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Inventor 3D Prints Solar Powered Motors Meant to Run Non-Stop for 100 Years
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By Birdget Butler Millsaps | 3D Print

We all have our own wishes and goals regarding posterity, as well as how we might want to ‘go out,’ whether that’s in a blaze of glory or maintained in memory for decades through a whirring pair of 3D printed motors.

There are a number of rare and noble individuals who do take the time and effort to leave something useful behind, something that will still be contributing once they are gone.

Presenting the ‘100-Year Motor,’ YouTube member 3D_Printing has made two EZ Spin motors, which he hopes will run “far after [he is] gone.” Certainly a curiosity, this idea for running two motors under power for one hundred years leaves us all wondering about numerous details, mainly regarding power and durability.

3D_Printing has attempted to think of every angle in terms of longevity, but it really boils down to energy power–and the assumption that if there is a trendy zombie apocalypse, no one will be interested in knocking over 3D_Printing’s project.

The two motors are exactly alike except that they spin in opposite directions from one another, sitting side by side. Featuring five-volt solar panels, they each contain a circuit board, but one contains only one diode and one five-volt super capacitor while the other contains four diodes and four five-volt capacitors. This means that the latter (the one on the right in the video) is four times as powerful.

The simple–but genius–point of the diodes is that they keep the solar panels from discharging energy in the evening. During the day, the motors run off power from the solar panels, and at night, the motors run from the super capacitors.

The narrator, also the creator of the motors, has made every effort in hopes that the energy sources will last for at least a hundred years. It’s hoped that the solar panels will also be able to power the four AA batteries contained within the retrofitted motor on the right, even able to power it easily through winter months.

“I decided it was a safe bet that the sun would be shining for the next 100 years so I might as well capitalize on that free energy source,” says the narrator, 3D_Printing. He points out that using solar panels is also much easier.

– 3D_Printing

As the creator points out though, without the technology of 3D printing, he would not have been able to make these motors, difficult as they were to produce.

“Not only do you really need to 3D print the design, I found that if I hadn’t had a 3D printer, I wouldn’t have been able to make them, and I certainly would not have been able to make the one on the right,” he says. “I also had to re-print some of the parts because I actually broke them while I was trying to solder the bobbins.”

– 3D_Printing

Between soldering wires and dealing with melting issues, 3D_Printing spent countless hours working on this project, and plans for these to be the only two he will make–so let’s set reminders and notes on calendars for our future generations to check in and see if these little gizmos are still running via the sun in a museum somewhere, unfathomably, in 2115.

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Posted on April 9, 2014
PRINTERS

By Michael Molitch-Hou | 3D Printing Industry