Home Applications & Case Studies Verterra Energy Prototypes Large Water Turbine Using LulzBot TAZ 3D Printers

Verterra Energy Prototypes Large Water Turbine Using LulzBot TAZ 3D Printers

Minneapolis-based Verterra Energy uses LulzBot TAZ 3D printers to create a 1.2 meter long prototype of its hydropower water turbine. Dubbed Volturnus, the turbine could bring power to remote locations around the world.

The team used two large-format LulzBot TAZ 3D printers to create the prototype of the Voturnus generation III. While it is made up of multiple parts, it was important for them to have a large build volume available, so the number of parts could be reduced.

Prototype_for_VolturnusTed Christopher, CEO of Verterra Energy Inc. said: “The LulzBot TAZ has been tremendously beneficial because … once we’ve got the print started and running, we’re off doing other things. We’re going to meetings, we’re networking, we’re developing the business instead of actually hand fabricating. … There is no way we could have achieved the level of detail and accuracy by hand fabricating the Volturnus prototype. It’s so much easier and faster, and quite a bit cooler I think [with a 3D printer].”

Verterra believes that their hydropower water turbine could have an immense impact on areas that either don’t have any electricity yet or are just starting to develop an infrastructure. “We’re going to be able to go into these places and literally in the matter of a day they’re going to have purified water for the first time; they’re going to have electricity for cellphone towers and the Internet and computers and refrigerators and LED lighting,” Christopher explains.


While 3D printers have given them the capability to create the prototypes, Verterra Energy hopes to enter full commercial production of the Volturnus in three years.

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