Sterling Backus, a 54-year-old physicist from Colorado, spent almost two years making a working replica of the Lamborghini supercar from parts printed on a 3D printer. His efforts were justified: the project itself was noticed by Lamborghini which for a while gave the author of the model a real car.
It all started for Bakus with the Forza Horizon 3 racing game, which he played with his 12-year-old son Javier. At some point, the child asked if his father could build his favorite car in the game – the Lamborghini Aventador supercar. Sterling, an employee of Thorlabs, an optical equipment company, thought and decided he could.
Father and son started the project in February 2018. According to Bakus, he was not versed in mechanical engineering, but training videos on YouTube helped. The physicist could not find the exact specifications of the Lamborghini Aventador body, so in places he had to rely on a toy model of a real car.
Sterling printed most of the necessary details on a 3D printer. He found mockups for body panels on the designers forum. But while working, the American faced a problem: printed plastic panels literally melted in the sun. Therefore, he had to use carbon fiber. Other parts he mined in landfills, for example, the engine from a Corvette car.
Bakus almost completed the car in October 2019, which attracted the attention of the media. According to the author of the replica, he spent more than 20 thousand dollars on it. At the same time, Lamborghini could not make complaints to the physicist, since the machine was declared as a model for the STEM project (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
The Lamborghini did not complain about the borrowing of the appearance of the car. On the contrary, the company contacted Bakus and suggested participating in the company’s Christmas commercial. Also, the automaker offered to lend physics a real Lamborghini Aventador worth 460 thousand dollars.
Bakus agreed and got a real supercar for two weeks. He noted that he rode it every day. In 2020, Sterling plans to return to his replica and finally complete it.