Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Electric BubbleGum Launches on Kickstarter – 21 mph Electric Skateboard with 3D Printed Replacement Parts

ST Medical Devices

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bub-1Although we may not quite be at a point where Back to the Future had envisioned we would be by now, technology certainly has progressed substantially since 1985. For every hoverboard that we are lacking in 2014, we make up for with other technologies. Marty McFly certainly didn’t run into any handheld devices capable of accessing a substantial portion of all the knowledge known to man (smartphones), or any 3D printers when he visited the future, did he?

Indeed there are no hoverboards, and there probably won’t be for some time.  However, one man named Andrew James, and his team based in Atlanta, GA, is creating the next best thing. The Electric Bubble, as they call it, is an electric skateboard control by a Nintendo Wii remote, with parts which are made to be replaced via 3D printers.

This week, James and his team launched a Kickstarter campaign, seeking $55,000 to enable them to create their company, BumbleGum Boards. If the project is a success, James and company will bring to market an affordable skateboard capable of traveling 10 miles, at speeds of up to 21 mph, on a single charge.

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At 27 inches long, for its capabilities, the Electric Bubblegum has a very sleek design, weighing just 12.1 lbs and featuring many ABS plastic 3D printed parts.

“The ABS (3d printed) parts are surprisingly strong and able to handle life under a skateboard excellently,” states the company.

Skateboards get beat up, and that’s a fact. Parts will break, and over time will need to be replaced. What James has done is figured out a way to allow anyone with a 3D printer to fabricate their own parts when they need them. This also allows owners of the board to change up colors, and even customize their own designs if they so choose. Every backer of the project will receive a USB drive with the .STL files for all the models needed to replace the pulley’s and covers on their own. If backers of the project do not have a 3D printer, they can buy the parts already 3D printed from BubbleGun Boards at an affordable price.

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As for some of the technical details of these boards, they all feature an Arduino board which is controlled remotely by the Wii Nunchuck part of the controller. Included is a Lifep04 battery pack, which will be able to recharge in approximately two hours and fifteen minutes, up to 2,000 times before failure.

If you are interested in backing this project, the basic boards are available for pre-order through the Kickstarter campaign page for $550. If you would like to step things up a notch, then you may be interested in the completely custom board, featuring a dual motor and an extended battery option for $1,300. Let us know if you back this project in the Electric Bubblegum forum thread on 3DPB.com. Below is a quick video showing off the board in action.

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