Introduction: Easy DIY 3D Printed Electric Longboard!
Third Prize in the
Design Now: In Motion Contest
This instructable will teach you the easiest way to build an electric longboard with 3D Printed part.
The longboard has a Top Speed of about 34 Kph and a battery life of 30 kilometers (18,6 miles) per charge.
Let me explain first why this is the simplest Electric longboard you can build :
When I built my first electric longboard, I've read a lot of instructables that where very inspiring and taught me how to build everything correctly but I was facing a problem : those guys didn't had the same long board as me, the same trucks etc... how can I build the same motor mount if I don't have the same trucks? How to mount the motor mount on the truck without having to weld or glue anything? How to calculate the lenght of belt needed according to my motor mount? etc...
Then I got better at 3D designing parts and made my own 3D motor mounts, that I'm glad to share with you guys!
So this DIY electric longboard will be the simplest one because I'll be giving you guys all the parts I used in detail and also all the 3D files required so you don't have to worry about creating your own motor mounts or calculate which belt/pulley to use :)
Moreover, the motor mount has a bolt on design! which mean you don't have to worry about glue or epoxy not sticking on or creating a metal motor mount that needs welding.
Parts required :
- A longboard/cruiser/skatebaord deck (pick the one you prefer)
- 2 x Caliber 184mm Trucks (I used the 50° ones)
- A set of Orangatang Kegel 80mm wheels
- 1x Multistar high capacity 10000 mAh 6S Battery pack (I got mine at $50)
- 1x High voltage ESC that is 100Amps min, I used : HobbyKing 100A ESC 4A UBEC ($40) but any other will work, a car ESC would be the best
- A RC Car remote, any will do, I used : Quanum 2.4Ghz 3ch Pistol Grip Tx & Rx System ($20)
- 1x HTD 5M 12T Pulley (6mm bore and 16mm width or so) - local hardware store or ebay ($4)
- 1x HTD 5M 255mm Belt with a 9mm with (also called 255 -5 M-9 belt) - local hardware store or ebay ($5)
- 5x 4mm x 60mm countersunk head screws with nuts
- 1x 5mm x 40mm screw with nut
- 1x Female XT90 connector (if your ESC has none)
- Your standard skateboard hardware & bearings
- Optional but highly recommended: a Lipo low voltage alarm
Tools needed :
- A regular skateboard T-tool or some screwdrivers + wrenches
- 3D Printer or 3Dhubs account
- A soldering iron
- Some double sided tape or glue
- Some red threadlocker
Building time : it can be assembled in one hour if you have all the parts ready including the 3D printed parts :)
Difficulty : easy to moderate, you just need some basic soldering skills
Step 1: Gather All the Parts
This step is pretty straightforward, gather all the parts listed above, note that you can choose different items from the ones I've used, many other will work, but I highly recommend to go for the same trucks and motor as the motor mount is designed for those. Same with the wheels, don't choose other wheels because the Orangatang Kegel have holes allowing us to mount the 3D Printed wheel pulley.
You can choose any ESC though, as long as it is 6S and 100A min, any 6S battery will work too but I find that the one I use is a great compromise between power and capacity :)
Here are few recommendations regarding the skateboard components:
The Deck is the most important part of your skateboard, so for this one, just choose your favorite style of deck or the one you'd like to transform into an electric skateboard. It can be a longboard, a cruiser, a skateboard... is doesn't really matter. Just keep in mind that you have to mount a pretty big battery underneath so don't choose a tiny board ;)
I made the deck I've used myself from plywood, using multiple layers of thin plywood, some glue and a press. This way I was able to recreate the shape of my favorite cruiser board that got crushed when I got hit by a car once.
For your bearings, I highly recommend to use some great and well lubricated bearings, especially on the motor wheel as a lot of tension will go on there. You can get some cheap Minilogo bearings for $10 the set of 8, those bearing have the best price/quality ratio you can find IMO and I've used them in many of my skateboards.
Step 2: 3D Print All the Parts
Now that you have all the required parts, you can print the 3D designed ones :)
All the parts I made were designed in Autodesk 123D Design!
There are two type of 3D printed parts :
- The crucial moving parts : the wheel pulley and motor mount
- The classic parts : the battery box and ESC holder
For the "crucial parts", I highly suggest you to print them in PETG or ABS, or another strong material like Nylon, in order to have some really strong parts. Infill must be high to, something between 70% and 100%. Those parts are the most important ones and will go through a lot of tension so you need to have them as strong as possible.
Mines are printed in PETG which is just fine :)
For the less important parts, like the battery box, PLA is fine, and you can go with a lower infill too. I suggest you to keep at least a 40% infill on the battery box though as the battery weight 1kg. Those parts are not mandatory, you can find other ways to mount your battery underneath your deck.
If you have a 3D printer then you can start printing them now ;)
Otherwise, you can also order those part to be printed in 3D Hubs.
Here are all the STL Files I designed : the motor mount, battery box and ESC holder.
For the wheel pulley, I used the amazing design of voodoojar, thanks a lot to him for sharing those files! He designed a wheel pulley for the Orangatang Kegel wheels that you can download from his thingiverse account here
Step 3: Install Everything on Your Deck
This part is where things get exciting!
It is time to assemble the Electric longboard and it is actually pretty simple! Here are the main steps to follow:
Solder the XT90 connector to the positive & negative wires of your ESC, this will allow you to directly connect your ESC to your battery.
Mount the motor on the motor mount, this is very easy, just take the 4 motor screws and mount it onto the inner side of the motor mount (the opposite side of the "flat side" of the motor mount)
Mount the wheel pulley on the wheel, simply take the 5 4mm x 60mm screws and nuts and mount the pulley to the Orangatang Kegel wheel
Mount the motor mount to the truck, the motor mount should be on the inner side of your deck, to secure the motor mount on the truck, simple use the 5mm x 40mm screw and nut, no glue required!! :)
Mount the Motor pulley (the 12T pulley) to the motor shaft, secure the small screws tightening the pulley to the shaft with some red threadlocker, this is very important!
Place the belt on the truck & motor pulley and mount the wheel onto the truck, wrap the belt around the wheel by turning the wheel, you should get the belt on both pulley pretty easily. You can now adjust the position of the motor mount on the truck in order to get a perfect clearance (not to big, not to small) between the wheel pulley and the motor mount.
Stick your ESC & radio recever to the bottom of your deck
Stick, glue, or bolt the battery case to the bottom of your deck and place the battery inside. You can then secure the battery in place using a velcro scratch.
And finally, plug the signal wire from the ESC to the Ch.2 of your radio receiver
You're almost good to go! All you need to do now is connect the 3 ESC cables to your motor, you can connect them in any order. Swapping 2 cables of the 3 connecting cables will actually change the rotation direction of the motor, so if your motor is spinning in the wrong direction, just swap 2 cables around :)
Your Electric Longboard is now ready to use!
You can add some little extra if you want like a small case for the ESC to protect it and make it look better or a switch between the ESC and the battery (that can be connected with 2 XT90 plug). The switch is very convenient, however make sure to find a high quality, high amps switch, I made one once from a cheap quality switch and it switched of while riding and I almost fell really badly.
Step 4: Have Fun Riding It!
As always, here comes one of the best: the test!
You can now have fun riding your electric longboard!
As mentioned in the intro, the longboard has a top speed of about 34 KPH, and a battery life of 30 kilometers, which is enough for a lot of fun. You can even buy 2 batteries and keep one as a spare in your backpack for an amazing ride time.
The longboard will climb small hills easily too! I weight 75 kilograms and don't have any issue riding up small hills that are not very steep.
If you use the exact same ESC and radio controller, here is how the longboard is operated:
In order to go to a full motor stop, pull the trigger to its bottom position, then gently release it to start going forward and gain speed. Once you reach the "neutral position" of the trigger, you are now in cruising mode ! which means that you can now enjoy your ride without having to worry about your throttle! the longboard will keep its cruising speed by itself. Then if you want to go faster, just push the trigger to its upper position, which is the top speed.
I like this set up because of the cruising mode, allowing me to cruise around with having to keep a finger on the throttle :) It can be modified by programming the ESC too.
For charging the battery, you can use a Lipo balance charger that support 6S lipos, and a XT90 charge lead. A great and cheap charger is the Imax B6AC.
Warning : the longboard can reach pretty fast speeds so make sure to wear some protective gear (at least a helmet) as it can be very dangerous, especially if you are not an experienced skateboarder.
Thanks a lot for reading my Instructable, I hope that you'll have fun making and riding this Electric Longboard :)
If you make this project, please post some pictures of it and click on the "I made one" button, I'd love to see yours and how many people made it :)
2 People Made This Project!
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