3D printed titanium is a luxury that’s probably reserved for companies like Bugatti. Since after VW’s Bugatti revealed the world’s first 3D printed titanium brake caliper, it has went on and got the innovative brake caliper tested. The test vindicated the power of titanium when under the duress of extreme heat which, if you think of it, makes absolute sense because of intense heat generated when stopping one of the world’s fastest cars, but on a skateboard, specifically the trucks? Well, lets just say it is way an overkill for a significantly less stressful application.
Anyways, that did not stop Autodesk from going ahead to design and printed some titanium skateboard trucks. The results? An ultra strong skateboard truck that is astonishingly 45 percent lighter than regular skateboard trucks. To put the 3D Printed Titanium Skateboard Trucks through their paces, Autodesk’s industrial designer Paul Sohi brought the trucks to skateboarding channel on YouTube, Braille Skateboarding, and commissioned them to ‘abuse’ the trucks. The 3D printed titanium trucks-equipped skateboard were put through a battery of tests.
The test, you know, include the usual skateboard tricks like grinding and whatnot. But the real highlight of the test was leaping off a 13-foot ledge – multiple times. Not surprisingly, the trucks survived the jumps that had previously broken regular metal trucks. It was an impressive test and a show of the potential of this technology. But there is catch: the trucks are crazy ass expensive. Each truck is estimated to cost about $1,300 which works out to $2,600 for a pair required by a skateboard. And that, mind you, is yet to include bearings, base plate, the skate deck et cetera.
$2,600+! Holy smoke! You could literally acquire a rundown, but still functional pre-loved car in Perth for that money. It is worthy to note, though, that in reality, the actual component that was 3D printed titanium was the truck’s main body. All other components are pretty much stock. It is a leap in this area, nonetheless. What’s important was, it was a proved it can be done and perhaps even more importantly to Autodesk is, it also showcased its Fusion 360’s built-in generative design function and what it can do. The truck was designed by Sohi, while Shapeways did the printing.
You can watch the entire test and also learn more about Autodesk’s generatively designed 3D printed titanium trucks in the videos below.