Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Book: The Pneumatics of Hero of Alexandria

The Pneumatics of Hero of Alexandria
Hero (or Heron) of Alexandria (c. 10-70 AD) was a prolific inventor and mathematician and is one of the first known creators of automata in the history of Western civilization. His original works were destroyed in the fire that consumed the ancient library in Alexandria, but some of his work survived by way of copies that were made in Arabic. Here is his work on Pneumatics, which included a working steam engine -- an invention that was perhaps several thousand years ahead of its time.

Here is the book The Pneumatics of Hero of Alexandria

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Book: Miniature Internal Combustion Engines

Miniature Internal Combustion Engines
Model engineers have been making miniature internal combustion engines for as long as that type of engine has been around. Some, though, have been put off from this endeavor because of the perceived difficulty of the task. This book attempts to remedy this situation. The text covers various internal combustion engine designs and their operating cycles. The core of the book provides detailed information about the process of constructing internal combustion engines. Readers with a basic knowledge of machining should find the information necessary to build a simple single cylinder engine. The book features tons of photographs and beautiful drawings to make the concepts clear.

Here's where you can learn more about Miniature Internal Combustion Engines

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Book: Making Simple Model Steam Engines

Making Simple Model Steam Engines
I don't have this book yet, but it is most definitely on my wishlist.

From the book description:
A highly illustrated, step-by-step guide to constructing a range of simple model steam engines, aimed at both beginners and the more experienced. This book details the construction of a range of simple miniature steam engines and boilers. The projects, each of which can be completed with only a basic workshop, range from a single-acting oscillator to more sophisticated twin-cylinder double-acting engines and a variety of boilers. A final project brings together engine and boiler for a simple steam railway locomotive. These projects are a perfect introduction to model engineering and an enjoyable exercise for the more experienced engineer or those who wish to pass on their hobby to a younger generation.

Here is a link to the book Making Simple Model Steam Engines.

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Monday, January 04, 2010

H-Racer car uses solar generated hydrogen fuel

H-Racer car and solar hydrogen fuel station
This little toy car uses a hydrogen fuel cell for power. To create hydrogen fuel for the car you just add water to the station's tank and let the solar panel do its job, converting the water to oxygen and hydrogen. No batteries. You have to love that. The H-Racer will run for about 4 minutes on a full tank of hydrogen.

Here's a link to the H-Racer & Hydrogen Fuel Station

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Two homemade steam powered praxinoscopes

Check out this set of steam-powered praxinoscopes. Both of the small steam engines and the praxinoscopes were made from scratch by Adriane and Marc Horovitz over the course of a year.

Here's a toy praxinoscopeand small Jensen steam enginewith which you might be able to recreate this build.

for some of your own experiments.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Tiny functional solar-powered brass engine models

Szymon Klimek creates tiny solar-powered miniatures like the steam engine show in the video above. The parts are cut from very thin sheet brass. He then hand-shapes and glues them together to create the final machine.

Here is a nice article on Szymon Klimek on Internet Craftsmanship Museum site.

Here is the link to Szymon Klimek's web site.

[ Thanks Karin! ]

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jensen steam engine model kit

Jensen steam engine model kit
Here's a nice little working model steam engine.

From the product description

Build a real head of live steam in the boiler, ease the throttle open and watch the engine take off. The stationary steam plants have nickel plated brass horizontal boiler, water gauge, whistle, safety valve, throttle, 3" dia flywheel and power takeoff pulley. Our dry pellet fuel model (includes 20 fuel pellets) has a single action horizontal piston engine and comes as a kit. It requires about 2 hours to assemble and mount on its roughly 7" sq base, using simple tools like pliers and screwdriver.

Here the link for this Jensen Steam Engine Model.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Sleek Stirling engine locomobile kit

Here is a very attractive Stirling engine kit. Stirling engines, you may recall, are powered by the expansion and compression of air.

From the engine kit description:
The finished engine is fueled by an alcohol burner that heats the front of the glass tube, causing the air inside to expand and contract and push the piston toward the gears. The piston is connected to a system of flywheels and pulleys that exert reciprocal force on the piston, causing it to move back and forth. The energy produced by the desktop engine can be harnessed to spin the integrated fan, illuminate the attached light bulb, and rotate the rear wheels, propelling the locomobile forward. Assembles in two to three hours.

Here is the link for the The Stirling Engine Locomobile.

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