20130613

Takhion Headset Cap: The First Prototypes

The very first prototypes of my Takhion headset cap recreation project have arrived, and, well, there's good news and bad news.

Since these were just meant to be prototypes and I was expecting some issues to occur, it's no big loss, but it is still a bit of a drag to have to go back to the drawing board.

Lets start with the good.

Batch number one.
Surprisingly, the dimensions appear to be correct and everything fits well - the cap fits in the frame, and the bar ends fit nicely in the bars.  Everything printed *mostly* okay, with the detail of the Takhion logo coming through nicely.  There are a few small differences between the main cap that I modeled from and the print, but that might now entirely be my fault.

I'm shocked that it worked, to be honest.  Though I also definitely didn't order white, so there's that.
Before I submit these for another print, there's minimal work that I have to do to fix them.  So, there's at least that for good news.

These came out rather well considering I pulled the design mostly out of thin air.  They look a big big because the bars aren't wrapped, but I still might shrink them a bit anyway, just in case.
And, onto the bad.

Shapeways described the material as a "strong and flexible plastic" but it feels and behaves more like sandstone.  The rough texture isn't a problem, but "flexible" isn't a word I'd use to describe this material in any way.  Unfortunately it doesn't at all resemble the original material, and though it fits the frame isn't flexible enough to remove or rubbery enough to properly seal.  

Second, apparently my designs weren't subdivided before being printed, which is a bit surprising to me.  I'd expect a 3D printing company to print at a higher subdivision level by default, and there was no instruction or notification anywhere stating that it should be one or the other.  This is why these pieces appear jagged and polygonal instead of smooth, and I can't take truly accurate measurements comparing this print to the original.  I'll admit this is more my fault than anything, and I should have asked prior to printing what the standard is. 

Lastly, the quality varied too much to ensure each piece would work.  Of the two bar caps that I received, one was very clean and detailed, and the other was poorly defined and pretty bad looking. 

The left one isn't as nice as the right.  I'd need better quality control on these for them to work.  
For fixes, I accidentally flipped the Takhion logo upside down on the headset cap.  This is an easy fix, but it was still a pretty stupid mistake on my part.  At least it's the only major issue.

This is why I can't have nice things
I'll cross check the new cap as best as I can with the old, but in the meantime I need to find a different printing method that will get me something that can withstand being in a frame.  

Onto take two!

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