Hoverboards, once the talk of the town, have had their share of ups and downs being responsible for some 27,000 hospital admissions between 2015-2016). But one innovator, James Bruton, has taken these two-wheeled gadgets to a whole new level by transforming them into a mind-boggling omniwheeled bicycle using a 3D printer and laser cutter.
Bruton’s creation features two colossal omniwheels, all designed and crafted by him, using a combination of his DIY parts. These mammoth wheels are cleverly mounted at the ends of a sturdy plywood “bike frame,” which is split in the middle, allowing the two halves to rotate independently, just like a standard hoverboard. Take a look at the image below to help you get your mind around that description.
The maker retained the stock hoverboard motors and electronics for his creation. These motors are responsible for driving the omniwheels through a toothed belt drive. The gear ratio of the belt drive is meticulously configured to accommodate the larger diameter of the omniwheels, ensuring the hoverboard’s balance remains intact.
The end result? A self-balancing “bike” unlike anything you’ve ever seen. While the current control system relies on body weight and the manipulation of the bike’s sections, James is exploring the use of servos to tilt the hoverboard sensors for smoother and more intuitive control.
How does it move around? Is it useful as a means of transport? Take a look at the video below, and judge for yourself.
While it is unlikely that this huge orange and black hoverboard will gain any traction in the market, it’s still a great example of how 3D printing can be used to modify existing tech into wacky and fun new designs. And for those wondering if this overgrown hoverboard will be sending another user to the accident and emergency ward, then Bruton has this covered, as he has included a power cutout for added safety.
Come and let us know your thoughts on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages, and don’t forget to sign up for our weekly additive manufacturing newsletter to get all the latest stories delivered right to your inbox.