When we introduced the Ultimaker 2+ printers we asked popular modeler Jacky Wan, also known in the community as Valcrow, to create a model that would show off the new features of the Ultimaker 2+ line. He immediately came up with this beautiful wind turbine.
Like all of Valcrow's work this wind turbine model is designed to be printed in parts and snapped together without any adhesives or external fasteners. The model is of the Vertical Axis Wind Turbine type, or VAWT's as they are known by engineers. They're modern windmill designs that arrange the generator and gearbox close to the ground, making it easier for the turbine to be serviced and repaired. Because they are set up in a vertical direction the turbines can function in any direction and do not need wind-sensing and orientation mechanisms.
Check out this timelapse of Valcrow's VAWT model being printed and assembled:
For now, the model is just an aesthetically pleasing demonstration piece – but it could become so much more. The concept of an open source turbine model, that can be downloaded and then inexpensively and easily reproduced anywhere in the world, could help make small-scale renewable energy production accessible. We're not quite that far yet – this wind turbine does not contain an actual generator. But we're confident that the next steps could be taken in the near future.
Have you been inspired to create a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine of your own now? We've got you covered. The wind turbine model files are available on YouMagine and Valcrow himself has written a detailed tutorial on how to 3D print and assemble the Wind Turbine. If you print and assemble the wind turbine, please share it with the rest of the Ultimaker community in the 3D Prints section! We'd love to see what you accomplish with these models.