Two Blade Propeller

by mechadense, published

Two Blade Propeller by mechadense Apr 30, 2011

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7985Views 1565Downloads Found in Props
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Fitting weather vane:

This thing is fully parameterizable and meant to be customized before printing.
It is optimized for support-less printing (blades are oriented vertically)
and designed out of two parts so that even on small build-space printers pretty big propellers can be made. The appended *.stl file is only an example. Customize the model to get the biggest propeller you can print (almost twice the diagonal of your build-platform length).

One could print a lot of them as toy propellers in different colors all with different random parameters in reasonable margins and mount them on a kind of "wind sculpture".

Ideas for improvement:

Right now its just a toy but one could:

  • add grooves for ball bearings
  • twist the blades
  • generalize to 3 or more blades (4 non-coplanar should be easy)
  • alter the blade shapes to something less classic but more fancy e.g. modify the blade to a more aerodynamic shape (NACA4)
  • make the blade-angle adjustable
  • make a coupling for a dynamo

Going crazy:

  • add button-cell powered laser-pointers to get a free laser-show at squally new moon nights
  • mount (suitable!) whistles to the tips (so your child wont be overheard when cycling), but don't forget the (slide-able?) muting plugs then.


Print diagonally on build plattform for maximal size.

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Two Blade Propeller by mechadense is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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Best propeller! Printed without problem, thank you for this Thing

Thanks for printing and commenting :).
It would be great If you could share a photo of your print (as a make).

Interesting recipe :) The propeller must withstand dynamic loads.This thing printed with ABS plastic. For remove small irregularities I use sandpaper, for a glossy shine, I wipe the product with acetone

I Build Whirligigs out of wood using my laser. I am always looking for a better propeller and hope this will work. I will let you know.

If I want to change it do I use open scad or whatever goes with that extension? I was fooling around in sketchup to make a propeller and found it tricky. Will life be better in another product? Or am I just to novice in Sketchup? :)

Yes if you want to mingle with this model you use openscad. Its a small program so there's no hassle trying it out.
Its easy to swap a few numbers and see what happens to the model by pressing F5.
In your models: If you like to keep everything adjustable till the end and don't mind the more laborous but imo also more rewarding programming it might make your "life a little better".
(note: both sketchup and openscad don't deal too well with fluent free forms or highly overlapping geopetries)

Using it as an esthetically looking toy driven by the wind (no ball bearings) should be save because the speeds don't get too high I think. As it is now it is not really fit as a means of propulsion because it's blades are not optimized and even have rectangular crossections. If nevertheless anyone trys to mount it on a motor then PLEASE BE CAREFUL!! Note that the horizontal print orientation shoud lead to a pretty high tensile strenght in the axial direction. Do not print it upright. The print-layers would represent rated break points not to mention the resulting horrible overhangs.

I would so love to print propeller blades but it scares the hell out of me. I picture a crash where a normal propeller would break/snap, but a printed part either causes small bits to fly off at extreme speeds, or worse, part of the print extending into a long plastic line, still being spun like a weed wacker. It feels like a very dangerous idea. I'll be happy if it turns out that I'm wrong, but that's my fear.