3D Printed Wind Turbine Uses Bamboo

Wind turbine

Using wood and aluminum for wind turbines is one thing, but how about 3D printing the blades and using bamboo to hold them together?

[Jeff Heidbrier] of Hero Electronics decided to try something new. He designed his own wind turbine to use cheap and readily available bamboo, with 3D printed parts. It’s a vertical axis wind turbine, unlike the typical wind mills you see generating power. The blades were printed on a Thing-O-Matic (nice to see they still exist in the wild!), and the turbine blades are about a foot long.

To make sure everything was level, he used a laser level to ensure his bearing system worked well. All in all, it looks pretty sturdy, but who knows how it will hold up to mother nature. Unfortunately there’s no clip of it actually being used outside, but I guess that just means we’ll have to wait for part 2.

No 3D printer? No problem — why not use umbrellas instead for your windmill? Or PVC and a washing machine motor…

[Thanks Jeff!]

16 thoughts on “3D Printed Wind Turbine Uses Bamboo

    1. In Colorado, we get hail this time of year – this thing wouldn’t stand a chance. I do like the idea though, as it could be used as a trickle charger for small devices when camping/picnicking/backpacking/etc.

  1. like the laser alingment. i used the same idea on a large 3 metre horizontal turbine i made to line up the blade tips works very well. the laser alignment i meant. the turnbine itself is lying in a sad heap after the tail broke and crashed into the blades.

  2. I would be more impressed if the 3D printing was kept to just the internal wing structure and that was skinned over with bamboo. 3D printing wing structures has been done several times before, but a 3D Print / Bamboo hybrid has not.
    Other than that, good work and I hope to see more VAWTs on residential homes.

  3. This design uses an existing design from Thingiverse i.e. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:241763 by Agwoan. I modified his design (alot) so that bamboo could be used for the struts. (Aluminum is outside my budget). For the blades I think Naca 0015 . This turbine must have low weight blades since it is direct drive. I had to push the Thingomatic to it’s limits for this design. A better printer such as the Lulzbot Taz 5 would make this thing bullet proof. More to come.

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