Customer Prints How-To Projects Uncategorized

3-D Printed Car Parts

Recently we’ve worked on several projects to re-create hard-to-get classic car parts, exact-fit custom parts for restorations, and custom adapters.

The first featured part that we designed was a custom fit cluster plate for the center dash/console for a 60’s era resto-mod Camaro project. The owner had two new gauges they wanted to mount where the radio fit, so they provided pictures, measurements of the dash opening, the gauges themselves, and a hand sketch to give us an starting point for their desired solution. We iterated several times with various prototype solutions to do test fits, got feedback, and adjusted the angles of the two gauges to the customer’s desires.

Our second project was to adapt a MK6 VW emblem to the trunk lid of a MK5 VW. The newer VW emblem has a subtle body curve to the mounting surface while the inset badge mounting location on the car is flat. We carefully measured, calculated, and designed a slim adapter plate that fit both the car surface on one side and the curve on the back of the badge perfectly. Some carefully-applied 3M emblem adhesive strips on both sides on both sides of the adapter firmly attached the emblem. A jig was designed to fit in and center on the inset location on the car to assure the emblem and adapter were exactly centered onto the car.
A recent check showed that the adapter is still in place, surviving hot Alabama summers, and performing well 10 years after it was installed.

*If you are removing stock emblems or trying to clean up the remaining adhesive residue, use 3M Auto Adhesive Remover.

The most recent project in this genre we’ve tackled was to duplicate a hard-to-find mid-1960s Dodge trim clips for a customer’s restoration project.

There area couple things to take into consideration if you are attempting this yourself:

  • If you are printing parts for cars, you probably do not want to make them out of PLA. It will not withstand the hottest outdoor temperatures of most locations and definitely will soften and deform at the internal temperatures that cars will develop on hot days. It’s glass transition temperature is 60C/140F at which point it will start to droop and warp, ruining the part.
  • PET-G might be a good midpoint between PLA (cheap, easy to print) and ABS (more expensive, higher temperature tolerance, difficult to print.) PET-G has higher temperature (glass transition is 85C/185F), prints easily, doesn’t give off toxic fumes and is affordable.
  • for temperature stability, the best material to make car parts out of is probably ABS. ABS’ glass transition temperature is 105C/221F, which, while not indestructible, will stand up to most interior and exterior temperatures a car will experience (engine bay and exhaust temperatures will go much higher than that.) ABS does need proper ventilation while printing as it gives off toxic fumes while it is printing.
  • You’ll also want to consider UV resilience on exterior parts, flexibility/rigidity, impact resistance, vibration dampening and other plastic traits in your design.
  • we do not design parts that are directly safety-related, mechanical in nature, or that work around engine bay or exhaust heat. If you are working with extremely high temperatures, plastic is not the material you are looking for.

If you are looking to have a rare part duplicated or a custom part designed please feel free to reach out to us with your requirements for a quotation. We’d be glad to design and draft your part and can print your parts as well. We can also do print-on-demand if you

How-To Printables.Com Software Tech

Printables.Com Download to PrusaSlicer Integration Instructions

Today Prusa made their latest alpha release of PrusaSlicer available on github: 2.6.0-alpha2. (Make sure you understand what alpha testing is before downloading/using this software. An alpha or release of a software package intends to do something particular, and mostly does so, yet isn’t guaranteed to do so fully. You are testing out an early version of this software, if you find a bug, report it.)

There are many game-changing features in this release, but in particular, this post provides step-by-step instructions on how to get the “auto downloading from directly into PrusaSlicer software”.

  • Enable “Show PrusaSlicer button” in your profile while logged into
    Click the avatar icon (upper right corner), then chose the first line item (your user name), then scroll down next to the bold title “Info“, and click on “Edit your profile link”. When the modal window appears, scroll down to the checkboxes section and enable the checkbox for “Show PrusaSlicer button”, then click “Save” at the top of the window.
  • Enable download option in PrusaSlicer software.
    In the menu, select Configuration -> Preferences (or Ctrl-P), then select the Other tab. Click the checkbox to “Allow downloads from”, then choose “OK”.

These changes should make it so you see the the PrusaSlicer icon next to the download button while viewing a model’s “Files” list.

Select the PrusaSlicer icon next to the file you want to test, confirm (twice) that you want to allow the download integration, and everything should be working.

I’ve tested this on a Windows 10 PC using Chrome, Firefox, and Edge successfully with PrusaSlicer 2.6.0-alpha2.

Feel free to try out the integration on some of my models on

Printables.Com statistics

This post is to consolidate my separate posts about various categories of statistics gathered from the 3-D printing database website.

Hopefully this will help you find excellent resources, models, and connections on
Please comment if you have any suggestions or corrections.


Top Makers on

As of February 2023, on, these are the top “Makers” (those who have uploaded a certain number of printed models (“makes”) to the site):

8 – Jo Prusa – 250 makes uploaded (<0.1%)

7 – Legendary – 100 makes uploaded (322 users, <0.1%)
6 – Professional – 50 makes uploaded (982 users, 0.4%)
5 – Expert – 25 makes uploaded (2,630 users, 1.1%)
4 – Skilled – 10 makes uploaded (5,860 users, 2.5%)
3 – Explorer – 5 makes uploaded (5,909 users, 2.5%)
2 – Beginner – 3 makes uploaded (5,370 users, 2.3%)
1 – Novice – 1 makes uploaded (37,111 users, 15.6%)

By inference, ~75.8% of users haven’t uploaded any makes.

(Level values are a snapshot, these values change constantly over time. Follow the profile links if you want to know their current accomplishments.)

See all the other statistics pages on this blog.



Just some of the products we’ve made over the years:

  • Scale architectural models (entire building structure, furniture/cabinet installation visualization)
  • Large-scale art installations
  • 3-D models of topographical data (localized and regional)
  • Woodworking and machining alignment fixtures and jigs
  • Custom and hard-to-find automotive parts
  • Templates for painting
  • Guides for aligning and spacing assemblies
  • Angle calibration gauges
  • Custom enclosures for electronics projects
  • Decorative figurines, vases, desk organizers
  • Educational lessons for use in schools
About Us Tech

My 3-D Story

I have been doing 3-D modeling and 3-D printing since 2011.

I started out with a RepRapPro Mendel TriColour that I built from a parts kit and upgraded several times. This was a great printer, but was frankly borderline experimental. Everything had to be frequently adjusted by hand and successful prints were occasional (maybe 50% at its best.)

My second printer was a cousin to the first, a Prusa I3 MK3 (now an S) built from a kit that I got in November 2018. The improvements from the first to second printer include: auto bed levelling, filament run-out detection, magnetic spring steel flexible print plate, Bondtech dual gear extrusion system, custom E3D V6 all-metal hot end and resume on power failure. Basically, it has improved every area that could have been considered weak or unreliable through iterative engineering. The printer has been an absolute workhorse (currently at 29 kilometers of filament extruded) and my print success rate is more like 98%. Don’t call it fool-proof (they’ll invent a better fool) but it is a solid, consistent performer.

Over the last twelve years I tried a variety of (mostly open source) slicers with varying degrees of success. SkeinForge, Slic3r, Repetier, Cura, KISSlicer, IceSL. Prusa forked Slic3r into PrusaSlicer which is currently the best, most integrated, and extensively developed slicer option available.

I’ve made extensive use of Blender, OpenSCAD, FreeCAD, and a variety of other open source, free, and for-pay, commercial software over the years to do design, object repair, object modifications, customizations.


3-D Printer Maintenance

Basic preventative maintenance will keep you printing problem-free. Periodically check and fix the following areas of your printer.

  • Vacuum up all the little pieces and parts of filament that drop off as the printer heats up, failed print debris, etc.
  • Dust your printer. Canned air will work fine. Blow out the fans, controller box.
  • Check the extruder body internals for filament crumbs, buildup. Do a cold pull of filament.
  • Clean your linear bearings and load them with grease. If possible, do this during initial printer build, or the next time you do a major overhaul.
  • Check for wiring fraying or chafing.
  • Check X, Y, Z round rods for any marring or flatspotting (indicating not enough lubrication) or other unusual wear. Do all the axes run smooth and straight?
  • If your print quality is consistently low and no settings seem to improve it: it’s probably time to change your nozzle. They are relatively easy to change.

Check your printer’s vendor’s documentation or website for specific maintenance suggestions.

Prusa i3 MK3 Regular Maintenance

Prusa Maintenance Tips

6 tips for Original Prusa i3 3D printer maintenance

Just a little preventative maintenance will help your printer succeed in the tasks you give to it.


Best 3-D Object Repositories (2022) (formerly – the new object repository database for users of all 3-D printers. [.stl, .3mf, .gcode]

STLFinder – Indexes .stl files from a variety of sources on the internet: a 3-D object search engine.

Cults3D – free/pay object repository. – Free 3-D model community with geometric searching. – formerly the leader, still a large collection, but site maintenance has gradually declined, owners have added advertisements to site.

Customer Prints Projects

Fall has arrived!

We’ve recently printed these colorful pumpkins for a local Montessori school, what can we make for you?

The pumpkins are approximately 6 inches in diameter and about 5 inches in total height.

Multimaterial Pumpkin and Stem is by user Marc on


Help! My printer is broken

Blob of Deathâ„¢, printer making weird clicking noises, parts dangling where they shouldn’t?

While using your 3-D printer, you may find that you come across a print-stopping situation. You are missing a piece, something isn’t working right, a part broke, etc. I’d always recommend exploring your vendor’s support offerings. They will frequently walk you through the issue and/or send replacement parts. But there are times when you just need a part re-printed (now that your printer is broken…) and you’re stuck in a catch-22: You can’t fix your broken printer problem with a broken printer.

If you have the .STL files for the piece or pieces you need, we’re always willing to help a fellow 3-D print enthusiast out of a jam. Just contact us with the details and we’ll see what we can do to help you get what you need.