Depending on the specifications, an electric mountain board could cost you anything from $500 to even more than $3,000. The advantages of owning one are unparalleled, especially if you are an avid skateboarder. This cost, however, can be reduced if you can find ways to 3D print the electric mountain board parts you need and simply DIY an electric mountain board to your specifications.
Let’s take a quick look at whether or not 3D printing your own electric mountain board parts is worth the effort and why you should consider doing it.
Advantages of 3D Printing Electric Mountain Board Parts
The advantages of 3D printing your own electric mountain board parts are in tandem with the overall advantages of 3D printing almost anything. Here are some of the most important reasons you should consider going down this path for electric skateboard parts.
It Reduces Cost
One of the reasons why an electric skateboard, 4WD board, or mountain board costs so much is that they require specialized machines and skills to make them.
Yes, some companies have perfected the art of creating longboards of all kinds over the years and can afford to sell their electric longboard parts at a reasonable price, especially if they are past the R&D phase. But the issue here is that you are stuck with whatever the company decides to manufacture and any little customization leeway they may provide for the sale.
This may not be sufficient for avid mountain board riders who intend to customize their own parts.
However, this doesn’t mean that you need to start your own company and develop an entire R&D department before you can start creating your own DIY electric skateboard parts.
With the right 3D printer and a list of necessary supplies, you can print the components to build your own mountain board right at home. All it costs you is time and what you have to spend to get the necessary materials to 3D print what you need.
Faster Turnaround Time
Note that if you were to buy an electric mountain board today, you would probably receive it in the mail within a day or two, depending on your order parameters. While that is a pretty decent turnaround, the issue of customization remains the main problem. You will only get what is available on the market and not necessarily what is to your specific liking.
3D printing your own electric mountain board parts is equally as fast, if not faster, but with the added advantage of giving you what you want.
When 3D printing the parts you need to build your customized electric mountain board, all you will need to do is have a design model, which you can buy from companies such as MBS Mountainboards, a 3D printer that has the right build capacity, and a few hours to let the printer do its job.
The entire project shouldn’t take you more than a couple of days, maybe even less if you know what you want and have done this sort of thing before. This process will be faster since it isn’t as complicated as an entire manufacturing outfit where there are many departments through which the designs have to go for approval.
Lightweight and Strong Parts
In any mode of transportation, be it a car, electric scooter, or any other electric vehicle, weight is an issue that directly affects speed and mobility. Most manufacturers already use wood or plastic to make some of the necessary components that go into a mountain board, but there’s always that possibility that a manufacturer could decide to cut corners to keep the overall weight down.
This include the eventual quality of the build, but it also puts your safety at risk. Using substandard parts is a big issue in the manufacturing world, and the mountainboard production industry isn’t an exception.
You can, however, circumvent this problem by 3D printing your own electric mountain board parts. Plastic is the main material in most 3D printing projects, including making electric mountain board parts.
Not only is this lightweight, but because you are in full control of the entire process, you can ensure that it’s done to perfection and of the highest quality possible and that every part is in good condition.
Another major advantage is you can use other materials that provide specific properties such as higher durability, heat resistance, and water repellency. In short, you can use any material that you feel would make your electric mountain board much better than what is currently on the market.
Ease of Access
Due to technological advancements in this sector, 3D printers are much easier to come by now. They are affordable in easy-accessible markets online. Furthermore, the 3D templates you need to print your own electric mountain board parts are readily available online as well. All you need now is the time and technical expertise to follow instructions and print your own parts.
Note that as easy as this might sound, it will take some practice before you can print the exact parts you require and find ways to make them fit perfectly into each other. This might sound like a disadvantage, but it’s an advantage. Not only will you be self-teaching yourself a valuable skill that is already necessary in the market (3D printing), but you will also be learning more and more about what goes into making a mountain board.
That gives you a whole new appreciation for the sport and the tools you need to succeed in building the best electric skateboards.
3D printing brings one more advantage that every mountain board enthusiast would appreciate: design flexibility. It’s safe to assume that one of the main reasons you want to 3D print your own electric skateboard parts is because you want it to be as unique as possible. You can achieve that thanks to the design flexibility offered by 3D printers.
Disadvantages of 3D Printing Electric Mountain Board Parts
As beneficial as 3D printing your own electric mountain board parts may be, it still comes with a few disadvantages:
Restricted build sizes: The 3D printer you have will determine your build size. If you have a smaller capacity 3D printer, you might have a smaller mountain board or need to print so many parts, which consumes time and manpower.
Material limitation: Plastic and metal are the main materials used in 3D printing. While you can use a host of other materials to your specification, the truth is that the list of possible materials that can be temperature-controlled enough for 3D printing is quite limited at this time.
Part structure: There’s a process called “Fused Deposition Modeling” or FDM in 3D printing where you are required to print parts layer-by-layer so that they can be adhered together to form the overall part, such as the deck of your electric mountain board.
The problem with this process is that sometimes these parts may come apart under the right amount of stress, such as riding down the side of a hill at very high speeds or frequently wiping out.
This could spell bad news for durability when pushing a mountainboard truck, longboard deck, or motor mount at high speed over rough terrain and debris.
Can you 3D print your own electric mountain board parts? Absolutely.
But the process comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. It is, however, worth the effort and learning experience that comes with it.