Historic Windmills Recreated with 3D Printing

Historic Windmills Recreated with 3D Printing

Historic windmills will make a comeback with 3D printing. The American Wind Power Center (AWPC), the largest windmill museum in the world has teamed up with WhiteClouds, a company offering 3D printing and 3D design services, based in the USA. The partnership has taken place with the intention of creating scale models of the historic windmills using 3D printing and CAD. They will be a fraction of a train layout that will be showcased in the AWPC.

Creating the Windmill Scale Models

According to the Executive Director of the AWPC, Coy Harris, they plan to create a model train design of early Lubbock during the time period of 1910 to 1950, when several windmills were present in this area. Harris and Kelly Root, a designer at WhiteClouds, have been working together to create these models. A ProJet 3500 HDMax 3D printer has been used to 3D print the models at the lab of WhiteClouds.

With 3D design and 3D printing, the scale model of a windmill was created which was not available anywhere. The windmill was used more than 30 years ago and the team had to recreate it right from scratch.

Use of Different Techniques

Different techniques were used to recreate the models. One of the windmills was reconstructed with the help of a scale model owned by AWPC. Kelly Root used the measurements and with reverse engineering, designed the 3D printed model. Another windmill was built using old blue prints and photographs of the actual windmill. According to Root, the greatest challenge of the project was to keep the models almost similar to the actual full-scale windmills while still allowing 3D printing for the designs.

Multi-Jet Modeling Technology

Multi-Jet modeling technology has been used to 3D print all the windmill models. In this process, a UV-curved resin is used to create exact, durable parts of plastic. Each layer measures 16 microns which is nearly one-sixth the thickness of a human hair. Due to this the scale model windmills are created with utmost precision. The final print that is done is semi-transparent and off-white in color.

With a collection of 60 windmills put up in the Linebery Windmill Park and more than 100 windmills in an indoor gallery, the AWPC is the largest windmill museum in the world.



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