Engines are fascinating, but they are often the silent workers in our modern world. They do their work shielded from view, and we forget the impressive engineering that went into creating these new beasts of burden.
After the automatic transmission project was complete we were looking for more projects like it (complex prints demonstrating the flexibility of the MakerBots), and we found this radial engine design on Thingiverse. It is a fairly complicated design, with a lot of moving parts. However, it looked awesome, so we went for it!
We had just received our two new MakerBot Replicators, so we were able to get higher quality prints than we would have gotten from our older Ultimaker. The printing of all the parts was done over a summer, when I did not have as much access to the Studio as I would have wanted.
Here are a bunch of pieces in various processes of being assembled.
The red gears above the stand are the inner workings of the engine. Input torque will rotate the gears which will then push the pistons up and down (converting rotational motion into linear motion). In a regular engine, power would come from the pistons, converting linear motion into rotational motion, but since we can’t actually put gasoline in our engine, we have to do the process in reverse.
Now we are ready to put the cylinder heads on!
At first I tried to put the cylinder heads on after I put the gear housing on the stand. However, that turned out to be more challenging than I thought.
In the end, I took the gear housing off the stand and then I attached the cylinder housings. I had to replace a couple of internal gears that broke off, so here is a picture without most of the inner gears in place.
Here is the finished product! By far the most complicated one.
If you want to check it out yourself you can find the 5-Cylinder Radial Engine Model in Studio M, along with a bunch of other cool models.