Just as a brief recap to my project, I created a 3D printed bladeless fan. The design is inspired off of the Dyson fans, but on a smaller scale. My product was designed to be handheld, and portable. One of the major design aspects of my product is the removable head. I wanted the ability to change out the circular head piece with whatever design I wanted, so I printed a heart shaped head piece and designed a locking mechanism that also seals.
What does it mean?
My project was not only meant be functional, but it had to be aesthetically pleasing as well. After testing the device I have found that it does not function the way it should. The head piece impedes the flow of air, rather than amplifies it. While I could spend months trying to analyze the flow through the channels to get the perfect part, I wanted to have an aesthetically pleasing design first. I believe my product captures a futuristic aesthetic with its simple curves, and plain white color. Since this was 3D printed it had a matte finish, but I think if I had the capabilities to mold it and get a glossy finish that would really bring out the aesthetic I want. Even though the device does not function the way I wanted, it still demonstrates how the technology is supposed to work. Shown below is a video taken in slow motion of smoke being sucked through the fan.
and a close up of the front.
While my product will not cool you down on a hot day, it will demonstrate the effect of viscous flow. So the takeaway from this project is that not all projects have a clear defined purpose. I went in thinking I would make a cool product that could be sold, and I ended up with a device that can be used to show the wonderful effects of fluid mechanics.
I think this project was overall a success. I was able to 3D print a full bladeless fan, and design a detachable head system using a locking mechanism that seals. I was able to successfully integrate a fan/compressor, a latching push button, and a battery into my 3D printed casing. Now moving forward I would change and improve upon a few things. First, I would find a better power source. 2 9V batteries work fine, but over time they can get expensive. Second, I would design a new cap. The bottom cap I am currently using has no texture and is really difficult to put on and remove. This makes it almost impossible to replace the batteries when it is needed, therefore printing a new cap is on the list of things to improve on. Finally, I would conduct fluid analysis on the head piece. Now that I have most of my aesthetics down, I can look into the actually fluid mechanics of the system. I can conduce computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis on the part to get the perfect profile. This will also tell me if I need to find a new fan or not. There are many things to improve on with this design, but I think it turned out to be a success in the end. I learned a great deal during this project.