Introduction: 3D Printed Wind Turbine Uses Bamboo

About: Electrical Engineer , 25 years in Aerospace- General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin , L3 . Established Hero Electronics.

An Experimentor/ Educational Wind Turbine that requires simple hand tools to construct. You must have a 3D printer that can use ABS or PLA plastic to complete the HE-1. You will also need to obtain the components called for by this document. This turbine is designed for low speed and should not be used in areas of high wind speeds. Wind Turbines can be dangerous . HERO Electronics shall not be held reponsible for any losses or damages or personal injury resulting from its use. Variations in components , tolerances , or construction methods may cause the performance of the HE-1 built in accordance with the instructions herein to differ.

The HERO ELECTRONICS WIND TURBINE HE-1 is a 3D printable Vertical Axis Wind Turbine or (VAWT) that can be used to generate electical power for charging batteries or powering small electrical loads directly when outdoor conditions are right. This design takes advantage of urban winds that tend to come from various directions as opposed to straight line winds. This type turbine has no tail so it does not have to shift position before beginning to spin. This Turbine can be built using Aluminum tubing or struts and even Bamboo as shown ...

Step 1: Print the Plastic Parts or .STL's

Download the 3D print models or .STL's to your computer from included with these instructions , print each one out.

Step 2: Plastic Part Details

You must print six "unions.stl's" total for three blades, two per blade. Each blade will be made up of three "bladex3.stl" files. See fig (X). Remember to set the Infill and other parameters to make the printed parts as light as possible. This may take a few attempts but will produce a good working turbine. If you are not familiar with this , don't worry the files will still print . The prints will be heavier and stronger therefore it's a compromise between performance and strength. You could drill out the blades, but this is time consuming. The unions are the two small wing like structures in the top Picture. (the center hub is the larger piece). You may want to print the lower hub with infill set higher to make it very strong.

Step 3: Main Hub Diagram

Note the Lowerhub is larger than the top hub. This was done on the original HE-1 turbine to accomodate bamboo struts. The hub size depends on the diameter of struts used. The original HE-1 used 15 millimeter Dia struts approx 18" long. You can reduce the length of the struts to save weight.

Step 4: Upper Assembly

The top struts are hardwood dowel .378" or 9.68 mm. You can use hot glue to set the dowels into the top hub. This assembly is mounted to the lower hub assembly when all the blades are attached to the lower hub using the large rods or struts.

Step 5: Assemble the Blades

Each blade is together with short lengths of hardwood dowel and aluminum tubing listed in the parts list. Later you can use acetone glue or other adhesive to glue each blade section. You could print the entire blade in one print but printing out 3 sections per blade allows you to use small build envelope printers.

Step 6: Stepper Motor Z Coupler

The HE-1 uses a stepper motor as it's generator. These can be pulled from old printers and other consumer junk. See if you can find a small 12volt with 1.8 or 1.4 deg steps type motor . Note : the stepper motor must have a flat in order for the Z_coupler to lock on to it. More on this later.

Step 7: Z_ Coupler

You will lock the Z_coupler to your stepper motor using an M3-10 bolt and nut.

Step 8: Lock Steel Rod Into Z Coupler

Then install another M3 nut into the top of the Z coupler. Place the 5.05 mm 3” steel rod into the top of the Z coupler. Mark the place on the steel rod where you must grind or file a flat in order to lock the rod into the Z coupler. Lock the steel rod into the top of the Z coupler.

Step 9: Rubber Tubing Placement

Place the 1.5 " rubber tubing over the steel rod. This will make the turbine "give in the wind “ a bit instead of cracking over time. You may want to cut the tubing in half to help it slip over the steel rod. Note that this rubber will center itself inside the A coupler. This rubber cushion produces some wobble but buys the turbine ruggedness.

Step 10: Main Hub Mount

Slide the lower blade assembly over the coupler (A) and allow a small portion of the coupler to exit the top of the bottom hub.

Step 11: B1 Coupler Bolts

Place the upper assembly over the rubber tubing and tighten the two bolts of the(B1) coupler. Do not over tighten the socket head bolts.

Step 12: Turbine Checks

Spin the turbine by hand to check for wobble. You can use a laser level in set for line mode to check the blade tracking.

Step 13: Parts List

Step 14: 3D Print Files

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