I'm not a skater, but I was talking to a friend about crazy ideas for a prototyping project to push the boundaries of what I could make. He had his board with him at the time and suggested I make one. I thought it was a silly idea at the time but I later combined it with some car sketches where I was playing around with hub-less wheels for fun. I figured out a way to make it functional and started refining from there. Movies like Tron Legacy and existing hubless bike designs inspired the form.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
This is a longboard concept which challenges the traditional form of a skateboard. The center-less wheels provide an unusual focal point on an element which is usually purely functional and the elegant flowing form and rising deck is unlike anything done before.
The underside of the deck features a parquetry inlay graphic for a subtle, high quality finish.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
This longboard handles much the same as any other with a pivot system adapted from an existing longboard truck. The rising deck is made with a flexible glue which gives great shock absorbing properties. This combined with much larger wheels that glide over cobbles and cracks, makes for a very comfortable ride on any surface.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project was completed over 14 weeks along with other projects during the university semester. It was then exhibited at the RMIT Industrial Design end of semester exhibition.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Vehicle, Mobility and Transportation Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The Aluminium parts were mainly milled using a 3 axis metal CNC with some manual milling. They were then hand finished. The tires were cast onto their rims in a flexible polyurethane resin. For the deck, a wooden mould was made on the CNC. The individual Canadian Maple veneers were then steamed, glued up with a flexible urethane glue and vacuum pressed over the mould. The American Walnut face veneers were then applied with the hand cut parquetry inlay of Tasmanian Oak before shaping.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Length: 1250mm Width: 265mm Height: 170mm
Zenyth, hubless, wheels, longboard, skateboard, parquetry, Tron
Research was conducted through consultation with specialists, observation of similar processes and continuous experimentation.
Selecting an appropriate material for the tires
Determining grade of aluminium to suit.
Consulting experienced fabricators, woodworkers, watching process videos, seeking advice from forums.
Steaming, forming and laminating different types of plywood.
This is only the first prototype, many aspects could be further researched and refined.
I had to completely design and generate a CAD model within two weeks to get the machining process started for this project. I only had access to one metal CNC machine within the university with many other people wanting to use it. This made timing difficult and unpredictable. Because of the complexity of what I was doing in such a short time there was little room for experimentation and in most cases I only had one chance to get the components right.
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
Nicholas Perillo, 2015.