Jul 19, 2017 | By Benedict

Educational electronics specialist Kitronic has released its latest educational electronics kit: a 3D printable USB desk fan, perfect for students who will have to face the dying embers of summer heat when school returns.

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, summer is well and truly upon us. New Yorkers can expect 32°C today, Parisians can stroll down the Seine in a pleasant 29°C, while those in Tokyo will match the New Yorkers at (a much more humid) 31°C. All this points to one thing: a need for 3D printed desk fans, stat.

Step forward British electronics specialist Kitronic, which has just released its latest 3D printable electronics project: a 3D printed USB desk fan. The project is aimed at teachers and students, but anyone not getting their fair share of air conditioning would be well advised to get building.

“We wanted the project to be quick to design, easy to print, and have minimal overhangs,” explains Kitronic co-founder Kevin Spurr, who adds that the 3D printed fan was designed to “move enough air around to actually cool you down!”

The new project is based around Kitronik’s USB Fan Kit, and enables students to make an economical desk fan that takes its power from a standard USB port or USB power supply. A step-by-step guide has been provided by Kitronik, and leeway is provided for makers to customize the fan to their own liking, both aesthetically and mechanically.

“In coming up with our latest kit, we were inspired by memories of hot stuffy days in the classroom,” says Spurr. “We thought designing and making the fan would be a motivating and practical opportunity for students and teachers.”

Kitronic staff spent some time trying out different fan designs, and eventually settled on a jet engine approach that allows for greater airflow through the fan body. There may, however, be better ways to structure the fan, and Kitronic encourages advanced makers to get stuck in with reworking the design.

“This is an area in which students may wish to engage in further research, experimenting with other shapes and designs to see if air flow results can improve still further,” Spurr says.

The 3D printed desk fan was designed and modeled using Fusion 360 and printed on a Robox 3D printer using White ColorFab nGen 3D printer filament and Blue PLA. According to Kitronic, no support material or post-processing was required between printing (which took around 16 hours) and assembly.

The electronic components of the desk fan are available to purchase from Kitronic at ~$5.90 apiece, or ~$4 apiece in quantities of 50 or more.

And for those looking to “chill out” in multiple ways, why not print Kitronic’s super-stylish 3D printed speakers in addition to the desk fan?

Stay cool, folks, and get printing.



Posted in Fun with 3D Printing



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