3D Printed Pop Pop Boat

by YosemiteSam, published

3D Printed Pop Pop Boat by YosemiteSam Jul 6, 2015

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77164Views 10506Downloads Found in Engineering


Video presentation: https://youtu.be/iqzEAgVLHtQ

Short GIF animation: http://shrani.si/f/31/10X/vUkJr1K/pop.gif

3DPrint.com article: http://3dprint.com/79580/3d-printed-pop-pop-boat/

The boat is powered by steam, using a candle to boil water in a “boiler.” The water boils, thus expanding into steam, and this expanded steam pushes water that is in the exhaust (plastic straws), causing the boat to move about the water. Then when the water cools down, it creates a vacuum which sucks more water into the exhaust, thus creating a cycle that repeats itself. While this process is occurring there is a very clear popping sound created, thus the name “Pop Pop Boat” is quite fitting.

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How do you make the boiler?

Just wondering what made you use straws instead of printing the exhaust?

It is about low surface energy plastic they are made of.

My guess is straws are cheap, abundant and the right shape?

is there any way to stop the PLA from melting?

You shouldn't use PLA it's melting point is too low. ABS will work and is supported by most printers.

This is a great project for teaching Thermodynamics in Physics class. I printed this with Ultimaker and used CPE as a filament. It came out really good and smooth but the straws I have did not fit through the holes at the back of the boat. I just printed the way it is. Should there be any scaling? How about the straw size? Do they vary?
I also think that you may want to improve the video with more detailed instructions since there are some points which are not very clear and we need it to guess.

This is the coolest things I've seen on Thingiverse! You deserve the award :)

How was the engine oriented while printing, how did everyone get so smooth tabs without supports? And if you print the folioside up,there would be overhang in the rear straw hole section... I printed this upside down without supports, which means that my tabs got visible stringing when assembled. Good thing that the surface that is faced to hull is flat and print succeeded without supports.

The engine shall be oriented as seen on the picture above. I used support material for tabs. I did not get any overhang in straw hole section. Which printer do you have?

inches, mm, or cm for print size?

Great project!

You should definitely enter this in the MakerEdChallenge2!


Thank you. I think I will.

can you tell us how to prime the engine with water and what the acetone is for? Thanks

With acetone you polish the angine and make it watertight.

Hahaha!! i need to try this experience, It's really fun. i like it!

Very good project.Thanks

Of course you need to prime the engine with water, otherwise there is nothing that can boil and therefore there is nothing that goes out in the strawers..

how do you prime it? what is the acetone for?

With mine I just poured some water in through one of the straw holes.

Anyone get this to work with PLA? I tried and had no movement in a couple of minutes and the engine bottom kind of melted.

Do you need to prime the engine by getting water in it first?

PLA has a MUCH lower melting point than ABS...so making the boiler out of PLA, the plastic will melt before the water heats

Are there any instructions on how to put this together? The instructions are kind of hard to follow

This is awesome. Thanks for sharing!

There is something really adorable about the pfftpfftpfftpff sound it makes =)

Wow! I love this design!

Very nice work.
Definitely something to do with the kids.
Maybe it would be a good idea to add adjustable rudder so you can make it go in circles by itself.

Nice! Would this work with PLA? I really want to print it but I'm worried the heat will melt the lower temp PLA

No, PLA melting point is too low

Thin aluminium from a (bbq) tray works great. Glued it with a slight dent and it can only be in two positions, dome or bowl. I think this is what you need to make it work


3D Printed Pop Pop Boat
by dolpin

I went to a party supply store, and bought 5mm straws. It works great, and is fun to watch!

My bench straws are a mm thicker than the holes which causes nasty bunching. Maybe a version with 6mm holes?

I had the same problem. I ended up widening the holes, remixed under http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1571508

3D Printed Pop Pop Boat (6mm straw holes)
by knetic

I should test the engine with 6mm straws before I upload it, but I can upload STEP file which you can modify yourself.

I would appreciate if you could load the STEP files up so I can mod the engine. Thanks

I just imported the STL into Tinkercad, threw a few 6mm cylinders on the workplane, and lined them up with the original holes and used them to cut larger holes. Downloaded the new version and printed perfectly. Took 5 minutes.

Had the same idea but failed miserably. I know how hard it is to mix a flame and 3D printed material. You're a genius

This is easily in my top 5 coolest things I've seen come off of a print bed. I can't believe it didn't win.

Thanks a lot for sharing, it was fun to make, I have a suggestion for a slight modification though. Rather than the 4 circular tabs being flat on the top, if there could be some more material added to make a slight slope up to the top of the engine, it might make printing a bit easy on some printers, as the overhang would be less severe.

Nice Vid, Sam! ;-) I wanna like this twice, great model. Too bad you didn't win.

HI HI, I printed one and lighting the candle for over 15 mins,,,but it do not move ~_~ Could you help? Thanks.

It is important to have an appropriate tea candle with a bigger flame.

Bad vs. Good one: http://shrani.si/f/22/gd/2NC3Yuqs/p7212769-medium.jpg

Oh, I think I got a bad candle~~~ I will try again! Thx

could I use aluminium from a soda can instead of foil?

Aluminium foil from soda can is to thick.

I just printed it. The boat floats perfectly and I used Nickles to balance it out. I need to find better straws, but it worked great! THANK YOU!

Glad to hear that it works. What problem do you have with straws?

Mine are too big and too flimsy :(

Tanks for this post. I print-it!! But can you give more information about metal sheet and the mastic?

Buy aluminium foil in a local supermarket, but don't choose the cheapest/thinnest one.

You can find high temperature silicone adhesive in almost any store with building supplies.

I really like this!! It's great! My son will love it

This is great! I've wanted to make one of these for a while and I had assumed that printed plastic wouldn't be up to the job. Thanks!

Thanks so much for posting this. I somehow missed these pop-pop boats as a child. But thanks to my grandson, I can now act like a child again and make a fleet of these :)

So nice ! Great work ! It only misses a servo mount for direction and a camera/arduino mount ;)

very thin walls. It was breaking twice. Better make thicker.

Walls are 1.7 mm thick. Which filament did you use? I made it from Z-ABS which very durable and flexible material.

ILove it! This is a great 3d item. I'm waiting on my printer and will try this as one of my first items - for the grand kids of course (& maybe one for me).
Thanks heaps. Ian

I might have missed it in the video, but do you prime the tubes with water first?

Yes, the engine must be filled with water. I forgot to mention that in the video.

Thanks a lot Sam... Now I have to make one of these.. lol Great Job!!!

Thank you, sir. ;)