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Zephyr, a USB-powered breeze

The goal of the project was to design something of which I could make 10, and to sell all 10.

I decided to focus on the market of the USB-powered desk fan (above).


I saw a need for this product when people expressed to me the need to stay cool at the computer.

I sketched different ideas. Material contrast was key to creating something beautiful.

I prototyped extensively, testing different faces for maximum air flow from a PC fan.

The form was set. It was time to start building these things.


Each fan body was individually cut from solid walnut with a CNC mill.


Each fan body was hand-sanded and finished with tung oil.


Stands were fashioned out of steel rod.


Holes for the USB ports were cut using a laser cutter.

USB ports were soldered to potentiometers, potentiometers soldered to the fan wires.


Faces were cut out of white acrylic using a laser cutter.


The fan assemblies were inserted into the fan bodies.


Fan grates were fastened to the fan using sheet metal screws.


The face is held in place with hot melt adhesive, allowing it to be removed if the fan needs service.

10 Zephyr fans displayed and sold at Georgia Tech's Make10 Design Market.


PS: The laser-etched tags were created from the wood pieces left behind during the CNC milling.

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