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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As some know, I had a 3d model made of the arms that connect to the flap cable and cause the flap to rotate . The initial design we had made was tested and apparently failed. Too thin. I took a tulip panel into the designer and asked him to redesign the part to make it stronger. He is working on reinforcing the part so it will hopefully perform as needed. Once I get a test pair I will ship them out to one of the guys who already tested the earlier design. More to come.

I am also working with the printer to make a test print of a pair of flaps. They have a liquid printer that can form the compound curve of the part and should have a good finish. Also more to come.

at the Nationals we found many cars that had one or both flaps had failed and they had no replacement parts. This is an effort to help these people if we can.
 

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Rob - I have a nearby tool and die shop taking a look to see if their CAD software can "heal" the model you sent. My software at work can only do minor modifications on STL files such as scaling or duplicating. I can mirror the file I have to make a duplicate but the surface still sucks.

I have another shop in the area that can do white-light scanning but he won't do it for free. I might hit him up for dinner and a drink to see if his software can smooth out the existing STL file (I believe that it can.)

I'll try to push this forward over the next week or so.
 

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I have had no issues with the tulip panels on my car at all but this has gotten me excited for those that have.
🍿
 
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As some know, I had a 3d model made of the arms that connect to the flap cable and cause the flap to rotate . The initial design we had made was tested and apparently failed. Too thin. I took a tulip panel into the designer and asked him to redesign the part to make it stronger. He is working on reinforcing the part so it will hopefully perform as needed. Once I get a test pair I will ship them out to one of the guys who already tested the earlier design. More to come.

I am also working with the printer to make a test print of a pair of flaps. They have a liquid printer that can form the compound curve of the part and should have a good finish. Also more to come.

at the Nationals we found many cars that had one or both flaps had failed and they had no replacement parts. This is an effort to help these people if we can.
If you can print these I would be very interested! My 2007 needs the right side flap replaced - been searching a looooong time!
 

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The flaps themselves can be made pretty easily without having to 3d print anything. price would be something like 50.00 for a pair. I believe that most times the flaps break because the lock rod clip breaks and the cable falls off, when that happens if it is not caught in time if the top gets lifted from the trunk it is going to hit the flap and snap one or both of the mount points. I will look at it and see if I can make it so that the flap can pop off instead of breaking. I am pretty confident that I can make the flaps and make them stronger and break resistant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
KG if you can make them that is great. Having seen the model, they are a complex shape and we have a model. If we can get them printed for a reasonable cost then we can have a ready source for as many as we need. Are you planning on casting them? While that is feasible and may be cheaper it is also depends on you doing the work. :)
If we have a viable 3d model, then it is easy to run off several sets as needed. But I am interested in your approach.

I received a complete tulip panel with flaps yesterday from Redline Auto Parts of Orlando. One of the flaps was perfect the other one was slightly out of adjustment as a result of a strike by the top following the failure of the clip. I flipped it over and used pliers to adjust the out of alignment pivot point on the non-spring side. I found that it was very easy to get the flap realigned and happy again. Now its a good tulip panel with fully functioning flaps. I am trying to get it to one of the NASSAM attendees who had two failed flaps so they can get their ruby red SE up to snuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
While on the subject of flaps, I have looked at a lot of kappas over the years doing the maintenance classes and would have said that the cable assembly was the single part that would be the death of a kappa when it failed but I had never seen one fail. Well now I have. I saw two cable assemblies fail and the trunk will not open without the buttress tool. We need to put together a list of parts that make up the cable assembly including the relays and cables so we can make repairs as they start to fail. The cable assembly is bolted to the forward wall of the trunk behind the driver and translates the button push into motion to unlock the trunk lid and the two buttresses
 

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While on the subject of flaps, I have looked at a lot of kappas over the years doing the maintenance classes and would have said that the cable assembly was the single part that would be the death of a kappa when it failed but I had never seen one fail. Well now I have. I saw two cable assemblies fail and the trunk will not open without the buttress tool. We need to put together a list of parts that make up the cable assembly including the relays and cables so we can make repairs as they start to fail. The cable assembly is bolted to the forward wall of the trunk behind the driver and translates the button push into motion to unlock the trunk lid and the two buttresses
Only failure I have had so far has been the device circled in the photo. It came out of bracket that holds it in place. I crimped the bracket slightly to hold it a little tighter and for extra insurance wrapped a zip tie around the whole thing. I think the only thing that saved my tulip flap was the fact that I ALWAYS look at the flaps when raising the top to make sure they are opening.
 

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Rob, It was nice meeting you at the Nationals last week, always nice to put a face with the user name.

Thank you for all the work you are doing on this project, and also for everything you did at the Nationals. I hope to see you next year in SD if we can make it!
 

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@rob the elder

As far as the flaps are concerned. I am thinking of making a cast of them. but only the top side of them. Not the bottom. Just need to get the compound curve. a piece of PP plastic can be used by laying it on top of the mold. when you heat the plastic is will lay right down on the mold making the proper curves that are needed. Trim the plastic to the right shape and you now have the flap. As far as the hind points and attachment points on the bottom those can be made using the same plastic and friction welded onto he bottom in the right position.

I have a spare set that I can use as a model. It really isn't that hard to make and it's not all that time consuming. The most time consuming part is making the mold and that isn't that hard either. The nice thing about using the PP plastic VS the 3d printed plastic is that it is going to be more durable and not as brittle. I will have to make a set and see how they come out.
 
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@rob the elder
I am thinking of making a cast of them. but only the top side of them. Not the bottom. Just need to get the compound curve. a piece of PP plastic can be used by laying it on top of the mold. when you heat the plastic is will lay right down on the mold making the proper curves that are needed.
I made a cast of a motorcycle headlight that I wanted to protect with a poly-carbonate cover by just laying plastic wrap over the headlight and casting it with plaster. I then laid the poly-carbonate in the cured plaster and heated it in the oven until it took the shape of the cast.
 

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PP paints just fine. Some car bumpers are made from PP.
 

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I haven't messed around with the friction welding characteristics of ABS at all. I am thinking that the joint would be just as brittle as ABS and it would break pretty easily. A friction welded PP joint is pretty durable. You would have to bend it back and forth 6-8 times before the joint would break. PP does get easier to break if the temperatures are below freezing, I don't think to may people would be driving their Kappa around is below freezing weather with the top down. So the chance of it getting broken in that kind of weather is going to be really low.
 
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Oh it will paint just fine, but it's not going to stick well. Most bumper covers are TPO.

ABS, with a glass reinforcement would be strong "as molded", but you're right that a weld joint would be weak. The acrylic and the styrene components will take the paint great, but what good is a nice appearance when the part is broken? lol
 

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Does the strength of the plastic really matter that much? There is little or no stress on the hinge points unless, for some reason, the flap fails to open when it should. Put the top up against a closed flap and it won't matter much how strong it is. Something is going to break. Perhaps as mentioned earlier, we should pay more attention to the mechanism that opens the flap to avoid breakage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
A clean sheet of paper design might orient the springs so they hold the flap open against cable tension. then if the cable fails, the flap will pop up and not be damaged. Maybe if the springs were reveresed left to right? Have to think about this.
 

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Rob - I'm going to drop the file off to the tool shop probably tonight - if not it will be tomorrow. If they feel they have made a significant improvement, I'll print it myself as a test. The last time I tried it it went to poo about 3/4 of the way through it but I think that was due to my hot end having a partial nozzle blockage. (Can't wait to see how that phrase gets turned around on the forum....)

I received a glass bed upgrade for my printer on Father's Day and installed that last night. That should help with adhesion and "flatness". I'm also going to try to set the flap on edge for printing to see if that helps the show surface print out smoother.
 
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