Airplane Prop Car Accessory

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About: I make stuff, or at least I try. When I'm am not making things, I enjoy learning what I can in the areas of history, religion, electronics, and 3D printing.

Hi All,

A friend of mine, who is a pilot, was getting married, so me and my brother-in-laws thought up this project as a way to spruce up the newlyweds' drive-away car.

This airplane prop is a fully 3D printed assembly, except for two screws and 10 air-soft bb's for the ball bearing. Once assembled and mounted, the propeller spins via wind power as you drive. I've taken it up to 55 mph, and it works swell.

Before we get started, I would like to give a shout out to Brian Bartlow, a.k.a. TheRooster, on Thingiverse. I integrated his 608 ball bearing into the axle and front-plate of my Airplane Prop to help smooth the motion a bit. So many thanks to him and his excellent work.

Step 1: What You'll Need

Tools Needed:

- 3D Printer with minimum build volume of 7.5 in x 7.5 in x 4.5 in (190mm x190mm x115mm)

Materials Needed:

- Plastic Printer Filament (I used PLA)

- 8x 6mm BB's

- 2x Small Wood Screws

Step 2: Print the Parts

Download the STL's below and configure your gcode with your favorite CAM software. I used the following specs when printing these parts:

Layer Height: 0.15mm

Shells: 3

Infill: 35%

The only parts that should need additional support material are the Prop, Prop Blade, and the Prop Axle.

You will need to print the following number of parts:

1x Prop

2x Prop Blade

4x Blade Pin

1x Prop Tip

1x Prop Axle

1x Prop Frontplate

1x Prop Backplate

2x Plate PIn

2x Angle Bracket

2x Washer

Step 3: Assemble the Prop

Follow the Instructional Video above.

All the pin connections are press-fit. You could add some C-clips to further secure the Plate Pins if you wanted; however, the pins fit tightly enough that C-clip really aren't necessary.

After fitting the Angle Brackets onto the spokes on the sides of the Frontplate, use a lighter to slightly melt the ends of the spokes. When the plastic becomes malleable, gently use a hammer to flatten the end of the spokes to prevent the Angle Brackets from coming off.

You will notice there are 6 screw guide-holes on each side of the Backplate. These allow you to change the degree to which the Prop is angled from the Backplate.

Step 4: Time to Fly!

Alright, almost done! You are now ready to attach your fully assembled Airplane Prop Car Accessory to your car.

I used several Zip-ties looped through the holes on the Backplate, through my car's grill and under the hood to secure the Prop Assembly to my Toyota. Two loops of Zip-ties was enough to effectively constrain the Prop.

After ensuring the assembly is firmly fixed to your car, take a drive!

Thanks for reading this post, and enjoy your flight!

jlaake

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    27 Discussions

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    ohoilett

    15 days ago

    Cool! Can we see a video of it spinning while you're driving?

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    PeterJ155

    5 weeks ago

    In the UK it is not illegal to add a bonnet mascot. but the law says:-

    Regulation 53 Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 states: "No mascot, emblem or other ornamental object shall be carried by a motor vehicle first used on or after 1 October 1937 in any position where it is likely to strike any person with whom the vehicle may collide unless the mascot is not liable to cause injury to such person by reason of any projection theron."

    Section 40A Road Traffic Act 1988 as amended by the Road Traffic Act 1991 states: "a person is guilty of an offence if he uses, or causes or permits another to use, a motor vehicle.... on a road when.... the condition of the vehicle..., or of its accessories or equipment.... is such that the use of the motor vehicle.... involves a danger of injury to any person."

    I suspect that your propeller would be in breach of both of these regulations.
    In any case, most modern cars have rounded, sloped fronts to minimize the damage to pedestrians should they be involved in an accident. This device does the opposite IMHO. You would also be liable to pay damages in court.

    7 replies
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    LeslieGeeePeterJ155

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    Actually the modern car is designed to be more efficient at passing thru air to help with gas consumption. That is why before they release a new model they go thru extensive research and development and the mock up cars are put thru tests in a wind tunnel. Sorry but the rounded noses of cars are for air streaming capabilities and not for pedestrians. Same with airplanes.

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    LeslieGeeepeterjajennings

    Reply 4 weeks ago

    Hi Peter that seems to be a rating procedure in Europe. We have them here in the states and they are for info purposes. I checked the site out and did not see any mention that these ratings are enforced by law. There are many models of cars, SUVs, trucks etc and not all have a rounded hood. It all boils down to how fast the car is going and how hard the pedestrian is hit. Otherwise all vehicles would look exactly the same and there would be no need for different car companies. I will agree that in some cases the nose shape does matter but car makers make the design for profit looks and how well it cuts through air. Bottom line is dollars, pounds, etc. Let's agree to semi disagree :)

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    gcai_fwbPeterJ155

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    hmm wonder how the Rolls Royce Spirit of Ecstasy fairs?
    so if you're in the UK don't build one

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    Warped1gcai_fwb

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    From the wiki: Today's Spirit of Ecstasy, from the 2003 Phantom model onward, stands at 3 inches and, for safety, is mounted on a spring-loaded mechanism designed to retract instantly into the radiator shell if struck from any direction. There is a button within the vehicle which can raise/lower the emblem when pressed.

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    jlaakePeterJ155

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    Hmm. Thanks for the info.
    good to keep in mind for any UK travels

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    davidturner99PeterJ155

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    The creator is I suspect in North America the car is a left hooker and he uses the word "swell". The rules are probably completely different.

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    LeslieGeee

    5 weeks ago

    LOL FUNNY and a GREAT idea and if people are worried about it being in front I think the angle of the blades would make it work like a helicopter propeller so make the blades bigger get some niobium magnets and stick it on the roof lol.

    5 replies
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    BrianM606jlaake

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    Did you mean neodymium magnets?

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    LeslieGeeeBrianM606

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    Hi Biran, No, niobium magnets. :) I use them all the time.

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    BrianM606LeslieGeee

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    Okay. I just was confused because: (a) I had not heard of niobium magnets (but I had heard of neodymium magnets) and (b) when I googled "niobium magnets" it came up only with neodymium magnets. However I did find where niobuim is used for superconducting magnets. I just didn't thing superconducting magnets were available for general use.

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    alcurb

    5 weeks ago

    Nice-looking prop props hood ornament thingy!

    I was thinking that if this prop ornament becomes a legal issue, it could be mounted in the back and call it a push-prop.

    1 reply
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    jlaakealcurb

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    Thanks, yes mounting it on the rear is certainly an option.

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    KarenP177

    5 weeks ago

    I don't think you would be allowed to put anything on the front that would obscure even part of your field of vision, but it would be fun on the back. I remember in the 60's when VW Beetles were the "fun" car, and people would do all sorts of things to them, including put a fake wind-up key on the back held with a suction cup. Using your design to put a revolving wind-up key on the back of a Smart Car could be just as funny.

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    DouglasB93

    5 weeks ago

    This makes me want to make a propeller beanie for the top of a Smart Car.

    1 reply
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    jlaakeDouglasB93

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    That would be awsome, I would love to see such a remix.