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Design of the Week: XXL 3D Printed LEGO Go-Kart

A 3D printed Go-Kart [Source: YouTube]

This week’s selection is the enormous XXL 3D Printed LEGO Go-Kart by Matt Denton.

Denton is a UK-based animatronic specialists working in the film industry, and those are the very skills required to build this item. He’s recently published a video detailing the project.

Denton had been making LEGO Go-Karts for his nephew, and decided to make them a bit bigger. One was 5X normal size, but it was still too small for his nephew to sit on. Thus Denton decided to make one much larger, sufficient not only for his nephew, but also for himself to sit on — and ride. Yes, he intends on powering the vehicle electrically. He says he wants it to go “fast”.

Designing the life-size 3D printed Go-Kart [Source: YouTube]

Using Alibre Design Expert as his CAD software, Denton takes us through his design decisions. It was not as straightforward as simply scaling up the model. Some areas had to be strengthened.

One of the larger parts made for the 3D printed Go-Kart [Source: YouTube]

Using a pair of TAZ 6 3D printers equipped with a high-volume extruder and a LulzBot Mini 2, Denton was able to 3D print the “significant pile” of parts required to build the LEGO Go-Kart.

Denton used Polymaker’s PolyMax material, which is a strengthened version of PLA. It’s easy to 3D print and is ideal for a project such as this as the low warp factor of the material worked well with the larger parts required. 

The size of the parts was noticeable, and at one point in the video Denton collected all the parts in one scene to show the size of the pile:

All of the large parts required to build the 3D printed Go-Kart [Source: YouTube]

Many of the parts were bolted together, although Denton did use glue at certain points. Some sections required knocking into place using wooden mallets. 

In the video Denton shows the entire assembly process, which is quite interesting as he has to periodically test the mechanical movements of the substructures before they’re embedded in the vehicle as a whole.

After assembly, the heavy Go-Kart did support Denton’s weight and the steering proved quite functional.

In Denton’s next video he intends to finish the project by adding a seat and incorporating an electric motor and battery. I’m quite interested to see how fast this super-sized LEGO vehicle can go.

This project is an excellent example of how small desktop 3D printers can be used to create huge, life-size objects. What will you build with your 3D printer? 

Via YouTube

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