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Colorado Family Building 3D-Printed Lamborghini Hopes To Spark Interest In STEM

ERIE, Colo. (CBS4) - These days 3D printing has advanced so far, it's even being used to make a custom heart valve, so why not a supercar, like a Lamborghini? An Erie family now hopes they'll be the first in the country to build a Lamborghini using this technology.

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"What we would do is jump into a Lamborghini Aventador and drive it around," Xander Backus said.

Backus isn't old enough to drive yet -- he's 11 -- but he and his dad have driven the Aventador numerous times in an Xbox game.

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"One day I said to him, hey can we build one of those?" Backus recalled.

Xander's dad, Sterling Backus accepted the challenge. He happens to be a physicist whose line of work involves a lot of lasers, but that hasn't really given him much of an advantage when it comes to building a car.

"It hasn't really helped an enormous amount, what's really helped is what I was a kid. I was a gear head," Sterling Backus said.

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Backus told CBS4, a lot of help actually came from watching YouTube videos. As far as finding the designs, he didn't quite find the exact specifications from Lamborghini. The Backus crew had to use designs from a toy model that was a scaled-down version of an actual Aventador.

"These were all individually printed and then glued together," Sterling Backus pointed to a newly printed panel.

Members of the family, including Xander's sisters, then helped wrap the plastic panels in carbon fiber and poured epoxy over it.  They've also helped to install other parts of the frame. It's now been about 20 months since Xander first asked his dad to build his dream car, but the finish line is within sight. It could be finished by next spring.

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So how fast will it go? Sterling Backus thinks the car could clock 200 miles per hour. The car uses a Corvette V8 engine, and parts from a lot of other automakers, including Porsche. Much of it was found in junkyards.

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While the cost of an Aventador SVJ typically runs about $600,000, this model now being built in Colorado may only cost about $20,000. It'll be quite the car to be dropped off from at school, however the Backus' hope to attract attention for a better reason -- they want to spark kids' interest in science, math and engineering.

"Okay you may hate math, you may not like science, you may not like language arts, you may not even like art, but it all comes together with this one project," Xander said.

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Once the car is completed in the spring, it'll get a vehicle identification number and then finally be street legal.

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