Acrylic Fan Blades

One of my first projects on the GF. I had a ceiling fan in bad need of new fan blades so thought I’d try some in acrylic. Used one of the existing blades as a template and cut from 1/4" acrylic. Can’t wait to see them in action!

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beautiful engraving!

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Wow, that is awesome! I bet they are beautiful when installed. But, I would probably have to clean them a lot… you can probably see every spec of dust!

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I’m hoping not as bad as the wood ones! I’ll just have to keep the blades running so no dust can keep up. LOL

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Oh, that’s going to make a beautiful effect on the fan! :grinning:

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I think it is going to look amazing. Please post a picture when you get them installed.

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Definitely! Thanks!

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Another wonderful example of what I would have never thought of to make on the Glowforge. This is simply amazing!

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What a COOL idea!! Love it!!!

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I like the idea but I suspect that the acrylic will sag over time under its own weight. This is a characteristic of most plastics and is called stress creep. The top of the blade is stressed in tension due to the weight of the blade and so the material on the top stretches over time. This will give you droopy blades.

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I’ll bet it throws an interesting light pattern on the ceiling (if the fan has a light).

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I’ve thought it might at some point. They are so easy to make I’ll just replace. :blush:
Also thought about combining with wood somehow. :thinking:

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Just means you need to keep it blowing down and fast so the air resistance keeps pushing up on it.

I’m sure that’s how that works right?

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I never considered this. I might try it with wood. Our landlord put in a ceiling fan with the tiniest blades ever. No air moves at all. Maybe I can make some and put the old blades back when we move… Then I won’t have to worry about trying to clean them later.

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@ben1 you are correct, however the centrifugal force will straighten then while the fan is blowing.

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Good news! I’ve been doing a little research and if this article is correct, I may be ok. :blush:
https://www.osborneindustries.com/news/top-3-creep-resistant-plastics/

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Based on the warp in my sheets of acrylic from leaning on the wall under only their own weight, you won’t be. While those materials are all creep resistant, it is on the order of saying acrylic is more fire resistant than paper.

@reynoso Since the centrifugal force in your statement works in the same direction as the stresses imposed by the gravity that causes the creep, it will actually make it worse. The only force that will counter the creep is upward push from the fan being run to push air down. Without putting a strain gauge on the blades during operation I can’t tell if the forces will balance or not, but again, the centrifugal force while the fan is running will exacerbate the creep since it will continue to stress the top surface of the blade.

You’ll be fine. I assume you’re using 1/4".

We had a ceiling fan with clear flat acrylic blades with a design painted on. I had assumed it was glass until taking it down, but then thought having spinning blades of glass overhead wouldn’t be smart!

It was quite old when we replaced it. You can buy them today. Most are now the “molded” style, like a propeller, but flat blades are still available. Unless they are “magic” acrylic, but I still wouldn’t lose sleep over it.

I used the old blades as a build surface for RC model parts on my lap while watching TV for a while, until a friend gave me a large sheet of heavy plate glass. They were pretty flat.

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Thanks for the info! :blush:

My father used to like watching scary everything. I remember an episode, I think it was from Tales from the Crypt (maybe…there were too many horror shows to remember), where a ceiling fan fell down and decapitated it’s poor victim…anyways, I was terrified of ceiling fans for the longest time, still scared they will fall-actually-my son was showing me a trick the other day and he almost hit his head on the head and I freaked out. So imagining glass ceiling fan blades just now brought that specific episode or movie right into my mind. I realise it’s an irrational fear, I’ve stopped the spinning blades a few times to clean it. But I can’t get over it. :sweat_smile:

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