This is a bit of an involved question. It seems that 3d printers are becoming more and more useful these days. In order to decide if it was worth while to buy one, I made a list of things that I could build/repair/maintain with one - also to see how large a printer I would need. The largest thing I think I would want to make with a 3d printer is the blades for a vertical axis windmill. I have seen some models that use blades that are 24" long. Has anyone seen designs for wind turbines that can be built with 3D printers?
I've seen people making computer fans with 3D printing, haven't seen windmill blades, but its all the same concept. The only reason I haven't got into 3D printing is that I haven't wanted to put in all the time to learn 3D modeling software. I figure if I ever NEED a 3D print I'll just have to pay someone to make it for me. If you are going to go for it Tom, then the turbine blade math and fluid dynamics probably aren't any harder than the rest of the modeling process.
posted 2 weeks ago
thomas rubino wrote:Hey Tom;
I'm curious what other things you might build with a 3/d printer?
Google and you will find hundreds of ideas...I have seen whole houses that were built with 3d printers - the "bricks" were printed by the printer on site and assembled right there by the owner - a very inexpensive way to build a house and is being studied as a solution for the housing shortage in many areas. My main thought was to make parts for things when they break, if possible...specialized kinds of fittings for hydroponics....devices to hold things together. I am trying to determine whether or not a 3D printer can be used to add "skin" to a metal frame - for example, I have an aluminum or chromoly frame for the wind turbine blades to give them more rigidity and then add the skin to the frame to catch the wind. In theory, a 3D printer and a CNC machine would go a long way to making someone truly self sufficient. It does take time to learn how to do the designing but, in all likelihood, you will be making the same kinds of things, so the design phase will shorten with more practice. 3D scanners can shorten the design phase dramatically if you are trying to copy an object. Some 3D printers can be converted into 3D scanners simply by changing the print head. Hydroponics is at the top of my list. I will, at the least, use hydroponics to grow my own food. It may be possible to turn it into a business as well...so, at this point, I am studying the potential of various tools to see how flexible my life can be, how many opportunities they will open up for me. At first it was a whimsical idea, but the more I read about it, the more I realize that these machines can play a big part in a common homestead/household.
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