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3D Printed Desktop Fan Resource

We’ve just released a new USB fan kit, an easy build kit that allows you to make an economical desk fan that takes power from a standard USB port or USB power supply. In this resource, we’ll show you how you can make your own custom enclosure for the kit that is both functional and stylish.

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For the budding designers, we’ve included a walk-through of our process from concept to finished product that you can use for inspiration for your own designs. For those that want get making straight away, we’ve included the files you will need for your 3D printer, you can find the files at the foot of this article.

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We printed the finished designs on a  Robox 3D printer using White ColorFab nGen 3D Printer Filament & Blue PLA. Our choice of printer filament was dictated solely by what we had to hand at that precise moment rather than to fulfill a specific design need.

We chose to print our design in more than one colour to improve the overall aesthetic, but you may wish to make a different decision, depending on your own circumstances/aims.

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Designing The 3D Printed Desktop Fan:

Our design aims for the resources we produce are quite consistent, we keep in mind that we will be 3D printing the design and once printed we want the result to be easy to assemble. Our main design aims were;

  • Quick to design.
  • Easy to print, minimal overhangs.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • To fit the assembled kit
  • To incorporate the kits on/off switch.
  • To be free standing.
  • To move enough air to be useful.

The design we are sharing with you in this resource is V2. V1 did not incorporate enough gaps for air to flow into the main body which resulted in a lack of breeze. We then settled on the jet engine motif as it allowed for greater airflow through the body, you may want to experiment with other shapes/designs to see if you can improve the results further.

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We designed and modelled the fan in Fusion 360 and once we were happy with our design, we exported to STL for 3D printing.

 

Printing:

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We imported our STL files into Automaker, as shown above, and started our prints. The printing time, across all three parts combined, was approximately 16 hours. As were able to make our design without having to resort to support material, it was straight from printer to assembly.

 

Assembly:

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We used 5 x M3 Self tapping screws for our build but normal M3 screws will work fine.

1. Get your printed components, USB Fan kit and screws.
2. Push the USB cable through the hole in the bottom of the base
3. Slot the USB Fan board into the base and push the switch through the designated hole. (The holes on the board should line up with the holes in the base)

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4. Screw 2 M3 Screws through the visible holes (No need to over tighten as this can damage the base)
5. Take the motor from the Fan Kit and push it through the oval shaped hole in the main body.
6. Push it into the centre piece of the main body with the motor shaft facing the front larger opening. ( this is a friction fit)
7. Connect the base and the main body by pushing together the two oval openings, the USB cable slot should face the rear of the fan.

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8. Place the Front panel over the larger opening, aligning the screw holes.
9. Screw in 3 Self tapping screws.
10. Push the fan blade onto the motor shaft.
11. Plug into USB power and switch on.

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Downloads:

  • You can download our STL files for your 3D printer here.
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