3D Printing a Drill-Powered eScooter

When you need to commute a short distance, there’s hardly a better choice today than an electric scooter; they’re fun, practical, and affordable. And when you need to make an electric scooter from little more than an old skateboard and a drill, there’s definitely no better tool to have at your disposal than a 3D printer. Youtube DIYer Alexandre Chappel put his 3D printer to good use to print his own drill-powered e-scooter so he can get to work in style.

When I first saw the title of the video, I expected that Alexandre printed a few brackets that would connect more off-the-shelf components made of metal, but he really commits to this build and uses very few metal pieces, just a couple bearings and axles. Besides the skateboard deck, the wooden handlebars, and the drill, pretty much everything else is printed. Well, there is the metal bar on the bottom to add rigidity because his weight broke the first old skateboard.

Rapid Production to Get Around More Quickly

Using a 3D printer for this build was by far the fastest and cheapest way to get a functional mobility device out of so few parts. Rapid iteration is critical when time is of the essence because the first design is never right, particularly with press-fit tolerances such as those required on many of the scooter parts. Using regular ol’ PLA certainly made the process cheaper and faster since it’s the easiest material to print with. And yes, it was plenty strong enough to support an adult man riding it. 

Alexandre is an adept 3D modeler and puts some serious work into this project, designing several interfacing and interlocking printed parts. The fork, head tube, and stem components are especially clever. The way he rigs up the throttle with a string is the height of human ingenuity.

It’s both entertaining and enlightening to watch Alexandre go through his DIY process on this very necessary and useful build. The results are more than a little dangerous but still totally worth it. If you’re going to try this one at home, at least wear a helmet.

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