We may not all be able to afford the car of our dreams, but a man from Auckland, New Zealand has shown 3D printing could allow you to print out the next best thing and from the comfort of your home.
Using a US$499 3D printer known as the Solidoodle, 32-year-old computer programmer Ivan Sentch has been printing the necessary parts to create an outline of a 1961 Series II Aston Martin DB4, which he has begun sticking onto a wooden frame. Later, he intends to use this mould to create a fibreglass cast, which he will then place on top of a Nissan Skyline's running gear.
The end product won't be a true Aston, but its lightweight body and potent powertrain means it should be much faster, not to mention less inclined to break down.
“I had the thought to look into 3D printing as an alternative [to traditional kit cars], Mr Sentch told Makezine. “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."
Mr Sentch chose the Aston Martin DB4 over the more famous DB5 and other models because of the 2+2 layout. "I like old cars but most of the ones I like were just 2-seaters and, now with the kids, I just can’t use it," he said.
Sentch claims to have printed 72 per cent of the necessary parts, equating to a total print area of 13.42 square metres. Of the 18.5 square metres required. However due to other commitments, he doesn't expect to be driving the car for another five years.
3D printers work by building up layers of hot plastic filament to create an object from the ground up. Computer-aided design software like 3D Studio Max tells the printer where to layer up the gooey substance, which hardens as it cools.