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First of the new models we’re working on: 2011 BMW 535i

In an effort to start offering products to new makes and models, we recently put a call out to see if we could find some high end car owners willing to send us their interior trim so we could work our magic.  The first person we found was a 2011 535i owner, and he got us his trim pretty quick.  We’re about halfway through his set, so we figured we’d share the progress.

The OEM trim is an aluminum stamped trim that looks okay.  You’ll notice its got a nice chrome accent edge, which we’ll retain.  It also has some nice contours on the pieces which we will try to keep as much as we can (the thickness of the fabric will dilute them a bit, but they still should be noticeable).

First step is to remove the chrome edges and peel back the aluminum.  After that is completed, we grind down to plastic to make room for the carbon and to give the epoxy something to adhere too.

Then we cut the fabric down to size and get it ready for wrapping.  We went with an 11oz 2×2 twill on this set.  I wanted to do a 20oz 2×2 twill, but I was afraid of it being too thick and there being fit issues with the chrome accent on some of the pieces.

And now the fun begins and the set starts to take shape.

The door pieces are a lot thinner without the chrome accents.  You can see the contours have been retained.

The dash piece is massive.

Love this shifter piece.  I can’t wait to see how it looks finished.

That’s it for now.  We’ll get epoxy on these over the next few days and do another update then.

To get an idea of how this will look finished, check our gallery, in particular the gallery of an e90 BMW:

http://ocarbon.com/gallery/bmw/patrick

Another CTS-V set finished up…

Just got this set polished up and shipped out.  Turned out fantastic.  We did these in a custom 4×4 twill fabric.

First time we’ve ever done a CTS-V shift knob.

e60 BMW carbon fiber trim set is almost done…

just needs a quick wetsand and polish and it will be ready to get shipped out to the customer.   We used an upgraded 20oz 2×2 twill fabric on it, with the weave going in all one direction.  Very happy with how it turned out.

Silver carbon fiber trim for the oCarbon GLI

We just got done with the silver “carbon fiber” trim on the oCarbon GLI and it turned out fantastic.  I’ll get some better pictures added to gallery shortly.  In the mean time, I’ll give a full run down on how we made these pieces for those that are interested.

First we started with the GLI’s original trim pieces and made some molds to help us conform the fabric.

Once the molds were done, the original pieces are ground down to make room for the added material of the fabric and epoxy.

Few quick coats of white paint so that the black pieces aren’t so different from the silver fabric.

Getting a fresh vacuum bag rigged up.

The pieces are laid on the raw fabric and tape is applied so that pieces can be cut out in the correct size.

Mixing up some bonding epoxy and applying it to the pieces.

The fabric is then placed on the pieces.  No attempt is made to wrap them around the edges at this stage, as the fabric is way too rigid and will just curl back up.

The pieces are then put into the mold, placed into the vacuum bag, and the bag is sealed up.

The vacuum pump gets turned on, which sucks all of the air from the bag.  Within a few minutes, the bag has pulled the fabric tight up against the mold.

The pieces are left to cure under a heat lamp for a few hours.

After a while, the pieces are carefully pulled from the bag.

The parts are starting to take shape.

After the parts have been removed from the mold, the excess fabric is trimmed off.

Epoxy gets brushed on, layer by layer.

After several coats, the epoxy is finally thick enough to allow the pieces to be sanded down without risking cutting into the fabric.  The parts are placed into an oven for a post cure for 24 hours.

After allowing ample time to cool off from the heat of the oven, the parts are ready to be trimmed and sanded.  All of the extra epoxy is ground off from the edges and the faces are block sanded smooth.  This process leaves the parts a litte bit hazy.

Next comes several coats of high solids automotive clearcoat, to give the pieces a traditional carbon fiber gloss.

After clearcoat, a few imperfections are always present, so the parts are wetsanded with a very high grit sandpaper.

After a few passes on the buffer, they are all done and ready to be installed.

just got started with our first e60 m5 set of trim…

We’ve done a few BMW sets in the past, mostly e46 and e90 sets, but now we’re about halfway done with our first M5 set.  I’m really happy with how it is turning out so far, particularly the shifter piece.  I can’t wait to finish this set up and see how it looks installed.

We start with an e60 wood core that gets sanded down to make room for the extra material of the carbon fiber and epoxy.

After laying the pieces out on the fabric (we went with an upgraded 20oz 2×2 twill for the M5), we carefully cut it out to the appropriate sizes.

We then mix up some bonding epoxy and apply it to the pieces.

A few hours later, the fabric has been applied and the first major step on the trim is completed.  This week, we’ll start adding epoxy to the pieces to give it the gloss and depth that most people associate with carbon fiber.

 

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