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BMW Key Shell [message #26926] Wed, 04 May 2011 12:19 UTC Go to next message
avatar csw  is currently offline csw
Messages: 0
Registered: March 2009
Go to all my models
Junior Member
Hi there,

I'm looking to make a replacement shell for my BMW key. I already have the metal portion of the key, which I would transplant in the new shell. Alternatively (this would depend on the strength of the shapeways materials) I might just make the whole shell/key assembly and then transplant the electronics. There is a chip buried in the plastic that needs to be transferred as well, once I find someone to do this we can further destroy the existing key.

Here are some pictures:

Some critical notes:

•The tiny buttons on the circuit board need to be actuated by pressure on the outside of the shell
•The shell should be able to be opened and closed a few times to replace the battery
•Ideally the job won't be too expensive, as I can buy a new key for about $150
•The shell should be strong enough to withstand the forces of repeated use.
• I should be allowed to use the design as much as I want- I plan to force bmw to make these keys more economical by selling them for a pittance.

I could arrange to get a designer the actual key for more detailed measurements if necessary.

Thanks! Email or call anytime.

Chris Watts
csw at me dot com
크리스 와츠
Bake Visual Effects, Inc.
1858 North Avenue 53
Los Angeles, CA 90042
main 323-333-5000
fax 206-350-0064
skype cswatts
aim cwfx1
yahoo cwiphone
dot•mac csw

  • Attachment: bmw1.jpeg
    (Size: 42.99KB, Downloaded 386 time(s))

[Updated on: Wed, 04 May 2011 12:21 UTC]

Re: BMW Key Shell [message #26952 is a reply to message #26926 ] Wed, 04 May 2011 16:34 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stop4stuff  is currently offline stop4stuff
Messages: 3193
Registered: June 2010
Go to my shop
Shapie Expert
Please can you confirm;
1. The key fob falls under 'free to replicate for re-sale' rights (3 years USA, 7 years UK)
2. That part of the electronics of the fob is buried in the fob case (that's how it reads)

Any which way, you'd be looking at more than your sub $150 budget for a perfect, repeatable model for you to own the resale rights too... something like this is going to take several hits to get just right.

Re: BMW Key Shell [message #26959 is a reply to message #26952 ] Wed, 04 May 2011 18:31 UTC Go to previous message
avatar csw  is currently offline csw
Messages: 0
Registered: March 2009
Go to all my models
Junior Member
I am not aware of any statutory right to copy a design that enacts after 3 years (in the US, anyway.) It doesn't matter anyway, the fob will, by necessity, be different enough from the BMW design that it will not fall under their copyright. All it needs to do is hold the chip and the metal key tang.

And I don't really care whether the BMW allows me to duplicate the key. They probably would rather I did not. (This is kind of my point)

No one has to know you made it, and in fact, I can make our deal a "work for hire" and you will be in the clear legally. In any case, I want this to be my problem, and I will indemnify the designer/model from any repercussions of my use of the design. (If you start selling them too, you're on your own!)

I will figure out whether the chip is on the PCB or in the plastic fob today. In addition to the chip, though, are the other key functions and those definitely live on the pcb. There are 3 buttons. Two of those are made with a 3-sided cut and a score on the 4th side, so the tab bends when pushed and depresses the SMD switch on the PCD

I guess I am okay with the design taking a few tries. But the unit production cost should be considerably less than that.



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