Help 3D Printing a Custom Motorcycle Air Filter Cover based in UK

Hello GrabCAD Users,

I am not an expert in 3D Printing I signed up to see if there was anyone would be able to assist me please. I have been looking for a custom part for my Motorcycle for eight years now. This has become very difficult since they stopped producing these custom parts in 2009. I have managed to find a few in Germany but people are not willing to sell them.

So I came up with an idea to see if anyone would be able to 3D Print me one. I am based in the UK so UK Printers would be preferable. I have a spare normal Air Filter Cover that I would be willing to send over for you to get the dimensions but what I need is the Live to Ride emblem added to the front. I will need a price and have also added a picture of the standard Air Filter Cover and The Custom Live To Ride Air Filter Cover.

These are ordinally made from a plastic then chromed.

9 Answers

Welcome to GrabCAD. As this more a request for work, it would ideally be posted to this group:

Regarding 3D printing, I don't suggest that as the path to take.
You already have a cover and emblem. The "better" approach will be to make a soft (i.e. silicone) mold of the existing parts. Then cast duplicates in urethane.
There are 1,000 + urethanes to choose from, so finding one with suitable mechanical properties will not be too difficult.

Urethane parts can be plated. Urethane parts have superior mechanical properties compared to "printed" parts.
There will be a small amount of shrinkage to deal with when molding/casting, but an experienced person can compensate for this to some extent by pre-heating the mold.

Thank You FredSWUG for answering my post. Sorry for posting this in the wrong place. Also I don't have a Copy of the custom Air Filter Cover that I am desperately after I only have a Spare Original Air Filter Cover so I could not make a mould of it.

Kind Regards

Alistair Pearce

OK, I saw the photos, and thought you might have access to the parts.
3D printing may be back on the table. But if you don't have access to a cover, how is someone going to make a 3D model which can be used for 3D printing?

I see you mentioned a standard cover vs. a custom cover in the post. What can you tell us about the image named <<VT125 Original Air Filter Cover Front.jpg>>?
Is that a single piece? It looks like two pieces, and one could be replaced with the Live To Ride emblem?

As a rough estimate, I think it could take 8 - 12 hours to measure and remake the air cover if one is available for measuring. The logo could take another 20 hours.
With a few more estimates an average can be determined.

What bike does the cover go to? I think finding an existing one to buy is still a better option. Post some details, and I can check with some motorcycle builders here in the US.


The Motorcycle I have is a Honda Shadow VT125. The Original VT125 Air Filter Picture I added it is one piece I just added the Front and Back so you could see what the item was like from both sides.

As I mentioned in my original post Honda Stopped Building the Shadow VT125 in 2009 which also meant they stopped manufacturing the Custom Chrome Parts for this Model. As I also mentioned I have been searching for Parts for eight years.

I search Ebay UK / Ebay Germany / Facebook / Google and a lot of other Websites all over the world on a daily basis. I have found a few on Ebay Germany but some are still attached to peoples bikes and they are not willing to sell the parts separately. so by this info you can understand that they are not easy to come by which is why I have had to resort to trying to get one 3D Printed if the price is right.

I understand that I don't have the LIVE TO RIDE Emblem and understand that without that it would be hard to scan it so it will be able to be loaded into the 3D Printer. I hope you understand that the LIVE TO RIDE AIR FILTER COVER is all one piece it is not two pieces bolted together. The screw / bolt you see in the middle of the Air Filter is it attach it to the Air Filter Box.

I built a custom VT125 Eight Years ago sadly that was taken from me in November so I am having to start all over again as it was never recovered and also if it was the parts I am desperately after where not on that bike.

Thank you for the time estimation on how long it might take. would you happen to know how much it would cost to build?

Kind Regards

Alistair Pearce

A cost to 3D print is going to be a bit difficult to determine, because the material, and the print technology needs to be determined first.
The original piece is injection molded, and will have FAR better material properties than a 3D printed part.
Most 3D printed materials are not going to have the desired surface finish if this part will be plated. Polyjet, and SLA parts can be cleaned to the needed level, but then the issue is durability. Polyjet materials are/were pretty bad in the heat, and a motorcycle in the sun is going to be warm/hot. SLA materials can resist heat, but along with that property comes brittleness. Less brittle parts have less heat resistance.

I think a cast urethane part is going to be ideal. But the costs are high.
Assume 20-30 hours of CAD work for reverse engineering and modeling
Maybe $300 for a 3D printed model
About $600 for a silicone mold
Maybe $60 - $80 for a cast urethane part
Plating could cost another $120, but depends on the process used.

Those are rough estimates, but I spent a decade quoting, and making such projects. Prices are also based on work in the US. Maybe you can get the same work done for $50 somewhere else? :)

Here's my custom Transformers logo for my car: VW Autobot (Transformers) Grill Badge

It was made in a similar fashion, but is cast directly in R8 pewter. Plating would have been a better choice in hindsight.

Thank you very much FredSWUG you have been very helpful. I think I will speak to a UK 3D Printing company and see what they can do. This is still a early Idea as I am sick and tired after eight years of searching and not being able to buy one. You VW Logo is amazing If it is going to be this difficult I will just have to carry on using the Standard Air Filter Cover just when my Nike project is finished it wont look right as I have already sketched it out.

Thank you for your help I know it dose not sound like it but I really do Appreciate your information. It is not just me I help run a group for VT125 owners in the UK and even they are sick and tired of trying to find Custom Chrome Parts. These bikes are still so very popular but the people who have theses parts for sale in Germany are not willing to sell to us in the UK.

Anyway FredSWUG thank you very much.

Kind Regards

Alistair Pearce

Hi! You may need an engraving instead of 3D-printing for this part. Something like this:

Thank you very much Kirill Romanenko I will also look into this method just trying to get everything sorted as I am building it in the winter.

kind regards