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Open Source Parts Brainstorm

Discussion in 'N54' started by Tallgeese179, Nov 5, 2016.

What do you guys think?

  1. Yeah (I'd like to watch)

  2. Yeah (I know CAD and can contribute)

    0 vote(s)
  3. No, not feasible

    0 vote(s)
  1. I've been tossing around this idea in my head since a while back when I thought about putting together a dual oil cooler setup. Basically, I looked at the oil thermostat housing delete plate and thought "I could make that in CAD in an hour...why would I buy it from someone else?"

    Another simple part I thought of the other day was the sheet metal engine cover that someone made for that N54 swapped S14. It's literally sheet metal with 2 bends and some louvers. I work in sheet metal design at work (so metal \m/ :rolleyes:) so it wouldn't take much time at all.

    Maybe it's a dumb idea, but I feel like working as some sort of community we could easily ID and model up some simple parts (to start). I'm also aware that buying in high MoQs can lower per piece price significantly, but that can likely be addressed later by organizing group buys and working with MFGs to simply ship to individual addresses.

    Finally, I am not trying to step on any vendor's toes. I understand that, if successful, this could basically take sales away from vendors. I also want to be clear that I wouldn't want to just buy samples of vendor's products and copy them. This would be focused on filling in the gaps where vendor's products are overpriced, the product simply doesn't exist yet, or the existing product is missing a key feature.

    Identified Parts/Assemblies
    • Sheet metal engine cover
    • Oil thermostat delete plate
    • Setrab oil cooler mounting bracket

    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
  2. doublespaces

    doublespaces Administrator

    2009 E93 335i
    Not a dumb idea at all. I see a lot of engine bays without the plastic cover installed, and with all the top mount kits, you'd think they would want something like this. There is a machine valve cover coming out, but I suspect it would cost significantly more than this solution. Regarding the block off plate, it is only worth it if the price is above the 'lazy level'. What do those run anyway?
  3. @doublespaces ,

    Specifically for the delete plate, pricing would be tricky. The cheapest plate that I'm aware of currently is the RB one the goes for $65 last time I checked (don't think that includes shipping). My thought process on that one was something like: he seems to get lower quantity orders on his machined stuff, so he's likely not saving massive amounts on volume discounts. Also he needs to turn a profit and shipping is on top of that price. So maybe theres some money to be saved? Not really sure.

    However, I still insist that this isn't to just "save a few bucks" and screw vendors over. Making an open source file would mean that anyone around the world can make their own (even customize it). It might be nice for some people that would save a lot on international shipping for example.

    Ideally, others could download, modify, and upload new versions of parts (kind of like how MakerBot's community works). Things like different chassis, engine bay layouts, and left/right hand drive can be accounted for too.
  4. 335iHaroon

    335iHaroon Specialist

    That sheet metal engine cover is a great idea
  5. Another possible item would be a mounting bracket for the increasingly popular single/dual Setrab oil coolers that people are running. The nice thing about sheet metal is that you can make flat pattern drawings that have the bendlines printed out, print at 1:1 scale, glue to your sheet metal, and make your custom fit bracket at home.
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  6. 335iHaroon

    335iHaroon Specialist

    Great ideas. I say go for it you seem enthusiast enough about your ideas and that's exactly what we need more of on the n5x platform!
  7. I thought about it before, but I'm currently renovating a house (gotta get out of my parents house :eek:), so free time is rare. Just wanted to get a feeler and see if there are other people with design skills or product ideas. There's also something very satisfying about the idea of making something open source. It's like helping needy children...that happen to like boost and going fast
  8. doublespaces

    doublespaces Administrator

    2009 E93 335i
    We have a resources section where these kinds of projects belong. You create a resource and people can download it, make revisions and a discussion thread even gets made for it.
  9. jdm5596

    jdm5596 Private

    Man if i can get some time off. Id be glad to model some stuff like mounts and stuff and provide it.
  10. jdm5596

    jdm5596 Private

    Someone make a request list for people to work on?
  11. Sweet! I'm assuming this was originally intended more for tuning related stuff? That would actually work really well, since each revision can have it's own discussion, in case someone spots a problem.
  12. Seems like a good idea to me. I just wanted to initially gauge interest and see who else can contribute. In terms of CAD software, it think using something like STEP files would be a given (since they carry over well between programs). Also, I would probably be trying out OnShape modeling software for this stuff (since it's free and would be cool to learn a new program).

    @doublespaces : would something like this go under resources, or does it fit better somewhere else? It would just be an on-going thread that I could update at the top to keep a list of ideas together.
  13. doublespaces

    doublespaces Administrator

    2009 E93 335i
    It's made for digital resources of any kind. It's a perfect fit. And yes I had intended it to be for flashing related files but I can make a category for anything.
  14. DirtKurt

    DirtKurt Private Vendor

    From personal experience I have found that with oil coolers the adapter actually ends up being the cheapest piece. It's the core, t-stat, fittings and hose that adds up.
  15. I would also be interested in a metal cover, as long as it has venting around the coil pack area.
  16. Jbert

    Jbert Lurker Vendor

    Who is working on the metal valve cover ?
  17. I'd totally buy the metal engine cover. I'm not a big fan of the cosmetics of the engine with the stock cover on or off.
  18. zero2sixtyZ

    zero2sixtyZ Private

    Boston, MA
    E92 335i
    Whether it would be watching, or more of a crowd-sourced concept, I'd be interested.

    Way back when, I stopped by the Local Motors shop when in MA, and it was really interesting to see how the Rally Fighter was a culmination of enthusiasts who wanted to share ideas/designs for the best and then buy.
  19. doublespaces

    doublespaces Administrator

    2009 E93 335i
    If we could build a compilation of 3d printed parts or CNC designs or DIY projects, that would be fantastic!
  20. I think something like this would work best:
    I'll edit this thread and update it to include the ideas as we come up with them. I'll add in the ones we've already discussed to a list. Under the "Resources" section, if you could make a category called "Open Source CAD Files" or just "CAD Files" it would help organize it a little better.

    We can make resource threads for each component/assembly and have the group discuss what features they want/need. These features can be added into the models as they come up. If I have some free time I'll start getting some measurements for the engine cover (since it's a simple part and no-one else really makes it).