What's Making in the Maker Space?

Drop- Through Motorised Longboard?!

Hello Makers!

Welcome to the 1st edition of 'What's Making in the Maker Space?'!
This series will feature projects and the magic happening inside our very own Maker Space!

In our very first edition of 'What's Making in the Maker Space?',
I am proud to introduce Max Chapman, a fellow Maker!
Max recently finished his Motorised Longboard project in the Maker Space, and has kindly offered to be the very first project of this series!


A longboard is another term for a long skateboard with larger wheels! As Max mentions in his blog, the 'drop- through' design refers to the mounting style of the truck, where the truck mounting plate is bolted to the top face of the board.

[Picture from Max's Blog]

This essentially lowers the ride height of the skateboard.
For all the physics enthusiasts, this results in a more equal weight distribution and a lower centre of gravity, resulting in greater stability. For everyone else, this all means that its more stable, and as Max mentions, results in more comfortable high- speed carving!

The process of building this longboard involved a lot of hard work and dedication! Max used a combination of various procedures in order to build the perfect longboard, including:

  • CAD modelling and assembly
  • 3D- printing using Solidworks assembly
  • Build a press out of an MDF base
  • Edge routing
  • Laser cutting in the UWA Makers Lab

He has kept quite a detailed recount of the project on his own blog, from the motivation behind his project to the designing of project in Solidworks and the construction of the longboard!

Check out his project journey here: Drop- Through Motorised Longboard

Questions with Max!

What was the greatest challenge in this project?
Possibly the most difficult part of this project was during the second revision of the motor mount, where I needed to cut a 5mm aluminium plate. As I don’t have a capable laser cutter or CNC router at hand, I ended up doing the job with a table scroll saw – which made for very unpleasant work as it is definitely not designed for it! After 3 or so broken blades and a lot of cleaning up with the file, the end result was ok. Wouldn’t mind a CNC router though! (next project...)

What did you most enjoy about working in the Maker Space?
I love the way the Maker Space allows you to test your ideas against a like-minded audience, and in the process gives the opportunity for other people to suggest improvements of their own. Many of my projects have been influenced a great deal by the input of friends in UWA Makers!

Are you looking to start any other projects in the future?
Of course! This project, in fact, was actually a half-baked way of temporarily using some parts (motor and VESC) left from a much larger project that had been put on hold (a 4WD electric buggy, essentially with the skateboard power system and a hub-mounted gearbox on each wheel).
This project got through the initial gearbox design and testing, but then I ran out of time (and money), so it's on the backburner.
As hinted earlier, I’ve also just finished designing a low-cost 2.5D CNC router to do jobs similar to the aluminium plate-cutting required for this project. Unfortunately, I am currently doing a semester abroad in Bristol; and while I managed to disassemble and pack my 3D printer into my suitcase, I doubt I could do the same for a CNC machine.
I am, however, revisiting the idea of building a waterproof GoPro-carrying drone that could be used to spot sharks/mantas/other cool marine creatures from the air during our freediving trips up north. I figured this would be a good (small-scale) project to do whilst in the UK!

Check out the final result!

[Video by Max Chapman]

Excited to see what you can accomplish with handy tools and guidance from the UWA Makers community? Stay tuned to the Makers' blog for inspiration, tips and updates!
A big thank you to Max for letting us share his project.

Happy Making!

Lucy :)
Makers Comms Officer