Machine Design

A new take on roller skates

Engineers at G. I. D. Development Corp., Yorba Linda, Calif., relied on Catia modeling software and PLM technology from IBM and Dassault Systemes to design a new kind of roller skate, the VSK8, in just nine months.

Engineers at G. I. D. Development Corp., Yorba Linda, Calif., relied on Catia modeling software and PLM technology from IBM and Dassault Systemes to design a new kind of roller skate, the VSK8, in just nine months. The skates feature four wheels, two up front and two in the rear, for a more stable ride than in-line skates. The skates also give users a lower center of gravity, with their feet below the tops of the wheels and only 0.5 in. over the axles. The axles articulate to make turning easier and have built-in shock absorbers. Acetal copolymer grinder plates let skaters do tricks, like sliding down handrails or along the edge of steps, without damaging the skate. And the wings will accommodate most shoe sizes and styles, letting skaters buckle them on over their normal shoes.

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