This instructable will walk you through creating custom skates made just for you! Through the magic of 3D printing you can make ones shaped perfectly for your feet. Not only that, but they are lighter than normal rollerblades (The pair of printed skates is lighter than my one normal skate which weighs 3lbs) and also more portable. They can be clipped with a carabiner to a backpack and with a quick lacing method using 'S' hooks they can be put on or taken off in 30 seconds. In the video I am riding one printed rollerblade and one regular, this is because I hadn't printed a second one yet but it gives a nice side by side comparison. The printed rollerblade was surprisingly strong, I didn't have to 'baby' it while skating and I ride on one leg a couple times in the video to show how stable it is.

I'd also like to address some common concerns: I went with a 3 wheel design because I wanted the bottom part that held the wheels to be a single, solid piece and a piece for three wheels was the largest I could print on a Makerbot Replicator 2. As for comfort I used some craft foam and packing foam in the boot and on the footplate and between it and my normal skate I couldn't tell a difference. I didn't include a 'brake' on the skate because of size constraints (a separate piece could definitely be added) and I've never used them as I feel toe dragging is a better stopping method.

To make this project you will need access to a 3D printer, or a company like Shapeways, as well as some general CAD knowledge for the program you will use (the tutorials they offer should be plenty). For these instructions I am using Autodesk Inventor 2013. Also make sure to wear the appropriate safety gear and use caution when testing! Most importantly, have fun and be creative!

Updates: Since building I have made a seconds skate and found that the toe part of the boot and the tongue are essentially only for looks so I updated my design without those and just added a little toe guard to the end of the boot for safety. All the files will still be on the thingiverse page.

The files for all parts can be found on Thingiverse HERE.

Step 1: Parts List

For this project I did all the 3D printing on a Makerbot Replicator 2 but any printer with approx 11" x 6" x 5" build volume will work. You can always crop my drawings and scale them as needed.

Non 3D Printed Parts:
6 x 8mm or 5/16inch diameter bolts and corresponding nuts (2.5 to 3 inches in length)
6 x 3mm or 1/8 inch diameter bolts and corresponding nuts (around 1 inch in length)
6 x Rollerblade wheels (anything that uses standard bearings and has an 8cm diameter or less will work)
12 x Standard rollerblade bearings (these probably will come with the wheels)
2 x Shoelaces (string also works in a pinch)
A plethora of washers or other spacers (I've added a file on Thingiverse for 3D printed spacers that are the perfect size for the skates)
Some type of foam or styrofoam padding.
(Optional) 6x 'S' hooks for quick release lacing.

Crescent Wrench
<p>Would you be willing to make a custom pair for sale? I am very interested in finding custom skates with wide toe boxes, etc. Thank you!</p>
This is a great design project. You did I very nice job! <br> <br>I will try to perform an FEA on the bottom skate to possibly reduce weight hence material reduction. The accuracy of the result depends completely on the loading. No small feat. <br> <br>Analyzing the skate top would be more challenging and probably not necessary.
Thanks! Very cool, let me know how it goes. I would definitely like to cut some material out from around by the bottom of the wheels so they will improve skating at steeper angles.
Here are some preliminary results. FEA finite element analysis, is a very rigorous and is highly susceptible to user error. It takes considerable thought to apply loads and restraints for they have a tremendous effect on the results. <br>That being said, when comparing designs some of this difficulty in applying these inputs can be reduced. <br>That is to say, that even though the loads and restraints may be incorrect the results still give a good comparison of the designs. <br>In this comparison I applied restraints on each of the attachments of the boot. This means that the boot has a great effect on the stresses in the bottom component. This is not necessarily correct. We want the bottom component to stand on its own, with the boot not contributing to the strength of the bottom. <br>In addition I have applied loading that is NOT &ldquo;real world&rdquo;. It too is quite simplistic (I applied a 10 LB load on each axles support parallel to the face (axial loading). A more accurate loading would be to include the axle component with appropriate load at the tires contact area with the road surface. <br>However, since I applied the same loading for both designs, the errors, to some extent, cancel out. <br>What does all of this mean? This analysis gives a very good &ldquo;feel&rdquo; for a comparison between these two (2) designs. It does NOT, however, give us a very good analysis of actual stresses and deflections &ldquo;seen&rdquo; in the two designs. <br>This leaves us with a very good comparison between your original design and my &ldquo;Rev A&rdquo; design. <br>Rev A design has shown to have lower stresses, lower displacements and lower mass (weight=mass times acceleration (32 ft/sec2)). <br>
Neat! I've done some tests on other designs in Inventor with something similar to this and it's really interesting to see the regions of deflection. Seems the lower structure in your design is much lighter and still not under too much stress so that could definitely be used, the upper region of both designs looks fairly similar with lots of stress on the pieces connecting both sides. Very cool! I'll ponder this.
I've egg on my face. Wondered why the stresses were astronomical. When I converted to a stp file for FEA the model was reduced by 25.4. <br> <br>Not being allowed to select units during the conversion I've scaled the CAD accordingly for compensation. <br> <br>I am going to run the &quot;correct&quot; analysis. <br> <br>With this one I've added axles and wheels in order to add a wheel load at the pavement..This will add torsional loading as well giving a more realistic (and accurate) result. <br> <br>This will require the modeling of contact nodes which makes the analysis more complex.
Given my mechanical engineering background I can indeed say that the material immediately in front of the front wheel and immediately behind the rear wheel can be removed. I'll see if I can modify your CAD file accordingly. The FEA analysis will occur a little later.<br><br>I am glad that I may be of some assistance.
I wish I had access to this sort of tech! <br> <br>Consider a track with four wheels, or even five. Did you notice the lack of support under the toe compared with your 4 wheel left boot? <br> <br>The reinforcing webs at the side are good - consider some between the verticals too, for added strength. <br> <br>Do these cover and support your ankle at all, or are they more like shoes with wheels? <br> <br>
It's amazing what desktop 3D printers can do! I did ponder a track for 4 wheels but was limited by printing size, I wanted to keep it one rigid piece. The lack of a wheel wasn't too noticeable to me, but to others it might be. They do give good ankle support, at first I just tried it without a boot and that was indeed a shoe with wheels and was basically impossible to use. The boot worked well though.
Wow, that's impressively usable! Do you think you'll print the second?
Thanks! Yep I plan to. I think I may not print the toe part for the second one, it gave me a bit of trouble.

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Bio: I hope to help people with the things I make.
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