Ivan Sentch, The Man Who Printed An Aston Martin

We have all started to hear about 3D printers and the futuristic applications we may soon all take advantage of, but at the moment sunglasess, shoes and iPhone cases are about as far as our imagination has taken us.


Meet Ivan Sentch, a programmer from Auckland, New Zealand who is currently printing a 1961 Aston Martin DB4 using a $500 Solidoodle 3D Printer.

Ivan said, “To buy a full sized model like this would cost close to $15,000, so far this has cost me $2,000 in plastic and $500 for the printer.” Seems like a bargain to us.

Ivan is now about 75% of the way through the printing but with over 2,500 pieces of plastic to put together, a job and family to juggle, its going to take around 18 months to complete and a further 5 years before anyone will be sitting in it. Ivan has also set up a website where he updates his growing audience with pictures and news.

We caught up with Ivan to ask him a few questions about this ambitious project.

1) How long has the project taken so far and how much longer do you envisage it taking?
I started last Christmas so 8 months mow, it’s a long term project (I have to favor my own labor over just throwing cash at it) so as a guess I’m thinking 5 years to completion

2) What has the overall public reaction been and what sort of support have your received?
I’m surprised it’s ballooned so much, most of the comments are positive, some either don’t understand, don’t read the article before commenting or think they know better but it’s all good

3) Which 3D Printer are you using and why?
I looked into building my own then found the Solidoodle v2 was the same price (and came already calibrated and ready to use) so that seemed too good to be true but after 8 months of constant printing (night and day) it’s only had minor issues so I’ve been really happy with it

4) What’s your background and how did it lead to taking on a project like this?
I’ve always been interested in the kit car / scratch build scene and I built a replica 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO (kit car really) when I was 21, after 10 years it was time to do another one but as I hardly get to use the 250 GTO anymore (with kids and it being a 2 seater) so I wanted something with 4 seats and it was always going to be an old car, I have no interest in modern cars but all those reasons aside I’ve always liked the old Astons (probably enhanced by the bond films) but I actually like the db4 better than the more famous DB5 or more famous and expensive DB4 Zagato

5) What CAD software do you use, and do you design all the models yourself?
3ds Max 2012, I bought a model of turbosquid.com and modified it to suit my project

6) What has been the biggest challenge with this project and how has it affected your attitude?
Finding glass was a challenge and quite important (if I couldn’t find it the project can’t continue) but I’ve found one place that can at least supply it so now I can start trying to find if there are any cheaper places.

7) Which energy drink is fueling this project?
V (don’t know if you have it in the UK – www.v.co.nz)

8) What’s your day job?
I manage a small team of programmers

You can also follow Ivan on Facebook.