Introduction: Sim Racing Rig - Lamborghini Huracan Dashboard

So lets start at the beginning, since the release of Need for Speed on my then PlayStation 2, I really got hooked on car racing games. And as time went by I started exploring different gaming titles like Gran Turismo etc. But I was always playing those games with a handheld gaming controller, until recently.

For a while I have been saving up some money to purchase a Force Feedback steering wheel and racing pedals - http://www.thrustmaster.com/products/tmx-pro ,( and the influence of a friend which pushed me over the edge to buy it ) and this was where it all started to escalate to where I am today.

So this friend of mine had me thinking and as time went by I shared my thoughts with him,and so I started searching the internet for some budget friendly plans. I found this image online (credits to the original publisher of these photos - here is a link the original content), and so the journey stared.

Step 1: Building a DIY - Racing Simulator Rig

Keeping a tight budget I kept it simple. With the help from that same friend , I managed to source aluminium extrusion beams (45 x 45) , I used 9.5 meters in total, and a visit to a local scrapyard paid off when I was able to buy a Opel Corsa / Vauxhall seat for a very good price.

The process then started where I carefully started to measure and cut the aluminium profiles to length and the assembly of the rig slowly took shape. The car seat fitted perfectly and only minor adjustments where required to make it fit.

Step 2: Finally, I Could Start Playing!

Here is my son taking the rig for its first test drive, it wasn't 100% perfect from day one, but a few minor adjustments and slight changes made it a lot of fun in the end. Of course there was no space for this contraption in my house, so I had to leave it in the garage, at least here I can make as much noise as I wanted to.

Step 3: Air Vents - the Start of Everything

So I could not help but give it some thought into how awesome it would be to be able to sit in a Lamborghini while driving this simulator of mine. Research then took me to various sites, and I found an image of a dashboard that I would have loved to replicate, only if it was only a section of it, and not the entire dashboard.

Being an avid hobbyist, I started playing around in Fusion 360 and designed the first piece to the puzzle. The air vents (printed 3 of them in total ) , and there the courage came to continue and finish the project.

Step 4: The Actual Dashboard

Form the photos it was clear that the Lamborghini Huracan dashboard was very simplistic so I again started to play around with some drawings in Fusion 360 and some materials and built a dashboard out of polystyrene.

This was actually the easy part, and I was able to get to a good result very quickly. I then covered it with 5 mm sponge to give it a bit of a soft to the touch feeling, which I am very glad I did as the final result is absolutely perfect.

The next step was to cover the dashboard in cloth, I couldn't find anything on short notice in the stores I was looking for as this was just before lock down in South Africa due to the COVID-19 virus, but I found some material that did the trick, and the end result was spectacular.

I soon then started to up skill my sewing skills (with the help of my wife of course), and created the covering for the dashboard, which I then later in the process applied to the dashboard with the help of my trusty glue gun.

Step 5: Instrument Cluster

I left the most difficult part for last, the instrument cluster had me thinking of many ways I could attempt to build it.

I then finally decided to create a template and cut it out with my laser cutter (Laser cutter journey) and I stared to build the cluster piece by piece.

Once 80% assembled, I could not help myself and put all the pieces I had finished so far together to see how it would turn out. This was the first time I really got very excited as the picture I had in mind came together.

Step 6: More Details - Side Profile

Next step was to add more dimension and details to the cluster, as I was inspired by a work colleague who I kept updated during the building process, and he pointed out that I should take note of the side profile of the cluster, which was a piece of detail I had to complete.

This was achieved after a few more hours of planning and cutting and eventually it was perfect.

I then had to decide, will I give the cluster the same finish as the air vents, or do I also cover it in the material, the same as the dashboard?

I really did like the red stitching on the dashboard and decided to go ahead and cover the cluster with the material and add some more red stitching.

Step 7: Covering the Cluster

I wanted to get a perfect cut for the material, as it was not as straight forward as the dashboard, I then used Google SketchUp to draw out the pattern, and used the trusty laser cutter to cut out the material for me.

I then started with the sewing process which took a lot of planning and testing before I got to the final result which turned out just as I imaged.

Step 8: At Last, We Have a Lamborghini Huracan in Our Garage to Drive With!

After a lot of tinkering, planing, glue, sewing and a lot of fun I could assemble the final product.

It turned out so well, I have to make turns with my kids to drive the simulator, really made lock down a lot better than I expected, just thankful that I had all the material I needed.

Step 9: 3D Printing Some Final Touches

Of course there will always be room for improvements and small little details as we go along, here is a small little example of what was added to the dashboard.

I 3D Printed this model (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4209026) , and sprayed it with gold aerosol paint , I the filled the black section with black quick drying enamel paint.

Small little details will still be added, and I will update this post as time goes along.

I thank everyone that inspired me to do this , as it gave me hours of pleasure, hope to share it with my friends close by when the lock down is over.

Stay safe and healthy!

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