Going downhill on a snowboard is fun. Traversing flat sections? Not so much. Maker and Google developer Matt Gardner thinks he may have solved that problem with his retractable, motor-driven wheeled device.
Here’s how he describes it:
It is a snowboard attachment which retracts to get out of the rider’s way when not in use. The attachment is quickly deployed and allows the snowboarder to power through flat sections rather than taking their bindings off and paddling or having to walk. I took a 18v drill from Harbor Freight, which had a high torque planetary gear assembly, an RC plane-brushed speed controller, and designed and printed motor mounts with adjustment, gears, and snowmobile track-like paddles. I then made a mold out of silicone and cast the paddles (which take nine hours to print) in epoxy resin. Nearly all the parts are 3D printed, and the frame was laser cut.
By the time Matt finished the project, the was no snow left so he’ll have to wait until next year to test it. Meanwhile, he says he’s going to add a 3D printed gearbox with increased torque for uphill power and wider paddles for additional traction.