Introduction: Rebadge Your Car!

Picture of Rebadge Your Car!

"It was discovered last night in Van Nuys lodged against an abutment."

If you don't know where that quote is from, I can't help you. What I can do is show you how to rebadge your car! Tired of being branded by Ford, Toyota, Dodge, etc. Make your own badge for your car, creating a more personalized and unique vehicle. All you need is a 3D printer, some magnets, an oven, parchment paper, and some 3M vehicle mounting tape.

*Disclaimer* My instructions are for a 2010 Scion Xb, however, I believe these steps are suitable for getting an idea of how to do this with just about any type of car.

Now, let's get to work.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Step 2: Print Your Badges

Picture of Print Your Badges

I've included the .STL files and Sketchup files I used to create my badge. I've created two separate badges, one for the front grill of the vehicle, the other goes just below the rear window. They are different sizes, the one on the front being slightly larger than the one in the back.

You will notice they are printed in two colors, red and white. I printed these off a Makerbot Replicator 5th Generation, which is not a dual extruder machine (not a two color machine). In order to get a two color print you must watch the print until it gets to the point where it begins printing the letters. Once there, you cut the filament and let it go until the machine stops, believing it is out of filament. Add your new filament and resume the print.

If you prefer not to do it this way, there are certainly methods in which you can paint or color the letters from a single color print.

Step 3: Remove the Front Badge

Picture of Remove the Front Badge

The front badge and rear badge attach differently. The reason being, the front badge is attached to a plastic grill, while the rear badge is attached to the metal skin of the vehicle. We will use Automotive 3M Mounting Tape to attach our new front badge, and a Flexible Magnetic Sheet to attach the rear badge.

However, in order to add your new badges, you must first remove the old badges. We will start with the badge on the front grill. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the the removal process, however, you just need to be patient and go slow. You'll want to simply pry it off by sticking a flathead screwdriver underneath the outer side of the emblem. Keep working it slowly. There is some adhesive tape behind it as well, and you will need to continue prying off the badge until the tape gives way. Patience, it will come off. I do have a picture of the grill with the badge removed so you can see what it looks like once you've got it off.

Once the badge is removed clean the area as best you can.

Step 4: Place the New Front Badge

Picture of Place the New Front Badge

Next, you want to heat up your oven to 200 degrees.

**NOTE - this is the temp I used for my oven. Your oven may be different.** Get out a baking sheet and place a piece of parchment paper on the sheet. Place your printed out badge on the parchment paper. When the oven reaches 200 degrees, put in the baking sheet and start a timer for 5 minutes.

Drink a shot of whiskey.

When the timer rings, take out your baking sheet - Carefully, it will be hot - and use a metal spatula to get your badge off the baking sheet. Be carful, the badge will be malleable at this point, and you don't want to do any damage to it. After it is removed from the baking sheet is should be ok to handle, just test it first and be careful.

The trick is to get it to your car before it cools too much. Because the surface where the badge goes is not perfectly flat, you want to get the proper bend in the badge so it looks as flush as possible. Take the warm, malleable badge and firmly hold it in place on the front grill where you want it to go. Hold there for a few minutes while the plastic cools. Once the plastic cools it should have a slight curve that fits the that area.

Now you apply 3M Automotive Mounting Tape to the back of the badge and press it firmly against the grill where you want it to go until you are satisfied it is on their snugly. Congratulations, you have just rebranded your car!

Step 5: Remove Your Rear Badge

Picture of Remove Your Rear Badge

Again, for some stupid reason I don't have actual images of me removing the rear badge of my vehicle, but I do have a shot of what it looks like without it. **NOTE - There will be two holes left over in metal skin of your car that held the original badge in place. If you are uncomfortable with this then don't take the badge off. That being said, the method used to place the new rear badge on will cover both those holes.

There are several methods to remove the rear badge. It is simply applied with adhesive tape to the skin of your car. The trick is to get in behind the badge and sever the seal without hurting the paint. To do this I used a heat gun and some dental floss. Heat the badge up to make the adhesive behind more fluid. Then take the dental floss in both hands and pull down behind the badge and try and cut through the adhesive between the badge and the car. Again, it can be a bit tedious so be patient, it will come off.

Again, once you have removed the badge, clean the area as best you can. You may want some Goo Gone to help get rid of all the adhesive.

Step 6: Add Your Rear Badge

Picture of Add Your Rear Badge

Adding the rear badge begins the same way as adding the front badge.

Next, you want to heat up your oven to 200 degrees.

**NOTE - this is the temp I used for my oven. Your oven may be different.** Get out a baking sheet and place a piece of parchment paper on the sheet. Place your printed out badge on the parchment paper. When the oven reaches 200 degrees, put in the baking sheet and start a timer for 5 minutes.

Drink a shot of whiskey.

Once the timer rings, take out the baking sheet. It will be hot! Once out, use a metal spatula to get the badge off the baking sheet. The badge will be fairly malleable at this point, but once off the baking sheet it should be cool enough to pick up. It will certainly still be warm. Just be careful.

The trick is to get it to your car before it cools too much. Because the surface where the badge goes is not perfectly flat, you want to get the proper bend in the badge so it looks as flush as possible. Take the warm, malleable badge and firmly hold it in place on the rear hatch where you want it to go. Hold there for a few minutes while the plastic cools. Once the plastic cools it should have a slight curve that fits the that area.

Now you can apply the place your bent badge on a sheet of the vinyl magnet. Trace around the badge and then use an xacto knife or scissor to cut around the shape you drew. Check to make sure the shape fits well to the back of the badge, and cut off any overlap. Then, simply use Gorilla glue or similar, to glue the magnet to the back of the badge. BE SURE YOU HAVE THE CORRECT SIDE OF THE MAGNET FACING TOWARDS THE SIDE OF THE VEHICLE! TEST TO MAKE SURE BEFORE GLUING! During the gluing process I also clamped the magnet and badge together to help with bonding. Once you are satisfied the magnet and badge are permanently together, place badge on the rear hatch. It should be held quite strongly by the magnetic sheet.

Step 7: Drive Around and Be Awesome!

Picture of Drive Around and Be Awesome!

Drive your car around knowing you are the only one with a cool, unique badge to represent your vehicle.

Well, that's it. Enjoy your unique newly badged car!

Comments

BigShuggie (author)2016-01-29

Hi, I was thinking 200 degrees was a bit hot then it struck me that you may be using a different temperature scale. Are you using the US customary units or the International SI units?

nlewkowitz (author)BigShuggie2016-01-29

PLA prints at around 450 F, so 200 F is not that hot for this material.

jmyers1 (author)2015-02-06

Lol! I love it!

jeremymbates (author)2015-02-06

The Dude would approve. Just try not to work so hard next time. Take it easy!

About This Instructable

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Bio: I'm an architect who loves to tinker with digital fabrication tools and electronics.
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