The AirEnergy3D Project is an open source, 3D printed wind turbine that was developed by Omni3D. Each turbine can generate up to 300 watts of electrical power and is, moreover, fully transportable via backpack. This means that not only could these small units be used at home, they could conceivably be taken camping as a means of producing energy for a campsite. The team has already created a successful proof of concept and has turned to Kickstarter to request the funding necessary to finalize the design and initiate production.
Omni3D, formerly RapCraft, is a 3D printer manufacturing company from Poznan in Western Poland. They specialize in the production of 3D printers for both professional and consumer usage. In addition, they provide consumables and spare parts that can be used in any printer. They have a strong commitment to open source technology and to spreading the 3D printing gospel far and wide. Their commitment to the public good has been demonstrated in previous projects such as the creation of a prosthetic beak for a penguin at the Warsaw zoo.
The team hopes to develop a basic kit that is easy to transport and establish. The plans are also all available for those with a DIY mentality who want to create their own kit with things that they can find at their local stores. In addition to the wind turbine itself, the team is working to create a mounting system that will allow their creation to be installed in a variety of locations and be resistant to a wide range of weather conditions.
The hope is that through the creation of these types of simple technologies, electricity can become more accessible to a greater number of people. The team cites as part of their inspiration, the proposed $7 billion in funding by the Obama administration to help bring electrical power to the people of sub-Saharan Africa. Acknowledging the good intentions of this initiative, Omni3D co-founder Konrad Sierzputowski, points out some of the difficulties facing any such initiative:
“There is a problem with power-lines there and the days simply end when the sun goes down. The only option is to transport batteries and charge them at a station. Imagine having to go 10 miles just to get electricity for your desk lamp!”
The team’s commitment to the idea of free, green energy for everyone is demonstrated in the heart of their Kickstarter campaign which promises that for every £2,500 (approximately $4,200) donated, they will provide one fully functional AirEnergy3D with preprinted propellers to an African village in need. Sierzputowski has also recognized that this innovative energy creation system is not just the answer to the lack of electrical infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa but also answers the call for the creation of cleaner energy sources in places with already highly developed electricity distribution systems.
“Western countries constantly pollute our planet with waste from nuclear and traditional fossil fuel plants. We simply waste electric power and slowly kill our planet. So, let’s bring clean, renewable, and mobile energy to every doorstep around the world.”
While 300 watts may not seem like a lot of power, it is enough to power a couple of mobile devices or a few lights. You can plug into it directly using a USB cord or plug it into your wall socket so that others can use it at the same time. In addition, there is the possibility of storing energy in a battery further expanding its usefulness as a go to energy source.
The team is hoping to raise a total of £19,000 (almost $32,000) through Kickstarter in the next 33 days. They have received £1,131 (nearly $2,000) to date. Higher funding levels include an AirEnergy3D basic kit itself.
The ultimate likeability of the team comes through because of their passion for this project and their good-natured humor. Donation rewards range from a ‘thank you’ phone call to a personalized trophy because, after all, as they note, “there’s nothing that says YOU more than…well, your name on something!” They offer everything short of flying over to give backers a hug, although I would not be at all surprised to find that if you were in the area they would be glad to provide one.
Have you backed this project or are you considering it? Let’s here you opinion on this project in the AirEnergy3D forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the Kickstarter pitch video below:
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