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Parametric ROV thruster propeller

by DollarBaySOAR, published

Parametric ROV thruster propeller by DollarBaySOAR May 21, 2014
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16555Views 2987Downloads Found in Engineering


A parametric ROV thruster propeller. The design assumes the ROV moves slow when compared to an RC boat. The propeller is more similar to a tug than a speed boat. Close to equal efficiencies in both directions of operation

Using at 750KV brushless motor the propeller and nozzle provided 14N of thrust in both directions drawing 6 amps at 12volts.

Number of blades, prop diameter and thickness, pitch, shaft hole are all modifiable in the openSCAD file.


printed using .1mm layer thickness, using platform support density of 20% on a MOST delta printer.

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i think the distance between prop and cowl is to narrow. dont you have any problems with this?

So nice project. At work we have Falcon SeaEye ROV which has almost identical design. Symmetric blade is a must if one wants to achieve the same/near the same efficiency in both directions.
What outrunner motors you used and what ESCs? I'm newbie in RC world and confused when looking for proper ESCs (with reverse option).

hi can you link me ,how you setup electronic part for boat and this ?

battery ,dc motor,servo, what else ?

First off, I LOVE this part. Like you said in your comments, it is very much like a tug prop. So much, in fact, that I spent hours searching for a design like it for my twin-screw RC tugboat. I've printed a number of the props and found a pitch and diameter to my liking, but I lack the code skills to figure out how to reverse the direction of the blade rotation (so I can have a left-hand and a right-hand rotating prop). I tried sticking a "-" on some of the parameters, but alas the solution to my problem is not so simple.

Could you help guide me in the right direction?

Thanks for your time and efforts!

Hey, I figured it out on my own! Line 37 of the OpenScad file holds the key. I changed the "rotate([90,90-startAngle,90])" to "rotate([90,90+startAngle,90])" and the magic happened! If you ever make any modifications to this file, it might be cool to either make this a parameter option, or at least comment in the change so folks with counter-rotating props can take advantage of this great model.

Thanks again!

Great to hear you were able to make the part yours!
Thanks for posting your solution for others to see as well. We found that since ROVs are completely submerged, the shimmy or hop that occurs with two matching props does not exist in ROVs. We never tried an actual tug. Send a photo when a print works.

One other thing that comes to mind, The blade twists as it moves from hub to edge, you may need to make the bladetwist value negative to make sure right and left props have the same pitch through out their design.

Thank you! Exactly what I need for my ROV. Only thing, I have to try with some old 1000kv motors. Did you print with PLA or ABS? Any idea which would fit better?

We printed in PLA and have used them for several missions in some local lakes. The propellers seemed pretty well balanced and we had no failure issues.