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My quest to fabricate the perfect DSG paddles

It's Sam

Go Kart Champion
Location
New York (The cool part)
Car(s)
X3 M40i
You know the situation: You bought a DSG because it's fast and also so you can say "It's not an automatic, it's a dual clutch." And boy, was it great. You can zip around town and let your left leg take a nap, and place your confidence in Wolfsburg's finest automotive transmission system.

But, one day you find yourself eager to take control, ready to tell the computer what to do instead of letting it tell you what is right and what is wrong. "Stupid computer" you say. "You're not supposed to shift that early." You slap that knob to the right and that controlling, punishing letter D in your cluster transforms into a number 1. It's almost as if it's asking you if you can really do this, if you're really smarter than the computer. "I'm smarter than the computer" you say to yourself. Your confused passengers quickly go from wondering "what are they talking about" to "this is a pretty quick little car." As you zip through the winding road, you see a sharp right turn as you crest the hill. Your left hand reaches to downshift as you slow down, but alas, your hand missed the paddle and you end up losing your momentum (and your cool), embarrassing yourself and your newly formed reputation as the person with the cool car.

As you solemnly drive your passengers home, you think "If only those paddles were a bit bigger." You proceed to the internet to find your solution. "Oh look!" you exclaim, "they make replacement paddles! They're even metal too! and look at those designs, how cool!" You click the product page and read through the intricately formatted product description. Then you see it. "200 dollars?!"" you exclaim. "That much for a little piece of metal?" Surely there are other options at a more reasonable price, you wonder. As you search, you find close to, but not exactly what you want. The world of Bezos gives you sticky bits of plastic and high-quality replicas. You purchase the replicas. After installing them, you say "That looks okay and all, but don't they look a little out of place?" While they work, they don't have that same feel that you want. The feeling of pure control. The feeling that the car wants you to take control, not hide it's buttons away so you let the computer do the work. You set out to find this sacred product. This ideal shape, this ideal feel, this ideal paddle.

This. This is where I am today. To find the perfect paddle may be impossible. To make the perfect paddle, well, that's another thing. Easy? No. Plausible? Yes.

__


If you felt like reading all of that, you must be pretty bored. Here's what I want to do:

3D printing has been a hobby of mine for years, but I've never really gone as far as I've wanted to in the design portion. I figured this might be the perfect way to do it, and also give everyone here the chance to chime in ideas or things they feel like might be applicable to the concept. My hope is to finalize a design with files that I make public, so anyone can make their own and even experiment with their own designs as well.

I know many of you are more than satisfied with your paddle upgrades, but I figured, why not? This could be a fun little project for any of you with access to a printer, and could even develop some unique, community-curated designs.

The quest begins now, the perfect paddle is soon to be upon us.
 
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jmblur

Autocross Champion
Location
Massachusetts
Car(s)
2017 Golf R
I considered doing this as well, as I have access to metal 3d printers as well has high strength (carbon filled nylon) printers, and I'm an expert level solidworks user.

Now that there are MUCH cheaper machined options on the market... it's just not worth it.

(at least, until I can make some titanium ones... :D)
 

Chogokin

Autocross Champion
Location
So Cal
Car(s)
GTI Sport | Audi A3
What are the exact requirements for the "perfect" paddle? I figure the most important being able to reach them when you need to.
 

It's Sam

Go Kart Champion
Location
New York (The cool part)
Car(s)
X3 M40i
What are the exact requirements for the "perfect" paddle? I figure the most important being able to reach them when you need to.

That reason, mainly, but also being able to use the entire surface to your benefit. Some of the really big paddles suffer because you can't shift from the very top or the very bottom of the paddle without snapping it.

For me, it's also having a near OEM feel instead of feeling cheap or obviously aftermarket. Potentially being able to preserve the illuminated symbols would be a plus as well.
 

Chogokin

Autocross Champion
Location
So Cal
Car(s)
GTI Sport | Audi A3
I have the Mountune52 paddles. They look pretty similar to the R Line ones. I don't have particularly large hands so the stock paddles were a bit hard to reach if my hands were not exactly on the 3 and 9 o'clock positions. I looked at a number of paddles and I always came back to the shape and look of the M52/RLine paddles. They looked to be the best to me when it came to ergonomics and looks. Some of the paddles out there are so long and completely obnoxious looking. If you can make some that are low pro looking and have the illuminated +/-...that would be pretty cool.
 

It's Sam

Go Kart Champion
Location
New York (The cool part)
Car(s)
X3 M40i
(Bet you thought this thread was abandoned 😜)

July 20th, 2020: Market Research

Now that the next few months are turning into a continued quarantine for me, I'm starting to brainstorm some ideas for my "magical solution."

In hopes to make the custom paddles "perfect," I want to look at some other OEM paddles from different manufacturers, as well as aftermarket options, to get a feel for what is and what isn't over-the-top. Some cars can pull off very subtle, yet sporty paddles, while others just go all out and it looks ridiculous.

For starters, this is what I'm working with as a base:
Base.jpg


Not much. Is this a manual or a DSG? I wear glasses and I still can't see them.

What about these then?

beeg.jpg


Wow. Way better. You can see them. And so can your passengers. And the car behind you. And NASA. An improvement for comfort and reachability (?), but not quite looks (to me, at least).

So, to find the happy medium, I want to see some examples that fall in between these two extremes. Bigger than stock so they are reachable and comfortable, but not so big that they take up a ton of space. The shape of the second image is not a bad design, but maybe a smaller version would be more visually appealing. And, as a reminder, these are intended to be full-replacements and also carry over the illuminated symbols the oem ones do. It will be interesting to try and engineer those aspects into a design that checks all the boxes.


So the research begins. If you have suggestions or ideas, and especially real-world products or cars that have well-designed paddles, drop them here. Perfection awaits.
 

toothofwar

Autocross Champion
Location
KY
Car(s)
2018 Golf R
I have the Amazon ones listed above in blue. These actually feel tighter on the pins than the stock ones did. No rattles or unwanted movements. Crisp shifts from the extreme top to extreme bottom. Lightweight aluminum also. Best $18 spent on the car so far.
20200629_194048.jpg
20200629_195853.jpg
 

ATK

New member
Location
Kirkland, WA
Car(s)
2017 Golf R DSG
I too was like you (less the 3D printing hobbyist part). Have you seen these? nczworks Illuminated paddle shifters

Here is my video detailing them and installing.

I talked with him quite a bit while waiting for them to arrive and he is a pretty cool dude. I've seen one example that snapped when someone pulled too hard, so I wonder if you could also inlay a metal bar for strength alongside the light tube? I'd be interested in seeing them a bit wider too, but that may get in the way and cause accidental shifts.

Good luck on your journey and I'll be tuning in!
 

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slipperywhenwet

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Calgary, Canada
(Bet you thought this thread was abandoned 😜)

July 20th, 2020: Market Research


I went through the same thing and put together some 3D files to test, but my buddy left the job that had the CNC machine, so everything stalled out. I do agree with you about the huge paddles being too much. Personally, I almost bought these in the "B2" size and style.

https://www.s2tpp.com/VW.html

But, knowing what it takes to machine them out, I can't justify the $225USD cost.
 

kevinkar

Go Kart Champion
Location
United States
A lot of these replacements have lower sections that go too far down and are useless at that distance so you definitely want to make them responsive over the entire length of the paddle by keeping them short enough.
 

caleb.mk7

Ready to race!
Location
Denver
Car(s)
2016 DSG
S2T paddles are 100% worth the price imo. They go for around $160 preowned.
The B1 shape seems to be most function, because you can only leverage the switch so far down.

The other shapes that extend down lower seem to mostly be for looks. The B1 looks a little goofy before installed but perfect once on the wheel.

1596836761274.png
 
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