Maker takes to the tarmac on 3D-printed "Lego" electric skateboard
We've seen quite a few huge Lego undertakings over the years, including a Teardrop trailer, a Millennium Falcon and architectural wonders. But sometimes, standard bricks just won't cut it. Such was the case for Brit tinkerer James Bruton, who opted to supersize Lego bricks using a 3D printer to build a chunky, funky electric skateboard.
Bruton used brick designs from Thingiverse for his project, but scaled up to five times the size. He then designed a huge electric motor casing in 1980s Lego style, along with wheels and tires, using Fusion 360. All of the 3D-printed components are printed using PLA – in red, blue, bright yellow and gray – except for the tires, where rubbery black NinjaFlex is used. In all, the XRobots maker reckons the project took around 600 to print out the parts, including 32 hours for those NinjaFlex tires.
Bearings were fitted to each rear wheel so that the steel rod axle could remain static and serve to hold the two 11.5 Ah LiPo batteries in place. The big gray housing between the wheels is home to a Turnigy Aerodrive brushless electric motor that's reportedly rated at 1.4 kW and drives a belt which rolls one of the rear wheels. A handheld RC trigger signals the electronic speed controller mounted outside the motor casing for acceleration.
The Lego deck is actually glued together to prevent any mid-ride breakups, and extra strength added to the structure courtesy of a ply board running under the deck, which has standard skateboard trucks attached to the front. A steel tube also runs the length of the deck and means that the motorized rear wheel setup can pivot for tilt-to-turn action. The turning circle isn't exactly tight though, so the build is more suited to long straight runs than slalom.
As a final touch, Bruton replaced the skateboard wheels originally mounted on the trucks attached to the ply board with 3D-printed plastic/NinjaFlex versions for a more authentic Lego look. After the test ride, which you can see in the second video below (the first is the build itself), Bruton identified areas ripe for improvement, which will be the subject of a forthcoming video. The project is ongoing.