This story is not completely about 3D printing, although it played a big role in allowing some brainy Southern California kids come up with the product the product highlighted here: the ZBoard. Maybe its just because I’m a California guy who grew up surfing, but I’m just so jazzed by this idea, now a reality, and since Makerbot just published a video about the product, I’ve got an excuse to show it to you (on this beautfiul California day when I ought to be surfing instead of blogging).
The Zboard is an electric skateboard that is controlled entirely by body weight, so no remote controls and no pushing necessary. The onboard motor does all the work for you. A 5-6 battery charge will power you along at up to 18 mph for an hour.
Here’s Makerbot’s promotion of how the Replicator has played a role in this skateboard of the future:
The ZBoard started as a class project at USC, which eventually led to a highly successful Kickstarter project in the spring of 2012. They’ve now fulfilled the Kickstarter orders and are fulfilling from their website at ZBoard.com.
So what’s the connection to 3D printing? Several of the parts to this kickass skateboard were prototyped on a Makerbot 3D printer. They continue to use a Makerbot Replicator 2 to print out new part designs and quickly see how they will work on the product. Watch the video to heat their story of how the Replicator 2 has helped move their company forward.
If I’ve piqued an interest in the board, here’s a video you’ll enjoy of a rider tooling around San Francisco: