Stuff I learned along the way whilst trying to build a mock-engine
I knew I wasn't in for a walk in the park, however I didn't expect to his as many roadbumps as I originally expected
There were so many things I've always wanted to do in high school, but couldn't due to money, resources, or equipment needed -now that im in college, im immediately trying to take advantage of everything I have at my hands! Many passions can start off as a curiosity, or seeing something cool and wanted to know more. Growing up watching F1, and endruance racing I've always wanted to know what it would take to be working in these competitive fields. Making myself go through the struggles of design somthing that doesn't even work, seems like something reasonable, and it would be great on a resumé
What engine did I want to create a replica of?
The Porsche Flat 6 enigine! I love the amazing screams, revs, everything about that engine. to me it is the unltimate testiment of art, and craftsman ship. I feel in love with this engine when I started watching endurance racing more often. Porsche is one of the few manufactures left that know what Petrol heads love, they know how to sound tune, and stay to their roots when it comes to racing. their GTE cars sound amazing, and their most recent RSR edition of the 991 takes the cake. I genuinely thought to my self, this would be an easy few days on CAD, and some days in the manufacturing centere.
Somethings always look good on paper.
Before I went on this arduous journey I thought, it'd be easy to scale something down, so that it would fit nicely on a desk, and appear as very cool trophy. WRONG, I was very wrong. whilst researching to see how other people designed engines for practical use, most of them used standard parts, and could fit in the various other components needed due to the scale being "normal". My goal was to simply have something that would work on smaller scale. realizing the limitations of both my universities toy box, and pocket; I knew I couldn't make it fully functional. In addition to not being functional I have to make the casing in such a way for 3D printing machines to handle.
Ez I thought
See the image above? For the more knowledgable Petrol head im sorry for making you cringe. the main issue I had with my older designs was that pistons were mirroring each other, clearly I didn't think threw how this design in real life wouldn't work. this was an easy fix to say the least. the next issue I had that gave me headaches was crankshaft. I found a solution to the issue, that being designing the component in such a way that I could edit any part, whilst asembling it on Solidworks. im more annoyed at myself for doing it that way. However this is something I don't expect to hook up to a gas tank.
Porsche doesn't have BP's of their engine designs online for obvious reasons
this little setback led me to seeing how other people designed engines on Solidworks, and to me watching various Flat 6 tear downs to see how they designed their engines. not a big inconvenience
Aluminum stock is expensive
Dbring my first couple of Solidworks designs I made pistons have a width of 4in(101.6mm) and a height of 2.5in (63.5mm), the issue with this design is that a foot of this stock would've costed me 102$, not alot you may think, but I want 6 of these built; and with the lathe's at my univerity I could realistically build 2, due to their strict safety policies in the lab. I could melt the left over stock and reuse it, but that would be more work that I don't really need. So redesigned everything to work with pistons that are 2x2", this has made the build cost dramatically cheaper, from 4" diameter of a foot worth stock being 100$, to 26$!
Where my work has gotten me so far
This updated design works well with standard parts, I have alot of work to do before I can buy the stock. That being, getting a 3D print of all the engine "parts" to see that everything fits, and making a few spec sheets, for when I go to the lab and make everything.
to sum up
If you really want to build something... you can! However, there needs to be alot of compromises made for in order for it to work; if you don't have alot of $$ or an exotic toy box at your home/workplace.