Ivan Sentch is a car nut from New Zealand who is no strange to making replica cars and is currently working on a project to make an Aston Martim DB4 using his Solidoodle 3D printer.
Unlike the Urbee car which is fully 3D printed, Ivan is using his Solidoodle to print the ‘plug’ from which a mold is made so that the body can be made from fiberglass. The traditional method of making the plug for a car body is to have it CNC-cut out of foam, but this can cost $12K to $15 NZD.
“The project has been on my mind for the last 6 years, I would have started it earlier but I’ve recently had kids (3 years and 1 year) so I had to put these sort of time-consuming project-type hobbies on hold.”, Ivan told the Solidoodle blog.
Ivan calculated that the replica DB4 plug might only cost around $2K in plastic plus the cost of a 3D printer, and he could also use it to make the dash and other parts. Another advantage with the 3D printing method is that the doors, hood, trunk and dash can be created as separate plugs which will make a better body shell.
His Solidoodle is not able to print a whole body panel in one piece so he slices a 3D model of the panels into small parts to a size of 100mm x 100mm using 3DS Max, and prints five at a time. In total there will be around 500 prints to complete the body and he has around 28% of it to complete.
After printing the small squares for the body panels they are glued together to form the panel shape and then there will be a lot of filling and sanding until the ‘plug’ is smooth enough to make the body mold from.
Ivan has been working on the project since January and this is his first 3D printing project, and it’s quite an ambitious one, especially using a small desktop 3D printer.