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Working Oscillating Steam Engine MKI

by cbabbage, published

Working Oscillating Steam Engine MKI by cbabbage Jun 25, 2012

Featured Thing!

Description

Here is a fully functional, printable, oscillating steam engine.

I started first building a horizontal double action steam engine (you can see it in the background of the video link below,) but while working out some bugs on that one, I decided to knock this one out quickly and post it first.

You can see a video of it in action here youtube.com/watch?v=BIfqFAG5olU&feature=share

I will call this engine the Mark I, just in case I build an enhanced model down the line.

Recent Comments

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For those looking to cast this in aluminum using the plastic parts as patterns, Bre Pettis assures me that PLA burns out of a mold just like wax and is non-toxic. Instead of lost wax casting, you get 'lost PLA casting'.

Nice design and well done with the instructions, but like Bluemetal commented back in 2012 the clearances are a bit on the generous side. On the STL's all the holes are 1mm bigger diameter than all mating parts. If your printer is accurately calibrated then all the fits will be very sloppy. It will work but it wont be smooth, and it will take a lot more air to run than it should. Perhaps if your printer tends to print holes a bit on the small side and OD's a bit on the large side then it will work better. My only other comment is that the cylinder block could be a bit wider so that it covers the air supply port all the time. As it is, the air can escape when the cylinder is at its CCW extreme travel. I have a lathe and have bushed the main bearings with a brass tube. I plan to re-make the piston and cylinder so that I can make it work efficiently with a pump up garden sprayer as the air supply. I will be making the piston large enough diameter so that I can sand the surface smooth, as the ridges from the print layers act as a rattle going in and out the cylinder.

I built this, and managed to get it to run only to immediately drop it on a cement floor and break it. :(

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Instructions

There is an included instruction sheet. Follow that and it should answer most questions about assembly and extra hardware needed.

If anything is unclear, please feel free to post a comment or message me, and I will answer your questions.

Comments

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stanstumbo on Mar 8, 2014 said:

For those looking to cast this in aluminum using the plastic parts as patterns, Bre Pettis assures me that PLA burns out of a mold just like wax and is non-toxic. Instead of lost wax casting, you get 'lost PLA casting'.

nglasson on Jan 27, 2014 said:

Nice design and well done with the instructions, but like Bluemetal commented back in 2012 the clearances are a bit on the generous side. On the STL's all the holes are 1mm bigger diameter than all mating parts. If your printer is accurately calibrated then all the fits will be very sloppy. It will work but it wont be smooth, and it will take a lot more air to run than it should. Perhaps if your printer tends to print holes a bit on the small side and OD's a bit on the large side then it will work better. My only other comment is that the cylinder block could be a bit wider so that it covers the air supply port all the time. As it is, the air can escape when the cylinder is at its CCW extreme travel. I have a lathe and have bushed the main bearings with a brass tube. I plan to re-make the piston and cylinder so that I can make it work efficiently with a pump up garden sprayer as the air supply. I will be making the piston large enough diameter so that I can sand the surface smooth, as the ridges from the print layers act as a rattle going in and out the cylinder.

zimirken on Dec 20, 2013 said:

I built this, and managed to get it to run only to immediately drop it on a cement floor and break it. :(

khoch91 on Nov 4, 2013 said:

I made this and sanded down the contact surfices till they were smooth and oiled the berrings . I can run it just by blowing into the tube ... turned out great (hope oil doesnt eat abs lol) going to hook it up to some air duster and spin it up tomorrow and if that goes whell my dads air compressor till it breaks then ill see if i cant tweak the design .... really great design tho thank you!

khoch91 on Nov 2, 2013 said:

where is the stl for the piston? i would really like to build this but i dont want to have to design my own piston....

cbabbage on Nov 2, 2013 said:

It's there. Piston.stl

MovieGuy021083 on Jul 1, 2013 said:

I'm using sli3er and the top housing doesn't slice correctly I don't have netfabb can someone please post a fixed stl for lowly sli3er users like me lol.

ex-nerd on Jul 7, 2013 said:

slic3r reports quite a few of the pieces as non-manifold. My current printer isn't accurate enough to print this but maybe by the time I build my new one in a few months the issues will be fixed. fingers crossed.

Tannius on Jun 21, 2013 said:

ABS should be able to handle the temperature of steam right? Water boils at 100c and we print at 190+ depending on type of ABS. Just curious if the plastic would get too soft running actual steam through it.

Also instead of pennies in the flywheel, how about Rare Earth magnets? Then mount something like http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... to it. Put that engine to work!

ex-nerd on Jul 6, 2013 said:

Steam can get a lot hotter than 100C, though you have to do a little more work to get it up there. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...

Andychn on Jun 20, 2013 said:

This Thing as well as the LightCycle are the VERY BEST examples of a EXCELLENT support! Tolerances are easily met by a PLA printer. The model instructions are well documented. I WOULD DEFINITELY PAY YOU for more!!! $5-$10 per model! EASY!

Tannius on Apr 26, 2013 said:

I can see casting this from the printed parts in aluminum, attaching some magnets to the flywheel and hooking up a three phase generator. Hmm, I'm sure I saw a generator for a wind turbine somewhere else on here that could be re-purposed.

carpfisherman01 on Apr 15, 2013 said:

I tried sending the stl file for the upper frame to the program for solidoodle printer and it printed all the way unitl about half way up the first hole, it then skipped about 1/4" and tried to start printing and it was just falling but wasnt working properly. is there a fix for this. Thanks Ryan

Serenlater on Jun 25, 2013 said:

I had the same sort of problem. Half way up the fist hole mine started printing solid all the way through instead of continuing the hole. I had to run a few of the stl files through netfabb and check the gcode path in pronterface before I started the print to be sure what was going to happen.

Catprog on Nov 1, 2012 said:

I am wondering if it would be worth making a couple of pistons and combining them. (would need to make some crank with different positions of the pin. )

IcanCwhatUsay on Sep 10, 2012 said:

Sir, you might have mentioned this but I didn't see it. When do you plan on posting the other motor that's in the video?

pintokitkat on Sep 6, 2012 said:

Printed on my Replicator, it took a little (and I mean a little) bit of sanding to get the piston to slide and the axles/pivots to turn easily, but it all went together so beautifully, I'm so impressed.

Nice work, cbabbage.

I created an STL with all the parts on one plate so it can be printed in one go, if anyone wants a copy, email me at pintokitkat at gmail dot com.

:-D

Hondor on Jul 22, 2012 said:

Here is my version 8-)

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamai...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
&
amp;feature=youtu.be

I printed it on my replicator with 30% infill .15mm layers and 2 shells on piston and cylinder. I have scaled the piston up to 1.035 and the crank bushing to 1.05.
All parts are glued together with hotglue.
8-)

Bluemetal on Jul 4, 2012 said:

Great piece!

I am struggling to get the piston to match the cylinder.

In the STL's the piston diameter (10mm) is exactly 1 mm smaller than the diameter of the cylinder opening (11mm). The same is true for the frame bushings (OD 20.7mm) and the frame opening (ID 21.3 mm).

I needed to scale the piston up 11%
to get a reasonable fit but that makes it 11% longer and therefore unusable.

Have anyone else encountered the same issues on the build?

cymon on Aug 2, 2012 said:

Fix your filament diameter. You're laying down too much plastic so make your filament diameter thinner.

cbabbage on Jul 4, 2012 said:

There should be no need to resize the parts. I recommend against it. 1mm of clearance is a huge amount of slop for parts that need to move freely against one another. That said, depending on your plastic and printer, the amount of clean up will vary. If there is a clearance issue, I recommend to look at the flashing created by building on a heated platform. Also, you can take a wood dowel with sandpaper on it to help clean out any printing imperfections inside the cylinder. Also, printing imperfections on the piston can be cleaned up by chucking it up in a drill and lightly sand while spinning. I would like to mention that I did not have to do anything other than sand off the HBP flashing. Everything was straight off my TOM with little or no sanding. I feel the tolerances are pretty ample. When printed on my Replicator at work, everything is a bit loose.

elmom on Jul 4, 2012 said:

What software did you use? Source files would be nice regardless. Thanks!

cbabbage on Jul 4, 2012 said:

I used Animation Master. Not anything standard.

adam1mc on Jul 3, 2012 said:

You sir have done well with providing such a nice instruction sheet. I wish others even provided simple directions to complete the build, let alone make some awesome .pdf.

Thank you. I can't wait to build this

Has anyone printed this on a Cupcake?

franciscoAzevedo on Jun 30, 2012 said:

Congratulations to print your piece, if I can blow a permit in bronze and experiment driven by steam.

sorry for bad english.

martinbogo on Jun 28, 2012 said:

This wil be fun to print on a z406 powder printer. Should be lovely.

MyDeafDog on Jun 27, 2012 said:

This is a really great thing 8-)

Thank you for sharing...

macosten on Jun 27, 2012 said:

Seems really awesome, but how can I build this (Read: Assembly directions, please?) without already knowing how? Thanks ;)

cbabbage on Jun 27, 2012 said:

Download the PDF in the file list at the left.

Jolijar on Jun 26, 2012 said:

Upper frame has self intersecting facets... and doesnt print correctly.

cbabbage on Jun 27, 2012 said:

It printed just fine for me, so I must have not noticed. I will see if I can fix that.

bsg on Jun 26, 2012 said:

Any idea how you will solve friction issues? There's bond to be some tiny ball bearings available somewhere that you can design around. Plastic rubbing on plastic is quite funny, but not particularly useful.

cbabbage on Jun 26, 2012 said:

Friction? I just used lots of lube :) Works great!

moli on Jun 26, 2012 said:

Amazing! My son will go crazy when we print and assemble this. Thanks a bunch for sharing!

How do you attach the CO_2 bottle, and what type is it?

cbabbage on Jun 26, 2012 said:

In the video I was using an 20 lbs. industrial Co2 bottle with a regulator on it. I would recommend just using a regular air compressor regulated down to about 15 or 20 PSI max.

You can also use one of those compressed air duster cans for blowing off your keyboard. I was able to get it to run with one of those. I just used a small piece of 1/4 inch ID vinyl tubing to connect the air can to the hose barb on the engine.

TeamTeamUSA on Jun 26, 2012 said:

Nice! :)

Could this really run under steam? Wouldn't the steam temperature (~100 C) and friction undo it?

cbabbage on Jun 26, 2012 said:

I don't think running it with real steam would be a good idea, melting is about guaranteed ;)

BackyardWorkshop on Jun 25, 2012 said:

Nice! here's mine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

8-)

UechiMike on Jun 25, 2012 said:

What's the recommended print settings for this? (Infill/Shells etc.)

cbabbage on Jun 25, 2012 said:

I just used the defaults for my TOM, 1 shell, 30% infill. No raft or support needed.

rubisco2000 on Jun 25, 2012 said:

Very cool. Nice work. Must. Print. It.... :)

JerZ on Jun 25, 2012 said:

How many RPM is that thing going in the video? AWESOME!!

deezmaker on Jun 25, 2012 said:

Truly awesome! Nice job!

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