weep hole covers for the cab windows.


I am missing 2 originals because if you try and remove them, they shatter.


and leave a ugly hole

So far I am not having the best luck because of a few obstacles.
First the width of the slots are not consistent, so the original clips need custom spacing to snap in the hole.
,




Also I am trying to print with PET but it is too brittle and the clips break off. I may try polycarbonate, but that can be brittle also.
Right now I am thinking of changing to a ribbed push pin to replace the end clips, they would fasten by just pushing the cover into the slot, similar to that used in automotive trim. Of course they will be a one time use only.


If I get this worked out, it should be easy to mass produce them.


I also need to look into the weep covers in the rest of the windows, they are a bit more complicated, but held on by a rivet, they may also work on a push pin method to simplify the installation and ignore the rivet.


The originals have window screen inside to keep out the bugs, I would just print the right size hole pattern to do the same.

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Old 11-22-2018, 02:03 PM   #2
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I love what you are doing. I am only missing one that I know of. This is the path that I was considering. I am interested to find out what you learn.
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Old 11-22-2018, 02:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lychgate View Post
I love what you are doing. I am only missing one that I know of. This is the path that I was considering. I am interested to find out what you learn.
I will keep you posted.

I have been using 2D Cad for 20+ years, and I am still learing its eccentricities.

I just bought a 3d printer to play with (Actually for our 13 year old, but I am the one playing with it mostly)
Now I am attempting to learn 3D cad.
Compared to 2D it is like trying to learn Chinese braille with oven mitts on.
Always do like a good mental challenge with my morning coffee!



I just learned something else of interest. Some of the hardware that McMaster Carr sells has CAD drawings you can download. Theoretically you can download a bolt, screw, whatever and modify it to your needs and 3D print it in plastic.
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Old 11-22-2018, 02:49 PM   #4
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I've found Autodesk inventor the most intuitive 3d cad program, if you can get a hobby/student liscense (maybe input your kids school on their website). It's totally out of reach for small business ventures though

Just a consideration, if you print with pla you can heat up in hot water to make it flexible

Rather than those sharp corners on the clip, maybe worth trying a large swirl shaped clip so it's more spring loaded and less single point stress on the plastic in the corners
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Old 11-22-2018, 09:31 PM   #5
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Might sound silly.....but why not just buy new ones.....about 10 bucks each, Inland RV, Out of Doors Mart, might even find them on E Bay. Regards, Bob
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Old 11-23-2018, 02:33 AM   #6
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Might sound silly.....but why not just buy new ones.....about 10 bucks each, Inland RV, Out of Doors Mart, might even find them on E Bay. Regards, Bob
I bought some for the rear windows but they were cheaply made. I did not bother to install them.
I could never find the proper size for the cab windows.
Edit to add: It looks like they may have them now:
http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/...p/vts-1076.htm

But I own a Airstream, why do things the easy way?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Heating the covers to install them sounds like a good idea, but I found that the width of the slot in the two I measured have about a 0.05" difference in length, so the hooks wont be snug in the wider slot. I need to try and pull a few more covers for measurements (without cracking them) Maybe a heatgun will keep the old brittle plastic from cracking? It will be zero outside this morning, so I think I will wait!

Does anyone have a guess as to what type the original plastic covers are?
My printer can handle almost anything in this list:
http://all3dp.com/1/3d-printer-filament-types-3d-printing-3d-filament/

As for CAD software, I am using DesignCad 3D because I had been using its 2D version for years and the commands are similar.

My little guy uses Tinkercad from Junior High school, It is very lightweight.

Having University connections allows me to get cheap or free software, so I just got Autodesk Fusion 360, I will play with that as I find time, I got it for 3 years for free.
Today I will try and integrate this type of fastener to the project:
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Old 11-23-2018, 07:43 AM   #7
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Throw the original in water
If it floats, probably abs
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Old 11-23-2018, 04:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnet18 View Post
Throw the original in water
If it floats, probably abs
It sort-of floats, at least more than the PET parts I have printed. I dont own a spool of ABS, it is smelly to print with, but if I dont have good luck with my new design, I may buy a spool to try.
This is the latest of 5 tries at making a post to stay put in the slot.
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Old 11-23-2018, 04:34 PM   #9
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Attached is what came to mind, should automatically center in different sized holes, if printed with the layers sliced the same as that cross section, i think the plastic might be flexible enough, might take some fiddling, just a thought
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Old 11-23-2018, 05:01 PM   #10
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Wayne
Attached is what came to mind, should automatically center in different sized holes, if printed with the layers sliced the same as that cross section, i think the plastic might be flexible enough, might take some fiddling, just a thought
With enough flex in the plastic arms, that may work.


One thing that I could not get a good photo of, is the slot the cover fits into has various thicknesses of aluminum that, like the slot length, vary from hole to hole.

It looks like they drilled a initial hole and then used some sort of router to complete the slot. When it is warmer I will investigate further.

I think my push in design may be the most tolerant of variations
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Old 11-23-2018, 06:31 PM   #11
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If the length of the slot is too variable perhaps the fingers could
grip up and down instead. I visualize four fingers, a pair at each end.
Each pair would grip into the slot. If one pair failed then there would
be the other pair. You could even have three or more pairs of fingers.


For CAD systems you could look at FreeCAD which is free. It is a
completely free 3D CAD system with a large community built around it.
Many community members are also into 3D printers.

https://www.freecadweb.org/


Pete.
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Old 11-24-2018, 05:06 AM   #12
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This is what I have been working on since 4AM with my morning coffee fix
It may not be to scale, but the drawings give you an idea of where I am going.

I created oval shaped posts to wedge into the top & bottom of the slot.

So far that is the most dependably consistent dimension between .187" and .20" (At least on my MH) They may have used a different milling/router bit on others?
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Old 11-24-2018, 02:47 PM   #13
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I printed one today in PET and it looks like it may work.


I need to fine tune the print because the bottom bug slots have some stringing, but I could call that a feature?


The top surface is not as spiffy as it could be


I did find one photo of the weep hole slot that shows how ugly the machining is. (Not counting the ice, dirt and moss that was accumulating there) I did not clean it before the shot.



BTW, I have the STL file here, it may not be much use for editing http://theouterlimits.ws/projects/3d...09-solid01.stl
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Old 11-25-2018, 07:26 AM   #14
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Looking good, and definitely a feature!
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