YouTuber Tim Station has presented a portable generator that can produce electricity using muscle power alone. In contrast to standard hand-crank generators, his 3D-printed design is said to work much more efficiently.
As Tim explains in his video, many such generators use simple DC motors, which are too inefficient for muscle power. His approach: a specially designed alternating current generator, similar to the technology used in bicycle dynamos.
He used 3D printing to produce rotors, stators and housing parts. His design uses magnetic fields induced by rotating permanent magnets to generate electrical voltage in copper coils.
By adapting the components, such as more windings or gears, it was possible to generate enough power to charge a smartphone or operate small devices. According to Tim, the design is therefore suitable for camping or emergencies.
The YouTuber makes the 3D models for 3D printing available to download free of charge on his Printables page. His YouTube video shows the complete design and manufacturing process.