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Thread: Custom Bezel - A different approach

  1. #1
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    Custom Bezel - A different approach

    Hey guys, I've just completed my bezel project.

    Now, some of you are fantastically gifted with being able to make OEM looking bezels by hand... you visualize it and make it happen. Unfortunately, that's not me. I tried. It was ugly

    So, I take the skills I am good at - Reverse engineering and CAD design.

    A little background first:
    Car:
    2006 Subaru WRX STi
    Intel Mac Mini, 2.0 Ghz
    Lilliput 629NP 7" display
    (won't get into the rest, but that's the pertinent information)

    So a while ago I bought the bolt in kit from mp3car.com here. It's great for what it is. Unfortunately, it's restricted by its mounting method - replacing the stock radio. What you wind up with is this:



    It's hard to see, but it's: not centered left/right, not centered top/bottom, shows some of the conductive traces. The piece itself I had to mill a bit to make the screen fit in the first place. From people I've talked to, this is not uncommon. Not everyone has access to a milling machine, so some are left with more, uhh, crude methods.

    Now all of these imperfections are just based on the fact that it's a tight fit when mounting to the radio mounts and you have no wiggle room. So I set out to free myself from that constraint.

    Without getting into too many details:

    3d laser scan of the bezel, all marked up:


    Reconstructed in Pro/E, side by side "comparison:


    ---Insert about 500 modifications here---


    ... and we have our final product. I've already received one prototype that needed a few small tweaks, but this should be the finished version. Some of the colors are off, but that was generally so I could see what faces had been drafted and which hadn't (in prep for molding).

    To show you guys how it goes together, here's a handy animation. Rather than have to screw everything together and worry about offset distances, you assemble the screen/board in a subassembly, and then it snaps together with the bezel, providing a perfectly flush and centered mounting.


    It's been fun doing it, honestly.

    I'd love to hear your input/comments, as always.

    -JR

    Edit: This model can directly replace the OEM Bezels of Subaru Imprezas, WRXs, and STi's from 2004-2007

  2. #2
    FLAC
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    looks cool but i would do much quicker with a couple sheets of sandpaper and a tube of dynatron. im terrible at cad design though

  3. #3
    Low Bitrate RonsRed88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jr4284 View Post
    Not everyone has access to a milling machine, so some are left with more, uhh, crude methods ...

    3d laser scan of the bezel, all marked up:
    Funny, I think even fewer people have access to a 3d laser scanner and CAD setup.

    That's pretty fascinating though, I'd love to play with something like that.

    Ron

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonsRed88 View Post
    Funny, I think even fewer people have access to a 3d laser scanner and CAD setup.

    That's pretty fascinating though, I'd love to play with something like that.

    Ron
    Hah, very true. I'm lucky enough to have access to both. $5k for software and ~$1k will get you a solid scanning setup. Granted, the hand scanner I used for this was in the $70k range, I really wasn't impressed with the results it gave. It took a LOT of cleanup time and going back and forth with calipers.

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    Bugbyte's Avatar
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    Well done! I've been waiting for someone to scan and print a bezel for their car. The barriers are lower and lower every day. That stuff used to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
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  6. #6
    FLAC
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    dont forget to put your customized logo scribed right into the plastic too! it really is a cool project...

  7. #7
    FLAC SFiorito's Avatar
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    cool, would like something better looking for my WRX too.... keep us posted!
    EWF, HORM, MinLogon on XP.

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    I have access to CAD 2010 software and Autodesk Inventor 2012 just not the scanner. If I had the scanner I would definitely do it.

  9. #9
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    That's awesome man!!! I've been using 3D Prototype Printer for a bunch of various projects, but never had access to a 3D scanner.
    Do you guys one a 3D Printer as well?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    Well done! I've been waiting for someone to scan and print a bezel for their car. The barriers are lower and lower every day. That stuff used to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    Thanks! There have been some amazing advances in the ability to reverse engineer technologies. It's a double edged sword, of course, as your own technology may end up being reversed and you're SOL.

    Quote Originally Posted by trader007 View Post
    dont forget to put your customized logo scribed right into the plastic too! it really is a cool project...
    ... now I just need a logo...

    Quote Originally Posted by SFiorito View Post
    cool, would like something better looking for my WRX too.... keep us posted!
    Will do. I contacted the Parts manager here at mp3car.com to see if they are interested in distributing. Keep an eye out!

    Quote Originally Posted by redbeauty2012 View Post
    I have access to CAD 2010 software and Autodesk Inventor 2012 just not the scanner. If I had the scanner I would definitely do it.
    Check out http://www.david-laserscanner.com/ It brings scanning to the masses. Keep in mind though, it will bring in a .stl point cloud, not a feature based solid object. There's a lot of work to go from one to the other, but if you're a CAD man, time flies when you're having fun.

    Quote Originally Posted by kraimer21 View Post
    That's awesome man!!! I've been using 3D Prototype Printer for a bunch of various projects, but never had access to a 3D scanner.
    Do you guys one a 3D Printer as well?
    Yes. I had the initial prototype printed on both a Dimension 3d printer and a ZCorp printer. Dimension gives me an idea of the "workability" of the snap tabs, as it's actually printed with ABS+ plastic and strains/yields similarly to an ABS/PC blend, which would be used in the injection molding process. ZCorp gives me an idea of the exact shape, as it has a step size 3x smaller than the Dimension machine (tho 1% strain breaks the model, so not good for snaps). I did not get the model SLA'd.

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