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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After my post on the "New member section" talking about what we would like to do here in Europe to make headlights and taillights spare parts for
Opel GT/Saturn Sky we are asking now for some other help

One member of the GT club Italia has found a company able to get moulds for the production of lights using 3d scanning and printing. The things we need to know now, as much precisely as we can,are:
1) which materials are used for headlights and taillights
2) how usually they are produced (for example temperature of casting for plastics)
3) operating temperatures limits these materials have to be resistant to.
And all other technical infos we can collect.
If you know these things or you can ask someone expert in plastic manufacturing it will be really appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi, I recommend you chat with @chickenwire and @Rob the Elder over on the Solstice forum: Pontiac Solstice Forum . I know Chickenwire works in the plastics industry and is well versed on 3d printing. And Rob is probably one of the most knowledgeable members around and has sourced production of several replacement parts for the community.
Thank you very much agent008
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good afternoon to everyone! Here from Italy we had today another big step in our lights project.
We are still waiting for the reply of the factories contacted in the past days to know precisely costs of production, but today we found another company able to produce molds and lights. Surprisingly the production of lights is really cheap but molds are really expensive.
Next week they will give us the real prices but they already said that we are easily around 25/30k euros each mold. Considering we need 8 molds (4 for frames and 4 for transparent parts) we are talking about 200/240k euros.
All the companies contacted at the moment gave us more or less these figures.
The only way to go further in this project is to involve a huge number of people to reduce the cost ad personam as much as we can.
Just to to be as much transparent as we can and to let you know which kind of companies we are in contact I am putting the links:

It is clear that it is impossible to follow this way if we will be 10 or 20 of us. Here is possible only if numbers of people involved are hundreds.
 

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I applaud your efforts in this, you certainly have a big challenge ahead of you. Unfortunately, while I hope that I am wrong, I do not think the numbers will ever work in your favor.

I have not disassembled a tail light, and have not compared the detail of the Sky design to the Opel, but there are differences. Are those differences included in your mold count?

The Euro/US dollar conversion is essentially 1:1 right now, so the values are easy to discuss. At 240k, you would need 240 people willing to pay 1,000 each for a set of tail lights. I do not think that you will find 240 people that want to buy a set, and 1,000 is definitely on the high end of what they are lilkely to want to pay.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I know it is almost impossible @JohnWR but I will keep trying till it will be clear we cannot find a solution. Someone from Dutch Opel GT club suggested to try to contact directly GM or SL corporation (the original factory for Saturn Sky/GT lights). Well it would be probably the easiest way to restart a small production keeping costs low. But I tried to contact these companies having no reply.
I think GM is easier to be reached by you guys in US. If we can unite our efforts I am still positive on this project.
 

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GM has not been responsive to others about other things related to the cars, but there is always hope.

Of course, Saturn no longer exists as a GM division, or anything else, and the plant used to assemble the cars no longer belongs to GM.
 

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What if you begin with just the lens (transparent front shel)l and go from there? In car accidents, the lenses are the first to get cracked/destroyed.

While the base might also suffer damage, it’s usually a tab that breaks off, with the rest of the base still able to be used.

Food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
GM has not been responsive to others about other things related to the cars, but there is always hope.

Of course, Saturn no longer exists as a GM division, or anything else, and the plant used to assemble the cars no longer belongs to GM.
So probably GM is not helpful at all in this process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What if you begin with just the lens (transparent front shel)l and go from there? In car accidents, the lenses are the first to get cracked/destroyed.

While the base might also suffer damage, it’s usually a tab that breaks off, with the rest of the base still able to be used.

Food for thought.
Hi Super Serg. As you suggested we are already considering to replicate only the transparent part of the lights to limit costs.
As you correctly said the frame of the lights can be repaired and it is less likely to broke up in case of impact.
But the problem of initial cost still exists. In theory to make the molds for the 4 transparent parts it is 120k. We still need to find hundreds of people. To save my car in case of incident I do not mind to invest 1000 euros today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi everyone. We got another quote from another lights factory. Unfortunately they confirmed that the only way to start a production is to find 500/600 owners investing 1000/1300 euros each.
The cost for molds is in the range between 30k and 45k and there is no other way to do.
3d printing was an alternative but at the end of the day we do not have all the informations needed to produce lights in that way.
3d printing experts told us that during cool down of plastics the can change shape and measures.
We thought also to try to start an European-american GT/SKY association with no revenue with a contract between members to rise the founds to start the production of the lights. But it is something we cannot do if just few of us are interested and if we are alone (3 or 4) trying to follow this way.
 

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Vacuum forming may be the way to go. @JohnWR hinted at that some time ago. Maybe even on this thread? I think vacuum forming needs much less expensive molds. But I am not very well informed about the process.
I think that vacuum forming may be a partial answer, but it will not produce exact replica parts. I will be trying to reproduce a headlight and a taillight within the year. I am expecting to have a part that is functional, but it will not be a true replacement.
 

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I take it used ones will become harder and harder to find, plus he lives in Italy where these cars are much rarer. Also the Opel (EU-compliant) version of the tail lights are rare both in Europe and the US.
When something is rare it is much easier, and you better control quality, to buy it for a bit more money then to manufacture something yourself. Opel GT lights are available. Just look around and one will have a set very quickly. I visit parts websites / real salvaged yards regularly.
 
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