On this page, I am going to show you the wind turbine blades I attempted to make with my CNC.
It turns out that making a set of blades is a lot more difficult than I had originally anticipated. As the wood was cut into the shape of a blade, it would slowly start to bow upward as the CNC removed more and more wood. This would cause the CNC to remove too much wood and thus resulted in a messed up blade. I couldn’t come up with a good way to clamp it down to prevent this from happening, so I eventually gave up on this project.
As it turns out, wind turbine blades aren’t actually that expensive to buy on EBay. Also, I don’t really have that much wind at my house, so I decided it wasn’t worth the trouble to try and make them from scratch.
However as long as I’ve already gone to the trouble to of designing the model in Sketchup, I figure that I might as well upload it to my website so that if anyone else wants to try and make their own blades with a CNC they’d have a head start. By the way if someone actually gets them up in the air, I most definitely want a picture.
Although I never actually tried them out in the wind, the blades are modeled around Hugh Piggott’s design, so I’m reasonably certain that they should work. I won’t guarantee them though so don’t think you can sue me if they don’t work. : )
Dimensions of Wind Turbine Blade
This blade is designed to be cut out of a 2×6 about four feet long. The blade itself is around 30in. long. If you wanted to, you could make it either bigger or smaller by resizing the model in Sketchup.
Sketchup Model of Wind Turbine Blade
Here is the model of the wind turbine blade. I have uploaded it to Google Warehouse so it can be downloaded directly to Sketchup. Click the image below to download. The G-code can be created from it by first exported this model as a STL file with the Su2stl.rb Plug-in. Once exported, it can be loaded into MeshCam for generating tool paths. (or at least that’s how I did it)
Here are a few pictures. The top two are of when only one side was machined. The bottom one shows what happened after it was flipped over and the other side was machined.
If you take a look at the picture right below this text, you might notice that there are no angles at the base of the blade. The idea is to use this spot to clamp down the 2×6 while its being machined and then cut the 30 degree angles out later with a miter saw.
Sketchup Model of Wind Turbine
Below is a finished Sketchup model of the wind turbine available for download. Note: Aside from the blades, this model was designed to look good not necessarily to represent a good design for a wind turbine.