Intro: Custom 3D Printed Fingerboards!
A fingerboard is one of those insanely simple things that rarely fails to distract me.
I'm a skateboarder and board-builder, and after discovering OpenJsCAD, I had to create a custom skateboard modeling tool. Seeing how easily .stl files could be generated, I then made a scaled-down version specifically for printing fingerboards.
A fingerboard can be a tricky shape to print, but hopefully the simple tips contained here (and in the comments) will help you work through the challenges.
What you'll need:
- 3D printer (if you don’t have one or want to buy one, many makerspaces and even libraries have them)
- Slicer software
- Printer filament (I use PLA)
- 2 fingerboard trucks with 5 mm x 8 mm bolt pattern*
- 8 fingerboard screws*
- 4 fingerboard wheels*
- Mini Philips head screwdriver
- Mini socket wrench (2.5 mm)
*Fingerboard parts can be ordered from http://bit.ly/2fU1b29
Step 1: Open the Custom Fingerboard Designer Tool
Since 3D modeling a custom skateboard can take a while, I created a tool to speed up the process. You can access this tool via http://bit.ly/2fwIi42 (I recommend using Firefox or Chrome).
Here’s a video describing how it works for the full-scale skateboard version, which is basically the same tool, except it uses larger numbers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umFo2PCI5Es.
Simply change the numbers in each of the parameter boxes and click “Update” to render the new design.
Step 2: Generate a .stl File
Once you've designed a shape you like, you'll need to generate a .stl file of the model.
To generate a .stl of your board, click on the “Generate STL” button (leave the default settings). Then click “Download STL”.
Step 3: Prepare and Print
Import your .stl file into your 3D printer software. Your settings will vary based on what type of printer you use, but you’ll likely need to generate supports, which add structure underneath the overhangs of your board (if you didn’t have supports, the overhanging features would fall down).
It will probably take several tries and failed prints to get the settings right. Don’t give up!
Step 4: Finishing Touches
Depending on your printer's resolution, you may need to drill the holes to fit your bolts. If necessary, use a 1/16” drill bit to drill them.
Place the bolts through the holes and screw the trucks in. Place the wheels on the trucks and screw the nuts on.
Have fun! If you have any tips you think might help others, please leave those in the comments :).