I’ve been inventing an radial type engine to print out on the 3D printer. Here is what I have to show at this present moment.
Some bits broke off when I was assembling. It’s actually quite hard to get the scale of your model to mesh with the minimum thickness and the stress tolerances that the printer and the substrate can ultimately achieve. It’s all part of the fun learning that this amazing new technology provides. I’ve almost used an entire reel of 700g filament already but I don’t mind. It’s cheaper than nano-technology, and much much more accessible to the consumer. Especially when the costs come down, which is inevitable, I’m sure.
I was going to adapt it for an idea I have, but I also just wanted to see if I could create a functioning scale model of something already existing, first. The thing that amazed me about myself (that one of my ideas actually worked!) is that it all holds together. I made it all tongue-in-groove and clip-in joinery. So no need for glue or anything. The entire model stands on it own. It’s just life size Star Wars Lego for old farts like me. Come to think of it. It actually looks a bit like the Star Wars Galactic Empire logo. You know, sometimes I feel like, to quote Robot Chicken. A Jar Jar Binks that’s together with you forever! All sparkley glowey! Or like I’m that guy, an old Yahoo Serious in a Young Einstein sequel or the Doc trying to save Michael J Fox from those elusive time travelers coming back from the future.
What I did was, I modeled everything in Maya and then exported it as an obj and the opened it in Blender and exported the parts individually as separate stl files, which is the only file-type this printer seems to accept in its software. Thus sometimes world scale became a bit of a issue in the translation between the three programs, until I worked out the exact blend which all programs were happy.
The hardest part is getting the scale right so that I can actually print all the parts up on the printer. I can’t print it all at once because the whole thing ends up being too small. I did try it, but to no avail. I ended up pulling most of the actual model off it with the raft and the printed supporting material. I admit I’m not being very methodical at this, and to be totally honest , I am a bit rough pulling it off the printer perfboard with the spatula. I almost took the top of my index finger off and I bled all over the nice white plastic. I really recommend you use the supplied gloves!! My bad. I’m a bit all trial end error while I climb the learning curve, but once I work out the production pipeline everything will be perfect!
I hope this stuff is recyclable!!
The Eclipse Engine.
I call my idea an Eclipse engine, it’s sort of like the marriage of a Radial and a Rotary (or Wankel) engines together. Mainly because of the offset of the two axes of the flywheel and the crankshaft similarities. The outer encasing ring is where the gasses are injected and the exhaust is extracted on the opposite end. Where the valve encasement actually forms an eclipse-like shape. Thus gives it its name.
It also would have the option of Turbo supercharging subject to the local permits.
Here are some 3D renders.
Where the crankshaft or handle looking thing is at present, is where the drive shaft, axle, differential or gearbox would be attached, depending on the application. The idea being you could probably stack six of these in a line, in the same space as a regular 6-cylinder and have a total of 36 cylinders.
The Wheel Inside The Wheel
The other idea was to make the entire engine itself the wheel. My engine inside a wheel idea, that’s been floating around in this thing in my skull and need to get out. Which is basically the reason why I’m trying to build this in the first place. To try and invent a four engined, four wheel drive vehicle, where there is an engine in each wheel. Internal combustion or Electric, it doesn’t matter. Which brings me to the next idea.
The Eclipse Electric
The greener alternative to this engine is the electric version. Rather than using combustion and fuel, using a strong electromagnetic coil on the firing cylinder and have neodymium magnets of opposite polarity at the top of all the pistons and a mechanical-electrical switching circuit triggered when the piston reaches the top of the compression cycle and makes physical contact with the electrical conduits.
It could also utilise some sort of Bedini coil, Rodin coil or Searle device.
For the fans out there, here is a sneak preview of the next upcoming 3D printing projects:
The Elephant House.
More to come…