Desktop Windmill

Introduction: Desktop Windmill

This instructable was created in fulfillment of the project requirement of the Makecourse at the University of South Florida ( The purpose of this instructable is to show how to build a windmill from 3D printed parts. The windmill will be powered by a stepper motor which is run using an Arduino.

Step 1: The 3D Parts

(All 3D parts are shown in the images)

Structural Parts:

1) The first part is the main structure of the windmill. It is about 4.5 inches tall and has a 2 inch base. The center of this is hollow to allow for internal parts.

2) The next part is the roof of the structure. It has pegs that fit into holes on the top of the first part. It is about 1 inch tall and about 1.5 inches wide. It also is hollow to allow for the internal parts.

3) The windmill fan has 4 blades and is about 4 inches in length.

Functional Parts:

4) The stepper motor will be underneath the structure. The next part is a cylinder that is about .15 inches tall and fits into the hollow section of the windmill smoothly. On top of that cylinder is a ~4 inch long piece that is used to connect this part to the next. This part has a hole so that the stepper can rotate it.

5) The next piece fits onto the top of part 3 and is a gear which runs perpendicular to the structure.

6) This part is a smaller gear that will be perpendicular to the previous gear in order to cause rotation about a different axis.

7) This is the piece that will connect part 5 and the Windmill fan itself. It will fit inside the roof of the windmill. It is a cylinder that the gear will be able to slide onto and become superglued into place.

Step 2: The Circuit

The circuit for this is fairly simple. The stepper motor is hooked up to its driver. Then hooked up to pins 8-11 in addition to ground an a 5v power supply on the arduino.

Step 3: The Code

The code for this is very simple. The arduino comes with a sketch for the stepper called "one revolution" This can be easily modified to achieve the code shown in the image. In addition one could alter the speed of the motor within the sketch.

Step 4: Final Product / Comments

Your final project should look like this image. This device should rotate the fan blades constantly until turned off. The most common source of error in this will be the gears. If they do not line up properly it will be difficult to turn the blades. For those who wish to have faster spinning blades a higher power motor or more efficient gear system must be used. Hopefully this has helped you in some way.

Be the First to Share


    • First Time Author Contest

      First Time Author Contest
    • Remote Control Contest

      Remote Control Contest
    • Meatless Challenge

      Meatless Challenge