3D Hubs wind power
3D Hubs will attempt to print using windmills only.
Weather permitting, tomorrow could see the first ever 100% wind powered 3D print in Copenhagen as 3D Hubs set out on another of their blue-sky thinking escapades.
Working together with 3D Hubs’ Copenhagen mayor Christian Behrens-Thomsen, who is also the 3D scanning and 3D printing dental technician at Scanbiz, they are planning to place two 3D printers at the top of a windmill and run an entire 3D print purely from the power generated by the airstream.
“Here in Copenhagen we’ve been having some discussions about 3D printing, windmills and sustainable energy.” Christian told us. “We thought it would be a good idea to mix the two technologies together and to demonstrate how 3D printing could be a green technology. 3D Printing is the future of manufacturing and hopefully wind is the energy that will power it. “
Interestingly, given that they have such an affinity with windmills it is two Ultimaker machines that will be whirling away on the ‘windmolens’. The Dutch 3D printer manufacturers have close ties with 3D Hubs and are often used on 3D Hubs' grand adventures.
Though the Dutch link is strong, particularly in the case of the windmills, it is actually more apt that the Danes should be hosting such an event. As of 2012 Wind Power, which is not only renewable, clean but plentiful for such a coastally dominated nation, provided over 30% of the electricity production in Denmark, by 2020 the Danish government want to up that to 50%.
Wind Power is big business in Denmark, with the world casting its eyes jealously to these kinds of renewable figures and bringing Danish manufacturers such as Vestas and Siemens Wind Power to help them emulate the Danish, though Christian and co. chose not to go down the big company route for this experiment.
“In Denmark there is a law that says 20% of the windmills have to be owned privately,” Christian explained. “We know somebody who has ten windmills. The bigger companies that own the windmills were afraid of us falling down (Ed. Probably both metaphorically and physically) and the contracts were too big for us.”
Christian’s connection with 3D Hubs is an interesting one, as Mayor of Copenhagen he organises the Maker Meetups and oversees any problems that may arise between hubs and customers in the Danish capital, however he also runs a hub himself, and not a hub for the hobbyists but a professional services hub for Scanbiz.
Whereas the majority of 3D Hubs custom comes through MakerBots, Ultimakers and the likes, Scanbiz run a hub with professional printers such as an Objet Eden 260, a ProJet 3510, an Mlab and a Form 1. This kind of professional bureau offering on 3D Hubs is becoming increasingly popular and no doubt increasingly lucrative for 3D Hubs.
“3D Hubs give us a new market and a way to sell our product without having to have calculation software, webshops and build stuff ourselves,” said Christian. “We can market a company and run it all through 3D Hubs. It is a very good platform for businesses as well as hobbyists.”
3D Hubs have always had the proverbial wind in their sails, projects such as this renewable 3D print and the Fairphone project show their dedication to not only bringing 3D printing to the masses but to make the world a generally better place… the venue for the windmill meetup doesn’t sound too shabby either... “taphouse.dk, a bar with 61 beer-taps, Europa's biggest tap-beer selection.”
**heads to Skyscanner for cheap flights to Copenhagen**