Introduction: Easy DIY 3D Printed Electric Longboard!

Hi everyone!

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 Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 - 5055-280kv Brushless Outrunner Motor ($45)

- 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:

Deck

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.

Bearings

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 :)

Comments

author
jec0435 made it! (author)2017-08-10

I discovered I had to file the truck a bit because the wheel pulley was catching, which would not be good. Not a smooth rotation of the wheel. Jut FYI to anyone else if you are making this.

IMG_9048.JPG
author
jec0435 (author)2017-08-05

So why would a car ESC be best? Can you explain? Thanks!

author
mne10 (author)2017-07-13

Are there safer alternatives for the battery? I am trying to avoid using lipo batteries because I am motorizing a small vehicle for a kid. Thank you!

author
Little BigI (author)2017-07-05

Can you please help me with a question. I'm 12 years old and i'm almost 13. So for my birthday want all this stuff to make an electric longboard. I live in the netherlands btw.
But me and my father have trouble with shipping the stuff to the netherlands.
How long did it take you to get all the stuff from hobbyking to paris?
And how did you get the lipo battery to paris, because my father said that high capacity lipo's are unsafe to ship and if the douane gets it than you can't get it back.
Did the turnigy motor come from the global warehouse in hong kong or did you use the eu warehouse?

author
Little BigI (author)Little BigI2017-07-05

If it is impossible to let the lipo ship to the Netherlands.
Is it a good idea then if we buy 3x 4000 mah lipo's so the douane won't look at it?

Or is it way more expensive if we do that?

Does the voltage from the lipo matter a lot or is it only the capacitance from the lipo?

author
msd-boston (author)2017-06-02

This looks like a fantastic project. I priced everything out and it comes to ~$300 each even cutting some corners (I have a pair of trucks and extra wheels, free decks, no 3D battery or ESC box, etc.).

The batt, motor, and ESC are big parts of the cost. Have you used any alternatives that might save $? Just checking!

Screenshot 2017-06-02 12.00.05.png
author
jec0435 (author)2017-05-21

Did you use a 1/8" or 1/4" riser under your trucks? I see you didn't mount straight to the deck, but added a riser. Is it needed for motor clearance?

author
DavidG614 (author)2017-05-18

I'm 97kg so should I upgrade to a different motor? Any suggestions? All I have left to purchase is the motor, battery, and vesc. Everything else I printed and/or ordered.

author
Jonathanrjpereira (author)2017-05-13

Circuit Diagram/Code?

author
JamesonS3 (author)2017-04-29

Can I put two batteries on the board.

author
BlueBeanie42 (author)JamesonS32017-05-07

Assuming the board is big enough, then yes.

author

Of course :)

Just keep in mind that you'll to connect them in parralel

author
jec0435 (author)2017-05-09

When you say: "Infill must be high to, something between 70% and 100%"

Most 3D prints are in microns, what does that translate to?

author
tahitianrider (author)jec04352017-05-09

Microns usually refers to the layer height/resolution. Infill is different, it is the density of the part. eg: a part with a 0% infill will just be an empty shell, thus not strong at all when a part with a 100% fill is a solid piece of plastic, which is very strong. For simple part, one usually print with a 20 to 40% infill in order to save on filament. But for important parts like those ones, you need them to be super strong so using a higher infill is better ;)

author
Simeon w (author)2017-04-24

How much would you sell one? I don't have a 3D printer or anything like that but I have a little bit of money.if u would make one and sell it that would be great!!! (Tell me the price first)

author
tahitianrider (author)Simeon w2017-04-25

Haha that's a funny question :)

Well I live in Paris so I doubt you that live close to me for shipping unfortunately. But if I were to sell one I don't know, the price of all the parts (if you buy a great longboard deck to mount everything on) is about $460 in France, plus the time needed to build it and the 3D printed parts I have no idea lol maybe $600 or $650

author
Simeon w (author)tahitianrider2017-05-03

That's a lot of money!!! But u should try making a motor for a penny board so it's more portable

author
MrCheatak (author)2017-04-25

Turnigy aerodrive 280 KV is the most suitable one on Hobbyking. But maybe there were other outrunners you were choosing from?

author
MrCheatak (author)MrCheatak2017-04-25

And one more thing: why not inserting motor right into the wheel?

author
tahitianrider (author)MrCheatak2017-04-25

The Turnigy aerodrive 280kv is a great choice indeed, I chose this one because of its low KV and pretty cheap price.

Mounting the motor into the wheel would be way more complicated, and the motor wouldn't handle the weight of a body like the wheel does, it would be almost impossible to mount too lol

author
MrCheatak (author)tahitianrider2017-04-27

What is the gear ratio between wheel and the motor? Why did you choose this number?

author
BradH85 (author)MrCheatak2017-04-27

Aside for being very complicated, I'm sure you would lose a lot of power if connected directly to the wheel. You need the gear ratio to have the torque to turn the wheel.

author
MrCheatak (author)BradH852017-04-27

You've got the point. Never noticed it.

author
BradH85 (author)2017-04-27

Great Instructable. But, where did you find that battery for $ 50? Everywhere I look it's twice that.

author
tahitianrider (author)BradH852017-04-27

I just realised it was on sale on Hobbyking when I bough it at $50 in the EU Warehouse

author
rf (author)2017-04-23

Nice motor mount!

You can increase clearance by using multiple
1s or 2s batteries and spreading them around the bottom of the deck. I
used 1s for my board. Be sure to use heavy wire to interconnect them.

2013-08-11 17.49.52.jpg2013-08-11 17.50.45.jpg
author
tahitianrider (author)rf2017-04-24

Wow this looks really nice great job!

Don't you have any problem with balancing the cells while charging it?

author
rf (author)tahitianrider2017-04-25

Thanks. It was more of a prototype. Everything is held on with clear plastic 'shelf paper' that's stapled to the bottom of the board. (What you do when you don't yet have a 3D printer. And are in a hurry to try things out. :-) Not very impressive to look at up close.) The cells are wired together just like yours. Just spread out. So charging and balancing are the same process. My charger works through the balance connector and charges each cell separately.

The plan was to make replaceable flat-pack battery packs. But riding the prototype turned out to be more fun that rebuilding it. :-)

It even goes up steep hills pretty well. As long as the riding surface is smooth and clean. But that heats up the motor pretty fast.

author
tahitianrider (author)rf2017-04-25

Haha I toltally understand your excitement!! :) I always love riding mine too and it turns out to be super convenient for grocery shopping while carrying bags :) it is so difficult to push on a regular board when you carry heavy bags lol

Well the most important thing is how it performs, not how it looks ;) and yours seems to perform really well!

author
rf (author)2017-04-23

How does the motor mount hold up over time?

Do you have to tighten the bolts often?

author
tahitianrider (author)rf2017-04-24

It holds up really good ;) in fact I never had to re-tighten the bolts since I mount it. And a use my longboard a lot! I ride a lot on bumpy roads and even on wet roads something and never had an issue.

Note that this mount is the third version of my motor mount designs, and this one corrects all the flaws I found in the previous designs ;)

author
rf (author)tahitianrider2017-04-24

Great! That's certainly a major attraction of using a 3D printer -- to refine the design.

Would love to hear more about the refinement process you experienced in perfecting your motor mount.

Thanks.

author
tahitianrider (author)rf2017-04-25

It sure is!

Well, my very first motor mount was made to be bonded o the truck using epoxy steel, but this wasn't great at all since epoxy doesn't like vibrations and always ended up cracking... plus it was ugly.

My first mounts were much longer too, then I really that it was a lot better to got for a shorter mount, and use a smaller belt, I was day and night better. Then I combined those two improvements to make a shorter, bolt on mount that ended up being waaay better. Then I made a V2 of the bolt on mount with a stronger design :)

author
asaterfield (author)2017-04-24

Can i put 2 motors and 2 batteries on this bad boy???

author

Sure you can ;) but you'll need a second ESC too, and then wire the 2 ESC to the same radio controller, it's not difficult at all. But one motor is already a lot of power lol

author
Bean17 (author)2017-04-24

Hi thanks you so much this is exactly what I have been trying to find,very detailed and helpful!!! I do have a question though how do you charge it? If anyone could show me a picture that's would be great ?

author
tahitianrider (author)Bean172017-04-25

Thanks :)

You have to get a Lipo balance charger to charge the battery, (an a WT90 charge lead) then it is just plug and charge ;) a great and cheap charger is the Imax B6AC, just google it and you'll a ton for sale

author
jec0435 (author)2017-04-23

Quick FYI. Typo on the trucks. Caliber, not Caliper.

This is amazing, def. going to make this. Thanks so much for sharing your how-to!!

author
tahitianrider (author)jec04352017-04-24

Yep you are right thanks :)

Thanks a lot! I'm glad you like it, I love seeing people making things I share :)

author
jamesmack (author)2017-04-23

Thank you for sharing this! If you pull the handle on the controller all the way back to motor stop position, will this actively slow down or break the board? Or will you just coast along?

author
tahitianrider (author)jamesmack2017-04-23

This will just slow you down, it'll just stop accelerating and you'll be riding like in "neutral" on a bike or a car or just like when you pull the clutch lever. Well like a normal skateboard I should say. You can activate the break by programming the ESC though, but I'm not a big fan of it

author
rf (author)tahitianrider2017-04-23

Using braking is a little hard on the equipment. If you use it sparingly it can be okay. One wheel is not enough for much braking. It will send you off the front of the board if you hit it too hard though :-) Definitely not enough traction for much of a downhill.

author
tahitianrider (author)rf2017-04-24

Yep exactly! one motor is not perfect for using braking... except if it is a very one, but then braking might be too powerful lol

author
jamesmack (author)tahitianrider2017-04-24

Ok, thanks. Is there an instructable on how to program the ESC?

author
tahitianrider (author)jamesmack2017-04-24

Well, it all depend on your ESC, all ESC are different but it is very easy! they sell "esc programming cards/box" for all the ESC (if you buy an ESC you'll usually see the programming card for it too). And it is basically just a plug an play device, you have switches on the card to choose how you want your ESC to act, then you just have to plug it on, power it and it is done ;) it comes with full intrusctions too but it is super easy!

author
seanman3000 (author)2017-04-23

Looks great! Could it be setup to accelerate when you pull the trigger, and coast/stop when you let go of it? I'm just thinking if somebody drops the remote... thanks!

author

Yep sure! this kind of setup only depend on the ESC you are using. Some ESC (like RC Car ESC) have the setup you mention by default. Others ESC can be programmed to act like that. My ESC is a plane ESC and do not have this feature, but since I like the cruising mode this is not an issue for me

author
vaxus (author)2017-04-24

Great project.

To complete your project, do you have any suggestion on charging device for such big battery?

author
tahitianrider (author)vaxus2017-04-24

Thanks :)

A great cheap yet reliable charger is the "Imax B6AC" (just google it you'll find plenty of stores selling it). It has a 50w power output which will not allow you to charge your battery at the fastest rate it cost only $30 and is reliable. Other chargers with a 200w output will charge your battery way faster but cost more than $100. I actually have a Pro tronik AP681blc. Don't forget to get a XT90 charging cable ;)

author
Scopunk (author)2017-04-24

Great!!

About This Instructable

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Bio: I always loved making things since I was a kid! I currently make a lot of DIY drones and love 3D printing! I'm also ... More »
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