UMD student 3D prints prototype, now raising $25K for skateboard wheel guards [VIDEO] - Technical.ly Baltimore

Creative

Aug. 6, 2013 11:30 am

UMD student 3D prints prototype, now raising $25K for skateboard wheel guards [VIDEO]

Crowdfunding of the Week is a regular series highlighting the technology, creative and innovation crowdfunding campaigns in Baltimore that might be worth your support.

Crowdfunding of the Week is a regular series highlighting the technology, creative and innovation crowdfunding campaigns in Baltimore that might be worth your support. This week’s project comes from Kickstarter. See other Crowdfundings of the Week here

A hard turn on a longboard, a skateboard’s bigger brother, can sometimes cause the bottom of the board to collide with the top of one of the front wheels, suddenly stopping the wheel and sending the rider tumbling to the pavement.

That’s what happened to University of Maryland, College Park, senior Chase Kaczmarek (he had the bruises to prove it), and it’s what inspired him to create Wheel Shields, aluminum guards that screw onto the truck axles of longboards and effectively cover the tops of the wheels, eliminating “wheel bite” by preventing the bottom of the board from making direct contact with the tops of the wheels.

For a year, Kaczmarek, 21, and his cofounder, fellow UMD senior Victoria Lee, tested out a variety of designs for Wheel Shields — they 3D-printed 20 prototypes using a Solidoodle 3 before arriving at a final design — and they’re now ready to produce Wheel Shields worldwide.

To do that, they’re raising $25,000 via Kickstarter.

So far, Kaczmarek and Lee have sustained their business with money won at this year’s Pitch Dingman Competition, run out of UMD’s business school, and UMD’s inaugural Business Model Challenge.

Chase Kaczmarek, center, after winning $2,750 in startup funding at this year’s Pitch Dingman Competition.

Kaczmarek, a Gaithersburg native, has patented Wheel Shields and garnered the endorsement of Robert Thomson, who holds the Guinness World Record for longest distance traveled on a skateboard.

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Watch Wheel Shields’ Kickstarter video:

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