Mark Rehorst is a blogger detailing his technical projects. For his latest post, he worked on creating an easy to produce blower for a remote cooling fan. For this, he turned to a hard disk drive motor and a few 3D printed parts.
Blogger Mark Rehorst has spent a long time finding the perfect 3D printer cooling fan. He explains that a couple of years ago he began trying to build a large-scale chocolate 3D printer.
For this project, he wanted to use a remote cooling fan. He explains that for his 3D printer, he wants to move the cooling fan off the print head and route a flexible tube instead. A heavy cooling fan on the tip of the extruder can cause drooping and warping – this isn’t the case with a lightweight tube.
To do this, he tried out a few different fans, which can be read about in his last blog post, The Mother of All Print Cooling Fans. The fan he finally settled on was one he took from a machine used to help people combat sleep apnea – the CPAP machine. He found this fan in the parts bin in Milwaukee Makerspace.
However, although it works well, it does move more air than necessary. The other negative is also that these parts are very hard to come by or expensive.
So, he took to the depths of a RepRap forum to find an alternative answer. What he came up with was very interesting – he decided to test out a 3D printed impeller and housing. To complete the blower, he used a hard drive motor to make it spin.
“I decided to try my hand at designing a printed blower that would mimic the function if not the performance of the CPAP blower,” he explains. In the video below, you can see the result of his proof-of-concept.
Pick up a Hard Disk Drive from a Friend’s House & Get to Work
The hard drive certainly provides a cheap and easy to source solution to Rehorst’s CPAP problem. He explains: “The heart of the blower is a hard disk drive motor which most people can pull out of an old drive for free. If you don’t have one, someone you know does.”
To create the proof-of-concept blower, he first picked up a hard drive from his local makerspace. Then, he took measurements and created a model for the motor. Next, he did the same for the impeller and finally the housing.
Although Rehorst did a great job in creating the resulting 3D printed blower, he adds that the next phase is to add the CPAP hose and experiment with a design where the exit port will be on the base of the housing which he adds will be easier to print.
Find out more about Rehorst’s proof-of-concept blower in his latest blog post.