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Industrial Design

In this unit we will examine the creation of product design (skateboards) and the history of skateboard graphics.



Engineering Design


If you love to hit the half pipe with your snowboard or skateboard, then you have tested the strength and durability of laminates. Laminates are sandwiches of different materials that are glued together in layers to give strength and flexibility to an object. In this experiment, you can test if laminating wood can make it stronger and able to support a heavier load. How much weight can it take before it breaks?


One important part of studying physics is the study of forces, and how forces affect matter. One force you may have heard of is the force of gravity, which pulls us towards the earth. There are many different types of forces that exert themselves on an object.


A load is a kind of force that exerts stress on the parts of a structure. When you stand on your skateboard, you are exerting a downward force on the board, which causes stress and strain on the materials used to build the board. This type of load is called a live load, and it is very important that a structure be able to fully support a live load in order for it to be safe. When a structure is too weak to support a load, it can break due to the stress and strain that the forces exert on the parts of the structure. This can cause a bridge or building to collapse.


Engineers use the laws of physics to calculate how the forces of a load are distributed between the parts of a structure. There are two main types of forcers that need to be balanced in a structure. Compression forces push inward upon an object in a structure. Tension forces are forces that pull out from the center of an object. When you stand on your skateboard, your weight causes a load to be placed on your board, which results in compression forces on the surface of the board, and tension forces on the underside of your board.


If your board has been poorly constructed and cannot balance these forces, then the board will break under the load. One way that engineers can balance these forces is by using a laminate, or sandwiched layers of material, to distribute the forces under load. By using laminates, engineers can make structures much stronger without making them too heavy. This is great for a snowboard or skateboard, because the board will stay light and flexible for doing tricks. from


In this test project, you will use wood and glue to make a series of 7 wood laminates (long and cross grain) beams to test whether having similar grains or alternating grains of layers in a laminate will make it stronger.


To do this type of experiment you should know what the following terms mean. 

  • laminate

  • fibers

  • force

  • load

  • compression

  • tension

  • bending

  • twisting

  • stress

  • shearing



From this research, you will then create your 7 layer vaneer skateboard using the materials provided.

Board Graphics


Read article and click on each link to view board graphics.


* NOTE : You will also need further research about the history of skateboard design and graphics for Part 1 of your research assignment.
Please review the assignment sheet attached at the bottom of the page.





Banksy is a pseudonymous English graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stencilling technique.

Inspired by Banksy, your board graphic will be a photo of yourself and posterize in Photohop. 


There will be a few steps needed for this process.

1. Cut out the 7 layers of vaneer

2. Try to smooth edges 

3. Glue vaneers together

4. Use green tape around board

5. Put board on mold

6. Put into vacuum bag

7. Make sure the black seal is secure and no air can get in

8. Using the pump, remove all the air out. You will need to check

this bag every 30 min and possibly pump more air out.

9. Next day - remove from bag, remove green tape

10. Clean edges up with edger

11. Spray with matt spray.


Once the skateboard is made:


1. Follow Tutorial

2. Print out design

3. Tape up board with green tape

4. Trace design onto board

5. Use an Xacto knife to cut out all black parts

6. Spray paint

7. Varnish with high gloss


In this assignment you will create a prototype skateboard using wood glue, and 7 layers of veneer with a vacuum bag compression. 


We will examine how using prototypes can aid in the development of the final concept before mass production.

Student Examples

Industrial Design



Industrial design is a process of designapplied to products that are to be manufactured through techniques of mass production.


In class we will be watching and discussing the documentary OBJECTIFIED.


Design Boom is a great website that showcases many industrial designs, architecture, interior design, engineering design etc.



Here are a few ideas of what industiral designers design....

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