Duct Tape and 3D Printing The Most Portable Electric Vehicle in The World

Designed and built in Singapore, the Arc Board can be delivered overseas.

Designed and built in Singapore, the Arc Board can be delivered overseas.

Toh Wei De and Ho Hung Yi are great believers in 3D printing and duct tape. After all, that’s what they used to produce the Arc Board, labelled “The Most Portable Electric Vehicle in the World.”

Prototypes of this electric skateboard were made with available materials, including 3D printed parts and sourced materials, often held together by duct tape. The final product is a combination of locally and overseas sourced materials, including a special maple plywood for the deck.

Co-founder and industrial designer Hung Yi says, “The Arc Board is small and light enough to carry onto buses and trains, yet can cover a good distance at a speed of up to 25 kilometres an hour.” This electric skateboard is designed as Last Mile Solution – covering the distance between a public transport stop and one’s final destination.

Ginkgo3D's Andrew Loh (right) gets a preview of the all-carbon Arc Board Aileron developed by buddies Wei De (left) and Hung Yi.

Ginkgo3D’s Andrew Loh (right) gets a preview of the all-carbon Arc Board Aileron developed by buddies Wei De (left) and Hung Yi.

“We have two FDM 3D printing machines now,” says Wei De, the mechanical engineer, “one at the office-workshop and one at my home. We printed the prototype housings and the remote control with PLA.” Components were held together by duct tape until a proper mounting could be developed. As the models developed, less and less duct tape was used, and when duct tape was no longer needed, the Arc Board was ready for sale.

Together with a third partner Tan Yong Shen, the team produced the first batch of 15 skateboards and sold them all by word of mouth and personal demonstrations. Since then, the social media-savvy team has been featured on numerous media platforms.

From prototype to final product: The 3D printed housing for the batteries (right) compared with the injection-moulded production model now on sale.

From prototype to final product: The 3D printed housing for the batteries (right) compared with the injection-moulded production model (left) now on sale.

Different iterations of the Arc Board. Though the casings are 3D printed in PLA, the prototype boards are still functional –two years after they were made.

Different iterations of the Arc Board. Though the casings are 3D printed in PLA, the prototype boards are still functional –two years after they were made.

In September 2016, armed with $117,000 funding from Kickstarter, the team invested in injection moulding for their parts and electronics housings. “That’s where most of our Kickstarter funds went,” says Wei De. However, the partners still 3D print small parts like flexible covers for the charging point by themselves.

Today, as the new pure carbon Model 121C Aileron is being launched, the team is looking forward to developing new and better models of the Arc Board as well as possible kits and accessories. They also hope to get better or metal 3d printing machines and upgrading their CAD software to something like SOLIDWORKS, but finance is still an issue.

3D printed PLA remote control casing and the final injection-moulded product.

3D printed PLA remote control casing and the final injection-moulded product.

Says Wei De, the pragmatic engineer, “As a startup, we really need to get – and stretch – our funds as much as possible.” In the meantime, customers and Kickstarter investors are happy with the Arc Board, prompting this trio of young Singaporean entrepreneurs to greater business success.

Wei De with the company’s new baby – the Model 121C Aileron Arc Board.

Wei De with the company’s new baby – the Model 121C Aileron Arc Board.

 You can check out Arc Board here: https://www.arcboardsev.com

 

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