Picture of Building A Kinetic Wind Sculpture
Inspired by large 20 plus foot rhythmic metal wind sculptures, I've been trying to design and build a small, somewhat similar kind of kinetic wind sculpture using traditional construction methods such as metal and polymer clay. The designs have failed because it is difficult to visualize the kind of balanced, rotating, yet rhythmic design I want to create, and the construction of such a sculpture by traditional methods is not trivial.

Therefore, I recently I began to explore the use of 3D software to develop the sculptures I envision. This has proven very successful as a design tool because animating the sculpture allows me to see exactly how the sculpture will look when it is rotating. A 3D model also has the added benefit of being 3D printer build ready.

So, with the advent of powerful open source software such as Blender 3D, and affordable 3D desktop printers, a new generation of kinetic wind sculptures can be realized.

This sculpture requires a computer, 3D software and a 3D printer. The design is not limited to a specific size, which depends on the printer and/or the segmentation of the final sculpture. For this instructable I will show the design and pre-flight build process for a small kinetic wind sculpture, discuss adjustments to the design and then show an example of how to scale it up in size.

Here is an animation of the model I will be reviewing.

JohnD9822 days ago

What I'm trying to figure out is how to combine a wind turbine with a solar panel. That and how to make the entire thing look like art...

1-big-dog1 year ago
Awesome, instructable! Thanks for sharing!
hertzgamma2 years ago
Looks very interesting! Have you got a real 3D printed model yet?
DDMcF (author)  hertzgamma2 years ago
No I actually don't have a printer yet and maybe I should have ended with that as a caveat. I had completed most of my research on printers and was well into the design when the 3D design contest popped up. Since I have no experience printing I loaded and used the MakerWare application by MakerBot to give me a sense of how I would print it. My only real concern is warping, which I believe is minimized if printed with PLA.
Krimm DDMcF2 years ago
Nice Instructable. I've been getting an itch to do 3D print as well. I found an extruder online that looks adequate. http://www.up3dusa.com/    I've got my eye on one of these. Some day, I'll get one.
tonys1232 years ago
It looks like an champion cup. Very interesting.

zieak2 years ago
Very cool. I like the desktop model too - especially if it could pick up the draft from my computer cooling fan.
betaart2 years ago