ERIE, Colo. — A father and son from Erie are in the process of building a vehicle made out of 3D-printed materials.
Sterling Backus and his son, Xander, got the idea after playing a video game where they drove around in a Lamborghini.
“Xander asked me, `Can we actually build one?` and I was thinking, `Well, yeah, twist my arm!`” Backus said with a smile.
Backus works for a lab in Boulder that builds lasers. He’s also an adjunct professor in the engineering and computer science department at Colorado State University.
He’s worked on vehicles throughout his life, but this is the first time he’s used 3D printed materials to create one.
“The level of 3D printing that went into this is pretty epic!” he said.
Most of the exterior of the vehicle is made out of 3D printed materials and some of the interior is as well.
“Like the housing for the start push button,” Backus explained.
Backus and his son started working on the vehicle about a year and a half ago.
They smooth out every 3D printed part with body filler and encapsulate it in carbon fiber to give it more strength.
“Basically it won`t melt in the sun,” Back said, referring to the use of carbon fiber.
The vehicle will be drivable in October and the full body will be complete in early 2020.
Once it’s useable, Backus and his boy plan to use it as an educational tool.
“What we`re going to do when the car is finished is drive it around to the local schools, do a presentation on it and really try and get the kids interested in science, technology, art and math,” Backus said.
The car contains all of those components.
While the vehicle is based off a Lamborghini, Backus and his son took their own twist on the car and are building their own unique vehicle.