Educational Automotive Alternator

by chriswh86, published

Educational Automotive Alternator by chriswh86 Dec 1, 2017

Featured Thing!



☼ Check out the video I have done showing the Alternator being taken apart and re-assembled below! ☼

YouTube - 3D Printed Educational Alternator

This 1:1 scale alternator features over 30 pages in the lesson to help you teach your students or to follow along to teach yourself. The lesson covers all aspects both internally and externally on the Alternator. You'll have a complete understanding on how they work. You can test yourself with the included Quiz and, the documentation covers 3D printing and assembling your very own Alternator Model.

How I Designed This

The complete Brake Caliper project was designed in Autodesk Fusion 360

Tolerances are important when 3D Printing. The tough part is ensuring your print will work with everyone's desktop 3D printer. This can be quite a challenge.

With the Educational Alternator, the fit of most pieces of the caliper were set with ~.5-.7mm tolerances in SLS Technology.

My initial planning of the Alternator was to have the ability to pull the alternator part, pull the pieces off and re-assemble so you can see the inner workings and all of the components of an Alternator.


Overview and Background

Are you curious how an automotive alternator works? Do you know that most vehicles on the road today have an alternator that is used to charge your vehicle's battery allowing you to run your headlights, stereo and even to charge your cell phone. Alternators play a crucial role in your vehicle and I have set out and put together this comprehensive lesson to help educate our youth and anyone else curious about vehicles.

While it is great to read and learn about alternators, there is really no substitution for holding a physical part in hand and having something to look at up close. Along with the extensive lesson included, I've gone into great detail about the 3D printing aspect of the Alternator and walk you through the process of making your own alternator. This will make it a great project for your class to participate in.

The Alternator is suitable for FDM, SLA & SLS printing and has been made to fit together very well. I have included Rotor-Hollow.STL and Stator-Hollow.STL for use in SLA & SLS printing technologies. The lesson includes pertinent information relating to settings needed while 3D Printing. I'd like to thank everyone for checking out my project and I am always thrilled to hear about my projects helping to teach kids and adults all over the globe. 3D Printing is a powerful technology and education is important for our youth. Lets make learning fun! ☺

Lesson Plan and Activity

You'll find a complete document attached to this model titled, "3D Learn About - Alternator.PDF". In this document, we will cover all aspects of an alternator from the inside out. Here are just a few of the topics covered in the included document:

Alternating Current to Direct Current
3-Phase Winding's

This automotive alternator is built to scale with only a few minor modifications to allow it to be 3D printed in the classroom. It is a Bosch alternator from a Chevrolet truck and uses only 3 bolts to help fasten it together, the rest of the alternator is completely 3D printed.

Materials Needed

(3) - M5x75mm/3" bolts
(3) - M5 Nuts

Skills Learned

  • automotive
  • electromagnets
  • vehicle
  • generators
  • alternators
  • alternating current
  • direct current
  • electronics
  • voltage
  • power

Duration of Lesson

1-2 Hours

Alternator Video

Learn about the 3D Printed Alternator

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Comments deleted.

I'm not sure why I never thought of doing this - best idea since sliced bread.
I mean even if it's not the most durable thing, it would have to be damn handy as an emergency spare.

Something I could really use on those long trips into remote areas.

Not sure it would hold up in a practical use situation but wouldn't it be amazing if it could!

what is the best 3d printer for print like this ???

I notice some of your parts in the video are multi-color pieces. Did you build in pauses in the print to change filament or did you paint the pieces after completion? #3dprintnoob

I should actually mention nhkierst. I died all components of the Alternator except the white pieces. Then I painted parts of some of the components :)

Hi nhkierst, I actually painted the pieces :) Cheers

Very impressive, thanks for sharing. @fransfalco the tolerences are .5 and .7 should work for about any well calibrated FDM printer.

Just reading through the amount of content, information and instructions you have including - outstanding project!
Interested if you have printed a version using FDM printing - looks challenging?

Hi francfalco, thank you. FDM print will be coming :) There will be a good amount of supports needed etc. The current design is built with .5-.7mm tolerance and so it should print with fdm.

Very cool. But now of course I'm wondering if it could be modified to generate electricity lol

It would be cool to see using, but I think with the time involved, a real one would be best :)

Thanks Singerich & flyingmnokey35

This is exactly the kind of learning tool which I wish we would use in my physics class when talking about electricity and magnetism. Much better than powerpoints and laser pointers, in my opinion. Cool design!

I wish I had something along these lines in school as well PurplePepperEater. Cheers

Wow! This is a beautiful design and the print quality is outstanding! Good job!

Thanks for the kind works OG-Spark and everyone else :)

Im not a teacher but I am a dad and this is awesome to teach my kids with! Thank you

Your welcome NEONX18. Thanks

Thanks BreaknMake!

You are welcome! I love to see people who do stuff for education. (=

What year Chevy is this off of, and how long you think I can make it last if I put real parts inside?

Hi Jay, It wasn't designed for end use and so I cannot comment on longevity if real parts were introduced to the 3d printed case. This alternator came from a 90's era Chevy Pickup truck. Cheers

Love this, very cool. How many amps will it make? <<just kidding. This thing is great.

Be something else if it worked eh Jerry. Thanks as well :)

Mate, I run an automotive repair shop in Australia. I have had your caliper on my parts bench for a few months now and I look forward to having this on there as well. It's been great for showing customers whats wrong with their vehicles and whats needed to fix it. I'll be keeping an eye out for future models. Tip is on it's way.

Edit: Am I doing something wrong? The parts are showing up in Cura as being just a few millimeters in size.

Hi CustomsUnlimited. That's a really interesting way to use the Brake Caliper and the Alternator in the future. I would have never thought of that. As for the design, it was originally done in Inches. I received another concern about the files importing small and so I have put up new STL files done in MM. I tested each piece in Cura and they all import perfectly. Sorry for the mix-up CustomsUnlimited. I hope you like the new Alternator model. Cheers

Chris , First thanks for uploading it over here, Second What Scale did you use to print. currently the Housing back is showing 2.61 x 5.43 x 5.20 thanks

I have updated the model into millimeters which should solve the import issues. Cheers

This is an amazing piece of learning, 3d printing, and design. Well done sir!

Thanks a lot aaskedall. Exactly what I was going for and I hope it helps out a lot of folks.

Absolutely AWESOME!

Thanks SkyRider!

Very cool idea for the visual learner!

Thanks so much bsolo09. I strive for this with each of my models.