Every once in a while we hear about a Maker with zero previous making experience come by and run circles around those who have been in the business of making for years. Ivan Sentch of Auckland, New Zealand is one of those Makers who only last December picked up his first 3D printer for $499. Soon after, he decided that yes, he was going to use it to help build a 1961 Series II Aston Martin DB4 replica (only 1,200 were made). Ambitious? Maybe. Insane? Possibly. Totally awesome? Heck yeah!

$499 Solidoodle X Aston Martin DB4


Using mechanical parts from a Nissan Skyline GTS25 and an engine from a Ferrari 250 GTO replica, Ivan found himself with a cost issue when looking at how much a plug would cost in order to make the mold for the body. To get foam CNC cut from a local cutting shop would have cost him upwards of $15,000 NZD. His alternative plan? Purchase a $499 SolidDoodle and build the plug himself in small installments for an estimated cost of $2,000 worth of filament and the printer itself. While Ivan is a programmer by day, he had no 3D printing experience leading up to his purchase of the 3D printer in December of 2012. With zero 3D printing experience, he set out last Christmas to print 2,500 individual components that would help make the whole of a car body plug. His progress nearly 8 months later while balancing a full-time job? An impressive 72%.



“The printing itself isn’t very time-consuming (click a few buttons to kick one off before I go to work and another one off before I go to bed) and preparing the next prints only takes a couple of hours a week – it’s just really the sanding of the printed parts before I glue them together that is time-consuming (and dreadfully boring).”




In an interview with SolidDoodle, Ivan also states that he is using Autodesk 3DS Max for the slicing and AllyCAD to print out the MDF shapes on paper. He also includes some tips on 3D printing:

“I’ve found the best printing method (at least for the tall skinny prints like mine) is to lay a heat strengthened glass sheet above the bed and Kapton tape on top of that and hair spray. The Kapton tape sticks better to glass than to the aluminum and the Kapton tape + hair spray sticks the prints down to the bed 99.9% of the time. I’ve found 95 deg (Celsius) is the best temperature for the bed.”

To track the progress of Ivan’s Aston Martin project, check out his project blog.









Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.