3D Printed Wind Turbine for Urban Areas Charges Batteries and Small Electronic Devices

Share this Article

Whether you’re trying to get your home at least partially off-the-grid or are just looking for methods for using less electricity and saving money, Instructables contributor Jeff Heidbrier, of heroMansfield, Texas, has a 3D printed DIY project for you. Heidbrier–or “Soliton,” which is his Instructables screen name–designed what he calls “an Experimental/Educational Wind Turbine.”

Heidbrier’s Hero Electronics Wind Turbine HE01 is what is known as a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT). This particular design capitalizes on urban winds, which tend to come from different directions. It doesn’t have a “tail,” so it doesn’t need to shift position in order to begin spinning. It can be used to generate electric power for tasks like charging batteries or powering small electronic devices. The wind turbine is designed for low speed, so Heidbrier warns against trying to use it in areas of high wind speeds. In fact, it may sound completely counterintuitive, but if you live in an especially windy place or, conversely, a place where there’s little wind on an ongoing basis, you may be better off using solar power as your energy alternative.

3d printed parts turbineThat said, Heidbrier seems to have modest and realistic expectations for the small wind turbine he designed and, in addition to being a moderately useful energy source, the project should provide a great learning experience.

This small wind turbine can be constructed using simple hand tools and the 3D printed parts can be printed in either ABS or PLA thermoplastic.

Heidbrier provides a list of materials and electronic components you will need for this project. Note that he warns that “variations in components, tolerances, or construction methods may cause the performance…to differ.” It seems best to go with the items on his list and follow his instructions closely. Here’s the supplies list:

  • Stepper motor with 1.4 or 1.8 deg./step, 12 v with 5mm shaftdiagram
  • Aluminum tubing 7/32 x .014 K&S – 5.56mm x 355mm. K&S stock #1112
  • 12” of aluminum tubing 3/16 x .049 K&S stock #3060
  • 3’ of aluminum tubing 5.54mm (not needed if you are gluing the blades together)
  • 5mm – 3” steel rod
  • Black electrical tape
  • 3 bamboo or aluminum rods 18” long, 15mm diameter
  • 5 M31-10 socket head cap screw with nuts, McMaster-CARR 0.5mm pitch
  • Adhesive: hot glue, epoxy of any type
  • Hardwood dowel rods diameter .378 x 3, approximately 18” long

turbine mainThe comments section following Heibrier’s instructions includes some positive feedback as well as a video of the wind turbine in action. Apparently, one of his friends doubted the operational viability of the device, remarking, “You can’t do that…It will never work.” The confident and clearly competent maker’s rebuttal is amusing: “So, after it was completed, I tried everything to keep it from working but, no luck, it worked anyway!”

Let us know what you think of this bamboo-based turbine in the Urban Wind Turbine forum thread at 3DPB.com.

 

Share this Article


Recent News

CTI Biotech Unveils Two 3D Printed Skin Models for Commercialization

Australian Navy Starts Pilot Program with Large-Format WarpSPEED Metal 3D Printer



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Titan Robotics and Jabil Collaborate for New Pellet 3D Printing Formulations

Production additive manufacturing solutions provider Titan Robotics Ltd., which just announced the release of its new large-format, dual pellet extrusion Atlas 3.6 3D printer at last week’s Formnext Connect, has...

Formnext 2020 Roundup: New 3D Printing Hardware, Materials and Partnerships

In a typical year, the Formnext event sees people travel from all over the world to Frankfurt for a four-day showcase, loaded with breakout sessions and networking events, highlighting the...

Formnext Connect: Titan Robotics Releases Large-Format Atlas 3.6 3D Printer with Dual Pellet Extrusion

At Formnext Connect, Colorado company Titan Robotics, Ltd., which designs and develops large, production-scale AM solutions, has introduced its newest and largest 3D printer. The heavy-duty Atlas 3.6, with a...

Laser Wars: 3D Systems Working on Nine-Laser, 1m x 1m x 600mm Metal 3D Printer

Yes, yes, yes: the laser wars are here! For years everyone had single-laser powder bed fusion (PBF) systems. Then, there was double and, for a few years, quad-laser systems were...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.