Aug 28, 2017 | By Tess

YouTuber Matt Denton, known for his Mantis Hacks maker videos, has built a large-scale replica of the classic 1972 LEGO Go-Kart kit. Made from 3D printed building blocks, the LEGO Go-Kart is five times larger than the original and was made for under $130.

Now, if you’re thinking this project bears some similarity to a recent LEGO 3D printing project we wrote about (specifically, James Bruton’s 3D printed LEGO electric skateboard), you’d be absolutely right, as Denton was inspired by the latter’s work.

As he says in his Youtube video: “Having seen James Bruton’s technical lego scaling up prints, I thought it’d be fun to do something myself. Having always been a fan of Technic LEGO—its probably what got me into engineering as well—I thought it would be a great thing to try and scale up something like an original Technic LEGO kit.”

Denton’s initial plan was to scale up the Go-Kart LEGO kit so that his eight-year-old nephew could use and play with it. Realizing just how big that scale would have to be (and the print time involved), Denton eventually settled on a five-times larger scale that could feasibly fit a toddler in it.

He explains that he settled on the scale by measuring the largest component of the original LEGO kit and scaling it up to the maximum size that would fit on his 3D printer’s build platform.

Using his own Lulzbot Taz5 3D printer, Denton printed all the individual LEGO parts for the Go-Kart (a total of 98 pieces) from ABS—a process which took roughly 168 hours to complete. To speed up the process slightly, he says he 3D printed most of the parts with a 20 per cent infill and 0.4 mm layer height.

The maker said he generally tried to avoid using supports (for time reasons), often opting for bridging instead. Most of the parts printed easily enough, though some of the larger components did require some extra attention so that they would not warp off the print bed. The Go-Kart’s tires were 3D printed from flexible NinjaFlex filament.

Impressively, for the 3D printed Go-Kart’s assembly, Denton made it so he would not have to use any adhesives. In other words, to build the large-scale LEGO structure, he simply had to assemble the building blocks as one normally would: by clicking them together.

In the maker’s assembly video for the 3D printed LEGO Go-Kart, Denton builds his large-scale version next to his eight-year-old nephew who simultaneously builds the original LEGO kit. You can check out the video below to see who wins the assembly race!



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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