Electric Skateboard Build – 3D Design & 3D Printing

Now that we have all of the components, and we have tested that the motor works correctly, it’s time to put it all together. We need somewhere to put the electronics on the skateboard.

To begin with, we were hoping to have a more creative design. Something a bit “animal-like”. The look we were going for was the ribs or skeleton of the skateboard. The ribs are shown in the video below. We tried to use a 3D cloth simulation to drape virtual fabric over the ribs (a bit like vacuum-formed plastic moulding), but unfortunately the cloth simulation didn’t behave well. It wrinkled and pinched into unwanted folds that resulted in a messy 3D surface that we couldn’t 3D print.

The simpler design that we decided to use is in the video below.

Adding the screw-down attachment points (the “feet”) to hold the electronics-casing onto the bottom of the skateboard. The design uses 4 screws (bolts actually) to hold the electronics onto the skateboard. The two bolts at the front are hidden, and the casing is designed to have 2 slots cut in the flat ledge at the front of the casing. The two slots in the ledge at the front of the casing will be hidden, then the two “feet” at the back will be where the final 2 screws are used.

The 3D print didn’t quite go according to plan, but it’s good enough for a prototype. We can see that the parts are a tight fit, but that’s what we wanted; tight, but not too small. Finders-crossed that the final version works out.

All set for 3D printing the final part. It will arrive next week and be printed in black nylon. This material is quite strong, and we hope to make a water-resistant rubber seal with the skateboard deck.

Next things to do:
1. Finish building the battery (the charger circuit needs to be connected and tested)
2. Design and make the electric motor mount (to be laser-cut from steel)
3. Paint the skateboard deck and attach some grip-tape
4. Check the programming/configuration of the motor controller and the hand-held wireless remote.

Drop in on a Monday or Tuesday at Paja, XAMK Kouvola, and get involved. Never done any electronics before? No problem! We’re here to help!!

Got a design you’d like to build or prototype for one of the skateboards? Got a product or project that you want to build? Great! We’d love to help you make it happen. Paja is available and we can help.