The classic anti-copyright infringement ad “Piracy. It’s a Crime.” says that if you wouldn’t steal a car, you shouldn’t illegally download movies. But they never said anything about downloading cars.
Which is a relief for physicist Sterling Backus who, with the help of his son, is 3D-printing a Lamborghini Aventador, the marque’s mid-engine sports car that sells for over $417K. So far, the duo have spent a year and a half and just $20K on the project.
First things first, is that even legal? According to Designboom, Backus used 3D models of the car that were available online and then readied them for printing using the software SolidWorks. To steer clear of potential copyright infringement, no logos were used and the design was tweaked, writes SyFy. That said, there’s not a huge precedent for this kind of project.
Second, can you actually drive it? The short answer: Not yet, but they’re getting closer. While plastic parts make up a good portion of the build, supplemented with carbon fiber skinning, there are plenty of parts that couldn’t be 3D-printed. For example, the frame is steel, and as Motor1 notes, the engine is a 5.7-liter V8 LS1 sourced from a 2003 Chevy Corvette and the transaxle is from a Porsche 911.
But Backus can’t take all the credit for this ingenuity. His son is actually the one who came up with the idea. According to Motor1, the two were playing Forza Horizon 3, a racing video game, “when his kid asked him about whether they could build the car.” Turns out the answer is a resounding yes.
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