PET MINI Skateboard is a Open Source, Recycled Electric Skateboard for urban transportation. With the goal to end stressful commutes and boost your door-to-door speed with the perfect last mile green vehicle.
PET MINI was developed based on the growing importance of creating participatory approaches to design. We must rethink how we design and manufacture the products of the future through distributed approaches and bringing the user and industry closer to the design process. This opens the possibility to use open design as a development tool and digital fabrication (fab labs) as a manufacturing process, opposed to the normal industrial process.
The design process for the recycled plastic e-skateboard began by first experimenting with the most common types of plastic waste available: ABS, PP , PET and HDPE. After understanding the mechanical and aesthetic properties of each of these materials, we discovered that the most suitable type of plastic for this project was HDPE. The plastic sheets were manufactured by the Precious Plastic team using the V4 machines
We took inspiration from the anatomy of an armadillo for the electronics enclosure, by designing a series of modular pieces along the bottom of the board. This allows both the protection of the electronic components and also maintains the flexibility of the deck, giving it the comfortable ride necessary for the city. Other commercial products lose the deck's flexibility, making it a rough ride through different urban terrains.
For the mechanical parts the components for the drive train, the motor mounts were designed and manufactured locally at VIVALAb and the pulley system were based on open design files available in Thingiverse. The recycled deck was 3D-CNC milled at VIVA Lab using Inventables X-carve.
We managed to build the PET MINI with under 500€ in materials and prototyping.The finished skateboard weighs 8kg, and is only 75 cm long. this makes it easier to transport and ride, with a top speed of 35 km/h, a range of 36km and charging time of 1-hour 50min. These characteristics make the PET MINI an ideal transportation medium.
Despite no PET was ever used during the development of the skateboard, due to it's brittle nature and poor aesthetic results during test, this name was chosen precisely to spark the conversation around the use and types of recycled thermoplastics in the design process and simultaneously it serves as an acronym for "Personal Electric Transportation" MINI skateboard.
PET MINI seeks to inspire future creatives to experiment the broadpossibilities of reusable materials. By using recycled thermoplastics and developing a variety of different products, we aim to raise awareness on the importance of taking action to this global problem and how one key tool, such as digital fabrication and the open source philosophy, can boost innovative solutions both at a local and a global level,