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Hello everyone.

Kids have asked me about a flying toy, so I have decided to make something special. I did some discovery and found nothing suitable. I decided to create something from the scratch, so have sit to the computer and spent some time with 3D modeling software, testing and etc. After a few days of research, they received a propeller launcher and propellers to it with amazing flying characteristics. I also decided to publish this project as part of "Make it Fly" contest. This propeller launcher can launch the propeller up to the 30 meters (10 floors) in height and about the 40 meters in horizontal distance (see promo video).

Some words about it. Because it's easy to lose the propellers on the street, loans, forest, they have to bring less plastic waste to the environment. That is why whole launched and propellers were designed to be made with PLA plastic, including gears, because it's bio degradable. Launcher assembled using small bearings, to get more performance and reduce the wear for axis, housing and make it last longer. Another one requirement was - get rid of rewinding the cord after the launch with hands, it takes a lot of time and that is exhausting. That is why this launcher has rubber powered mechanism that rewind the fishing line back to spool after the launch. Propellers are absolutely fine to fall to the asphalt from the heigh ≈30m, because of the large surface and small weight.

Important Notice: This launcher has gearbox with ratio 1:4 and propeller can spin more than 4000 RPM, so kids have to be warned about fast moving blades and other safety rules, if you decided to make a copy of this. If propellers has cracks, chips - throws it away and do not use!

Step 1: Get Prepared and 3D Print Parts

Picture of Get Prepared and 3D Print Parts
Handle print settings.jpg
Handle print settings2.png

Here you can find the parts for 3D printing and some pictures with hints how to print them. As perviously mentioned, even gears were designed are could be printed from PLA and there is to visible wear after 300+ launches. Total printing time is about 10 hours with 0.2 mm Layer height. Almost all models are printed with supports from the build plate. Housing was printed with "supports everywhere" mode enabled. Rubber holder for the spool axis, propeller and starter handle are printed with no supports. There is a trick in printing handle that can save you some time with removing supports, see attached images to this step.

There is attached "PropellerBase.STL" file, it's a base of the propeller, so you can use it to make own propeller designs.

Great job on these! I agree with your child about the leds and the commentor below about the whistletips, then they could be epic.
IgorM92 (author)  AgentPothead26 days ago
Hi. Just made one step closer to made this thing more "epic" LED upgrade could be found in step 10.
Great job! Once you add whistle tips these will be the ultimate in annoyance devices :D It will be one of the first things I print when I get a 3d printer for sure!
IgorM92 (author)  AgentPothead27 days ago
Thank you! As mentioned in the answer in the previous comment, I'm working on these features. Will keep posting updates to this Instructables.
That is rad, I think one of these will be the first thing I print when I finally get a 3d printer.
JohnC43027 days ago
here we go again. nice toy and works well, but is it worthwhile to spend days and a lot of money to build a toy that costs $1?
jrial27 days ago
I used to play with these things as a kid back in the 80's. But those were not nearly as well designed as this one.

Perhaps some experimentation could even yield props that whistle as they spin?
IgorM92 (author)  jrial27 days ago
Hi. Thank you for your comment. Yes, there was problem with these toys, 30 years ago or so.

>Perhaps some experimentation could even yield props that whistle as they spin?
Thank you for the idea, it's one of the directions with that I'm experimenting now. See for updates.