Cheap ROV Thruster

A 3D printed ROV Thruster based on the Blue Robotics T100 Thruster design and a cheap A2212/13T 1000KV brushless motor

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I really like the T100 Thrusters made by Blue Robotics, but I'm also cheap. My current ROV uses cheap brushless motors which cost $5 each - the T100 costs $119. But I wanted a better prop design. As it happens, Blue Robotics publish the CAD models for their thrusters, so I decided to modify them for my cheap motors and fire up the 3d printer.

Thruster - Main.stl

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 9.66 MB - 11/21/2016 at 22:55


Thruster - Prop (Rev).stl

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 1.31 MB - 11/12/2016 at 06:55


Thruster - Back.stl

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 2.83 MB - 11/08/2016 at 22:46


Thruster - Support.stl

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 4.29 MB - 11/08/2016 at 22:46


Thruster - Prop.stl

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 1.31 MB - 11/08/2016 at 22:46


  • 1 × A2212/13T 1000KV Brushless Motor
  • 2 × M3 x 12mm stainless steel hex screw
  • 4 × M3 x 8mm stainless steel countersunk screw
  • 1 × 3D printed parts (files included above)
  • 2 × 6-32 socket head screws (length depends on mounting)

  • Alternate mounting

    Tim Wilkinson11/21/2016 at 22:54 0 comments

    I've redesign the mounting system a little bit. Now, rather than using round headed bolts that you have to epoxy into the thruster, you can now use hex headed bolts which slot into the newly designed holes. Because they're hex shaped they will no longer rotate when you're trying to attach the thruster to your frame - even if you didn't epoxy them. It's just better.

    I printed a sample piece to make sure it all works, and have updated the STL.

  • Anti-clockwise

    Tim Wilkinson11/12/2016 at 06:57 0 comments

    Added the STL for the anti-clockwise prop. You could just mirror the original prop before printing, but this save you the bother.

  • Mounting

    Tim Wilkinson11/11/2016 at 17:37 0 comments

    My ROV projects are based on the ServoCity aluminum beam system (see As such I have adapted the mounting system on the Thruster to match the spacing of the beams.

    Two bolts are slipped into the spaces in the main housing. These are a tight fit, but if they are loose you can epoxy them in place. The bolts are then passed through the beams and bolted in place.

  • Editable

    Tim Wilkinson11/10/2016 at 05:52 0 comments

    If you want to copy and edit my thruster changes to accommodate your own motor, you can find it on OnShape here:

View all 4 project logs

  • 1
    Step 1

    The 3d printed thruster is split into 4 pieces:

    • Prop - the bit spun round by the motor
    • Support - the support which holds the motor to the Main frame
    • Back - the back which protects the cables and provides better hydrodynamics
    • Main - the main thruster enclosure, Kort nozzle, and mounting plate.

    Of these four pieces, only the 'Main' piece remains unchanged from Blue Robotics design. The other pieces have been adapted to accommodate the specific requirements of my chosen motor (seen in the picture above attached to the Prop). If you choose to use a different motor, you will probably have to tweak these pieces again.

    Assembly is relatively simple. The prop is pushed onto the motor (it's a tight fit and, so far, has not needed any other attachment than friction) then the wires feed out through the 'Support' (the x-shaped piece). These three pieces are then assembled using M3 bolts, inserted into the holes on the 'Back' pieces and screwed through the 'Support' and finally into the motor body. The result looks like this:

    This assembled pieces is then slotted into the 'Main' part and attached with four screws.

View all instructions

Enjoy this project?



Fatih wrote 06/05/2020 at 15:51 point

My friend I sent you a message. Please check your message box

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Michael Dornisch wrote 04/04/2020 at 22:19 point

Excellent work! Would you consider supplying editable cad files?

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zeuzzzstev wrote 02/19/2019 at 09:57 point

does it need any kind of sealing fluid kind of thing to stop water from getting inside

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zeuzzzstev wrote 02/19/2019 at 09:56 point

does the thing really work underwater..? i want to use this for an underwater drone project . please reply soon

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vinithkumarcs777 wrote 01/09/2019 at 09:16 point

I wanted to print the THRUSTERS . What is the material used to print

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Abraham wrote 07/18/2018 at 08:36 point

Amazing project, I would just like to know how deep this can go?

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Leonardo wrote 11/20/2017 at 22:21 point

is it the last version that you are using in your rov project?

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Mike Bardsley wrote 07/03/2017 at 17:59 point

Thanks for all your hard work on this.  I am printing one now to test fit a slightly better motor for my thrust needs, and will update you on how your printed design works out.

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polyhistor10 wrote 11/22/2016 at 00:38 point

Well done Tim, an inspiring and ambitious project. Keep us informed on your progress and testing.

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