The family who 3D printed a Lamborghini Aventador SV receives a real Aventador S on Christmas 2019

Sterling Backus has been building a 3D-printed Lamborghini Aventador SV with his son for two years now, but found a real Aventador S in his garage on Christmas Day

Be cynical if you must, but sometimes, holiday miracles do come true if you wish hard enough. Just ask Sterling Backus and his son, Xander. The elder Backus has been building a replica Aventador SV with his Lamborghini-loving 12-year-old son in his garage out of 3D-printed parts, with a drivetrain cobbled together from a Corvette and a Porsche (though he’d love a V12 if his budget allows in the future) for some two years now.

But nothing could have prepared the younger Backus for the sight of an actual jet-black Aventador S sitting where the project car should be on Christmas Day. They got to keep and drive the real Aventador for a few days, a gift from Lamborghini for one of its most ardent fans.

As you might expect, the project has been a true labour of love for Backus senior, taking over 1,000 man-hours spread across 22 months and with a total expenditure of around US$23,500 (S$31,843). It’s still a fraction of what a ‘real’ Aventador SV would cost, however.

In an interview with Robb Report Singapore, Backus, a physicist by training who does work on lasers, revealed he never thought the project would get this much attention when he started out on it.

“We hoped to get some folks interested so local schools would want us to come by and give a presentation. In addition we started a YouTube channel just to show people how we succeed, and more importantly, what we do when we fail,” he said.

And failure – or more accurately, trial and error of “getting all the oddball parts to work together” – was very much a part of the process, though Backus told us that’s also part of the fun.

“I have seen others do handbuilt-from-scratch cars, so I knew it could be done. [But] It was the 3D-printing, and carbon fibre encapsulation that was totally different. I have attempted four rear bumpers, three versions of the quarter panels, etc. All told, I used 220kg of PLA plastic, of which 50kg ended up in the recycle bin. We have a long way to go,” he said.

But when asked if Backus would do it again, and if it’s going to be another Lamborghini, his response was unequivocal.

“Yes. My family and I love to build things, and yes it would be a Lamborghini model.”