fanOne of the most intriguing aspects of following the 3D printing space is that I have the opportunity to see all sorts of new, incredible creations come about which previously could not even be imagined possible with 3D printing just a couple years ago. The 3D printing space is evolving, and it’s happening at a rapid pace. With all of the new types of hardware, software, and materials being introduced on a daily basis, it makes you wonder just how hot this industry will be in the coming years.

One designer, named Rob Drummond, fortunately has a way to cools things off if they become too hot.

“A few years ago, I was interested in pushing the limits of my experience and knowledge of SLS printing,” Drummond tells 3DPrint.com. “As a proof of concept, I decided to design a model with multiple moving parts to see if it could be printed as a single 3D print containing no other material than PA 2200.”

So this is exactly what he set out to do. He decided to design a one-piece 3D printed hand-crank fan, which could cool off a user without wasting that individual’s own energy. To start off, Drummond designed the separate parts of the fan in Adobe Illustrator and then used Carrera 3D to make the model.

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“I made the handle grip rotate freely, and incorporated two sets of gear wheels so the fan blades rotate nine times for every turn of the crank,” Drummond tells us. “The primary challenge was keeping a minimal amount of space between the moving parts to keep the parts from fusing together, and to allow the gears to mesh and the handle to rotate smoothly.”

IMG_7392Then it was time to 3D print the fan, with help from a Netherlands-based 3D printing company called Oceanz. Oceanz is the largest 3D printing service center located in Northwest Europe and the first 3D printing company in the Netherlands with an ISO 9001 certification. Using a selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printer, the fan was printed in one piece over a span of approximately two hours. The results? An unbelievably amazing product that one probably would never believe was 3D printed as a single object.

As you can see in the video below, the fan is quite useful, and because it rotates nine times for every turn, it requires very little energy on behalf of the user. What do you think about this 3D printed fan? Discuss in the 3D Printed Hand-crank Fan Forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video as well as more photos below:

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