Car Badge

Discussion in 'Materials' started by stepahin, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. stepahin
    stepahin Member
    Hey! I'm a newbie and just want to ask your advice. Please help me

    I want to order car badge (letters logo) and want it to look like chrome-plated or polished steel. Size 180 x 40 x 5 mm. Separate letters. Like this:


    Please advise me the material and finish
  2. kaadesign
    kaadesign Well-Known Member
    Ahh.. 230 kW at 4.300 ... BMW
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017 at 4:23 AM
  3. Anyuta3D
    Anyuta3D Well-Known Member
    Dear stepahin,

    Since you asked for help and advice, here is a friendly advice. To have the pictured letters in chrome-plated or polished steel you have to choose from following two options:

    • The first option is to order from a 3D designer to build this for you and later 3D produce it in metal (with dubious results regarding the "chrome-plated or polished steel" finish you asked for). Estimated cost for 3D design fees and 3D printing... a lot USD!
    • The other option, is to search for it on ebay. As far as I checked, there are hundreds of sellers offering this exact item for $10 to $15 and free international shipping.
    ...need to say more?

    Anyuta 3D
  4. stepahin
    stepahin Member
    I have my own logo design (letter) and I have 3d model ready for production.

    My question only about material and finish. I want it to look like the photo above (this is an example)
  5. kaadesign
    kaadesign Well-Known Member
    If no large chamfering is required, it is better to laser the contour out of a stainless steel sheet. (DXF or SVG file )
    If a large bevel as shown in the picture is needed, then the parts should be milled. (Ideally a STEP file )
  6. stepahin
    stepahin Member
    I think the second option because I don't want absolutely flat front side. Look at my model


    Width ~180 mm (about 91% of file size)

    But I still don't know the best way under 100 euro
  7. Shea_Design
    Shea_Design Well-Known Member
    Order in FXD (frosted extreme detail), wet sand to highest polish you can achieve, then send out for chrome plating. Hope the adhesive holds! -S
  8. stepahin
    stepahin Member
    Thank you for advice! With the first step everything is clear. But can someone on this site do the next two steps? Polishing and painting
  9. Shea_Design
    Shea_Design Well-Known Member
    Someone on this site? SW does not offer post processing on most products save for dyeing, some tumbling or precious metals polishing. A member of the community, perhaps. Unless you have physical challenges I'm quite sure you could handle the sanding, start with 320 grit, then 400, then 600, all wet sanding. You've shifted to painting now (vs plating) and that is not unreasonable considering some of the magic liquid chrome types of finishes available. If you wish to put the design into production than I understand not wanting to do the labor and suggest you find a manufacture, perhaps after you have orders. -S
  10. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    In short, without having your own equipment there is no easy way to do it for under 100 EUR.

    Who made the 3D model? If you're going to do 3D printing you'll want to have the letters hollowed out. I tried in DesignSpark Mechanical and all of the letters were one mouse click shelling except for the A and the G. To do the A and the G manually would be quite a bit of work.

    Kaadesign has the cheapest method, but he didn't see the model first before suggesting that. If the letters were flat you might be able to find someone who would laser cut these out of stainless steel and then cut the bevels and polish them all within a vibratory tumbler for under 100. Problem is the entire front facing surface is a curve. It will look really great when made with this curve because of the way it will reflect light. The only way to get that front facing curve though would be to CNC machine the surface and that would be through the roof costs. You could try to do it manually by clamping each letter in a vice and just winging it with a metal file, but you might end up with a disaster because it would be extremely difficult to get all the letters to look the same as they would all need to have the same curvature in order to look good.

    Shea_Design's method is the next best way to do it. To add to his suggestions I would look into plating the letters yourself by first doing the steps he laid out and then do your own electroforming with copper. Once you have a thick coating of copper you can put a mirror polish on it. You can't polish the plastic because it needs to be painted with conductive paint before it can be electroplated and the paint will ruin the polish.

    To have someone electroplate these would be through the roof costs unless you could find someone who was doing it a hobby or something like that, although you may find a professional that does spray on silver like he's talking about and still be under your 100 so look into that. I've never seen any do it your self kits for under 100 so let me know if you look and find one.

    To do electroforming of copper on plastic yourself is cheap and easy to do. Take a look at some of these how-to videos to see what's involved. You can also do your own nickel plating too fairly cheaply, which once polished can look very similar to chrome.

    Shapeways can do it but it would cost you around 60 to 100 PER LETTER, even with the letters shelled out, for rhodium plated. The rhodium plating would be ok, but whenever you washed your car you would need to be extremely careful to be gentle with the letters since Shapeways' rhodium plating is very thin.