We all want to be unique in our own way, and what better way to do that than by taking on a DIY mountain board project using a 3D printer? Yes, 3D printing your own mountain board is possible and has already been done by people like James Bruton of XRobots.
The video below highlights just one of those DIY mountain board projects by the company:
There’s no doubt that 3D printing your own build kit boards will require some technical skills on your part, but that does not mean that it can’t be done. You will also need a 3D printer with a large build volume, and some tooling made using threaded rods.
It’s the ultimate 3D printing project that you can undertake within a single weekend, depending on how prepared you are in terms of materials and technical skills. With that in mind, here are some simple instructions on how to 3D print your very own DIY mountain board or longboard – or parts for it.
What You Will Need to 3D Print a DIY Mountain Board
Every project needs to be tailored towards your specific type of 3D printer. However, if you have a 3D printer with a large enough build volume, you can build your DIY mountain board despite the varying specifications.
First things first, you will need a 3D printer that can produce pieces that are large enough to measure around 230 x 25 x 240 mm. This calls for printers such as:
Many other large volume FDM 3D printers will work too. With that in mind, here’s a list of what you will need for your DIY mountain board 3D printing project:
- A 3D printer with a large enough build volume
- STL Files
- 4x 3/8″ nylon lock nuts
- 3x 3/8″ threaded rods
- 8x 3/8″ steel flat washers
- The Mountain board truck package of your choice (provided it’s compatible with every other part you already have)
Keep in mind this is for a regular mountain board. There are other essentials you will need when following through with an electric mountainboard DIY project or electric longboard, such as a motor mount, battery pack, remote or controller, and other electronic components. You will also need different wheels for a longboard than you would for a mountain board.
Trampa Boards LTD is just one popular place online where you can find several of these components for your DIY electric board.
How to Put It All Together
Although building your own mountain board using a 3D printer will require you to possess some technical skills, it’s not as difficult a project as it might sound at first. Once you have all the parts you need, the procedure is quite simple. Here’s how you put it all together:
3D Print the Longboard Deck
This is the first of numerous steps. The best approach is to break it up into bits. Start by 3D printing the four sections of your longboard deck. You can do this using the STL files. You can find these files freely when you buy your 3D printer from companies such as LulzBot.
Note: Before you print out all four deck sections, you need to test how the threaded rods will fit. This is mostly because threaded rod fit tends to vary depending on a number of factors, including filament and the profile you use.
To save yourself a lot of headaches, start by partial printing a section of the deck and test the fit to ensure that it’s just right before printing out the rest of the deck. You may need to make a few post-processing adjustments for everything to fit just right.
Here’s a quick video giving you an overview of how to 3D print a longboard, which uses the same principles as a mountain board:
Size and Fit the Threaded Rods
Take your threaded rods (the 3/8′′ if that’s what you are using) and cut them down using the right tools (vise and hacksaw). Trim two rods to around 700mm and the third one to 820mm. Once that is done, simply insert them into the holes of your 3D printed deck parts. Do this one deck section at a time to make sure that it all fits together nicely.
Attach the Lock Nuts
Once you are done inserting the threaded rods into the 3D printed deck section, it’s time to introduce your 3/8″ nylon lock nuts and washers. Loosely attach all four to the threaded rods. Once they are in place, start tightening them slowly using a wrench.
As the nuts get tighter, you will notice that the four board sections are coming together and forming one longboard. This process would be faster if you had someone hold both ends of the longboard for you while you tightened the nuts.
Mount the Trucks and Wheels
Now that your board is assembled, it’s time to mount the trucks and wheels to the longboard. This particular part of the process will depend on the kind of mountain board truck package you buy. Some are easy to assemble and install, while others might require some technical skills and even a bit of drilling into the board.
The best part is that most of the best build kit boards come with clear and concise instructions on how to mount them on pretty much any longboard deck.
And there you have it, a fully functional 3D printed DIY mountain board. Of course, you will have to take it out for a road test before you can fully close the books on this project. Only then will you know whether or not the mountain board can take your weight, if there are any issues such as wheel bite to worry about, and whether or not you need to make any adjustments.
Why 3D Print a DIY Mountain Board?
You might be wondering why you should go to the trouble of 3D printing a DIY mountain board in the first place. After all, you could buy a fully assembled mountain board with all the necessary bells and whistles. Here are some advantages that come with 3D printing your own DIY mountain board:
This has to be the biggest advantage that comes with taking on such a project. With your own 3D printer at hand, you can customize almost every bit of your mountain board to your liking.
What’s even better is that such a project is never really completed. You can keep adding and subtracting parts as your style of riding changes.
Strong and Light Parts
In mountain boarding circles, the overall weight can be an issue. Not only does that affect speed, but it also affects how responsive your mountain board is to your commands. This is particularly crucial if you intend to perform tricks and ride downhill.
With 3D printing, you are more likely to get lighter and stronger parts for your mountain board, which enhances speed and overall performance and durability.
Ease of Access
3D printers are becoming more and more available on the market today. While there is an initial investment as far as buying the 3D printer is concerned, that’s just a one-time thing. Once you own the printer, you have the leeway to print or make as many mountain boards as you would like. You will also get better at DIY mountain board building the more you make.
Buying a ready-made mountain board is easy and the fastest way to get a rider on the road. However, if you are a hands-on person who likes to customize their builds, 3D printing your own DIY mountain board is an exciting avenue to explore. The information shared here will help get you underway.