Tesla Cybertruck: ‘Cute’ 3D-printed model earns Elon Musk’s praise

The Tesla Cybertruck, the upcoming all-electric pickup truck, is taking on small challenges in a big way.

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Tesla Cybertruck, the company's upcoming truck set to take on the biggest challenges, is taking on something a whole lot smaller.

A 3D-printed remote-controlled replica of the Cybertruck has been produced by YouTuber Sean Callaghan. The video, uploaded Sunday and spotted by Teslarati Monday, demonstrates the tiny truck's production and subsequent journey out onto the big roads. The Cybertruck was first unveiled in November 2019 with a late 2021 release date, meaning Callaghan's handiwork beat the real Cybertruck to production by over a year.

The video has nearly a quarter of a million views at the time of writing. The project has even caught the attention of Elon Musk, who on Tuesday wrote that it was "cute" in response via Twitter.

The project shows how the Cybertruck's unique design has captured the imagination of fans around the world. When Musk unveiled the truck at the Tesla Design Studio, his presentation drew comparisons with sci-fi classic Blade Runner. Its angular design, Musk claims, comes from the fact that it uses cold-rolled 30X steel, which means machines can't shape it like they would a normal car. It's set to launch with an optional Cyberquad ATV with similar stylings, which competitors have described to Inverse as looking "8-bit."

While the Cybertruck looks like something out of a retro video game, there's nothing outdated about Callaghan's cutting-edge creation. The YouTuber employed a 3D printer to help him put together his creation, and decked out the end result with LED lights to emulate the Cybertruck's sleek front lighting. The motorized wheels, with a base repurposed from a remote-controlled monster truck, are remotely controlled by an Xbox-looking green and black controller.

This was no weekend project. A single component used for the roof took 87 hours and 54 minutes to print, or nearly four days. The whole project, Callaghan claimed, took "literally months."

Callaghan is not the first to try his hand at some DIY Cybertruck projects. Days after the original launch in November 2019, YouTuber "DRHOBS" built his own Cybertruck out of cardboard and tape.

YouTube user "JayInShanghai" shared a video in March 2020 of a full-size Cybertruck that stays impressively close to the original version.

When the Cybertruck launches for real next year, it looks set to impress. The car has been announced with a price tag of just $39,990, the third phase of Tesla's three part plan to bring electric vehicles to the masses that started with the 2017 Model 3 and continued with this year's Model Y. But where these first two introduced familiar, entry-level versions of well-known car designs, the Cybertruck follows a unique path that makes it stand out dramatically in the pickup truck marketplace.

The Cybertruck is expected to have the specs to match. It features over 500 miles of range at the high end, 0 to 60 mph acceleration times of 2.9 seconds, and towing capacity of over 14,000 pounds. The truck offers over 100 cubic feet of lockable storage, seating for six, and a 17-inch touchscreen.

The Inverse analysis – Tesla's Cybertruck is perhaps the most recognizable vehicle in the company's upcoming lineup, as evidenced by the impressive number of fan-made projects that bring its unique design to life.

Whether the Cybertruck reaches the same mass market as the Model 3 remains to be seen, but early signs show a warm reception. A fan-built pre-order tracker suggested in February 2020 that orders had already outpaced the Model 3 at the same point prior to launch, although the Cybertruck only requires a $100 versus the $1,000 for the Model 3.

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