B8.5 “OEM” carbon fiber trim production…

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We just got done with our first set of B8.5 “OEM” carbon fiber trim.  We say “OEM” in quotes because its done with an 8HS fabric to match the OEM Carbon Atlas trim.

I’ve documented the entire process of how we manufacture these, from start to finish.  Hopefully after checking out this blog post, you can get an appreciation of how much work goes into these.

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It started a few months ago when we got a huge shipment of cores in direct from Germany.  Along with many sets of trim, we got in 4 sets of B8.5 vent and MMI cores (and a few B8 vent and MMI cores too).

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Here you can see the B8 vent and MMI (on top) compared with the refresh B8.5 vent and MMI core.

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First step is to disassemble the actual vent and the MMI housing.  This leaves us with just the part that will get wrapped in carbon fiber.

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Next we tape off the tabs on all the vent.  And then we wrap the full piece in super high tech protective film (Glad Cling Wrap).

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Then we line the mold with the protective film.

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We get our pour foam, measure it out my volume, and mix it up.  You can check out more fun with foam pour here the last time we did molds for the original B8 vent and MMI pieces.

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Now we put the part in the mold, and start pouring the foam on top.

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A couple of more layers of foam are added until the part is completely covered.

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After a few hours, the foam is hard and can be removed from the mold.

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When you flip the part over, you can see the part just barely poking through.

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A few days later, the foam is hard enough to start carving and sanding.

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First step now is to take a small chisel and start to cut away foam from the part.

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Slowly but surely, the part becomes more and more visible as we chip away at the foam with the chisel.

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After a while, the full part is showing and we can start to use sandpaper to smooth out the mold.

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Once the mold is completed, we prep the original part by scuffing it up.  This gives the bonding epoxy we’re going to apply to it something to hold onto.  Once the bonding epoxy is on, we can lay the fabric down.

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The original part is placed back in the mold after the bonding epoxy is applied.  The fabric gets laid down and a few strategic holes are sliced into it to help it wrap around some complex contours.

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The whole setup goes into a vacuum bag, and a vacuum pump is switched on.  The vacuum pump sucks all the air out of the bag, which compresses the fabric tight against the mold.

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A few close up shots of the mold inside the vacuum bag while the pump is running.

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A few hours with the pump running, and the mold is ready to come out of the bag.  You can see how the fabric is perfectly formed against the original part.

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The fabric has made it around the edges because of our strategic slits in the fabric earlier.

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After the parts come off the mold, its time to start adding epoxy.  Multiple layers are added to give the part depth.

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Some close ups of two vent and MMI pieces.  The top one is done in an OEM S4 fabric (8HS) and the bottom one is done in an OEM RS4 fabric (2×2 twill).

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One more done in a custom red carbon kevlar.

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When the epoxy is cured, the excess carbon is ready to be trimmed.

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Then we detail trim, and sand the part smooth.  It will be a bit hazy until after it has been clearcoated.

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After all the parts have all been trimmed and sanded, its time for clearcoat.  We use a high end automotive clearcoat for our parts, so they have a nice deep gloss.

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After a wetsand and polish, and the carbon part is ready.  A quick test fit shows that everything looks good.

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Now that we know everything fits correctly, we flip the part over and glue the carbon fiber to the vent and the MMI housing.  That’s it.  We’re done.

A bunch more photos of the finished parts are below.  We haven’t finalized pricing yet, but if you’re interested in having a set made, email me at matt@ocarbon.com.

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Just got done with some sweet carbon B8 center caps…

Made these for an RS5 owner, but I’m pretty sure they will fit quite a few B8 wheels. I’m really happy with how they turned out and can’t wait to see what they look like installed. You might remember some of our previous B8 center caps.

Starts off as a bare cap, wrapped in carbon. Having to drill out the holes for the chrome bits was pretty time consuming.


The chrome around the edge snaps into place and the rings are glued in from behind.





Just got a BMW 1 series set of trim in…

Just got our first 1 series set of core trim to start working on.  Here is the progress we’ve made so far.

What started out as wood was ground down to make room for the added material of the carbon fiber, epoxy, and clearcoat.

Laying out the pieces, to determine how much to cut off the roll.

We went with a 20oz 2×2 twill carbon fiber.

The fabric is taped up and cut off.

After setting the pieces up, we apply a bonding epoxy to adhere the fabric to the core.

The fabric is laid down and the weave is straightened out.

A short time later, we’ve trimmed off the excess fabric and wrapped it clean.

In a few days, after the bonding epoxy has fully cured, we’ll start applying epoxy to the surface of the pieces to give it some depth.  Stay tuned for more.

Almost done with the F10 5 series trim

We’ve made a lot of progress on this trim over the last week or so.  Should have it ready to ship very soon.

These pieces have been trimmed, sanded, and clearcoated.  They still need to be wetsanded and polished.

Small dash and ashtray pieces.

On the large dash piece, we were able to retain the contours perfectly, which turned out awesome.

The carbon fiber wraps all the way over the top edge.

A few test shots to see what the pieces look like with the chrome trim.  Hopefully we’ll have the rest of the set sorted in the next week or so.

 

For sale: BMW e90 sedan carbon fiber trim set

I’ve got this e90 set of trim finished up and ready to ship.  It’s a full 8 piece set.  It includes 2 dash pieces, 4 door pieces, ashtray cover, and a non iDrive, manual shifter piece.  It was made with an 11oz 2×2 twill fabric.

Price is $800, with a $400 refundable core deposit (core deposit would be refunded to you after you installed the carbon fiber trim and returned your original trim back to us).

Email me at matt@ocarbon.com if you have any questions or if you’d like to place an order.

 

 

To see some pictures of this set installed, check our gallery:

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

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

oCarbon is looking for owners of cool cars…

We are looking to expand our make and model offerings on interior trim parts, so we’d like to find some owners of some high end European vehicles to help us out.  We’re going to offer real carbon fiber trim sets at HUGE discounts to people who are willing to send in their trim to us and be a little patient while we manufacture these new sets.  Priority will be given to owners who are active on major forums or who work at/own tuning shops.

If you’ve got a sick car and would like some more info, email me at matt@ocarbon.com with some info about your vehicle (make, model, and year), what current type of trim you’ve got (wood, aluminum, plastic, etc) along with what forums you’re active on and any other information you feel is relevant on why we should pick you.

Be sure to check out our gallery to get an idea of what we can do for you:

http://ocarbon.com/gallery/

Here are a few makes and models we’re looking for (got something awesome not on this list?  Email me anyway):

Audi

  • R8
  • TTS or TT-RS
  • C7 A6/S6
  • D4 A8/S8
  • RS5 vent and MMI pieces

BMW

  • 1 series, preferably 1m
  • e92, preferably M3
  • F30 3 series
  • F10/F11 5 series
  • F12/F13 6 series
  • Any recent M vehicle

Mercedes Benz

  • C-Class, W203 and W204
  • E-Class, W211 and W212
  • S-Class, W221
  • SL-Class, R230 and R231
  • Any recent AMG vehicle
Porsche
  • Cayman
  • 911, 997 and 991
  • Panamera

Any recent model of the following makes:

  • Aston Martin
  • Bentley
  • Ferrari
  • Jaguar
  • Lamborghini
  • Lotus
  • Maserati
  • Rolls Royce