Ever since we have been trying out unique materials, we have been wanting to test their limits. After we successfully printed a Nylon Penny-style board, the next step was printing an entire street skateboard.
If you just want to see Braille testing it out, skip down to the video to watch.
Wheels and Bearings
There were a lot of complications that came with this new territory, the most daunting being the bearings. We had thought of printing bearing separately, but we found those to be very breakable and hard to print small enough. We ended up tweaking the idea of a planetary gear design that Nick Winters had tried and broke soon after.
Aside from resizing, our biggest change was printing these wheel/bearings in Nylon 910 by Taulman3D. While a flexible filament with lots of shells would be best for wheels, we found that this planetary gear combination needed a harder material.
We also printed an extra set of regular skateboarding wheels in flexible Cheetah by NinjaTek almost entirely made of shells. These wheels feel a lot like normal skateboarding wheels, and Cheetah is actually rated at a shore hardness of 95A, which is actually on par with a lot of readily manufactured wheels. We had only done a couple small ollie tests before sending it off to Braille, but we are confident that these should hold up strong.
If you end up 3D printing a skateboard but use off the shelf wheels and bearings, take a look at this resource from Electric Skateboard Reviews to clean your bearings in 5 easy steps!
The trucks of the skateboard became an issue for us, since we really wanted every part to be entirely printed. Unfortunately it became impractical to have the axle not be printed, so we used a threaded 8mm rod. The kingpin is also metal and was taken off of a set of generic skateboard trucks.
The body of the trucks (baseplate and hanger) are printed in Carbon Fiber Nylon by 3DXTech. This is the highest tensile strength of any material we currently work with at 9,267 psi. We figured this would be best for the trucks (and the deck as you will read later) since we wanted strength and not much flex (elongation is 4.04%).
We thought that PCTPE by taulman3D was perfect for the bushings. The bushings need to be a bit softer of a material, while still being strong in order to allow for turning without breaking. We did some tests on these guys and we believe they should hold up to some impact tricks.
The deck of the skateboard was the most exciting part for us to make, since we had already successfully printed a Penny-style board, as well as the ability to make it unique. While the Penny-style board was our own design, we included holes for 3 metal rods to connect the four sections, add strength, and keep the deck together, which was an inspiration from Simone Fonatana on Thingiverse. Kiana Duncan of SD3D designed this board from scratch:
We decided to cut the board up in a way that would hopefully prevent bending in the middle. If we had cut the center pieces directly in half, there would be a part that was only being held together with the rods, allowing for bending (which we experienced on our Penny-style deck)
The hexagonal holes throughout were designed to allow a little bit of bend before breaking. Kiana also kept the concave of the board in order to allow it to feel more comfortable when riding. The entire board was roughly 1kg of carbon fiber nylon material.
Finally we added some risers separating the trucks and deck made out of Flexsolid by Madesolid in hopes that would absorb some of the shock of impact. We also added the Braille “b” logo, along with our own.
We had a lot of fun making this board and were sad and excited to send it out for testing.
Here are the guys at Braille Skateboarding testing it out until it breaks!
*The second board in the video near the end was not made or sent in by SD3D