2016 Various Thermoplastic Fabrication of Scaled Vertical Axis Windturbines – Team 1

Solid Wind Blade Design


The scope of this capstone is to design and fabricate a new style of wind turbine blade while testing the capabilities of one of the newest additions to the Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC), the Fortus 3D printer.

This blade design is following the data proposed by a master’s student Heather Rae Martin. The particular blade design is meant for a horizontal axis wind turbine or HAWT for short. The whole idea behind this project is to design the fabrication process as well as test its feasibility of printing wind blades out of thermoplastic.


The team has been working around the clock to secure their position in the ASCC with their safety training. As of early December the design for the turbine blade has been created and the finalized draft is on its way.

12/07/15: New blade design

New Wind Blade Design

12/16/15: The team is ready for break, but with that in mind they are dead set on gathering as much information on the printer to be used and how to best fit the blade root to the mount on the turbine.

12/18/15-1/19/16: Winter Break!

1/22/16: The team is geared up to get back to work and ready to hit the ground running with fabrication!

1/27/16: The current design plan is to have a thermoplastic negative of the blade in the form of a mold. This proposal will be going to the client for approval and further details.

2/2/16: Meetings with the printing technician are in the works to get a 1/100th scale blade. Current printer capabilities are still unknown, but the outlook is good. Possibly looking to print just the root to check fit and clearance.

2/11/16: The current 3D model is too heavy and needs an overhaul. Possible methods changed to printing the blade itself rather than a mold for the blade to be made out of. Changes to be made soon.

2/16/16: The blade design weight is still up in the air, but the team is narrowing it down. Materials for the printer are a determining factor in the weight. The density of the material is all that matters at this point. Possible outlook towards fiber re-enforced thermoplastic.

2/22/16: The main focus for the team is now to hollow the blade design to a 2mm wall thickness. This should use less material meaning less weight.

2/25/16: The team is now trying to gather the Stratasys software to further explore the printer’s capabilities and how the team might orientate the blade in the printer.

2/29/16: The progress made is being logged in the reports and the focus is now fully on the hollowed blade design.

3/1/16: With a hollowed blade design being finalized, with various thicknesses from 2mm and thinner, it is now time to calculate the various weights for the different materials the Fortus printer.

3/7/16: Spring Break Starts!

3/9/16: The thermoplastic specifications provided to the team are in and are being plugged into the model. The best usable material is the ABS thermoplastic, however, this material is not available.

3/21/16: Spring Break is over and it’s full speed ahead! The team is now in the process of testing densities of polyurethane expanding foams to see if it can add some rigidity to the blade.

3/24/16: Store bought polyurethane foam has shown to have a lower density than expected. Measured to be 46.48 g/cmthe density for the volume to be filled will not dramatically increase the weight.

3/29/16: Printing of blade sections begins on Makerbot 3D printers.

4/1/16: 8 of 13 blade sections printed out of ABS on the Makerbot. Two of these sections have been successfully adhered together.

Root Sections JB Welded Together


4/7/16: Still working with the Makerbot software and the settings to get a better finish on the blade sections as they are being printed.

Makerbot Printing Blade Section

4/12/16: The team has a complete blade!

Complete Blade

4/20/16: The team has presented the blade above to the client and they are now determined to have a single piece blade printed on the Fortus. This blade will be strictly used for conceptual use and it will be printed out of the stronger, more dense, PEI thermoplastic. Along with the change in material the team is extending the blade root to help strengthen the blade profile.

Extended Root Blade Design

4/25/16: A video camera has been secured by the team to record the printing process at the ASCC. The team plans to have a time lapse of the the whole blade being printed.




Aakan Mahboub:

Aakan is an international senior Mechanical Engineering Technology student from Saudi Arabia, Makkah. He used to work at the Saudi Electricity Company as an instrumentation technician. Aakan started his education with studying at the Intensive English Institute (IEI) at University of Maine in 2010. He has a full scholarship from the Saudi Ministry of Higher Education to study abroad. In 2012, Aakan started his Bachelor degree journey in Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET). His favorite sports are soccer and volleyball. Aakan is planning to start his career back home in Saudi Arabia.

John LaMarca:

John LaMarca grew up in Kittery, Maine and loves his home state. Whether it is hiking, fishing or hunting John loves all that the state has to offer. He intends after his undergraduate degree to stay in Maine and work as a Mechanical Engineer and help his state stay state of the art. He currently lives in Portland, Maine with his Fiancé Anastasia. He is currently a senior in his undergraduate carrier at the University of Maine and he is majoring in Mechanical Engineering Technology and minoring in Electrical Engineering Technology. He is the Team Captain of the HAWT (Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine) Capstone project group. He hopes to be able to use is prior knowledge that he acquired from his internships at Munters Co., Texas Instruments and Old Town Canoe along with his knowledge he received from his classes at the University of Maine to succeed and excel in this capstone project.

Cavan O’Donnell:

Cavan O’Donnell is originally from Maine and graduated from Brunswick High School in 2012. He completed his first year of collage at Southern Maine Community Collage from 2012-2013 going on to transfer to the University of Maine in September 2013 where he is currently a senior in Mechanical Engineering Technology. Cavan likes all things outdoors including hiking, biking, whitewater kayaking, and his favorite activity, rock climbing where he spends most of his free time and weekends pursuing. After graduating from the University of Maine he is determined to get a job at a mechanical consulting firm and pursue a masters degree in business administration to compliment an engineering background.

Taylor Slamons-Spencer:

Taylor’s home town is Hampden, Maine where he was part of the last graduating class from the historical Hampden Academy High School in 2012. He originally started his college career as a Mechanical Engineering major, but later found that the field was not for him. With aspirations still of becoming an engineer he switched to Mechanical Engineering Technology at the end of his spring semester sophomore year. Taylor enjoys cross country running, snowmobiling, listening to music, and has a passion for the outdoors. With his anticipated degree from the University of Maine he intends on striving for a higher purpose in the United States armed services. Then from there he hopes to develop weapons and equipment for the military and law enforcement.

Travis Chappelle:

Travis is a four year Mechanical Engineering Technology student at the University of Maine. He is looking expand his engineering experience by extending his minor of Electrical Engineering Technology to a second major. His good morals of education, dedication, and reliability help him succeed in school and in his work. Travis is the primary on the SolidWorks 3D model.

Sponsors and Donors:

The University of Maine School of Engineering Technology

The University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center


The progress in this project is mainly thanks to David Erb, Chris Urquhart, and Andy Goupee. The team appreciates everything these faculty have done for them and hope to continue work with them in future endeavors.

Thank You from Team#1