After having some troubles with the 3D printer, I’ve finally gotten some critical parts tweaked and finished. I had to make some updates to the fly wheels so account for the screws that I had. The connecting rods attach much more nicely now with less play. The fly wheels now have a set screw that tightens onto the shaft. This way, I can adjust the timing of the pistons if necessary. Also, the mount that holds the shaft connecting the two flywheels was not very stable, so I have to make a new one tonight.
Currently, I’m printing a new set of brackets to hold the syringes. The original ones held the syringes too close together, which caused the silicone tube to kink. This is illustrated in the photo below.
My alcohol burner came in, so as soon as the parts are done printing tonight, I can test (finally!).
I have also started making the whale’s head from clay. I moved away from foam because it would have taken too long. The clay probably won’t end up looking as nice, but it will have to do for now.
3D printing certainly has its issues. I am glad you were able to finally create your critical components using the 3D printers. Are you using a threaded screw as a shaft? You may find it useful to use a dowel pin or a shoulder bolt to avoid friction between the components.
I’m optimistic about the clay…actually I’ve seen the outcome already and know it looks really nice so that’s not really anything insightful. This is such a cool idea though, I really love the randomness between the surrealism, the whale, and then all tying back to ME’s with the sterling engine. This feels like one of the most artistic (for art’s sake) projects in the class, including artistic movements and mechanical systems you’re building just to make one. I love the motivation, I hope you get it working!
I’m looking forward to your next update! Hopefully its all “working” and you got some testing out of the way. I’m really excited to see how this project turns out in the end. If you’re printing out of ABS, you can wash the ABS in acetone to give it nice finish if that interests you. Are you planning on painting the whale’s head? In the future, you could even try some of the molding techniques that Berndt Savig talked to us about. That could be a cool way to get a nice finished product if you plan on keeping this project and working on it more after the class is done! Good luck with everything!