Matt Denton was one of the clever engineers responsible for designing and building the functional BB-8 robots and puppets used to film the most recent Star Wars trilogy. But online Denton is probably better known for his clever use of 3D printing to supersize Lego Technic sets, which now includes a functional go-kart he can actually drive.
On his YouTube channel, Denton has been sharing a series of videos detailing the planning, engineering, and construction of his latest XXL Lego build. Previously he’s super-sized iconic Lego including a functional bulldozer, forklift, and tractor, but at a scale only suitable for smaller kids to climb aboard. Putting hundreds of hours into creating a giant Lego set and then not being able to actually play with it because you’re too tall undoubtedly takes some of the fun out of the process, so this time around Denton made a Lego go-kart large enough for even him to climb behind the wheel.
The go-kart isn’t 100% made of Lego: structurally critical pieces like wheel axles, control mechanisms, brakes, and cables are all metal, while a pair of 80-amp electric motors and 5,000 mAh lithium polymer batteries provide the necessary power that Lego’s own electric motors and battery packs simply couldn’t.
The most fascinating part of the build process might be the countless varieties of 3D printer filament Denton had to use to help keep the weight of the go-kart down while ensuring parts receiving the most wear and tear (and heat) wouldn’t break or disintegrate under the stresses of actually driving this thing around. Even flexible filament was used to create the go-kart’s tires, and while not as grippy as actual rubber, Denton doesn’t appear to have much trouble getting the kart up to some impressive speeds. Braking, on the other hand, looks downright treacherous as the wheels are able to spin on their hubcaps making stopping a bit of a problem. There’s a good reason Denton’s safety helmet isn’t made of Lego too.