E46 TOGGLE SWITCH AND PUSH BUTTON START INSTALL!

So coming into this, I wanted to make a part that anyone could install themselves. This design utilized the center console storage unit, as mine was fairly beat up and served no real purpose at this point. The end product turned out great, so let’s see how we even got there in the first place.

IDEA PHASE

It all started when I came across this piece on Amazon. I wanted something that had decent quality switches and didn’t look tacky so this fit the bill perfectly. From that point on, the gears started turning

HOW WILL THIS FIT?

I started out by breaking apart the console unit, and it ended up in 3 distinct parts. The front pivoting cover, the trim piece, and the tub that actually holds things inside. I had to drill out two ‘plastic rivets’ around the back, so that it could easily come apart and not destroy it in the process. I tossed out the front cover and began taking dimensions of the overall opening. Using those numbers and the notes I took about the switch panel, I began the CAD process.

This took numerous tries, I kept about 10 of the overall designs I made, though I printed about 15 various designs. Some came out great, some printed terribly or failed, and some just didn’t work. But each one brought the final product closer to how I wanted it. And finally, we came to the design featured in my recent video.

THE FINAL PRODUCT

The main features I wanted was a piece that was easy to install, sturdy, fit flush against all the OEM lines, and a fairly simple print. I believe I checked all those boxes with the last revision. It has two fingers that reach around back of the storage container and hold everything securely in place. That also includes removing the need to re-glue the unit back together where I drilled out the ‘rivets’. These fingers reach down behind those tabs and clamp the entire assembly together. Thus no major tools or skill is needed to put this together.

Check out my video about it above, and the links for the CAD/GCode files are at the bottom of this post!

About the author

Jameson Toper

I am a Computer Science Student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and I have a strong passion towards the field of electric vehicles. When I am not working on this project, I teach a Computer Science course and make music.

View all posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *