5-Cylinder Radial Engine Model

by MakerBot, published

5-Cylinder Radial Engine Model by MakerBot Mar 21, 2013

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Since the first Radial Engine was built in 1901, the technology has been synonymous with aviation. The first flight across the English Channel was powered by a 3-cylinder 12 hp radial engine, built by Italian engine designer Alessandro Anzani. The heavy bombers of the Second World War were powered by massive 28-cylinder 4,300 hp radial monsters from Pratt & Whitney. The basic operating principle illustrated by this model is accurate to both. Radial engines have largely been supplanted in aviation by gas turbines, but are still found today on specialized acrobatic aircraft.

This 5-Cylinder Radial Engine Model is based on the Forest Edwards Radial 5, a radial model aircraft engine.

This engine started from excellent paper plans drawn by Robert Sigler. The engine described in Roberts’s plans is intended to be machined form metal, and had to be extensively modified to work with desktop 3D printing technology.

Here's a video of the engine being cranked by hand: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bvicarious/8043692271/in/set-72157631666979368

Created By Michael Curry


Welcome to the most ambitious mechanical 3D printing project you have ever attempted.

Full instructions are available in '5 Cylinder Engine Instructions.pdf'

The Big Engine in the photographs was made by scaling all files to 140%

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This thing is sweet! But, I'm having a problem with the timing gears. All other parts slice and print no problem, but the gears just "disappear", using MakerBot, no printable file is created. I have tried others with the same result. Is anybody else seeing this?

Just posted my build. Sorry about the multiple pics. Used my phone to post.

Brilliant model. Thanks for making it available.
Printed on a Da Vinci AOI on default fine settings. Only used supports printing the heads and probably didn't need them there.

The Piston_Pins.stl file comes up as a webpage that looks like some sort of Gcode. Any one else having this problem? All other files look great and am in the process of producing.

Could you provide AutoCad files or Dimensional drawings so I can make my own
drawings for a school project.

can anyone tell me why i keep getting a slicing error on every piece of this great motor model ive never had this problem with anything else ive printed from this site help please

Try NetFabb

if i could get anyon that can figure out my problem please email me at [email protected]

how come every thing on this wont print on my printer this is the only thing ive had this proble with if you could give me a solution please

i get this message when i try to slice it. 5:39:27 PM: <slic3r> The model has overlapping or self-intersecting facets. I tried to repair it, however you might want to check the results or repair the input file and retry.
5:39:27 PM: <slic3r> No layers were detected. You might want to repair your STL file and retry.

5:39:12 PM: <slic3r> Warning: The input file contains a hole near edge 62.982891,78.219978,0.000000-62.558971,75.000000,46.609001 (not manifold). You might want to repair it and retry, or to check the resulting G-code before printing anyway.</slic3r></slic3r></slic3r>

Try Running it through NetFabb

Anyone printed this in ABS?

this thing is awsome in all ways i have no springs and it works fine need gress

Has anyone made a hand crank for this yet?

Hand Crank for 5-Cylinder Radial Engine Model
Hand Crank for 5-Cylinder Radial Engine Model
by Gandou

This is a really neat model. I am printing this and cannot wait to see how it turns out. I noticed in the pdf file that there is an "electrical kit." I was thinking about using LEDs to simulate spark plugs but wasn't sure where they would go and how I would control the timing (the model does not have a distributor). Can someone point me to plans for the electrical kit?

This is a really neat model. I am printing this and cannot wait to see how it turns out. I noticed in the pdf file that there is an "electrical kit." I was thinking about using LEDs to simulate spark plugs but wasn't sure where they would go and how I would control the timing (the model does not have a distributor). Can someone point me to plans for the electrical kit?

Looking for a good place to buy the springs. Anyone?

springs from click pens

I do not have a maker bot but know a little about 3D printing so I have a question to clear up my mind. Is the model of makerbot that you used accurate enough to be able to print the whole engine assembly together instead of printing the individual components separately? I have seen it done with a crescent wrench where all the components (the main wrench body, the pin, the adjusting screw and the movable jaw) were printed together and there were air gaps left between the mating components. This completely eliminated the need for post-print assembly. Just a thought...

You may want to do a little more 3d print research before asking that question. I'll save you the trolled and just say "not possible" with current technology with a rendering as intricate as this.

you might want to talk to Emmett.

I watched that video and that would be a rotary engine. Kinda different from what they have posted here. This is a radial engine.

What's with the hate? This thing is awesome, I can't wait to print it!

this will be a long build.... let it begin!


But u would be a genius make it able to run by air.
polish the moving parts or ABS-coat them and add O-rings for tight fit.

acetone vapor smoothing haha, and o rings.

acetone vapor smoothing is nice but is quite different to abs-coating.

I only print in abs so i dont really abs coat things haha.

Oh look, something you released is open source.

used springs from promo click pens and cut them down

well sort of.. no actual source files included, only distributable stl's

The original sketchup deisign file is included. 5_Cylinder_Engine.skp

Excellent design! I love radials. Keep up the good work.

It figures they would post something that will take three spools to print. Cool thing though...

that is a friggin' awesome build. I am not worthy. :)

Does it actually run on air or something? or is it just for display?

You can probably move the parts by hand but there is no way a printed piston could work without a lot extra finishing. The "strata" in the surface finish (caused by the layers) would not allow proper movement.

Honing the cylinders, then fitting an O ring piston ring, ought to be enough for air though. I'd expect the biggest problem (for running more than a few seconds) would be compressive yield on the ends of the valve stems.

I would like to see a you tube video of it's assembly and operation.. Looks like it will take weeks of printing. I want to do it.

Ever since I saw this in the photo of the replicator 2 I've been wondering when or where I would find it, Awesome!