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Ultimaker Wind Turbine

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Hello I'm a staff member of Giordano Workshops. Our goal is to teach children engineering and motivate them to join the STEM field.

I went through previous posts and they weren't of much help for deducing the problem. The first picture should show that the blade end is not exactly matching. I think for this one the gantry height was well below the actual height of the blade. I adjusted it later but the first wing came out like this. Is this how the wing is supposed to be? Should we reprint?

20160328_175540.thumb.jpg.fc0787819944830593c2a76f8cc97634.jpg 20160328_175554.thumb.jpg.7c5184516c59039597c72fa1d75bba2f.jpg

My boss tried to join the blades together without connecting it to the top shaft. I'm assuming he cleaned out the shavings/supports to best insert the long pin. And the long pin ended up breaking in half. My question is as to why this may have happened? Do the blades need to be connected with the shafts?


The third most important question is that we need bearings to make the wind turbine turn. The assembly file talks about Ultimaker axis rod bearings. I asked my boss if these bearings were provided with the Ultimaker in a separate package and he said no. Where can we find these bearings?


If something is vague I'll gladly elaborate!





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I think the thin wing was printing upwards, and at some point got tipped over, and printed upon. Either try more bed adhesion by tuning up the bed temperature, use gluestick, print slower, print two at the same time so each has more cooling time, or use lift cool head settings.

Without more details it's hard to say which would be best.

I don't know how the design was made, so I'm afraid I can't answer the second question

As to the bearings, just get any bearing with the size mentioned in the ultimaker 2 BOM(check their github: https://github.com/Ultimaker/Ultimaker2) from a local hardware store/order.

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Thank you so much for your reply!

I apologize I should have linked the wind turbine's website.


We just put the wings together. It seems that joining it takes a little bit of force but in general it should be fine.

My boss ordered the bearings but just in case I went to github and took a STEP file and successfully converted it to 3MF file ready for printing. Thanks again for your reply!

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I designed the turbine, did you print with these settings? this goes through the printing and assembly.


This IS a difficult print because of the connection, so you'll need to use our settings exactly. And you need to make sure your bed is well leveled and it has good adhesion.

to answer your questions though, the wings should join together, you shouldn't be getting the big gap. There usually is a little bit of artifacts, but not that huge. Again refer to the settings on the guide.

The kind of flaws I was getting is shown here:


When assembling the turbine, you need to follow the guide to the letter as well. The 3 blades should be joined first by the circle nut. Followed by a partial insert of the pins. Once ALL the pins are partially inserted, tap them in.

As for the bearing choice, sorry I couldn't get something more common, I had a bunch of these at the time. The stand can be easily modified to accommodate other size bearings in mesh modelling software.

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I am running into the same issue with gaps at the same points. I have my bed levelled nicely and the print sticks great. Everything looks perfect for the first 5 hours until it gets to the top point where these two portions meet. I was able to print the bottom blades but the top is giving me repeated issues. I have tried a number of times with the exact settings listed. I also tried printing two blades at once, slightly less extrusion, slower speeds, all without success. Were you able to get this to print properly when you reprinted? Does anyone have any other tips to try? I love this design and really want to print it.

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Hey Colin,

If you're having print problems with the two parts connecting you can try to print with some infill (15%) I recommended 0 for weight and surface quality, but infill will prevent the wings from moving too far apart in the wrong direction.

Are you printing PLA? Other materials may warp more and be more difficult in general.

On a side note, they were spinning on their own during makerfaire with the air conditioner :D

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I've been attempting to print this successfully for months. I've had many attempts that turned out the way the one at the top of this page did. My observation is that the smaller wing is flexible enough that when and if the nozzle tip hits it, it deflects giving you both the strings and potential offset. So, one way to improve the print is to stiffen the parts by adding infill. Another is to create more retraction of your nozzle when going from one wing to the other so it doesn't hit it.

Valcrow, which direction was this turbine designed to rotate? When looking down from the top, mine have rotated both clockwise and counterclockwise. But, mostly, they don't turn at all when placed outside in the wind. I was able to get one spinning with a fan, but not outdoors. Have you ever tried yours outside in the wind? What speed of wind should start it spinning and in which direction. How much does balance have to do with its ability to rotate? Do you have any suggestions on how to get it spinning in the wind?

With zero infill, this design is very fragile. I've broken quite a few pieces when I've dropped them. Also, the blades have blown off the stand during a gust of wind. I lengthened the connector shaft so that it extends through both bearings in order to increase its vertical stiffness.

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