We all have to admit that jet engines sound pretty cool, but what about a 3D printed jet turbine. Thingiverse user, RichMac has made such a device and it can even cut things. The Turbine Rotary Tool as RichMac calls it can spin up to 60,000 rpm when using the airflow of a standard vacuum cleaner to power it.
RichMac’s Turbine Rotary design is a 2-stage axial turbine, with 2 stators to twist the air, and 2 rotors to deliver the power. According to RichMac the prototype has been printed from PLA plastic, but the PLA cannot handle the high temperatures that the turbine produces over an extended period of time.
Apparently the Turbine can be turned into two tools, a Spinning Top and a Dremel-type tool. The Spinning Top requires a few extra bits that can’t be printed and the body of it can’t stand the high stress levels. Just like the Spinning Top, the Dremel needs a couple of extra components to function.
“The Turbine Dremel-type tool is awesome, but does require proper bearings and an accurate machined shaft. High speed requires excellent engineering. The bearings are 696, 6x15x5, from bearing shop, Ebay, or vxb.com, check the rpm rating for the type you find. The shaft could be just 6mm rod if you don’t want power out, but the Dremel style tool head requires a tricky 9/32″ x 40tpi thread for the nut, or may be metric for other brands.” said RichMac.
He also went on to say that “The speed and power is amazing. It was only when doing the video that I realised it was doing nearly twice the speed of my Dremel, really scary! The rotor and blade design is my first attempt, it is powerful enough without any optimisation. I should change the pitch of the rotors to reduce the speed to match other rotary tools. The tool is great for cutting composites, as most of the dust is sucked up, instead of the Dremel’s cooling fan which blows it everywhere including inside my goggles.”
We think this is great and will be a good new start for 3D printed turbines, we will also be keeping a close eye on RichMac to see if any more wonderful creations are made. Hopefully 3D printed jet engines will one day be a reality.
Check out the video below.