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Carbon Fiber'd Interior Courtesy of Di-NOC

This is a discussion on Carbon Fiber'd Interior Courtesy of Di-NOC within the Cadillac CTS-V forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Well originally I had posted this thread just to show off my interior work. But everyone seems alot more interested ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member Blakbird24's Avatar
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    Carbon Fiber'd Interior Courtesy of Di-NOC

    Well originally I had posted this thread just to show off my interior work. But everyone seems alot more interested in the process I used to turn the ugly wood trim into beautiful carbon fiber. Plus, the thread has been made a sticky, so it should be more "how-to" than "look-at-this".

    Thus, I present to you tips and processes used to turn ugly interior trim into awesome carbon fiber trim using 3M's Di-NOC vinyl film.

    The exact product I used was 3M's Di-NOC vinyl in black carbon fiber. If you go looking for the stuff, you'll find that it's available in nearly 100 different patterns and textures. Everything from solid color, to brushed aluminum, metallic, and of course woodgrain, is available. From what I understand, the process is pretty much the same no matter what color/pattern you choose.

    You will also want a heat gun, SHARP X-acto knife, and a SHARP pair of scissors for this project.

    For my project, I purchased a 2008 standard STS center bezel, because I love the added brushed aluminum (the 2006 bezel is all wood). Got a crappy one on ebay for dirt cheap since I was going to be taking it apart anyway.



    Next, I disassembled and thoroughly cleaned it, and also wetsanded and polished the clearcoat on the aluminum (it was somewhat scratched to begin with) to give it a flawless shine.

    I then took the two wood pieces that I had removed from the frame, and cleaned them using Isopropyl alcohol.



    Next, I took one of the wood pieces and measured out a square of Di-NOC leaving at least 1" overhang on all sides. You will notice that the film is very stiff at first, and wants to roll up making it a pain to work with. At this point I pull out the heat gun, and hit the film with some hot air. As it warms up, the film begins to fall flat. I then removed the backing, laid the film on the work surface (which should be CLEAN) face down, and laid the wood piece, centered, on top of the film.



    Then I picked up the piece with film attached, and smoothed the film onto the flat front of the wood with my thumb. The film has air channels cut into its underside, so you don't have to worry about air bubbles unless you are trying to stretch the film around a curve or something.



    Next I trimmed the film so that there was only about 3/4" of extra material around the edges...I could probably have gotten away with about 1/2" instead, but you really have to watch out depending on the piece you are doing...you want to make sure you have enough extra for curves and rolled edges and such. It's always better to overestimate since you can always cut away the extra later with the knife.




    At this point I cranked up the heat gun and soaked the film in heat...once it gets good and hot, it becomes soft and rubbery, and conforms really well. The heat also causes the adhesive to flow, which makes the film stick with a vengeance. As long as it's hot, you can remove stuck film, with some force. But once it's cool, IT'S ON THERE. Anyway, once it's good and hot, I worked the film around the edges and stuck the "tabs" on the back side. It's best to "stretch" the tabs around the edges, with the film hot, it will force it to conform to the surface without wrinkling.

    (unfortunately I don't have any good pics of this stage of the process.)

    With all the tabs stretched around the edge and over to the bottom, this piece was done. I repeated this process for the other bezel piece and reassembled the bezel.



    While I was at it, I also did the shift knob, shifter bezel, and ashtray door to get rid of all that wood. The process was the same for each, I just disassembled each piece as much as possible to remove any obstacles. The only one that was kinda tricky was the ashtray door...that chrome strip cannot be removed...at least not temporarily. So I simply superheated the film and forced it to conform perfectly to the strip, then "cut out" the strip with the X-acto knife and removed the affecting film.



    I then reassembled everything and snapped some quick pics. They are not the greatest of pics since this was in the dark, in my garage, lit with fluorescent fixtures.





    Last edited by Blakbird24; 02-05-2011 at 05:48 PM.

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    That looks great!! And gives me a few ideas. Thanks for the write-up.
    Its now the 1st CTS-V section's Sticky!!

  3. #3
    Junior Member Blakbird24's Avatar
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    Yay me!

    My first sticky on LS1.com. And it's only my second thread! I'm off to a hell of a start here.

    BTW - I do have more details and pics of the process of actually wrapping the parts with the film if anybody wants to see it.
    Last edited by Blakbird24; 02-05-2011 at 11:20 AM.

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Yes. post them up!! I'd like to see them

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    PCM Designer 99WickedSS's Avatar
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    That is really cool...I wouldn't mind doing that on a few parts myself.

    I wonder what the temperature limits are of this stuff?

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    PCM Designer 99WickedSS's Avatar
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    Is that the black or graphite color? I see there are 7 color variations although graphite, brown and black are the only dark colors.

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    Junior Member Blakbird24's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99WickedSS View Post
    Is that the black or graphite color? I see there are 7 color variations although graphite, brown and black are the only dark colors.
    It is the black color.

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    PCM Designer 99WickedSS's Avatar
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    The black looks pretty sweet...How difficult is it do work with? I think I'm going to look into getting a few sheets of it.

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    Junior Member Blakbird24's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99WickedSS View Post
    The black looks pretty sweet...How difficult is it do work with? I think I'm going to look into getting a few sheets of it.
    I just updated my original post to make it more like a how-to. Read through it and see what you think. If you have any other questions, post up or email me at Shadow24@juno.com.

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    PCM Designer 99WickedSS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blakbird24 View Post
    I just updated my original post to make it more like a how-to. Read through it and see what you think. If you have any other questions, post up or email me at Shadow24@juno.com.
    Ok so it looks like the key is to have clean surfaces, sharp knife, and a good heat gun

    How big of a sheet did you get? I found a place online that sells about every size you can think of and of course the larger the sheet the cheaper per square inch.

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    Junior Member Blakbird24's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99WickedSS View Post
    Ok so it looks like the key is to have clean surfaces, sharp knife, and a good heat gun

    How big of a sheet did you get? I found a place online that sells about every size you can think of and of course the larger the sheet the cheaper per square inch.
    For this project the 12x48 size was EXACTLY enough. I ordered another batch and went with 24x48 this time so I have extra to play with. I've gotten alot of requests from other forums to offer this as a service for others who are afraid to try it themselves. I'm good at this stuff so I decided to give it a try.

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    PCM Designer 99WickedSS's Avatar
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    carbonfiberfilm.com is where I had been pricing various sizes. Where have you been ordering your sheets?

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    Junior Member Blakbird24's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99WickedSS View Post
    carbonfiberfilm.com is where I had been pricing various sizes. Where have you been ordering your sheets?
    Ebay. Just found the best price from a vendor that's not on the other side of the country (for reasonable shipping times).

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    PCM Designer 99WickedSS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blakbird24 View Post
    Ebay. Just found the best price from a vendor that's not on the other side of the country (for reasonable shipping times).
    Good idea, never thought of checking Ebay...

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    Man that is some seriously good work...gives me some ideas for the Vette...

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    Junior Member Blakbird24's Avatar
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    New shift knob is complete...


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    that looks great!
    Last edited by Cutlass; 02-16-2011 at 05:09 PM.

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    Junior Member Blakbird24's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fxgs View Post
    is this film smooth to the touch or can you actually feel a weave in it?
    It has texture. You can feel the weave. One thing i've found that I really really like now that I have it installed - it's immune to fingerprints. You can touch it all day long without it looking like crap. Wish I could say the same for my suede and brushed aluminum though.
    Last edited by Cutlass; 02-16-2011 at 05:11 PM.

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    Member fxgs's Avatar
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    How do you think it would hold up on the exterior? I was thinking that I could use it to cover my front splitter.............

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    Quote Originally Posted by fxgs View Post
    is this film smooth to the touch or can you actually feel a weave in it?
    it's textured so you do feel the weave. Some of the cars in my car team had did their roofs and trunks with this material.

    here are example applications on the exteriors





    Last edited by Cutlass; 02-16-2011 at 05:12 PM.

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