Design Review Part 2: Stirling Engine

As everyone around the world is experiencing the impacts of COVID-19, classes at CU especially hands-on, project based classes have been forced to adapt and change in extreme ways. With that being said for my project I am still confident that I will be able complete a functional stirling motor and achieve the steam punk and industrial aesthetic.

Before campus closed I was going to make the stirling engine out of higher quality materials with the intention of utilizing the machine shop and workers space to make a more refined final product. I wanted to purchase stock aluminum and machine that, and use the workers space to create a quality base that looked really good. With the closure of campus, I am shifting to other materials to create the stirling motor. Many people have created them using more recycled materials such as soda cans, coat hanger, scrap wood, and hot glue, rubber balloon and steel wool. Going along this route I will be able to acquire materials more easily however will have to work harder in maintaining the aesthetic goals I have in mind.

Image result for stirling engine homemade


I do not want to make a project that looks tacky and not well put together – even if it functions. I want it to look clean, and well made with aesthetic design involved. My goal is to paint components so that there is a color scheme, and that there is flow in the entire project overall. Additionally I intend to make similar components exactly the same size that way they look complete and uniform.


3/20 – Acquire materials.

3/26 – Make individual components and paint.

3/27 –  Create housing.

3/28 – Assemble and test.

3/29 – Redesign and work out bugs.

3/30 – If all goes well – add additional cylinders.


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2 Comments. Leave new

  • I really like your idea of trying to use the energy to do something. I would say definitely do that. Now what to do? I dont really know. The reel idea does seem practical, if it is possible. Other than that, I like the fan idea.

  • Zach Aldrich
    March 23, 2020 6:20 pm


    Your project was definitely one I was worried about being affected by the campus closures. I am happy to see that you have pivoted so expertly to this new project. I think this DIY sterling engine will also be very cool and am excited to see what the final product looks like. I have some extra CD’s lying around if you are in need of materials.


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