when student jack davies moved from the UK to amsterdam to begin an internship at 3D printing start-up, 3D hubs, he was looking to find a faster mode of transport to get to the office. his solution? utilise access to the latest 3D printing technology and create the fusion e-board, a 3D printed electric skateboard and an exercise in achieving the previously impossible.
jack davies 3d hubs 3d printed electric skateboard designboom
fusion e-board being assembled by jack

 

 

jack, who was interning at 3D hubs at the time, began his design process by identifying the main parts of the longboard starting with the trucks, decks and wheels, all off the shelf components. he then used autodesk’s CAD/CAM software ‘fusion 360’ to quickly model components inside of the main assembly and simulating them to ensure parts would be strong enough. by simulating them, jack was able to optimise the design, reducing the size and cost of the amounts as less material would be needed to create them.
jack davies 3d hubs 3d printed electric skateboard designboom
the fusion e-board sideview

 

the first stage was to design the drivetrain, including the motor mounts, gearing setup and modifications to the trucks. the size and position of the motor mounts would then dictate the size and location of the enclosures so it was important that this was completed first.
jack davies 3d hubs 3d printed electric skateboard designboom
the fusion e-board by the river ij

 

I calculated the desired top speed and torque requirements which then enabled me to select the motors and battery for the board. the gearing ratio was also calculated and the pulley sizes were selected, along with the drive belt length‘, davies explains.this enabled me to work out the correct size of the motor mounts which ensured a well-tensioned belt. the next stage was to design the battery and speed controller (ESC) enclosures.’
jack davies 3d hubs 3d printed electric skateboard designboom
fusion e-board ready to go

 

the selected deck had design implications too, as it was predominantly comprised of bamboo which meant that it was bending substantially in the middle. this had the advantages of being comfortable to ride, as it absorbed the bumps in the road, and didn’t transfer them to the rider but also meant that a split enclosure was needed to house the battery and electronics, as a full-length enclosure wouldn’t be able to flex with the board and would make contact with the ground during operation.
jack davies 3d hubs 3d printed electric skateboard designboom
close up of the HP 3D HR PA 12 motor mounts

 

for the custom enclosure parts needed, jack utilized a HP jet fusion 3D 4200 printer, realising a design that would protect the internal components and battery casing, crucial elements in achieving his goal of longevity. by doing so, he was able to create geometrically complex shapes without compromising strength. to create nylong parts in place of aluminium components that would ordinarily would have been expensive and difficult to create with exisiting technologies such as CNC, he used a HP 3d HR PA 12.
jack davies 3d hubs 3d printed electric skateboard designboom
close up of the HP 3D HR PA 12 motor mounts

 

jack took inspiration from human anatomy designing a series of ribs along the bottom of the board to protect the central components from wear and tear when in use. these protective ribs were printed in nylon to offer a strong mounting point whilst allowing a necessary flex. because of this materials ability to withstand excessive stress and resist a fair amount of heat, it was also used for the drivetrain and motor mounts.
jack davies 3d hubs 3d printed electric skateboard designboom
underneath the fusion e-board showcasing the ribcage design

 

by using the latest 3D printing technology he created the fusion e-board in less than a week, for a bit under €600 (€350 standard parts + €250 custom 3D printed parts). a further example is the pulley which was 3D printed in ABS (the same material as LEGO), offering high structural integrity for a desktop printed plastic which is cheap to replace if worn out.
jack davies 3d hubs 3d printed electric skateboard designboom
close up of the motor mounts

 

at 15 lbs in weight and with a top speed of 56 kmph and charging time of 4 hours, the board is comparable, in its specification, design, and parts, to other commercially available electric skateboards worth upwards of €1500. jack, along with 3D hubs hopes it will act as a demonstration encouraging young creatives to realise their own designs by drawing attention to the possibilities 3D printing technologies now afford.
jack davies 3d hubs 3d printed electric skateboard designboom
jack with his board

 

jack davies 3d hubs 3d printed electric skateboard designboom
close up of the bamboo board and ribcage casing

 

jack davies 3d hubs 3d printed electric skateboard designboom
the part of the fusion e-board laid out for assembly

 

fusion e-board – 3d hubs x hp
video by 3D hubs

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: kieron marchese | designboom

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