July 17, 2015 | By Simon

Although we’ve seen just how much of an impact additive manufacturing has had on multi-billion dollar industries including both the aerospace and medical industries, one of the best uses for 3D printing involves everyday people creating their own design solutions for their own existing products.

Previously, we’ve seen how everybody from chefs to hobbyists have turned to 3D printing to create their own custom tool design or other modifications to make their processes easier or more streamlined based on the task at hand.  More recently, a clever skateboarder by the name of Marius has turned to the technology to create a safer long board riding experience.  

While many experienced long board riders (a long board is a long skateboard with larger wheels that has been designed for riding down hills similar to surfing rather than doing aerial tricks) have learned various techniques for stopping themselves using a variety of complicated body weight-shifting maneuvers, there are still many inexperienced riders who risk injury after hitting top speeds on the boards.  

“Going downhill, not bumping into people/things and generally slowing down with a longboard can be a real problem,” says Marius.  “You can hurt yourself and/or other people. It's like being on bike with no brakes.”

To fix this overlooked problem, Marius has built his own 3D printed brake system for his Onda long board, which was chosen because of its large 180mm wheels (which provide plenty of clearance for the brake parts) and rectangular trucks that make mounting the additional accessories easier than more cylindrical trucks.  

“The principle behind the longboard brake is similar to a bicycle brake,” explains Marius.  

“When I put my foot on the braking lever the inner part of the braking cable gets pulled which pulls the lever with the braking pad attached to it so it makes contact with the wheel.”

To create the system, which is currently listed as an ongoing project on Hackaday, Marius used 3Ds Max to accurately model the system before printing the parts in PLA using a Printrbot Metal Simple.  The final working system uses an off-the-shelf bicycle brake pad and brake cable as well as some elastic bands to actually perform the braking function.  In its current iteration, the system is capable of stopping a single wheel however Marius plans on mirroring the system to the other side of the skateboard truck to provide more stable braking power.  

In total, the entire build (including the board itself) consists of the Onda Long Board, one bicycle brake pad, one bicycle brake pad, six rubber bands, 1 3D printed support and 1 M5 screw and nut.  

Since the project is listed as ‘ongoing’ over on Hackaday, interested users should periodically check up on it to see what updates Marius has made to the design - as well as the necessary instructions and files for building your own.   


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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