May 15, 2015 | By Simon

Of all things, it appears that wind turbines have been gathering more interest as of late.  

Between recent developments in harvesting and storing renewable energy - such as the announcement of Elon Musk’s Tesla Powerwall - to Instructables projects that teach interested users how to create their own small-scale turbine for charging batteries and powering small devices, the public’s interest in energy and energy gathering only seems to be increasing.  Perhaps it comes with little surprise then, that there is now a Kickstarter campaign for a 3D printed wind turbine - which has been manufactured with the help of 3D printing no less.

Created by Windsor, Ontario-based RMRDTECH - which was founded by mechanical engineer Kyle Bassett and civil engineer Lucas Semple - the “Small Wind Turbine for a Big Difference” is a portable micro wind turbine that is made of 3D printed parts and is capable of producing renewable and clean 5 volt USB power for powering all of your gadgets.

"I lived in a rural villages in Central America for about 18 months after studying for my master's degree and saw an overwhelming need for 5V USB power throughout developing countries," said Bassett in an interview with 3Ders.

"We want to help address that need with sustainable energy devices and the wind turbine is our first project.  Having built many wind turbines in the past this seemed like a logical first step. We are also developing 3D printed Hydro turbines and even components for geothermal systems."

While Bassett’s experience living in rural villages and getting to know the needs of the locals will surely inspire him to help bring the micro turbines to places in need, the Kickstarter project is a great start for getting the project off the ground - and 3D printing is a great way to ensure that they get manufactured in a timely manner.  

“By utilizing 3D printing technology, the most intricate parts of the turbine can be readily printed and accurately replicated, greatly reducing the time and cost associated with production,” said Bassett on his Kickstarter page.  

Because of their small size - which is designed for travel and hiking (they can fit into an 8-inch carrying case) - there is an estimated print time of just 120 minutes per turbine; meaning that Bassett can manufacture twelve of the turbines a day efficiently on just a single 3D printer.

At this point in time, Bassett and Semple are testing the market and focusing their efforts on ensuring that they’ll be able to meet production demand for their innovative wind turbine once their campaign culminates on June 29th, 2015.  

Those who are interested in 3D printing their own micro turbine can receive their own STL files at the $60 backer level while those who back at the $99 (limited quantity) can expect to receive a fully-manufactured version of the Small Wind Turbine for a Big Difference in the mail once the campaign ends.  



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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