The Lamborghini Aventador is an Italian supercar that costs several hundred thousand dollars, so very few can afford one.
But what if you could build one for a fraction of that?
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Longtime car enthusiast Sterling Backus, who happens to work as chief scientific officer at KMLabs in Boulder, Colorado, found a way to make it possible. And in doing so, he fulfilled the dream of his 11-year-old son who had a blast driving an Aventador in the XBOX video game Forza.
Backus was able to get his hands on panel layouts through GrabCAD, an online community where designers and engineers can share models, and then he modified them for 3D printing. After that, he mounted the panels onto a hand-built steel chassis and installed a Corvette V8 engine for power—all with a budget of a little over $20,000.
Pretty amazing, right?
Of course, there have been a few issues to fix in the process. Most notably, the 3D-printed plastic melted in the sun. Backus therefore decided to incorporate carbon-fibre encapsulation, in which he wraps the parts and covers them in epoxy.
The front brake air intake also demanded a lot of work and actually took 52 hours to complete.
The physicist says he wouldn’t have been able to go through with the project, which he and his son dubbed “Interceptor,” if he hadn’t learned a few tricks by watching tutorial videos on YouTube.
If you think the car is all show and no go, you’re wrong: the lights and scissor doors are fully functional and Backus took the whole thing out for a spin in his driveway. The plan is to hit the road next spring.
After putting the final touches, Backus says he wants the 3D-printed, homemade Lamborghini to serve as an educational tool for Science Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) programs to show kids how cool technology can be. More videos are sure to pop up, as well.