A 3D printed wind turbine made of PLA

Senior lecturer Ross Stevens of Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, in collaboration with industrial designer Nicole Hone, developed a potted plant inspired wind turbine, 3D printed of PLA.

Traditional wind turbines are large, commonly deemed unsightly and notoriously hard to recycle. The new project tackles all three problems in one go.

Called the Power Pot Plant, the wind turbine was inspired by plants, which inform its flower-like form, its materiality and its compact portability. The turbine is made with 3D printing the biopolymer PLA (Polylactic acid), which is the most widely used plastic filament material in 3D printing. PLA is made from plants.

The wind turbine, designed for home-use, can be installed using locally available materials like stones, soil or even plants to add weight to the base and secure it. Parts that cannot be 3D printed are standardised, like M8 stainless steel threaded rods. The turbine designed for disassembly and can be easily recycled at end-of-life.

Photos: Ross Stevens