For anyone who has ever fantasized about being at the wheel of a Lamborghini Aventador but didn’t have the $400K to throw at it, this is your dream made real.
Now that science has already figured out how to 3D-print a rocket, physicist Sterling Backus has been building a mostly 3D-printed Aventador in his own backyard. It started as a project to show his son, who asked for a muscle car after playing the video game Forza Horizon 3, that science is cool. The whole thing went from zero to 60 pretty fast after that.
By the way, he did all this for about $20K. That’s like getting a new Aventador at 95% off.
“We decided that we would use advanced technology to build the car. However, we needed to do it on the cheap,” Backus told 3D Printing Media Network. “This led us to research different automotive construction techniques. We wanted the car to be safe, so we decided on steel for the frame. In the end, after choosing 3D printing for most of the body of the car, we needed it to be strong.”
Almost everything that makes up this vehicle was designed in SolidWorks and came out of a 3D printer, from the body panels, interior parts, and air vents to the headlights and taillights. It needed a steel frame so it wouldn’t fall apart. Backus found anything else that couldn’t be 3D-printed (which really wasn’t that much) on eBay and at parts suppliers, including some authentic used Lamborghini parts and a 2003 LS1 Corvette engine that was merged with an inverted Porsche 911 transaxle.
When you’re putting together a car—flashy or not—you have to consider what exactly it’s made of. The materials the body is made of have to be able to survive the heat and stress a car undergoes when burning up the asphalt. For this, Backus turned to YouTube. Videos on carbon fiber skinning and vacuum molding were behind his decision to encapsulate the 3D-printed parts in carbon fiber Kevlar for extra strength. He’s even made some YouTube videos of his own.
So does this mean the era of 3D-printed supercars is upon us? Only if you have the brains and the patience to build one in your own backyard. Backus made the Lambo as a personal project, showing off the progress of his DIY Lambo at schools as a STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) project. He avoided any copyright-related lawsuits by not using logos and altering the design. It’s a one-of-a-kind driving machine that won’t be reproduced and is definitely not for sale.
“The parts’ design is based on the Lamborghini Aventador, but we have changed each panel significantly, to add our design flair,” he said.
This car might just be even cooler than the DeLorean in Back to the Future. The only thing it needs now are time-traveling powers.