UntitledIf you are an avid skateboarder or if you know one well, then you are familiar with the bruises, scars, and stories that go along with this daring hobby. Well-loved by orthopedists making those big mortgage and yacht payments, it’s a sport populated by a good percentage of enthusiasts who eschew modern safety mechanisms that many others simply cannot go without, as they work to avoid inconveniences like casts, crutches, and stitches.

We’ve reported on numerous 3D printed skateboard designs, from fast boards that are 3D printed and electric to those fabricated with hemp filament–but as a rule, braking systems don’t seem to be a part of the conversation.

As those involved in skateboarding tend to build on their skills one by one, ever increasing in difficulty–and danger–it would seem that safety would be at the top of the list a bit more often. And since careening downhill often seems to be part of the gig, it would make sense for standard brakes to be de rigeur. That’s not the case though, and with the consideration that skateboards are often considered the greenest vehicle of choice over cars or bikes for many enthusiasts, more formal braking systems should be involved other than those employed by the shoe, employing turns, or relying on wind resistance.

UntitledA Romanian hackaday member, suiram21 is a computer programmer who likes to longboard; in order to keep his head in the game for his day job though, added safety seemed like a common-sense addition for his longboard. With speeds of up to 40 mph possible going downhill on his Onda longboard which features larger wheels, suiram21 not only decided to worry about staying out of the ER, he actually went to work designing a one wheel, foot activated braking system in 3ds Max and then 3D printing it via his Printrbot Metal Simple.

“The principle behind the longboard brake is similar to a bicycle brake,” said suiram21. “When I put my foot on the braking lever, the inner part of the braking cable gets pulled–which pulls the lever with the braking pad attached to it so it makes contact with the wheel. I used some rubber bands as a spring to pull the braking pad back after I lift my foot off the braking lever.”

Untitled3D printing the parts in PLA with 100% infill, suiram21 did make an exception to purchase a bicycle brake pad, cable, and several elastic bands. The basic list of items used is as follows:

  • Onda Board
  • Bicycle brake pad
  • Bicycle brake cable
  • Six rubber bands
  • One 3D printed part
  • One each M5 screw and nut

As the popularity of skateboarding continues to soar and enthusiasts enter the sport at younger and younger ages, perhaps the idea of standard brakes on certain boards will catch on further. While many die-hard skateboarders operate under the premise that a skateboard should never have hardwired brakes, a recreational vehicle like this is not much fun if you can’t stop it at high speeds. This particular project is ongoing, and we look forward to following it as suiram21 continues to refine his 3D printed design, and may even expand it to functioning as a two-wheel braking system.

Have you 3D printed any safety items for recreational activities like skateboarding? Discuss in the 3D Printed Skateboard Braking System forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

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