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#369047 - 06/08/2017 23:54 3D model of fascia?
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30893
Loc: Seattle, WA
Has anyone made, or made available, a 3D model of the empeg Mk2/2a fascia plastic?

I'm thinking that my custom install of the remote display unit is going to likely require a new custom fascia. My install location will likely not have room for the "ears" above the handle hinges. I'm not keen on cutting up the real one, since it's made out of ultra rare unobtainium.

I'm thinking I'll be fabricating something eventually, and the ultimate design for me would be to take the existing fascia design and just tweak it slightly in a 3D modeler. I'd remove the ears and make the outer edges integrate better with its surroundings. Then 3D print (and hand cleanup) a new custom fascia that fits my new location.

If anyone has made a 3D scan of the fascia, I could start with that as my base. Or I wonder if the original design was 3D modeled and if any of the empeg guys have the original model file somewhere.

Alternatively I could go for a pure flat design without stylistic flair, and locate some of the MK1-style round translucent lit button caps, and just have round holes in a flat plastic lens. Those MK1 buttons were an off the shelf part which you could obtain easily as I recall, correct?
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Tony Fabris

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#369048 - 07/08/2017 00:00 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30893
Loc: Seattle, WA
I see that this thread exists:

http://empegbbs.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/359643/Display_Board_Technical_Drawin#Post359643

Which is is a good start, and might be enough to get me started, if anyone else hasn't done the remaining 3d sculpting work already.
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Tony Fabris

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#369050 - 07/08/2017 01:22 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13705
Loc: Canada
If you (Tony) prefer, I can donate a Mk2 fascia to you to modify for your one specific application. It can be cut, and epoxy can be used to remold things around the edges, followed by a coat of (black?) spray paint to unify the colours again.

Cheers

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#369058 - 07/08/2017 18:00 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30893
Loc: Seattle, WA
Thanks for that offer, Mark!

I own some backup empegs that I bought specifically for spare parts, so I also have a couple of spare fascias that I could use in exactly the way you describe. And I admit, it did cross my mind to do just that.

It just seems to me like it would be a terrible waste to cut up something that is so rare and irreplaceable. I think I would die a little inside if I did that, even (and perhaps especially) if it was a donated one.

There's also the idea that, if I could come up with a 3D model, I could put the source file up on Shapeways or something, and thus the rest of the empeg community could also benefit from it and contribute to it. Also, if doing it as a 3D model, I could iterate on the design as needed, whereas if I were cutting up an original fascia, there's a significant limit on the number of times I could experiment with it.

But it certainly would be quicker if I just cut up a real fascia. Maybe I'll just give in, and do that with one of my spares.
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Tony Fabris

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#369078 - 08/08/2017 16:59 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: tfabris]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3136
Loc: Portland, OR
Have you considered casting the fascia using a silicone mold, and then use sculpey or something similar on the cast?

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#369079 - 08/08/2017 17:25 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: canuckInOR]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30893
Loc: Seattle, WA
I had thought of that, but the fascia has some interesting characteristics which would potentially make that process problematic. It's long and thin, with certain portions that I might even describe as "filigree". And it is also super sensitive to changes in shape or size, due to the screw hole positioning and the position and size/shape of the button openings. The button openings in particular have a very low tolerance for error.

I'm sure that if I tried to make my own mold castings of it, that I would run into a lot of trouble with those aspects, since I'm not an expert at molding and casting. Iterating on something like that is time consuming and messy, and involves learning new skills.

Whereas, with a 3D print, iterating is merely tweaking the CAD model, something I'm already comfortable with. Though it's still time-consuming because 3D printers are slow.

But maybe silicone casting would indeed be easier and quicker in the long run, and perhaps cheaper, if I were to merely try it. Just talking about it makes me think that it might be fun to try, just for the sake of trying something new. Maybe I might give it a go.
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Tony Fabris

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#369080 - 08/08/2017 18:25 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: tfabris]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3136
Loc: Portland, OR
I wondered about the thin parts, too -- but I think it should be okay. I'd probably try casting before I'd be willing to destroy a fascia -- not to mention my 3D modeling skills aren't great, so this would be the quicker solution in the long run.

On the plus side, if you're building a mold, you can also get an impression of your dash where the fascia will sit, and get an exact fit.


And while things dry, you can work on the 3D model... try both, and see which works best. smile

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#369083 - 09/08/2017 12:44 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13705
Loc: Canada
Aren't the CAD files for the NewFace available somewhere?

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#369084 - 09/08/2017 13:10 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13705
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: mlord
Aren't the CAD files for the NewFace available somewhere?


Well, after digging through this BBS, I have found at least six (Six!!) previous fascia efforts, and not one of them was intelligent (not quite the right word, but..) enough to post CAD files before they faded away. Amazing.

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#369086 - 09/08/2017 16:58 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: mlord]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30893
Loc: Seattle, WA
I promise that if I do this, I will post the CAD files if I have any. smile

I'm thinking that stage 1 will be a flat cut fascia that is merely a direct trace of those 300dpi JPG scans you posted in that other thread. Just to get something functional and to have a chance to iterate on the size and shape of the button holes. Once I've got that, I can use that as a base for sculpting outward.
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Tony Fabris

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#369134 - 24/08/2017 22:54 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30893
Loc: Seattle, WA
CAD file is still in progress. I have obtained my first test-pressing of just the button hole cutouts for verifying size and shape. More tweaks will be needed before I start sculpting a shape for the thing.



Attachments
IMG_2624.JPG (199 downloads)

_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#369139 - 25/08/2017 21:31 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13705
Loc: Canada
Looks like a nice start to things!

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#369140 - 25/08/2017 22:29 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: mlord]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30893
Loc: Seattle, WA
Thanks! I'm doing it in Blender because I have a housemate who is experienced in that package.

The blender file has problems which I will be fixing soon. It was an initial metrics test, seeing if my hand-tracing of the 300dpi scan was adequate in terms of hole placement and shape. It was indeed pretty good, but now needs a lot of work to bring it up to actually being usable as a fascia. In particular, I now see that each of the button holes is actually tapered slightly, so the hole sizes that I obtained from the backside 300dpi scan will need to taper to be narrower as they move forward. That's going to be tricky, but interesting.

Still planning to post the blender files once I have something workable.
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Tony Fabris

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#369141 - 28/08/2017 17:20 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: tfabris]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3136
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: tfabris
In particular, I now see that each of the button holes is actually tapered slightly, so the hole sizes that I obtained from the backside 300dpi scan will need to taper to be narrower as they move forward. That's going to be tricky, but interesting.

This sounds like something that could be done in Inkscape. Import the scan, and do a Path->Trace Bitmap operation, which will get you a set of paths. Then, select the paths for the holes, and do a Path->Inset (or Path->Linked offset). Import the two sets of paths into Blender, offset per the height of the fascia, and loft between the two.

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#369142 - 28/08/2017 17:42 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: canuckInOR]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3136
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: canuckInOR
Originally Posted By: tfabris
In particular, I now see that each of the button holes is actually tapered slightly, so the hole sizes that I obtained from the backside 300dpi scan will need to taper to be narrower as they move forward. That's going to be tricky, but interesting.

This sounds like something that could be done in Inkscape. Import the scan, and do a Path->Trace Bitmap operation, which will get you a set of paths. Then, select the paths for the holes, and do a Path->Inset (or Path->Linked offset). Import the two sets of paths into Blender, offset per the height of the fascia, and loft between the two.

Hmm... never mind... I just tried it out, and it doesn't work well. There are too many shadows in the scan that confuses it. The yellow is the scanned vector, overlayed with some alpha on top of the original image. You can see it does a fantastic job around the edges where there are no shadows, but you're still left with a lot of cleanup work. :-p


Attachments
inkscape_trace.png



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#369143 - 28/08/2017 17:57 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: canuckInOR]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30893
Loc: Seattle, WA
It's OK, I have already ordered a test model from Shapeways which should handle it all correctly, I expect it to work well, and if so, I will publish the model as well as post its source Blender file.

The button tops are, in almost every case, 0.5mm narrower at the top than at the bottom. The button holes are the same way. This made it relatively easy in the modeling: Take the hand-trace I did of the bottom-side JPG scan, extrude that upward by 6mm (the fascia thickness), then select and scale down the top side button openings by 0.5mm.

(My housemate works for the company that makes these so I have access to a set of them. smile )

Of course the actual modeling of the shapes was tricky, and I was learning Blender as I went, so I kept having to roll back and redo model versions to get what I wanted, but I think I have something workable now.

The model, when finished, will be meant as a "handle-less" and "ear-less" version of the fascia, with rectangular edges, to allow others to sculpt and install remote empeg displays in more attractive ways. Here's a preview of the current shape (still in test/devlopment). Note how I've only beveled the lens holes and I haven't done any fancy sculpting around the knob yet. Also note how there are no sculpted shapes which would extend out into the areas where the handle might have been (the old fascia had swoop shapes which extended out into the handle areas).


Attachments
Capture.PNG


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Tony Fabris

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#369144 - 28/08/2017 19:02 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13705
Loc: Canada
Very promising!

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#369145 - 28/08/2017 19:50 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: mlord]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30893
Loc: Seattle, WA
Thanks!

If this works correctly, then one could also 3D print substitute replicas of the original fascia, as replacements for broken fascias, starting with same base 3D model.

It would take more sculpting work though, beyond what I've already done. But if someone wanted to start with mine, then some of the harder stuff (getting the button holes just right) has already been done and the rest is mostly cosmetic gravy. smile
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Tony Fabris

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#369157 - 29/08/2017 12:25 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13705
Loc: Canada
As yet, as with the numerous past efforts, nobody can do anything with your design.

HINT!

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#369159 - 29/08/2017 15:04 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: mlord]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30893
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: mlord
As yet, as with the numerous past efforts, nobody can do anything with your design.

HINT!


I want to make sure it's working first, then I'll post it. Provided I don't die in the next few days, my work will be available to others. smile
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Tony Fabris

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#369183 - 31/08/2017 02:29 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30893
Loc: Seattle, WA
Current work in progress. This is my second test print. I think I need at least one more revision before making the files public.

Notes:
- It's deliberately smaller in the X direction, without the "ears", so one must carefully trim the ears off of the lens without cracking it.
- Bottom edge is deliberately "big", it extends downward so that it covers the position of the downward-pointing ribbon cable connector on the display extender. Eventually I think I might make a version of this design where it's a full-box that completely encloses the display extender instead of just being a fascia, and so I needed that clearance.
- Everything fits and all buttons work, screws fit perfectly, pretty happy with the fit overall. However...
- After all the measuring and tweaking, the left/right buttons still fall out of the fascia. I need to make the holes a bit narrower at the top still (again). I'm sure I got the measurements right, so I can only conclude that the plastic printing and sintering somehow makes plastic around the openings shrink a bit?
- I still haven't sculpted the ring around the encoder knob. That needs to be recessed a bit so that the knob isn't so buried in the ring. It works fine, it's just you can't grab the sides of the knob.
- All the buttons work well but the bottom button ended up a hair recessed: The original fascia has that area sculpted downward, so I'll want to match that on my final version.
- Maybe I'll change the upper curve a bit so it doesn't cut off the upper left corner of the display as easily? Dunno.
- The curve on the far right still gets too close to the edge, I think I'll try to rein that in a bit.
- The final version of the published files will contain a "Squared off" version like pictured, and another with rounded beveled edges at the top and bottom.



Attachments
IMG_2627.JPG (158 downloads)

_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#369185 - 31/08/2017 12:47 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13705
Loc: Canada
Might be cool to inscribe the empeg logo onto one of the broader flat sections somewhere.. eg. above or below the buttons area.

Or not.

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#369190 - 31/08/2017 15:57 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: mlord]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3136
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: mlord
Might be cool to inscribe the empeg logo onto one of the broader flat sections somewhere.. eg. above or below the buttons area.

Microprinting along the whole bevel surrounding the screen?

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#369192 - 31/08/2017 21:52 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: canuckInOR]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30893
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: canuckInOR
Microprinting along the whole bevel surrounding the screen?


Only if I intend to use them as currency. smile

A logo is an interesting idea, I'll give that a think. Thanks!
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#369280 - 09/09/2017 02:55 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30893
Loc: Seattle, WA
Third test print:
- Recessed the swoop around the knob.
- Made the entire thing 1mm thinner so that the bottom button would protrude a bit more.
- Made the button holes smaller.

And this one has more problems:
- The left/right buttons STILL fall out. The plastic has as much as 0.4mm shrinkage in the final print, so I keep overestimating how big the button holes have to be.
- With the thinner fascia now the four screws don't sit all the way down, so I have to make them sit up in little protrusions like the original fascia.

So I'm going to do those things and do yet another test print, and if the button holes are finally fixed then finish it up with the two versions (flat and beveled).

Pretty happy with the looks of it overall though.



Attachments
Third test print.JPG (117 downloads)

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Tony Fabris

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#369283 - 09/09/2017 13:38 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: tfabris]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13705
Loc: Canada
Looks pretty good. One small suggestion: slightly round those rather sharp looking outside corners. Just slightly, enough to take the edge off without making them look rounded.

Cheers

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#369294 - 10/09/2017 01:18 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: tfabris]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
Ooo, excited to see this in your car down the road. Really cool project Tony!
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Tom

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#369295 - 10/09/2017 01:31 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: mlord]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30893
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: mlord
Looks pretty good. One small suggestion: slightly round those rather sharp looking outside corners. Just slightly, enough to take the edge off without making them look rounded


You mean the outermost four corners of the rectangle? Yes, I intend to do that depending on how the final installation ends up.

I'm planning to post two versions of the file. The first one will be where the fascia is inset into a simple flat rectangle as shown, with the purpose of that being the "baseline" from which other custom installation projects can work off. Having the outer corners of the model start off as a simple rectangle makes modification easier from that point.

Then the second one will have rounded corners and beveled edges for my particular installation.
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Tony Fabris

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#369304 - 10/09/2017 21:03 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: tfabris]
gbeer
carpal tunnel

Registered: 17/12/2000
Posts: 2655
Loc: Manteca, California
Low profile screws are available.
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Glenn

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#369305 - 11/09/2017 00:45 Re: 3D model of fascia? [Re: gbeer]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30893
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: gbeer
Low profile screws are available.


I had thought about deliberately choosing screws of different lengths and such, but I wanted to stick with the original screws, and I liked the idea of continuing to mimic the original design.

Certainly simply ordering shorter screws would have solved the problem quicker. smile
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Tony Fabris

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