Case Study: Hardline Scooters

Apr 26, 2011

Hardline Scooters is a manufacturer that specializes in aftermarket performance accessories for scooters. The scooters are used in many of the same ways skateboards are to perform stunts, so a wide variety of options exist to customize the equipment to your needs.

Hardlines’  main audience is a young audience with quickly changing tastes.  Relatively inexpensive, and consumable by nature, the grip tape applied to the scooter deck had the potential to be a lucrative product.   Given the number of variations in scooter designs and the constantly changing style preferences of their users, Hardline needed to find a way to produce the patterns in small batches on-demand. With half a dozen different models to fit and a dozen or more colors available, mechanical die cutting would be cost prohibitive. Drag-knife cutting wasn’t an option either as the material is very similar to sand paper and is therefore hard on blades.  Laser cutting, however was a perfect fit.  Low setup costs, and fast cycle times mean that the client can cycle patterns and deck designs as often as necessary to keep up with the rapidly changing tastes of their market.

Artifacture had never cut grip tape material, but with few exceptions (for health/equipment safety reasons) we’re willing to try anything. After some experimentation, we found a way to cut it cleanly and reliably at a reasonable cost.
Beyond the grip tape, we have also begun to customize some of their other products. The scooter wheel shown here has a black anodized hub that lasered beautifully. We have also begun exploring adding logos to the powder coated finish on handlebars.