The exploit performed by this duo and their impact on the world of 3D printing as well as parenting is worthy of noting. Let us kick it off with a light dive into their personal lives. Meet the Backus family.
He is a 54-year-old father of two, he has a son; Xander Backus aged 12 and a daughter, Aliyah. Himself, his two kids and his wife, Jennifer are all residents of Erie in Colorado, USA. This family has been one to look out for in recent times because of the cool projects that they’ve been doing. Are you curious to see what they’ve accomplished? Then read on!
In The Beginning
Sterling and Xander Backus have been living their normal father-son life for over a decade now. They have shared some real bond as father and son.
It was just like any other day. Sterling and Xander Backus sat behind their game box having fun playing a racing simulation video game just to pass time.
It is amusing that the whole idea that engineered their exploits came from an interest triggered in the son when he had to drive in a Lamborghini Aventador in the racing simulation video game, ‘Forza Horizon 3’.
That event in February 2018 was the take-off for Sterling and Xander as they go on to make exploits.
At some point in the game Forza Horizon 3, Xander had to take a ride in a Lamborghini Aventador, a digital one, however. This incident triggered his passion. When you’re a young boy, cars can mean the world to you and can turn into your passion in the future. Little did Xander know that his passion would turn more into serious than a regular hobby.
According to Sterling Backus’ words to BCNC TV, “We got into a Lamborghini Aventador in the game and (my son) thought that was a fantastic car and so he asked me if we could build one,”
The father rather accepted this as a wish he should bring to reality and they had since started building their own version of the Italian speed-horse.
Parenting Done Right
One main example to pick out from the lives of these two (Sterling and Xander Backus), his the exemplary show of parenting by Backus senior.
For Sterling Backus, his son’s dreams are as important as his own dreams and he is ready to do all he can to see the realization of the dream for his son.
This view has been reiterated over time by various persons on the media, either on shows, on social media, in articles or what have you. They go on to commending this act as an act of parenting done right!
The Gear Head Roots
By being a gear-head, I am referring to the technical inclination of a person and how well they love to work around machines and tools. As well as their willingness to try out crafts.
Sterling Backus would attribute all of his exploits not only to his son’s interest but also his gear-head background as a child. Growing up he had never been able to get his hands off the tools.
He grew up with love for artistry and technicality. This he admits himself when he told All3DP: “I was a gear head from the age of 12. I played around with 3D printing at work about 7 years ago. It took a while to get the 3D printing settings and configuration down,” This gear-head root would be chief in what must have inspired this exploit.
Even as the parenting demands and other demands are weighing on Sterling Backus, he still finds the project as something worth doing. This is simply the reason he is hell-bent and ready to see this work out until the very end.
He has always been a tech lover and has always been interested in what deals with the field. He does not fail to make mention of his passion at every point in time when he gets the chance to do so. When he had the chance to speak on the project, he made no shame in stating how he had been a gear head from an early age. The passion keeps him going.
According to Sterling Backus, the project was conceived and began in February 2018 which almost two years ago. For over twenty months now, Sterling and Xander Backus have managed to pull through all of the stress and demands of their dream project. The two of them have made it a must for the project to be a success.
Sterling Backus’ confirms this with his comment at the beginning of the complimentary ad, “… We had no clue, then I had the idea that maybe we could do 3D printings. We had a lot of failures but every time we put a part in the car, we were always like “wow, we’ve got to finish this project.”
How then has the journey been?
Doing The Work
Indeed the job of creating a replica of a well known exotic automobile will not come in easily. It will not be easy for those that are professionals in the field, let alone a physicist who only has the passion and a bit of the technical know-how.
Sterling Backus has made no shame in pointing out how it has been no easy ride through the streets of this project he has embarked on for his kid. He even at different points had had to take alternatives that have not been so standard but would work.
It has really not been easy doing the work.
Keeping The Pace
It definitely has not been easy for these two. They have had to go through a lot of thick and thin to see their dream become a reality. From providing funds for the project to getting the materials, then creating time to go through the rigors, this definitely has not been a ride in the pack for this duo. They have done a lot more than you can see or read about.
But something stronger than the hurdles has kept them going. The goal set ahead of them and the joy that this will only lead to a happy end has been enough to keep them going.
Beating Down The Project’s Cost
With the price of the original model of this Italian supercar (Aventador S Roadster) pitched at about ($460,247) four hundred and sixty thousand, two hundred and forty-seven US dollars, there is a need for the Backus to cut their budget to the lowest price possible. Due to this, Sterling Backus decided to make use of 3D printings for certain parts of the car and join them afterward using carbon fiber.
This has not been easy but it is necessary for the father and son team in order for them to complete the project successfully.
As Sterling accounts, they have spent a total of twenty-three thousand dollars ($23,000) on the project so far even though they have a budget of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) for the project.
Time to Improvise
The dream is to have a replica of the Lamborghini Aventador for Xander Backus. To achieve this, Sterling must reduce the cost budget to the lowest it can go. This means he cannot get all the spare parts of the supercar and he will need to improvise.
With the use of a 3D printer, creating the air vents, the body panels and the likes were catered for. And for the parts that could not be gotten by using the 3D printer, Sterling Backus got it on eBay. Not just that, he also had to use toy models for measurements in order to get the shape right. He even had to improvise on the speed engine.
The Speed Engine
The price for the real model of this Italian masterpiece will cost an arm and a leg. Sterling, therefore, must reduce this budget in order to have the project completed. He does this with the engine. The engine is not the kind that this brand of car has. But it is something very similar in a Corvette V8 engine which is also very cool.
To get the exact superfast engine of this Italian automobile masterpiece will surely cost a fortune. Sterling Backus, therefore, improvised with a Corvette V8 engine from a 2003 model of the Chevrolet Corvette.
This way, he was able to cut his budget and was still able to provide that superfast cool effect of the real supercar for his replica model.
Sticking To The Model
Even though Sterling and Xander Backus are not sticking to the ideal share parts of the original Lamborghini Aventador, their different resources for improvising have not been far from the real one in any way. For the speed engine, there is as much pace in the Corvette V8 engine used as it is in the740 horsepowerV12 engine which is the speed engine of the real car.
This also applies to the plastic body panels that were 3D printed as they also will give you that amazing look the real car comes with.
The seats and the large brakes are an amazing sight to see that you will be sure the project will be a big success when the whole job is done.
Projected Completion Time
According to Sterling Backus, the project should be completed by spring this year. A few weeks ago, when being asked how much longer the project will take seeing that it has been over a year since the project started, Sterling said,“It’s — I would say — about 75 percent complete,”.
“We think we’ll get it on the road probably in about an October timeframe.”. He added. He feels by then they would give amounted as much as thirty thousand dollars as the cost for this project but for him, it is well worth it. He also stated his eagerness to get the 3D printing on the road and take it round to schools to inspire them.
The Family That Sticks Together
One more factor that has helped keep their zeal on 100 percent through the months of rigors have been the love and support from the Backus themselves. The father and son have been the ones everyone has heard and read about. But there have been some silent key role players behind the scene.
The wife, Jennifer Backus and the daughter Aaliyah Backus have also shown enough love and support to the realization of this dream. These residents of Erie have been together through this. This is confirmed as they appeared on a complimentary together as a family last Christmas for the Italian car makers, Lamborghini.
Even though Sterling Backus had the gear-head root which made it easy for him to pick up this challenge, there was another factor that contributed to the exploit we are discussing now. The factor here is the assistance from Xander also. On the part Xander plays, Sterling Backus says, “He has a 10-minute attention span, but helps with the project when he can. He’s an 11-year-old, so he’s got other things he wants to do as well,”.
Sterling Backus at another point confirms Xander’s role when he says at the beginning of the complimentary as that “… Xander reminds me a lot of me as a child, he has a very mechanical mind, he likes to build things.”
Xander’s Joy And Enthusiasm
Sterling Backus expressed how much life the new development has on his 11-year-old son, Xander. Xander Backus has experienced a complete lift in his daily life since the creation of a replica of the Lamborghini Aventador came to be.
Even within his right schedules as a young lad, he makes out time to render some assistance to his father, Sterling whenever he is needed. This clearly shows the enthusiasm the 11-year-old lad feels towards the project.
He is very happy that this is happening to him and his family as it is simply a dream come true for him.
Lamborghini Automobili Approval
A lot of people had thought that Lamborghini Automobili, the makers of the Lamborghini Aventador this duo are replicating, would kick against the making of this replica. You could have even felt they would take up legal action against them for stealing their model.
However, due to the fact that the project is nothing but a STEM project and that it is not sold as a Lamborghini Aventador, the carmakers are not against the project but they are in support of the project.
They even showed their support by loaning them a real version for the replica last December.
The Help Rendered By Lamborghini Automobili
I started earlier that instead of being against this project, Lamborghini Automobili is instead showing full support for the project. Just this December, Sterling gave an account to CNN of the support from the company in the form of a loan for two weeks. This started with a call from the Chief Marketing Officer, Katia Bassi.
He said it was the biggest Christmas gift for himself and his son when they were told they would be giving the real version of the car which is about $460,247, for two weeks. According to him, he and his son did not miss out on a ride in this luxurious supercar for once in those weeks. He also learned a lot from driving the car for those two weeks which has helped him in the project also.
The Complimentary Ad
Even above the loan they received from Lamborghini Automobili, the entire family was also featured in a complimentary ad this last December.
In this ad, there was a swap in their garage over the night. The replica version which they are building was taken away from the garage and replaced by the real Aventador S Roadster which is the real version of this super cool fast car.
Xander stood in shock at the sight of the real car in their garage before the whole family took the car for a test drive near their home in Denver, Colorado. The ad ends with the caption saying, “Lamborghini is for real lovers”.
For this duo, the loan from Lamborghini Automobili was more than enough to give them the best Christmas gift ever. They made no shame of their joy whenever they faced the question during their various interviews. According to Sterling, they will continue to appreciate the love shown to them by the Italian superfast car maker.
For Lamborghini Automobili to approve their work and see it as a project they(as a company) want to identify with meant the whole world to this duo. This was a major part of the realization of their dream even though this is coming way before the completion of the project.
A Dream Come True
The Backus has rightfully admitted how fulfilled they feel with the recent run of events. For Sterling and Xander Backus, their dream is already manifesting in different ways even before the completion of the project.
From the approval by Lamborghini Automobili, the complimentary as the family had featured in last Christmas to he media attention they have now gotten for this project, they are certain that the dream of spreading the passion, and increasing the impacts of STEM education are getting accomplished already. This brings the duo nothing bit joy and they cannot wait for the co of the project and how much fulfillment it will bring to them.
The Media Frenzy
There has been a lot of attention around this duo ever since they got the recognition from Lamborghini Automobili. They have had to attend to a lot of interview requests from a lot of media outlets.
The attention from the press has been overwhelming and the duo has had to deal with this all through also with the stress from the project. They have been featured on an ad for the company themselves. They have also been interviewed by CNN, BCN TV amongst many others. The media frenzy is truly well deserved for such an initiative.
The Love Received From Far And Wide
Since the beginning of the project by Sterling and Xander Backus, especially at the point when they were recognized by the Italian carmaker who makes the real version of this Lamborghini Aventador, Lamborghini Automobili, the duo has enjoyed quite a great deal of love from everyone around including the carmakers.
The duo cannot hide their joy as Sterling Backus took his time to appreciate everyone for the love so far. “The experience showed me how many people out there are just good folks, and it was oozing Christmas spirit. We will never forget what gifts we were given, and the majority was friendship!” Sterling Backus said.
Sharing The Passion
For Sterling Backus, this project has not just been a dream for himself and his son, Xander alone, he sees it as being way more significant.
His passion for technology and its advancement have also been a driving factor throughout the journey so far. He has therefore not minced words as he has taken it upon himself to spread the passion to as far as he can.
“It is a commitment… I am trying to get others interested, but they will need passion and a few dollars.”. Backus told a reporter when he was interviewed. He also has plans to also visit schools with the replica once he is done with the project as this will be a way of sharing and spreading the passion for the craft.
Fostering Stem Education
STEM which is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics is a combination of these four fields to aid the development of each field by increasing the level of competition amongst them. Such a project as is carried out by the Backus is an example of a project in STEM education.
Sterling Backus and Xander his son make it clear that this project is also aimed at increasing the interest of students in STEM education.
Xander confirms this when he said, “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,”
They hope that the project makes other kids interested in STEM education.
Advancing The 3D Limits
The world of 3D which is a world where Sterling Backus had found love from a tender age is one to look out for in the coming years. This is the message Sterling hopes to pass across also with this project. He makes it clear how his journey through 3D had been like. “I was a gear head from the age of 12.
I played around with 3D printing at work about 7 years ago. It took a while to get the 3D printing settings and configuration down,” He told a media outlet once when he was interviewed. This knack for 3D printing is why Sterling feels this project will be a great way for him to advance the limits of 3D printing.
At this point, all that is left to work towards is the 100 percent completion of this phenomenal project by Sterling and Xander Backus. The duo themselves have projected that the plans on the ground should see the project being completed by October this year.
And they also have plans of reaching a budget limit of $30,000 by the end of the project. This figure is the price of a brand new car but Sterling and Xander Backus are ready to give it up for their dreams to come true. The happiness and fulfillment they will get will be more than whatever amount they will have to spend.
Significance Of The Backus’ Exploits
The story of the exploit of the Backus is a whole lot more than just a tale. It is a didactic representation of doing the right things when they truly matter. There is a lot to learn from the phenomenal tale of this father and son team.
There are a lot of lessons to learn from Sterling’s parenting, the doggedness they have shown over the past rough months, their exceptional drive, the impacts they have had on the society, the field of 3D printing as well as STEM education
This duo has set the pace with this significant project of theirs and the dreams they want to bring to reality. There is certainly a lot to learn.