I would like to be able to 3D print the tow-eye cover with the emblem included but I don’t have access to a 3D scanner needed to produce the 3D print file (.stl). Parts can be 3D printed for less than $5, so perhaps it makes sense to produce the whole thing rather than spending $60+ on a metal emblem that adheres onto the grille tow-eye cover and hoping that it doesn’t fall off because of the additional weight; or that it doesn’t get stolen for the emblem, as it only requires a light tug to remove the entire piece.
My thoughts regarding the emblem – they should be…
- standard on EVERY 124 Spider’s grille, rather than optional
- permanently affixed (like the chromed pony is a permanent part of every Mustang’s grille) to the honeycomb cell on the opposite side of the grille, rather than stuck on with two-way tape to the honeycomb cell of the easily removable tow-eye cover
I had my library 3D print a red emblem (with thanks to Andrea) @ 101.52 x 19.65 mm designed to adhere to the passenger-side honeycomb cell on the Classica & Lusso grilles (slightly smaller than the tow-eye cover honeycomb cell). It turns out that the honeycomb cells on the Abarth grille are quite different in design.
Next step is to get it printed in 2 colors, since painting the “124” with my artic-white touch-up paint didn’t look as nice as I had hoped.
My painted emblem (top emblem in the photo below – maybe nail polish would have been better than touch-up paint) encouraged me try an alternate design instead, printed in 2 colors and styled after an alternative “carbon fiber” black emblem I’d seen pictured in the European Mopar accessories catalog (shown above). The result is the bottom emblem and I’m quite pleased!
To aid in producing the emblem in two colors, I added a post that is slightly taller than the background logo “stripes” to the design, so that while printing on a single-color 3D printer, once it is observed that the print head no longer moves to that location (which occurred about 87% into completion), the printer could be paused for threading a second color filament.
My only concern now is the UV durability of Polylactide (PLA), the corn-based thermoplastic material that my library uses for Fused Deposition Modeling 3D printing inside the library due to it’s low cost and non-toxic (no-smell) characteristics. This material is commonly used for prototyping since, due to the printing process, stepping is visible and the surface finish is not the smoothest.
I’m thinking of having it two-color printed in ABS plastic at Ponoko.com, and if it comes out more professional looking, I’ll make it available to others to have 3D-printed for themselves as well.
Ponoko doesn’t 3D-print in two colors, so I’ve decided to use an emblem printed using my library’s Maker Bot Replicator 2 printer. Because the print job has to be paused in order to switch filament colors, rather than submit the print job to library staff with a print request, I joined my library’s 3D print club, got certified in operating it myself, and fulfilled the request myself.
I ended up choosing white-on-black rather than white-on-red for my vehicle. I paused @ 78% to switch filament colors; 80 – 82% would be ideal so that the background stripes would be printed in the base color (instead of white). The emblem fits either location on the grille, but since
- the mounting surface is flat on the tow hook cover vs. convex on the passenger-side hexagonal port
- – and – since the emblem is so lightweight (since it isn’t metal like the Mopar versions)
after sealing the emblem in clear coat, I decided to adhere it to the driver’s side tow hook cover (with super glue). I’m making the stl file available here for anyone else interested in duplicating this method. Should you feel so inclined, buy me a cup of coffee…
⇓ I’m very pleased with the outcome (and I’m happy to report that 2 years later (June 2019), it is still in like-new condition!, unlike some of the bootleg copies of the Mopar badge, that the red paint is reported to be peeling off)…
Here are a few more stl files for the 124 Spider and the MX-5 that I’ve gathered these past few months:
- 3D-print a cover for the Infotainment system’s dual USB ports
- 3D-print a cover for the windbreaker ports in the rear bulkhead
- 3D-print a bracket for the forward passenger cup holder slot
- 3D-print a cupholder
- 3D-print a plug for the front cupholder opening
- 3D-print a shelf for the cubby (glovebox)
- 3D-print an air-scoop for top-down occupant cooling
Should you come across any other 3D print files that would be of interest to 124 Spider owners, let me know and I’ll add them to this article.