Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Making a 3D Printed Skateboarding Deck GoPro Mount

ST Medical Devices

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You may have, at some point in your life, been counseled to find out what you love and let your profession spring from that. That’s lovely advice and I think there is definitely something to it. However, it isn’t always possible to see the ways in which the things that you love can be integrated into the list of things that people will also pay you to do. In that case, maybe a variation on this advice should be: discover what you will be doing and find out how you can make it connect with things that you love. That path may not always be immediately clear either, but it does at least give you another angle from which to approach it.

3d_printed_gopro_mount_Selfie.png.980x0_q80_crop-smartJosh Foisey, an employee at Formlabs, provides a useful example of just how such a connection might be made. This is not to say that Foisey doesn’t love 3D printing, but he has also found a way to connect his day job with his after work passion: skateboarding. It’s not easy for everyone who loves skateboarding to find a job that grows directly out of their passion, but what this employee did was make a connection between his work and his play.

goproThe connection came after years of working with a GoPro camera to create skateboarding videos. He made the videos either while holding the camera in his hands or by duct taping it to his board. The duct tape was finally getting the better of his patience when he realized that he could build on the strengths of Formlabs’ Tough Resin to address his own needs. The process for creating a successful mount was one of trial and error, involving several heart stopping cracks, snaps, and drops before finally being perfected.

The file for the printed portion of the final design as well as a tutorial for assembly has been released on the Formlabs website and includes a description of the development process:3d-printed-deck-cam-tough-mount.png.647x0_q80_crop-smart

“After print a prototype that fit the Hero, we took it out to the streets where it promptly snapped. But the great thing about putting your parts to the test is that you can see how they perform under real-world conditions and diagnose the problem. In a few days we had tested six designs and got to a mount that could handle the shocks of street skating.”

The final design includes a deck mount designed to fit between the deck and the trucks, a beefed up hinge that is able to withstand the shock of landing a jump, and an extruded guard to protect the lens of the GoPro from being damaged by hitting the concrete.

“We knew this mount would take a beating – so we printed the part with our Tough Resin, which deforms before it breaks. Under heavy vibration and hard landings, Tough handles stress better – and gives us the added flexibility that we need to open up the mount to accept a GoPro Hero 3 and Hero 4.”

All of which adds up to more time to show off your shredding and less time dedicated to picking up the pieces.

 

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