Bladeless Fan 5 Constraints

Creating a handheld fan is no easy task. Add to that, the fan bladeless and even more challenges pop up. For this post I am focusing on the top 5 design constraints from a manufacturing, usability, and aesthetics standpoint.

  1. Making the product printable.
    • Without the resources for molding, and the complex shapes that this project requires, I will have to use a 3D printer. One major problem I face is making the product printable. I would also prefer to use the lower tier printers, such as the lulzbots, as they are much cheaper and would allow different colors. This creates a problem as these printers do not use filler material.
  2. Making the product small and light.
    • Since this is a handheld device, no one is going to want use something that is too clunky or too heavy. This will be difficult as I will have to build around a fan, a motor, batteries, and a switch of some sort. Being able to design a case that is small enough to fit in someones hand/pocket and be able to house all components is not going to be easy.
  3. Making the product have a unique, aesthetically pleasing shape.
    • As one of my requirements I wanted to change the head of the fan to have a unique shape in order to channel an aesthetic. This poses some issues as this shape has to be printable, and must not prevent the function of the device.
  4. Designing the proper flow paths for the device.
    • A bladeless fan works by amplifying a smaller flow stream using negative pressure and viscous shearing. The way the fan achieves these effects is directly related to the profile of the fan. It will be able to design the flow profile in such a way that it amplifies flow. This may require multiple trials and plenty of testing.
  5. Easily assembled.
    • Being able to assemble easily and quickly is very important to this project. It will help out with the testing phase as I will be able to use more time to actual testing rather than building. Easy assembly will also allow me to exchange parts without issue, when I need to make changes. Another benefit is I could implement a head exchange option. I would design a handle with a detachable head, and I could just freely interchange the head for different designs and aesthetics. This would add a great feature the the product.
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3 Comments. Leave new

Like Ben said above, you seem to know your constraints well and know what you need to do to get by them, which is a very good thing. It’ll save you a lot of time so you can work on the more challenging constraints such as designing the proper flow paths. All I have to say is that if you do get pinched for time, focus less on the third constraint. The aesthetic of your fan can always be covered up with a nice paint job or something, but even though this is an aesthetics class it’s still important to have a final product that actually works. Good luck!

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There are settings for the ITLL lulzbotz that can let you change the fill amount, to make a more rigid part (although specifically I don’t know where they are, somewhere in the Cura program). It seems like you have thought out your constraints fairly well, which will help you later on in your project.

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I like that you have details for the constrains. It looks that you are getting ahead in the project and you know your constrains better by now. Making the device small is going to be a little bit of a challenge because you don’t not have all the tools that is used in mass production. So I think that having the device a little bigger to serve as a nicely finished prototype will be acceptable for the scope and the time span of this class. Good Luck

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