Jan 21, 2015 | By Alec

It’s hardly a secret that 3D printing is an excellent manufacturing technology for producing toys, but why settle an inanimate object? Why make a little planter or a Yoda head paperweight if you can 3D print yourself a fun toy that can even transport yourself from A to B?

That is exactly what Julian Sarokin, CEO of open-source hacking business Simple Labs has done: 3D print a skateboard. As he explained on his blog, his previous wooden mini-board was run over by a bus, so he felt that turning to his MakerGear M2 3D printer was a logical next step to take. The result? A very cool, sturdy and functional mini-board that can actually be used outdoors. As it’s largely made of ABS filament, it’s probably not something you can use in Tony Hawk-esque scenarios, but it can easily support your weight when riding it around.

Fortunately, there are already a a number of skateboard designs to be found on Thingiverse, and Julian chose Ken Gibb’s excellent designs for the ‘EPIC mini-longboard’. Consisting of four different printable sections that can be bolted together to form a board, you just need to add some proper trucks, wheels and bearings (rather than printing them, safety first!) and you’re ready to go.

Julian’s MakerGear M2 completed each piece in approximately 6 hours without supports, while the whole 3D printing phase lasted about 22 hours. After assembly, Julian sprayed the board with several layers of black Plasti-Dip, a useful spray paint that ‘turns into a matte black rubber once it dries’. This adds some sturdiness as well as grip.

As you can see in the footage below, it's a success too. Though one of the wheels flew off in the middle of a test run after encountering some speed wobbles, this could easily be attached again. Of the incident, Julian simply said ‘still alive’.

So what are you waiting for? It’s a fun project that results in a relatively safe board to use (depending on what you do with yourself, of course). Just one word of warning: don’t try to elongate the designs to turn this into a properly sized skateboard; the whole secret behind the 3D printed mini-board’s success is that your weight is resting almost entirely on the trucks and wheels. If you elongate it, and thus shift your weight onto the plastic, it’s only a matter of time before it snaps in half. Be safe!

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Taiga wrote at 2/7/2016 5:49:59 AM:

What are those trucks?

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