Vertical Wind Turbine VAWT

by Robotobi, published

Vertical Wind Turbine VAWT by Robotobi Aug 13, 2016


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Vertical Axis Wind Turbine VAWT

A beautiful wind turbine (Ø245mm x 800mm). Intended for balcony and low windspeed use.

Designed for my Ultimaker 2+ (max build volume, big nozzle, high printspeed).
Of course you can print it on every, big enough printer. I recommend to use a big nozzle (0.6mm for „Flügel 8x.stl“ with Vase Mode, 0.8mm for the rest)

short video: https://youtu.be/4xszhV_X3DU


added the STEP files!


a smaller Version with a diameter of 130mm here:


What you need

1x . . . . . . . M8x1000mm straight threaded rod

8x . . . . . . . M8 nut

2x . . . . . . . 608 bearing Ø22xØ8x7mm (e.g. inline skates bearings)

2x . . . . . . . bolt and nut (e.g.M4 x20)

1x . . . . . . . pipe or stick Ø12,15..., 30mm (print „Lager Ø..2x.stl” with the same diameter)

2x . . . . . . . paper clip to use them as a cotter

~820g . . . . Filament

Print settings
„Flügel 8x.stl“

Spiral Mode/Vase Mode----0.6mm Nozzle----0.3mm Layer----65mm/s Speed
There is a GCODE for the Ultimaker 2 /2+

„Achse 4x.stl“

Spiral Mode/Vase Mode----0.8mm Nozzle----0.4mm Layer----65mm/s Speed

other parts

0.8mm Nozzle----0.2-0.4 Layer----40-75mm/s Speed----Infill 15%

  • There are two calibration files, the two parts should fit smoothly together.

    „Testfile Unterteil 0.8mm“ for print settings of the parts „Unterteil1x“ „Zwischenteil3x“ „Oberteil1x“. The part has a internal width of around 2mm.

    „Testfile Flügel spiral mode 0.6mm“ for the settings of „Flügel 8x.stl“. The part should have a width of 1.1- 1.5mm.

Assembly instruction

if you have any suggestions for improvement, questions or need further information, feel free to contact me.

Gerne auch auf Deutsch :-)

Print Settings

Printer Brand:



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What motor does this use?

I use the Dynamo from a E Bike

hey Robotobi one question, there is an possibility design the " Zwischenteil together with the Flügel (1 STL ) I think it getting more stable. Even the printing more easy.
Thanks for your attention

sorry for the late reply.

To glue the wings you can use superglue (cyanoacrylate). Works great with PETG
But, I'll design a special part for you ...

thanks Robotobi bud in the moment ei Scale the Files to the max of my Printer, I try now ABS becouse in my country here you get not so easy Filament, the Flügel I print 2mm feel stable. I get now my Generator up to 36V, if ready I let you know

hello Robotobi I`m now nearly ready I print the Wings with 3mm Wall, now there very stabil, the high I make 6 Wings. the Generator 450 Watts I order in Germany, as soon Im ready I wil let you know. The Picture shows .the old Generator (12V 100W) and one Wing

Great, thank you!
With six wings, it should look quite impressive.
Please, keep me updated.

sorry but by the last heavy Storm it was destroyed , now I want Print it bigger and stronger, but I think now only stronger and higher maybe the double, wath you think is this usefull

Hey Robotobi I come Back to you, how you build the Flügel (Wing), is this one or two Helix, I want to make it bigger for 400 to 500W Dynamo - 100W is not Problem with the original Size and low Wind

I used the sweeping function. But, you can just scale the step file bigger.

Do you have photos of your wind turbine with the dynamo?

Hey Robotobi I found this Turbine beautiful it works even with slow Windspeed, but is there any chance to print it stronger and larger 270 to 300mm , you have STL Files to do this ? witch Programm you used to design the wings ?

Hi Caacupe

I usually work with autodesk Inventor.
I also uploaded the step files (.stp), which you can edit with any CAD program.
a larger version should not be a problem, if your printer is big enough.

If you need help, just contact me ...

for the moment Thank you very much

I am in a windy area and it is impressive that I support so much speed.
Today I had to block it because they warn of strong winds and I'm afraid it will explode into a thousand pieces.


Thanks for a great design, I love it
Greetings from Spain

Thanks for the video!

I have a version that I have tested up to 90km/h. But I glued in the wings (superglue) and used an absolutely straight threaded rod.
Maybe you can glue tape around the threaded rod so that it does not have clearance in the ball bearing. Fibrations are probably the biggest problem

Should I design a stronger support for you?

Thanks! do not worry

Yesterday in my area we reached 133 km / h but as I said I have blocked because of fear.

The problem is that I printed it badly and that's why it vibrates.
I redimensioned it to 80% but I did not realize that the M8 threaded rod would no longer work for me. In order to use it I perforated the printed dividers but apparently the holes were not centered at all and the rod was twisted. That's why it vibrates.

any day I will print it again but at the moment it is the envy of all the neighbors
It is a wonder

Hi Robotobi,

What kind of turbine is it? Looks like a modified (optimized?) version of helical Savonius (https://www.researchgate.net/figure/276841097_fig1_Fig-1-Schematic-views-of-helical-Savonius-wind-turbine-without-end-plates), with four where two blades are merged.
Could you provide some links to materials I can read about this construction?
I'm working on a classical helical Savonius right now.


It is a modified Ugrinsky wind turbine

Hello Robotobi. Nice design. Very pleasing to the eye as well. Could you share the CAD files?

Sorry, has not been online for a long time ...
I uploaded the STEP file.
Let me know if you print one.

Thank you for uploading the file. I'll certainly let you know if it works out.

how much is the power of this VAWT on 4 m/s speed?


Is it possible change the threaded rod M8 size to M16 size, but don't change the whole size, because i have to connect this turbine on my motor for wind generator power, thank you.

Would it help if I design an M8 to M16 adapter?
An M16 thread rod over the whole length would influence the airflow and the weight negatively.

Yes, because my power generator rod diameter is M16, I would like to use your wind turbine make it work, hope you can help, thank you very much, my gmail:[email protected]

M16 with a thread pitch of 2 mm?

Hallo, Haben Sie versucht, einen Generator in der Turbine Luft zu setzen? Wenn ja, was gibt diese Arbeitsleistung Turbine? Dank für diesen Beitrag

Maybe this helps you (The fourth comment):


Wind turbine modification for larger diameter
by m0w1337

Maybe Andresarabando lives in a place with absolutely no wind?

how do you put a motor on that?

Why would you like to connect a motor?
You need a transition Piece between the threaded rod and the motor.

If you want, I can design something for you... just tell me the dimensions of the motor.

hi. I thought they used the turbine to generate electricity.
i have two electric motor of a electric drill, i wold like to connect to this turbine.

like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/7-2V-18V-12-TEETH-GEAR-OD-9-9MM-CHARGE-DRILL-MOTOR-FOR-BOSCH-SELECT-/122097835025?var=&hash=item1c6d991c11:m:muUfDe83C6hdlLAEavqtfTg

on link you have photos and dimensions
if you can made a support and a transition peace for this, I appreciate it.

hi. I thought they used the turbine to generate electricity.
i have two electric motor of a electric drill, i wold like to connect to this turbine.

like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/7-2V-18V-12-TEETH-GEAR-OD-9-9MM-CHARGE-DRILL-MOTOR-FOR-BOSCH-SELECT-/122097835025?var=&hash=item1c6d991c11:m:muUfDe83C6hdlLAEavqtfTg

on link you have photos and dimensions
if you can made a support and a transition peace for this, I appreciate it.

Did you guys glue the vanes to the supports,or just slotted them in?

Actually, no glue is needed.
For extreme conditions, I recommend cyanoacrylate glue (a non-blooming type).

I printed a 50% scale version with PET-G and a 0.3mm nozzle. The vanes turned out very well but I'm still "fiddling" with fitting the vanes into the supports. I probably need to re-print the supports. It is an Amazingly popular item in my neighborhood!

Hi Lofton

I'll make a smaller version of it (it will be the next Thing I upload).

That will be fantastic, Tobias! Thank you.


Do you have a ... how do I say it... a streched-flat-down-on-paper-picture (.jpg) of the Flügel?
I printed this Turbine in 50% scale, but the Flügel (I printed only one for an example) was very fragile.
So I decided to make out of the empty car windscreen wash canister walls as its material is plastic (in meaning of not very elastic), has quite right thickness and is just available (laying around the garage :-).
Therefore a maquette to cut it out correctly before bending it would be very helpful


No worries, I got it.
Soon I will post a "make" :)

Great, I'm already curious about it. :-)

Comments deleted.

My latest print of the VAWT is mounted on a 5-foot long galvanized iron pipe which is bolted to my outside deck using a closet flange. It spin effortlessly...friends have accused me of having mounted a hidden motor to make it turn! After more than two months outside, through rain, ice and some very high winds, it continues to work flawlessly. A neighbor who is a dentist asked me to print him one of these to mount outside of one of his operatories...it has been a huge hit for him, his staff, and most important, his patients. They focus on the VAWT during dental procedures which reduces anxiety in most of them. Another neighbor, an engineer who recently started working from home, told me he frequently goes outside and stares at the turbine while thinking about design challenges; he said it's like watching a waterfall. Another friend commented that the spinning turbine is downright sensuous! He's right. So thank you again, Tobias, for this design. It has made my whole 3D printing experience worthwhile and purposeful. Way more so than the hundreds of trinkets I've printed and subsequently thrown away. More precisely states, that my wife has thrown away!

It is a challenging print but Robotobi's guidance made it possible. PET-G is good stuff once printer settings have been sorted out.

Hi Lofton
Thank you very much!
I have printed your comment and attached it to my whiteboard. :-) A great motivation!
Please, if you have time, press the "I Made One" button and upload a photo. Maybe your neighbor in his dental clinic can take a picture? :-)

I had this printed out for me, and i am very pleased with its design and performance. It literally starts up on almost no wind at all.
That you very much Robotobi.
I personally would really like if you design another style of generator for this. One that takes circular magnets, since I, and many people often use those, and have those around. And they less expensive than the ones in you very well designed generator already.
I will be having another one of these printed.

First of all, thank you very much for the donation !!!

I never thought anyone would use the button. :-)

A small, cheap generator would be great. Unfortunately I had almost no time for my 3D printer.
And I have no knowledge about generators.
... But I'm working on it ... :-)

Can you upload a photo? That would be fantastic!

Comments deleted.

Bei weiteren Fragen kannst du mir auch eine direkte Nachricht schreiben (Message Me Knopf).

So schnell bewegt sich die Düse während dem Druck.
In den meisten Programmen heisst es Druckgeschwindigkeit.

Thanks so very much for this thing!
But... Print in PLA or ABS?

That was it, Tobias, and thank you! I must be getting old.

After a break I'm back to re-printing the VAWT in natural PET-G. The original, in yellow PET-G has gotten rave reviews but the color is not to my taste. I'm back to taking almost three hours for each wing even at the settings provided. Tobias, I must be an idiot because for the life of me I cannot make it go faster...although the 3 hour prints are really nice.

Printing the wings (flugel) demonstrates my Delta printer is fully "dialed in" and has helped me make adjustments necessary to make the printer into something I'm proud of after lots of trials and tribulations.

For folks out there, this is one of the most rewarding things I've 3D printed in the past 18 months. I encourage all to give it a "go" even at reduced print sizes. The design is amazing!

Hi Lofton
Did you Check in S3D "cooling / speed overrides / Adjust printing speed for layer below"?

Awsome, after I finish a few projects I would love to get my hand on this. Good luck with the generator!, looking forward for the results ;)

thank you
hope you can find time soon...…I would be happy about photos :-)

Let me know if there are any suggestions for improvement

Comments deleted.

This is a beautiful thing! Your guidance on print settings is perfect; I have finished printing most of the parts and plan to assemble it tomorrow after I purchase the hardware bits. Over the past year I have printed at least six vertical wind vanes (some of them numerous times) but none of them functioned. I have great hopes for your design. Do you think this will work in the USA or just in Switzerland? (Just kidding...)
Thank you for your work and for sharing your design. I will post photos when the vane is assembled.

everything printed on the M3D?

M3D? Nope...that little sucker is long gone. Too small, too slow, etc. guess I need to change my profile. I have a PowerSpec 3D Pro Cartesian printer and a delta printer I built last spring. The delta has a build volume of 300mm radius by 440mm tall. I'm using the latter to build your VAWT. Status: I used PLA at first with a 0.6 mm nozzle on my E3D hot end for all parts. The vanes are too thick, I think, so I'm reprinting them with a 0.4mm nozzle in PETG. I hope this gives better results. At 3+ hours per vane it will be a while before I know if the thing will go together smoothly. I'll keep you posted.

Did you print the vanes with vasemode?
It took me just 80 minutes to print!
If you use simplify set “extrusion width” manual to 0,6. That makes a big difference.

Have you seen the new calibration file? (Testfile_Basis_0.8mm.stl, Testfile_Flügel_spiral_mode_0.6mm.stl)

if you like, I can upload a long wing with twice the length for your new printer.

Hello, again. I'm using your settings for Flugel: 0.6mm nossle, 0.6 extrusion width (thank you for that suggestion), 0.3mm layer height and 65mm/sec print speed. S3D predicts 2.5 hours, which seems correct. I wonder how you are finishing in 80 minutes? Perhaps there are some settings in S3D that are slowing things down, but I cannot imagine which those might be. So far (at 75% complete) the wing looks great...the best yet. PETG is the way to go.

One of the images is a screenshot of S3D, printing time is 91minuten. And that was not full speed.

is the “outline underspeed“ set to 100%? (Other/speed/outline underspeed)

which petg brand do you use?

I'll check the various under speed settings, but I think they're all at 100%. I'll see what else might be going on. Regardless, the prints are turning out well.

I'm using Inland brand PETG. It is made in China and sold by MicroCenter, a retail chain with stores in a few cities in the USA. It's also sold by Amazon. This is decent filament and is inexpensive...about $16USD per kilogram. Based on this project I'm impressed with the results. I bought several spools almost a year ago in weird colors (yellow, blue, red, etc.) and am now using transluscent yellow. For the final print I will go with clear. That's so much more aesthetically appealing, although the yellow isn't disgusting.

Hello! Yes, I used vase mode. Last night I printed a vane in PETG with a 0.4mm nozzle. Today I'll try the 0.6mm nozzle at your settings. 80 minutes would be nice. Thanks for the offer of a longer wing; I can do this myself in S3D and go for three pairs instead of 4. I'll print the calibration files first since you were gracious enough to provide them! Photos later, I hope. Thanks again!

How did the generator prototype turn out?

I print just the last part of the third version
I think it is not bad…

if all goes well I'll upload next week a finished version

It's good to hear that you like it!

Two small instructions that I forgot:
It is important to use a straight threaded rod.
To make sure the bearings sit nicely centered. I put some adhesive tape on the threaded rod

i look forward to seeing your pictures :-))

Let me know if there are any problems or suggestions for improvement

…This weekend I test the new generator prototype...

Balkonbeleuchtung und Handy laden... :-)

Bin gesoannt ob es funktioniert mit dem Halbach array generator. Wobei mir die Spulenwicklung nicht ganz klar ist.
LG a.

Ich habe gestern mit dem entwerfen eines eigenen Generators begonnen (Inspiriert von dem bereits erwähnten Design von Tatyana Bulgakova)
Die dabei verwendeten Magnete sind in Europa einfach zu bekommen, einfach mal „Q-15-04-04-MN“ googeln.
Wenn das ganze gut funktioniert wird es hochgeladen, selbstverständlich mit detaillierte Anleitung.
LG t

I started yesterday to design my own generator (Inspired by the previously mentioned design from Tatyana Bulgakova)
The magnets I use are easy to get in Europe, simply google "Q-15-04-04-MN".
If all works fine i will upload it , of course with detailed instructions.

how much V and Amp. Do you get out oft the stepper Motor?
Thanks, Danke

With a Nema17 ( Ultimaker2 extruder motor) at ~5m/s windspeed: ~3.8 v and~70mA.
If the load gets to high >90mA the turbine stop spinning.

But a Nema17 is not a good choice!

You need a low rpm generator for better results.
I like to design a printable generator (3 Phase... Halbach ...). But I don’t know enough about that.
Maybe a smaller version of this: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1693579 might work?

Maybe someone can help?


Radial low-RPM Halbach array PM Generator with serpentine coils.