See it in motion here!
This is a compact wind powered generator that can fit in a backpack. A stake allows you to set it up anywhere where the ground is soft enough to poke in to it. Designed to be 3d printed simply and with minimal additional parts (and to look cool). Ideally, this will charge a power bank which can be used later to charge up various devices.
There are 7 pieces total to print, along with a few additional parts that can be purchased easily online. You may need to adjust the size of some parts by +/-1% depending on your printer for a snug fit. I also recommend small amounts of glue to make it super solid. It's possible to print without supports but the print will need some clean-up. I used very light support structure during the print mainly to help with where the large gear attaches to the body using a skateboard bearing.
While a 250mL can is great for drinks, it's not the largest wind-catcher, so my design goal was to maximize power output from the windmill by using gears. The small gear which is attached to the DC motor spins twice for every one spin of the larger gear, without adding too much resistance to the main windmill.
The following parts are all that is needed in addtion to the printed parts:
- (1) Skateboard wheel bearing.
- (1) Small DC Motor: Here is what I used: http://a.co/c5qgQ75
- (1) USB power converter; Here is what I used: http://a.co/g9crvt6
- Scrap Wire
- Glue (I used Krazy Glue)
I am still doing some testing to see what kind of power it actually generates, but hooking it up to a multimeter you will see that it generates a current!
Quick tips on putting it together once parts are printed:
1. The "lower arm" for the can holder has a hole through the middle so it can be aligned with the top of the larger gear and glued in place. Simply put a small screwdriver or thick wire through the hole and then through the hole in the top of the large gear, glue in place. This was designed for better printing of the gear and arm, as well as making the option of putting a larger/redesigned windmill on the top of the drive gear if you'd like to change things up while using the same base.
2. The smallest piece helps 'lock-in' the USB port. it was designed to exactly fit the adapter I listed above. It snaps in below the USB port, I added a few drops of glue to make sure it stays put.
3. I first attached the wires to the USB adapter, then put the wires through the body and up through the top. once the USB port was in place, I attached the wires to the motor and then placed the motor through the top hole, and put the small gear on it. Once i was sure all electronics were attached and working, I glued the stake in place to finalize it all.
4. I used a dremel cutting tool to cut the can in half.