3D Printed Front License Plate Holder

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#1
My state requires a front license plate and I don't quite like the mount provided by Tesla. There are many options out there but they all seemed pretty expensive to me. I'm new to 3D printing so thought I'd try and model something. Made something that works but it wasn't completely easy to install. if anyone is interested I can provide the STL files. I printed it out of solid ABS and seems soild enough that it won't break. You do need 4 bolts and nuts. Other people on thingiverse have made license plate brackets that seem to hold up (aside from being hit by other vehicles). I put high density foam on the back upper edge and at the bottom in case the bracket rubs the vehicle. It doesn't currently but you can never be too safe in the event someone decides to bump my front. I'll update this post when I actually get my plates.

 

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chojn1

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#2
My state requires a front license plate and I don't quite like the mount provided by Tesla. There are many options out there but they all seemed pretty expensive to me. I'm new to 3D printing so thought I'd try and model something. Made something that works but it wasn't completely easy to install. if anyone is interested I can provide the STL files. I printed it out of solid ABS and seems soild enough that it won't break. You do need 4 bolts and nuts. Other people on thingiverse have made license plate brackets that seem to hold up (aside from being hit by other vehicles). I put high density foam on the back upper edge and at the bottom in case the bracket rubs the vehicle. It doesn't currently but you can never be too safe in the event someone decides to bump my front. I'll update this post when I actually get my plates.

Very nice!
Does your battery vent open and close with this in place?
Also in future designs, you may want a fillet on the inside corners for extra strength.
Can't wait to see the front plate on.
CJ
 

garsh

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#3
Sorry to be a debbie-downer (look it up, kids), but I'd be afraid of the top edge flapping at highway speeds and hitting the bumper. It appears to be very close. That will wear the paint off the bumper very quickly.
 
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#4
Very nice!
Does your battery vent open and close with this in place?
Also in future designs, you may want a fillet on the inside corners for extra strength.
Can't wait to see the front plate on.
CJ
I'm not really sure with the battery vent. Would This obstruct it somehow? Pardon my ignorance, but how would Fileting the inside corners provide strength?
 
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#5
Sorry to be a debbie-downer (look it up, kids), but I'd be afraid of the top edge flapping at highway speeds and hitting the bumper. It appears to be very close. That will wear the paint off the bumper very quickly.
The flexion of the plate is not high, albeit I haven't tested yet. Thinking that may be a possibility I mentioned that I put high density foam tape to the top of the bracket. If it really flexes far enough, the paint would. Just get a soft tap from the foam.
 

garsh

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#6
how would Fileting the inside corners provide strength?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fillet_(mechanics)
In mechanical engineering, a fillet is a rounding of an interior or exterior corner of a part design.

Stress concentration is a problem of load-bearing mechanical parts which is reduced by employing fillets on points and lines of expected high stress. The fillets distribute the stress over a broader area and effectively make the parts more durable and capable of bearing larger loads.

 

garsh

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#7
If it really flexes far enough, the paint would. Just get a soft tap from the foam.
A soft-tap from foam several times per second during highway driving is all it would take to start wearing off the finish after a week. You'd be better off using taped foam to stick the top to the bumper.

If you're going to give it a try, just keep an eye on it.
 

m3_4_wifey

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#8
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fillet_(mechanics)
In mechanical engineering, a fillet is a rounding of an interior or exterior corner of a part design.

Stress concentration is a problem of load-bearing mechanical parts which is reduced by employing fillets on points and lines of expected high stress. The fillets distribute the stress over a broader area and effectively make the parts more durable and capable of bearing larger loads.

Seems like if you are doing 3D printing, a 45 degree angle support would be more effective than a fillet to help with the faceplate buckling in the wind. You just have to put one or more 45's in there and still be able to assemble it. Triangles are very strong.
 

garsh

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#9
Seems like if you are doing 3D printing, a 45 degree angle support would be more effective than a fillet to help with the faceplate buckling in the wind.
That's called a "chamfer". They tend to be simpler & easier to create, but that's not really an issue with 3d printing. A fillet is much better at distributing stress than a chamfer.

https://www.engineering.com/Advance...mfer-or-Fillet-Its-More-Than-a-Coin-Toss.aspx

Triangles are very strong.
Circles are stronger. That's why propane tanks are cylinders instead of pyramids. ;)
 

PNWmisty

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#10
A soft-tap from foam several times per second during highway driving is all it would take to start wearing off the finish after a week. You'd be better off using taped foam to stick the top to the bumper.
I agree. But I think I like the solution supplied by Tesla better. It's a very elegant, custom design and it doesn't block the airflow to the heat exchangers. I think it looks more aerodynamic too.
 

m3_4_wifey

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#11
That's called a "chamfer". They tend to be simpler & easier to create, but that's not really an issue with 3d printing. A fillet is much better at distributing stress than a chamfer.

That's called a "chamfer". They tend to be simpler & easier to create, but that's not really an issue with 3d printing. A fillet is much better at distributing stress than a chamfer.

https://www.engineering.com/Advance...mfer-or-Fillet-Its-More-Than-a-Coin-Toss.aspx


Circles are stronger. That's why propane tanks are cylinders instead of pyramids. ;)
.
@garsh I think you missed my suggestion. I attached a picture with the yellow being the 45 that can be added for strength.

I don't disagree with your comment that a fillet is better than a chamfer, but a 45 that is much higher up is even better. Fillets could be added to this 45 brace.
 

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garsh

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#12
@garsh I think you missed my suggestion. I attached a picture with the yellow being the 45 that can be added for strength.
Yep, I thought you were suggesting a solid triangle.

But the brace you've pictured is harder to 3d print, since the brace keeps extending over an empty space.
 

GregRF

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#13
That's called a "chamfer". They tend to be simpler & easier to create, but that's not really an issue with 3d printing. A fillet is much better at distributing stress than a chamfer.
I've actually been debating this in my head lately as I've started to design some parts for my new 3D printer. Normally I'm a fillet guy and I think that is still the way to go for in-layer (x-y plane) corners, but for joints in the vertical (Z) print direction I'm starting to come around to using more chamfers for the increase in material in the joint for layer adhesion and the more consistent height changes. I'm usually printing 0.2mm layers, so you can imagine the small stair steps you'd see in these corners and the chamfer would give consistent steps versus the radius ending up looking like long steps, to more consistent steps, then to tall steps.
 
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#14
Thanks for the inputs regarding chamfers and fillets. Probably would have been good to include those but I really think this thing is plenty strong. I printed with ABS at 100% infill. I tried bending it myself to try and make it touch the bumper but it wouldn't get there short of me feeling like i would have to snap it. It is less flexible than a license plate. As with my other 3d builds, i'm going to test it. Didn't want to put foam tape directly on my bumper since i think it would be unsightly. I may put something on their for the first few weeks that will show if any impact is detected.
 

lairdb

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#15
Yep, I thought you were suggesting a solid triangle.

But the brace you've pictured is harder to 3d print, since the brace keeps extending over an empty space.
No reason not to be solid beneath the struts, though -- i.e. ribs.

If @nsainfreek ever re-prints, I'd definitely suggest fillets:

But ribs and fillets would be better:

 
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#16
I'm not all clear on the "lingo" of struts and ribs in the diagrams below, but I designed the bracket to be easily printable without any supports. I actually print it sideways so the grooves go vertical rather than horizontal to increase structural strength. The last diagram would not be printable sideways without supports.

No reason not to be solid beneath the struts, though -- i.e. ribs.

If @nsainfreek ever re-prints, I'd definitely suggest fillets:

But ribs and fillets would be better:

 

lairdb

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#17
I'm not all clear on the "lingo" of struts and ribs in the diagrams below, but I designed the bracket to be easily printable without any supports. I actually print it sideways so the grooves go vertical rather than horizontal to increase structural strength. The last diagram would not be printable sideways without supports.
Depends on how well your slicer and printer handle bridging, but definitely trickier. Good point about sideways for strength.

In that case, you could put a solid body right at the end, which (with a 45deg chamfer on the "top" edge) would be printable at the top as well.


 

Donald

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#18
My state requires a front license plate and I don't quite like the mount provided by Tesla. There are many options out there but they all seemed pretty expensive to me. I'm new to 3D printing so thought I'd try and model something. Made something that works but it wasn't completely easy to install. if anyone is interested I can provide the STL files. I printed it out of solid ABS and seems soild enough that it won't break. You do need 4 bolts and nuts. Other people on thingiverse have made license plate brackets that seem to hold up (aside from being hit by other vehicles). I put high density foam on the back upper edge and at the bottom in case the bracket rubs the vehicle. It doesn't currently but you can never be too safe in the event someone decides to bump my front. I'll update this post when I actually get my plates.

Is there a way to get your files?
 

slarty

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#19
Could someone please post the files for this? It looks interesting, and my front plate fell off this morning. It was using the tape from Tesla, and I want to put it back on more permanently.