For this project I am planning of building a bladeless fan. You may have seen fans like the one featured above. dyson is a company that makes many unique products. I like the smooth curves in conjunction with simply geometries that give their products a modern aesthetic. For my project I will attempt to utilize the technology to make a similar product, but I want to experiment with the aesthetic.
In order to make this product I will have to design a frame with the desired contours, and attach it to a fan/compressor. To achieve the required dimensions, and any internal structures, It is clear that 3D printing will be required. Since it is too expensive, material wise, to print a full scale table fan. I think I will tray my hand at making a hand held fan at first. This will allow me to experiment with the technology, while maintaining a reasonable budget for this project.
An example of a hand held bladeless fan is shown below.
In order for this product to successfully function, there are some design goals I would like to achieve.
- The product must amplify the flow to a point noticeably greater than that of the original fan or compressor.
- The product must be small enough to fit inside a pocket or purse.
- The product must be able to run off a reasonable power source, AA batteries.
- The product must be light, no more than 1.5 lb.
Additional goals I would like to achieve are as follows.
- The product will operate quietly.
- The product will have a modular design so that the shape of the head can be changed.
I would like to achieve a smooth look to this product. I think it is important that the shape of the fan be ergonomic to improve comfort when handling the device. In addition to this smooth look I would like the head of the product to be more interesting than a circle or ellipse. It may sacrifice functionality, but I believe it would allow for more customization of the product making it more personal.
This has already been done with larger table fans. Some bladeless fans can come in the shapes of hearts or apples, as shown below. I would like to implement this concept into my design and create a hand held fan with interesting shapes.
I have an initial concept of what the design will require. I need to purchase a miniature fan and build around that to get the baseline for the structure I want. From Home Depot I found a replacement motor for some ceiling fans. It may be small enough for my purposes, possibly slightly too big based on the picture below. The issue is it looks like it runs off a power outlet. I need the motor to be able to run with portable batteries, preferably AA or 9V batteries.
I will have to keep looking for other options for the motor. One possible solution I can look into is just buying a DC motor, and printing the fan blades for the motor. This will give me greater control over the design.
Currently I do not know exact prices on this project. I do not know exactly how much material will be printed. I can only estimate the price based on what my requirements entail. I am currently setting my budget for this project to $150.
The 3D printer I may end up using is the Objet30 printer. The material this printer uses costs $0.50/gram and the filler material costs $0.20/gram so it can get pretty expensive. I may try to prototype with the cheaper printers, and perhaps not use the Objet printer altogether if it is too expensive.
Below is the breakdown of what I need to buy.
- Printed frame: ~$120
- DC motor: $5
- Fan blade attachment: ~$5
- AA battery case: $2
- 2x AA batteries: $1
The price of the printed frame could vary greatly depending on the printer I choose to use, and how I design my part.
Probably the greatest challenge I face is designing a frame for the motor and the batteries which contains the required flow paths. Other challenges I may face are how the motor and the batteries will remain self contained.
Week 1 – Source a viable motor and fan
Week 2 – Design a structure to house the motor and provide flow paths.
Week 3 – Continue Design and receive feedback from a 3D printing specialist
Week 4 (Break) – Finalize Design
Week 5 – Print the frame
Week 6 – Assemble and Test
Week 7 – Design improvements/Redesign if necessary
Week 8 – Continued design iteration
Week 9 – Final report and presentation.