It doesn’t get any more personal transportation than monowheels and—as a heavy monowheel (InMotion V10F) user myself— I can enthusiastically confirm it. If anything, the market is so young, and there are already so many different models available, that it’s very hard to find proper monowheel accessories such as bumpers, protection, padding and other customizations.
Enter 3D printing.
As in other emerging customization segments that we’ve covered in the past, monowheels (aka unicycles or EUCs) offer a unique opportunity to obtain a significant market share as an early mover, in what is sure to become a major segment of personal mobility.
In the EUC & Pizza Facebook group, there is a user that has started 3D printing custom accessories for his and his friends’ monowheels. Either paddings or bumpers, stands and other types of protections: there really are a number of opportunities and 3D printing technologies now offer sufficient quality and material selection (flexible elastomers or tough composites) to build a serious business out of a passion.
A new business
Monowheel riding is already a global phenomenon and it’s growing fast. Skip forward a few days and, via the international Facebook Group Electric Unicycle dot org EUC, we connect with the EUC Army store. The EUC enthusiasts site which provides a number of accessories (bumpers, pads, grips), available via Thingiverse and 3D printed, for the new, top of the line Veteran Sherman Sherman, a beast that can go more than 85 Km/h, with up to 200 Km mileage. In one of the product images it even show the Creality Ender 3D printer used to 3D print the accessories, demonstrating that they can be printed relatively easily, with a super low-cost machine. If this is not a new business in the making I don’t know what is.
Customizing the rider
And it’s not only about customizing the monowheel either. The rider becomes an integral part of the machine, providing all the necessary hardware and control systems for steering, accelerating and breaking. And the rider needs custom protections and devices. For example, smart glasses can provide (much needed) rearview vision while there could be an argument for 3D printed connected devices to wear on the hands (along with wrist protections) as blinkers. Custom 3D printed helmets could also provide better protection without increasing weight with a full motorcycle helmet.
We are just at the beginning of a new revolution in both personal mobility and personal manufacturing. There is no better time to get on board.
In case you’d like to learn more about the leading monowheel manufacturers and models, the current market leaders are KingSong, InMotion, Gotway, Begode and Leaperkim, and now the Veteran Sherman. The 3D model for the bumper in these photos, for the Gotway monowheel, is available on Thingiverse at this link.