Behold the "DREMELCOPTER", perfect gift for the guys at the shop to share for break time, too bad I didn't finish it in time for Christmas. It's kind of a spin-off (no pun intended) from my Convection powered, counter rotating, kinetic sculpture. Originally I hadn't planned on using a Dremel tool for power, I was going to cannibalize an old r/c car for the motor and speed controller, radio and servo. I forgot that I donated all my r/c stuff to the machine shop of a community college a few years back.

   This baby can launch a 5 inch diameter fan well over a hundred feet up. The wind can make for lost fans too, already lost the first two on it's maiden outdoor launch session.
The first test launch was conducted inside my shop. My intention was for it to be a very slow speed launch to check if the spindle would disengage from the drive properly. The Dremel was on slow speed but the fan wasn't. Two flourescent tubes later the second test launch, this time holding my hand a few inches above the fan because I had no more spare flourescent tubes, glad I wore a glove. Check back soon cause as soon as the wind stops I'm goin' outside with a video cam!


12"x12"x1/8" birch plywood
5-1/2"x15"x1/4" poplar
8"x8"x1/4" MDF
6"x6"x.037 birch plywood
3ft. length of 1/4" oak dowel
1-1/2"x1-1/2"x1/16" aluminum flat stock
1/8"x2-3/4" soft copper tubing
3pcs. 1"x1/4" self adhering rubber pads
3pcs. #6x3" FH machine screws, nuts and flat washers
1/8"x 2-1/2" steel round stock (I cut the shank from an old drill bit)
Dremel tool
Titebond lll wood glue
masking tape


laser cutter/engraver (all of the wood parts in this Instructable were laser cut)
wire feed welder
needle files
router table/drum sanders
Dremel tool w/ drum sanders, cut-off wheel, carbide burrs
1-1/2" hole saw (I added a cut in the drawing file, so this is no longer needed)    
countersink bit
vise grips (swivel pad)
small paint brush
sand paper
Scotchbrite pad
5/16" wrench
flat screwdriver  

Step 1: Short movie

    Sorry I havn't been able to take a movie of this outdoors yet, it's been very windy the last few days. Here's a short video taken indoors. I modified the fan unit by adding a sharpened point to give it a more dramatic effect and to give you an idea the force this has upon lift-off. I will be adding a video taken outdoors as soon as the wind stops blowing. Again I'm sorry I couldn't post the video as promised.     Pete 
Very nice concept. <br>
<a href="http://e-joburi.com/" rel="nofollow">joburi gaming<br> <br> C</a>an you upload a PDF of the drawing, it will really help.
There's already a PDF file.
I like how you labeled the photos wish there was better way to to do that like actually having a label photo function
how do you plug it in wile its flying
the dremel itself doesnt fly, just the propeller. Its like one of those toys where you pull a string and a fan flies up
lol thats hilarious. Nice build too, I want one!
agreed, hilarious, and it also looks like a lethal weapon, the way it flew into the ceiling....
i haven't seen a video of this, but is this one of those Pull-String Helicopters or the helicopters that are a prop and a stick with the grip; but in dremel tool spinning form?
There's a video attached, were you not able to veiw it?
Highly recommend uploading a copy to youtube (or other vid site) -- keep the copy here, but to lighten the bandwidth burden on ibles, and make an embeddable object -- 2 of my 3 video players wouldn't play your wmv file.
It just shows me a green screen
oh, i didnt see the attachment...usually people have it on youtube or another video site.
I'm gonna make my fins like the osprey military aircraft's. Well as close as I can get.
I would recommend either a rim around the blades or have them balanced. Building something from wood that accelerates as fast as this can grenade itself if you're not careful with the design.
I would like to make a copy of your project but can't open the corel draw drawing. seems that my old computer isn't up to the task. I tryed to download a free version of corel draw. That didn't work for me. How about a PDF of the drawing that can be opened on any computer.
I'll add PDF, DXF and DWG files in a few minutes.
I, at one point in time, had two items that did not work: a dremel with a burnt-out/damaged speed control, and a lamp with a smashed socket and a dimmer knob in the base. I discarded most of the lamp but kept the base and power cord and dimmer, and mounted a 110 receptacle in the base. I took apart the dremel and discarded the speed control and replaced it with a piece of tin cut from an old computer case. The dremel was locked at full-power, but the lamp base's dimmer would let me control the speed from nothing to full. It worked out very well. You could use a similar device to finely control your dremel to much lower speeds.
The fan launches best and most reliably with the Dremel at full speed, but I'm still going to use your idea to power my workbench Dremel. Thanks
Do you have a video?<br> <br> L<br>
Again sorry for the delay, still too windy. Here's a short clip taken indoors.
<br> That's impressive, thanks.<br> <br> L<br>
The wind is blowing with 30 mph gusts right now, will take a video when the wind stops.
Also seconded.
Can't wait to see it in action!
The wind stopped this evening, I'll post a video tomorow.
Any word on that?
Sorry for the delay, it's been too windy to launch outdoors. Here's a short video taken indoors.
I think you forgot the video :)
It's in there just after the drawing file. WMV
Very cool, thanks
Lol thanks for the safety warning, I gotta try this.
I've got some tweaks for you if you want them get back to me.
does it fly? that is the question
Check out the short clip taken indoors.
Perhaps using only two or three fan blades, reducing the blade pitch, or adding weight will make finding the fan more likely.
I'm going to be tweaking the fans in many different configurations so thanks for the input, I'll be using some of your suggestions.
I do not even understand why you need the launcher part. Can't you shorten the dowel to about .25 inches and loosley grip it with the collet and it will take off and pull itself out of the dremel?
Two reasons: Launching something made from wood that spins a couple thousand rpm would be foolish to do from a hand held tool. <br>Instrutables with wow-factor get more views.
Where can I find the program that DREMELCOPTER.cdr was writen in? <br>
I can give you the drawing in just about any format, just name it.
.cdr is a Corel Draw file (a vector graphics format), although it could have been created in something else.
You could also carve a rectangular key into the center of the copter blades and carve a mating part into the end of a dowel and chuck that into a dremel or drill. The copter will disengage and fly off when it reaches the proper speed.
:O<br>everyone but me and perfectstar04 are pros
Anyone in the UK who fancies one can get it laser cut by me.
For free?
Dunno. Lets see if there are floods of interest.....<br><br>Steve

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