This instructable is a continuation of a post from 2011 (http://www.instructables.com/id/Machining-a-Mini-Tesla-Turbine-from-Cardboard/
). The Cardboard Tesla Turbine (CTT) was based on a Popular Mechanics
article describing the construction of a steam-powered, metal turbine that was published nearly 50 years ago. A year later, I've added spray painting and detailing tips as well as some disappointing results when attempting to power the CTT using a cartridge of compressed CO2
. I chose colors to create the appearance of precision machinery crafted from brass, copper and titanium alloy. The rotor discs were painted to resemble a carbon fiber composite of high tensile strength.
The original project was made from closely spaced, cardboard discs centered on a threaded steel rod. The rotor assembly was suspended in a bathroom tissue role by a supporting assembly. The aviation grade bearings were housed in retaining assemblies. When a stream of air from an electric air pump was injected into the manifold, the stream spiraled inward between the discs toward exhaust ports surrounding each disc's center. The stream exited the turbine along the axis of rotation. Peak rotor speed was measured at 2,220 RPM. Note that the following instructable assumes that you have a fully functioning CTT that is ready for painting and customizing. Warning
Anything attached to the rotor shaft could fly off suddenly if not properly secured. In addition, the sudden decompression of CO2
as the gas escapes from the cartridge produces extreme cold. Use heavy gloves when handling the cartridge.