YouTuber Camden Bowen set himself a special challenge: He wanted to build a functioning combustion engine mainly from plastic printed parts. To do this, he used a 3D printer.
According to Bowen, the goal was to faithfully reproduce the complex processes of a piston engine – from the compression of the fuel-air mixture to ignition and exhaust emissions. However, critical components such as the crankshaft and flywheel had to be made of metal.
The results were mixed. While the engine occasionally produced ignition noise similar to an engine, continuous operation was not possible. Despite good compression ratio and reliable ignition, fuel delivery via lighter at the intake proved to be a weak point.
According to the YouTuber, the challenges of building plastic engines are enormous. Even engines made of metal often have problems permanently controlling the forces that occur. This is even more true for plastic.
Nevertheless, the project offers an instructive insight into how piston engines work. The replica makes it possible to illustrate details of engine construction.