(Autopia) Replicacars are frauds. Pure and simple. But we’re willing to give Ivan Sentch a pass because he’s not only basing his Aston Martin replica on a Nissan Skyline, but he’s 3D-printing the body with an excruciating level of detail.
The Auckland, New Zealand Aston fanatic has always been enamored with the marque’s older models, so he decided to recreate a 1961 Aston Martin DB4. With only 1,200 models in existence, each fetching anywhere between several hundred thousand to $1 million on the auction circuit, the chances of the software engineer ever owning one were infinitesimal.
So Sentch got to work, cribbing a CAD rendering from TurboSquid and then modifying it to suit his tastes. Then the really hard work began.
Using Autodesk 3DS Max modeling software and a Solidoodle desktop 3D printer, Sentch began the painstaking process of printing out individual 4-by-4-inch sections, mounting them on the wooden frame and then gluing each piece into place. So far, he’s produced over 2,500 fiberglass molds and says he’s 72 percent of the way to completion, but that’s only the printing aspect.
He still has to develop the dash and other interior bits. Once the exterior is completed, he’ll start the long, arduous process of sanding, adding filler, sanding even more, prepping the exterior to a glassy sheen, and then finally applying paint.
While you’d expect Sentch to be some kind of 3D-printing savant, he’s actually only been using the tech since December, admitting to Solidoodle in an interview that he’s a complete “noob”. Still, he’s had some experience in the replicar realm with his home-built Ferrari 250 GTO. That car is donating its running gear and drivetrain — parts pulled from a turbocharged 1993 Nissan Skyline GTS — after which he plans to replace the 250′s engine with a BMW V12.
Sentch figures he’s spent about $2,000 on plastics for the 3D printing, and plans to build a mold based on the body he’s created to make a fiberglass shell which will eventually form the exterior of the DB4. But it’ll be a while. Sentch estimates his makeshift Aston won’t be on the road for at least another four or five years.