Top 5 Constraints: Electric Longboard

Hello All!

Constraints help us define our problems and often times are the first step to brainstorming solutions. I wanted to explore my top constraints regarding the electric skateboard to get a good grasp of what I need to worry about.

The first constraint is the aesthetic. What does it look like? What can I do through combinations of paint and design? I have been very fascinated by outer space and to that order I would like to try to replicate that on my longboard. I have seen some blogs that capture how to do this (including the one pictured in this blog), but I have a few different ideas in mind. One of my teammates, Alex, has experience with designing so I plan to use her skills for this task as well.

Another constraint is the cost. One of the classic constraints in engineering problems, I am driven by the fact that I want this project to be feasible with a college student budget, which would be around $300.

The third constraint that I am dealing with is the time. Some would argue that this constraint is more important than cost. I have to take into account that I have other classes and being a teaching assistant also to take care of, the machine shop is also open only at certain times during the day, and my teammates would also only be able to volunteer a certain amount of time to my project.

The fourth constraint for my project will be the technical skills. Some processes require a lot more knowledge about motors and batteries than I possess. However, with a degree of bachelors in mechanical engineering, I think this would not pose a huge problem for me.

Finally, the last constraint for this project would be the durability of the electric longboard. Ideally, I would want this to last at least three years, and I would compete directly with the cost constraint. However, I think I can try and find a balance between the cost and quality so that I can achieve my goals regarding my budget and my durability.

Source: http://www.theskateboarder.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Space-Galaxy-Longboard-Skateboard.jpg

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6 Comments. Leave new

  • Thank you for pointing this out. I myself like to weigh the pros and cons when starting a new project or buying new gadgets or rides.

    Reply
  • Siddharth Nigam
    Morgan Ulrich
    March 13, 2017 8:39 am

    Hey Sid! I like that you address the longevity of your project. Creating something to stand the test of time is important and definitely a constraint that can be overlooked.

    Reply
  • Siddharth Nigam
    Avery Anderson
    March 12, 2017 10:58 pm

    This will be quite the undertaking. I’m curious to know what your design specs are, like top speed, acceleration, weight limit, etc. and how you plan to design around that. $300 is a pretty healthy budget, but you might be cutting it close with all the different components that will need to go into this. I look forward to seeing the final product!

    Reply
  • Siddharth Nigam
    Katherine Yarnell
    March 12, 2017 6:39 pm

    Wow! This will be a really cool project to see when it’s completed. I imagine an electric long board would be something very convenient to have on campus. I really like the galaxy/space design. Could you make it rechargeable? That would be really cool!

    Reply
  • This is an awesome idea! It sounds like it would be a lot of fun, not to mention convenient, to have an electric longboard. Would the electric motor be an assist to the user’s input power or would it do all of the work? I agree with the time constraint you listed as being perhaps more restrictive than the money. I didn’t really think about this for my own project, but time is definitely more scarce/valuable for the scope of my project. After all, if we assume a typical engineering charge rate of $120/hr, the amount of time we put into these projects far outweighs the material cost. It sounds like it’ll be a challenge to make this durable because of the usage conditions. It would have to be weather-proof, shock-proof, etc. I know there are battery packs out there made for dirt bikes that are water-tight and have relatively good shock-resistance. I’m not sure about motors, especially in your budget range, but you might be able to 3D-print a form-fitting skid plate to protect the motor and electronics from the road hazards. I’m looking forward to seeing the final product!

    Reply
  • This is an interesting idea. I’ve seen many electric skateboards on campus but none of them have a cool design. If you were to create a better design for skateboards while keeping it under budget, it would be well worth it.

    Reply

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