For some reason there will always be some part on your car that is no longer available even if your car was made for 30+ years, especially if your car is 40 years old. In my case I needed a fuel filler neck bezel for a 73 Jeep Wagoneer. Without the bezel there is nowhere for the gas cap to mount. Although you probably wont need this exact part the creation process works for any simple parts you need for your car.
By the way,
"I made it at TechShop"
Step 1: Digital Model
Using paper, pencil, digital calipers, and a printer, I made several files in order to get the mounting pattern perfected.
1. The mounting holes were traced on to paper, giving an accurate "mold" of the needed parts.
2. Using Autodesk Inventor digital models were created using measurements from the paper traces
3. The digital models were exported from the inventor sketch as a dwg to CorelDRAW for printing
4. The initial prototyps were printed on standard 8.5"x11" paper and compared to the sketchs
5. Steps 2-4 were repeated until I was satisfied with the models
Step 2: Prototyping
Once the digital models were done prototypes were created using a 60w CO2 laser.
All of the prototypes were made from scrap material laying around. For the first prototypes cardboard was used.
After every test piece small adjustments to the digital model were made and a new prototype was quickly cut out with the laser.
After everything had been perfected using cardboard, final prototypes were made from scrap acrylic plastic.
The final prototypes were then test fitted on the car to see if any last changes needed to be made.
Step 3: Creating the Part
The tool paths were created from the final dxf version using flow path.
For the final part 1/4 steel scrap was used (it was thin enough for the application, sturdy, and free).
The water jet did a fantastic job at cutting out the parts, after about 1/2 an hour of set up and cutting, the inner and outer pieces were done.
Step 4: Finish
After a final test fit with the part it was painted using some Rustoleum chrome paint (Cheaper than chrome plating)
The beautiful shiny new fuel bezel was then installed on the project car, with new hardware.
It isn't original, it may have taken some time, but it works. And now the Wagoneer finally has a gas cap.