The enormous journey and effort to realize our own unique vision of electric skateboarding with the Mellow Drive feels to us like we’ve founded an orchestra with more than 300 beginner musicians. Even though the unwritten symphony was as clear as a bell in our heads and each prototype along the way tested true, each part and movement had to be designed, developed, produced and tested separately before being brought together to be reviewed again and again, to finally make beautiful music.
Hardware is Hard
With such complexity, constant modeling, prototyping and testing are essential, since the margin of error for hardware start-ups is small. Any minor problem affects other components, spiraling into larger costs, delays and issues. Although even Mellow's software was programmed and written from scratch, hardware adjustments and recalculations were the most expensive and time-consuming, with re-tooling (the creation of molds for Mellow's custom parts) taking the longest.
Staying lean and local – the flip side of “Made in Germany” – was critical to squashing bugs before or as they appeared, enabling us to optimize without compromise. This is something that’s only possible when your business partners are hours, not days, away. A common professional background and culture facilitated the search and selection of the best suppliers and manufacturers in the European market.
Upgrade not compromise
Our small team worked with multiple separate companies to upgrade each sub-system with features far beyond the initial Kickstarter specifications. The frame, hanger, motors, battery pack and speed control electronics have received add-ons like Goretex lining, anti-vibrational insulation and flame-retardant reinforcements. At the helm, Mellow and TQ Systems directed and quality-checked each ongoing “thread” to make sure final assembly would be smooth and seamless. Coordinating the delivery of each component and subsystem was an enormous task, allowing for the inevitable adjustments and modifications needed along the way.
Mellow’s Drive Wheels are an example of the thoughtfulness that went into each iteration in our engineering processes. Transformed completely from a simple layer of polyurethane into a camouflaged PU-sidewalled assembly fused onto an aluminum/composite core with increased heat and torsional resistance, they are now even easier to change than normal skateboard wheels.
As we bring it all together into production, taking full advantage of our tight-knit suppliers network to eliminate any last minute hiccups rapidly, Mellow engineers are already planning the next upgrades and improvements that riders will receive as future free updates. Feedback from enhanced field testing is spectacular, promising that this long and difficult journey was just a prelude to what will surely be an exciting Endless Ride. Find out what comes next and where to find future reviews by staying in touch with the blog<
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