3D printed wind turbines part 1: Design considerations and rapid manufacture potential
Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments
3D printing, Rapid manufacture, RepRap, VAWT, Wind turbine
Recent advances in additive manufacturing (AM) and Fused Material Deposition (FMD) techniques have resulted in the commercialization and popularization of what is commonly known as 3D printing. Small wind turbine technology stands to benefit greatly from this technology when considering turbines intended for disaster relief and rural electrification. With the appropriate design, wind turbines could be rapidly manufactured (printed) and assembled on-site at an as needed basis without additional tooling beyond a 3D printing machine and printing filament. This paper examines the design considerations of such a wind turbine including material properties, reinforcement techniques, integration of non-printed components, printed component design and print optimization. A rapid manufacture-able design is presented of vertical axis configuration. Conclusions are drawn as to the viability and practicality of 3D printed wind turbines and opportunities for future work are identified.
Bassett, K.; Carriveau, R.; and Ting, D. S.K.. (2015). 3D printed wind turbines part 1: Design considerations and rapid manufacture potential. Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, 11, 186-193.