3D printing is starting to take off, with affordable, consumer-level hardware becoming a real option. While the average person's plans might be limited to fashioning little toys or basic tools, Ivan Sentch from Auckland, New Zealand, has decided to go not one, but 132 steps further by crafting a replica Aston Martin DB4 with the help of a $US499 Solidoodle 3D printer.
Before you get to excited, Sentch isn't building the entire thing out of plastic, 3D-printed parts. He's just using it to help forge a mould, from which he'll use materials such as fibreglass to construct the final product. In an interview with MAKE, he reveals he started the project back in January of this year and made the decision to go with a 3D printer after more traditional methods would have broke his bank account.
From the MAKE chat:
This sort of project is not uncommon, but people usually use get the plug CNC-cut out of foam. I was told to expect $12K to $15K NZD for a CNC-cut plug, which nearly killed the project idea but, somehow, I had the thought to look into 3D printing as an alternative and, after researching it, it was only going to cost me $2K in plastic and the cost of the printer, which I can use for other things like making a replica dash and what not.
The photo above represents the current state of affairs and as you can see, he still has some way to go. He has a website, Replica DB4 Project, set up for the endeavour, with Sentch managing a couple of updates a month.
One issue 3D printing won't be able to sort out is actual car parts. Since getting a hold of the bits from a DB4 isn't going to happen, a Nissan Skyline GTS25T will be donating its guts to transform the creation into a moving vehicle.
The finished product should be one heck of a sight, though I don't know how long we'll have to wait to see it!
Image: Ivan Sentch