Manufacturing guy-at-large.

Update: Dummy Headset

Added on by Spencer Wright.

Short update on my Dummy Headset project!

First, I took v1 (the non-lightened version) and installed it on a frame I lad lying around. In order to do so, I had to tap threads into the holes that were SLA printed right into the parts, which I did by hand. Shapeways and the other 3D printing houses just won't do secondary operations (this is dumb and will in time change), but it only took a few minutes to do. For mockup purposes I used some cup point set screws that I had in my shop (the final version will have soft tipped set screws). The end result was pretty slick - my frameset now has the fork semi-permanently attached, and the whole thing is totally secure. 

Of note: Here's a photo of the original dummy headset that I turned on my late circa 2010. I used little thumb screws on it, which were kind of convenient, but the overall look is too blocky for my eyes. 

My old aluminum dummy headset, made on manual machine tools.

After mocking the whole thing up and seeing that it functioned as intended, I went ahead and ordered v2 of the parts, which are internally relieved to reduce build mass. They came a week or two ago, and I'm happy to say that I think they'll work just fine. The internal ribs probably aren't totally necessary, but they're kind of a cool feature and would be *impossible* to be made via conventional methods. I may end up removing most of them, but for this version I'm happy to have included them.

I also grabbed a few soft tipped set screws from McMaster, and am looking forward to seeing how they work. The nylon tipped one would be for carbon fiber steerers, which are pretty delicate and don't want a metal screw digging into them. The brass tipped screws would be for steel and aluminum steerers, which are much more durable.  

I haven't had time to tap the holes in this version or install them on a frameset yet, but I have no reason to think they'll work anything other than perfectly. At that point I need to determine whether it's worth trying to get them injection molded or CNC machined in bulk. These SLA versions cost me about $20 for the set. If I had to guess, I'd say that they'd run $5-10/set for CNC machined and $2-3/set injection molded (in quantities of 100s, plus $2-3K in tooling and setup).