Vroom, vroom. Design and production of custom two-stage instrument dials
A few years back I purchased a 1990 Mazda Eunos. Being very interested in cars, I quickly set about modifying the car. Within a few months I had worked on the powertrain, the exterior and the interior. In the interior, having changed the seats, steering wheel and gear knob, I started to think how I could make the car more unique.
I initally designed, cut, stitched and produced the door cards and things escalated from there!
I decided to start work on the instrument dials. I bought a spare set and took them apart. I scanned them into the computer and using Illustrator made a template. I produced a custom set, changing the graphics and fonts. I also (using strategic placement of inks and varying the thickness) was able to make the dials contain a hidden layer, that only became visible, when the dials were lit (occuring when the car lights were turned on).
I found a print shop in London that could print to 1mm thin acetate. I then found a laser cutting shop that could get a 0.12mm cutting tolerance. Having received the individual dials back, it was then a simple case of finishing and reassembling the instrument cluster.
I documented the progress on an enthusiast car forum, with the work being popular enough for me to make a production run. I now have four different styles for the MX5.