Omni3D's big idea: Wind turbines in backpacks

A working proof of concept

Mention wind energy and one thinks on a large-scale, a farm of structures, tracts of land, multi-year roadmaps, and a web of public and private agencies signing off on agreements and contracts over months if not years. Here's a fresh breeze. An open source 3D-printed wind turbine has become the focal point of a project at Omni3D, a 3D printer manufacturer in Poland. Their AirEnergy 3D concept is a wind turbine that fits in your backpack and brings you the ability to have self-sufficient power in your own home. One of the reasons Omni3D pursued this project, reported TechCrunch East Coast Editor John Biggs, was the need for fully open source solutions in the renewable energy market, according to Konrad Sierzputowski, company cofounder. For sure, Omni3D gave considerable thought to finding some type of solution to counter how people waste power and "slowly kill our planet," they said..Another reason was the need for fully open source solutions in the renewable energy market," said Konrad Sierzputowski, co-founder of Omni3D

Their pitch: This could generate up to 300 watts of electrical power. You could use the electricity directly, store it in a battery, or plug it into your wall circuit to use around the house. Either way you lower your electricity bill. For those who say that 300 watts is not a lot, their answer would be that it is enough to run a few laptops or charge a couple of smartphones or enough to power several light bulbs.

They said that AirEnergy3D is 3D-printable, but not in its entirety. They provide a kit with parts that cannot be printed on a desktop 3D printer, and provide the user with downloadable and editable 3D models of each required part, together with assembly instructions.

Omni3D built a proof of concept. They have turned to crowdfunding to move the project forward. They generated enough electricity to light a light bulb to see if it works, and it does, they said. "We have all the plans and we want to work on them fast in order to generate 300W of power for a single unit." They turned to Kickstarter for funds to prepare the production of preassembled kits. "We are working on a mounting system which will allow AirEnergy3D to be installed on various surfaces, weatherproof and safe. After we have a 100% functional master model we will set up production and shipping of the base kits."

Will people find this useful or a gadget toy? Biggs said, he could see "this as a nice, portable system for off-the-grid generation." Davide Sher, writing in 3D Printing Industry, said, "All AirEnergy 3D needs to produce electricity is a mild breeze. It is more portable than any photovoltaic system and, thanks to 3D printing, it costs a lot less to manufacture and produce. Most of all, it can work in full darkness."

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