Home Practice & Makers YouTuber produces 3D-printed combustion engine

YouTuber produces 3D-printed combustion engine

YouTuber Camden Bowen has documented an insightful process in which he used 3D printing and metalworking to construct a functional combustion engine. In the video, he shows in detail the challenges and solutions for building the engine.

Initially, Bowen pursued the idea of turning a cylinder from a standard steel tube and equipping it with a suitable piston. However, machining the material on the lathe turned out to be extremely complicated, as vibrations and rattling led to significant surface defects. After several attempts, Bowen realized that the finished bore was significantly larger than planned.

For this reason, he decided to modify the approach and manufacture the cylinder from flat steel rods. These were first welded and then drilled out. With the help of a honing tool, Bowen achieved the ideal surface structure of the cylinder. At the same time, he designed other components such as the crankshaft, connecting rod and cylinder head.

Once all the parts had been assembled and integrated, Bowen tested the engine. Initial tests with propane as fuel ended in the destruction of the 3D-printed engine block. Bowen saw one possible cause in the unfavorable ignition design. By optimizing the block and timing, he finally achieved stable idling with standard petrol as fuel.

Bowen was able to study the engine in detail during endurance runs of up to one hour. Despite considerable thermal stress, the components continued to hold up, underlining the robustness of the design. Details of the project can be viewed in this video:

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