Customize Your Corvette Cheaply With Technology and Elbow Grease
Doing your own 3D printing opens up a new world of customization. Best of all, parts get cheaper when you make them yourself.
You finally did it. You have been saving up and working hard, and you stand there holding the keys to your new Corvette. The power, the prestige, the style and the history of America’s greatest sports car are all yours. The only thing left to do is add a few custom touches to truly make the car yours. Some fuel rail lettering in a cool color, custom Crossed Flags, and maybe some new side skirts.
Problem is, all those parts cost a ton to buy new, and you just dropped a huge load of cash to pick up the car in the first place. Well, if you have some time and want to put in some elbow grease, we already showed you how to make side skirts and custom Crossed Flags logos. But what about those fuel rail letters? Well, thanks to the wonders of 3D printing, those too can be had for pennies on the dollar. When we picked up our TAZ6 3D printer from Lulzbot a few weeks back, we immediately set to work printing all the coolest car stuff we could find. And for Corvette owners, that means a lot of stuff. We printed phone cases, cup holder organization trays, and keychains as well as replacement parts like C3 horn buttons and T-Top clips.
And we also found a set of fuel rail letters as well. Which means that instead of paying someone like Ecklers $70 for a set of letters, you can print your own for less than $5 in almost any color you like, or even in carbon reinforced plastics. Every Corvette is a little cooler with the addition of some carbon fiber. If you can’t find a color you like, these parts are just plastic. You can paint them to match your exterior color exactly if you wanted.
We also found a great tool for those of you with those custom side skirts. A printable jacking puck that gives you an extra 2 inches of clearance for a floor jack so you don’t put any extra and unwanted pressure on those new skirts. Even if you print it completely solid, you are looking at less than $12 in plastic for the jacking puck. With some testing, we found the puck to be strong enough at just 50-percent infill, so it only costs a touch over five bucks to make.
A good 3D printer like our TAZ6 will run you $2500, but in just a few weeks time, you can save yourself hundreds on custom parts and cool Corvette accessories. Get some of your Corvette-owning friends to toss you a few bucks for some parts of their own, and you’ll have that initial investment cost covered in no time. Start throwing extra items you can print like tool storage trays, GoPro mounts, fishing lures, home office supplies and more, and it is pretty easy to justify a wild piece of technology like a 3D printer.
What do you guys think about 3D printing custom parts? Is this something you think is cool, and might be the future of car modding? Or is it a silly gimmick that will pass as fast as it arrived? Hit the forum thread to discuss.