W Engines

by petropixel, published

W Engines by petropixel Apr 2, 2013

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W Engines by petropixel is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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No fooling!

Volkswagen wasn't the first to squeeze the two banks of a V engine together to fit under one cylinder head, but they were the first to wonder what they would get if they put two of THOSE together with a common crank. The result was an engine with four banks of cylinders, which they called a "W" engine (a name that had already been taken by a 3-bank layout, Wikipedia argues the double-vee or WR might describe it better). VW tiptoed in, bringing W8 and W12 engines to market first, but I'm skipping ahead to the ultimate version, the W16. You might recognize this as the layout used by the Bugatti Veyron.


W8/W12 versions now available for download! I will be adapting this new (crossplane!) crankshaft design to fit my VR engine models.


If you downloaded the W16 in the first few days and you're having trouble printing the crank, download the updated file, or the remixed one over there.-> Sorry!

Pick an engine. Print one crankshaft and two sets of everything else, using a high infill setting (unless you're printing the W8, then you just need one crank, two block halves and one set of "W16" pistons and rods). Sand or hone the parts until the pistons slide easily in their bores, rods spin on their crank pins, and the crankshaft actually fits together. Use 3mm filament as wrist pins for the pistons and rods. Slide one pair of piston/rod assemblies onto each crank pin (note that the pistons are not symmetrical, the lower edges of the piston crowns should face the center of the block. Each pair of piston sharing a crank pin should be facing the same way, if that makes sense.), then assemble the crankshaft minus the end pins. It's a pain, but I've added reference photos. Glue if necessary. Slide the pistons into each half of the block, then line up the crank holes. Press one of those end pins into the hand crank, then use pliers to press them into the ends of the crankshaft.

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halfblock files crash Slic3r

My Slic3r.exe crashes while opening W8blockhalf_repaired or W12halfblock_repaired :-(

In the W16 Crank model the center piece (the one with two holes) doesnt seem to be laying level in model space with the rest of the parts. Im using S3D and it first prints all the other parts, skips a layer, then starts printing center piece. Not a biggy if your printing at 0.1mm but at 0.25mm it came out pretty messed up.

engine blocks taking >60min and still not sliced in repetierhost.

How do you connect the pistons to the rods?????

if i print that, will it look exactly like what the picture shows? or do i have to change somethings.

You have to assemble the printed parts and maybe do a bit of sanding if things don't fit, but no major alterations

how do you download it as a .STL file on a flash drive?

I tried printing one out, there is such a large gap between the piston and the cylinder it just binds up. Sanding it makes it worse. Ended up with 3 broken cranks!

Any tips?


The blocks only have "repaired" in the filenames because they've been run through Netfabb, the "originals" would be identical except for some flipped faces and tiny holes in the mesh that cause really weird print errors.
It could just be a problem with your printer's tolerances, try measuring diameter of the cylinder bores and the pistons you've printed and then scaling up the pistons a bit before reprinting them to make up the difference?
I've never really had a problem with the crank but you may want to try the remixed version, others seem to have had better luck with that

I'll print out one next week, looks awesome! Would 0,25mm layer height with 25% infill work ok?

That's about the same layer height I used. Wish I had been more specific about what infill I used because I don't remember, but that should be fine?

What can I use instead of 3mm Filament??

I open up the holes a little with a drill bit and use 1/8" wooden dowel

thanks but instead I measured it up and created 3mm pins and they work just fine. not sure if its worthy of a remix though

could you please provide more information about these 3mm pins? I'm also trying to find a good pin for connecting the pistons. thanks!

how do you put it togther

how do you connect the pistons to the rods?

When I try to connect the crank pins the crank parts are breaking. Are the files designed that way, so I need to sand them? Or do I need to change my printing settings? The other parts fit well.

Sanding the pins and opening up the holes with a drill bit helps.

Nice model. Used the remixes crankshaft and it works good.

One of the crank parts isn't leveled at z=0 wich can lead to problems during printing

Ha, just failed the print twice on that as well. Oops! Worse though, I'm trying to print all pistons, rods, and crank parts at once!

Fixed now. There were a few parts that broke free of the bed when I printed the crank, I hadn't considered that one of them might have never stuck.

Did you upload a new W16 crank as well? That one has the same issue.

The W16 crank should've been the only one to have the issue, I uploaded the fixed one before I even started on the smaller engines.

Took me two failed prints to figure it out :) Printing with support now, almost finished.. If I can't clean it I will print the fixed version.

9W is the answer. What is the question?

"Herr Wagner, you spell your name with a V?"
"Nien. W"

In all seriousness, I worked on VWs / Audis for a large chunk of my life, and this makes me grin hugely. Considering all the grueling hours of precise work it takes to machine parts for a miniature model engine, it seems almost unfair that we can do this with our printers in a few hours... except that our model would melt if ever operated.

'W' in German is named (translated to English) "double 'v'", so the W moniker isn't an error of the native tongue of the engine's designers.

trouble slicing the block with kisslicer, lots of self-intersections, and degenerate faces. All the other parts slice great

Way Cool.. Put some gears on that thing. You might like this for some more inspiration.


Wait -- let me check the garage... Yep -- that's in the Bugatti Veyron alright. lol

Awesome model -- and educational, too. Thanks!