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3D printed recyclable wind turbines

Researches at Virginia Tech in the US are working on a method to create 3D printed wind turbines which are fully recyclable at end of life.

Currently, wind turbines are made in off-site production facilities in large moulds that have long lead times. Once the blades are fabricated, they have to be transported to the site, which takes a long time and is expensive. In addition, traditional wind turbines are made of hard to recycle materials.

The new process aims to create wind turbines on-site through 3D printing, using fully recyclable, high strength thermoplastic material. The team developed new innovations in 3D printing, which allow large objects to be printed on the spot, even ones bigger than the printer itself.

Photo: Magda Ehlers