Lexus unveils a cardboard car

London-based design firms, LaserCut WORKS and Scales and Models have produced a full-scale replica of the Lexus IS. The design challenge compliments Lexus’ ‘Creating Amazing’ design innovation series which has seen the company produce a working hoverboard earlier this year.

The cardboard car is made up of 1700 individually shaped pieces of cardboard attached to a subframe. What’s more, the car comes complete with a fully-fitted interior, working headlights and, thanks to an electric motor, can even be driven.

Scales and Models’ founder and director Ruben Maros explained: “This was a very demanding job, with five people involved in the digital design, modelling, laser cutting and assembly.”

Lexus provided them with the digital 3D model of the IS, which was then divided into a series of principal parts, such as the main body, dashboard, seats and wheels. These were then digitally rendered in 10mm ‘slices’ to provide the two-dimensional profiles needed for the laser cutting of each of the 1700 sheets.

Each layer was glued together by hand using a water-based wood glue which meant the pieces had to be positioned together accurately as changes couldn’t be made once the glue had dried. In all, the cardboard car took three months to build.

“We’ve never heard of this thing being done before. Nothing to this scale, where someone could actually enter the car and move it backwards and forwards,” director of LaserCut WORKS, Daniel Ryan, said. “I think it’s something special that we’ve done here.”

Tom Austin-Morgan

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