Step 6: The main piston

Cut a piece of 10 mm from the epoxy cement and knead it very well (~ 1 minute) until the epoxy has a homogene colour and gets a light warm. Fill it into the cylinder and compress it with a wooden staff (which must be oiled before using).
When the glue is hardened, press it out from the cylinder (use the wooden staff). Use a hammer and hit the wood carefully. It's not so easy, but it works.
Now cut the uneven Part of the piston with a saw. Smooth down the piston and the cylinder very well. Smooth down the piston so long, until it moves very easy in the cylinder.

It is very important that the piston easily moves in the cylinder and seals this, nevertheless, very well.

Drill a 1 mm hole across the bottom side of the piston. Attach a 0.8 mm wire with two isolation parts (for centering). Don't forget the piston rod. This is made of 0.8 mm wire. At the ends make a very small loop with the round nose pliers. The length over all is 60mm.
Awesome.<br><br>&gt;insert jaw dropping sequence here.&lt;<br><br>&gt;Insert jaw lifting sequence here.&lt;
Does this thing go faster if u apply more heat????
This engine is driven by the temperature difference between two parts of the engine. More heat difference = more speed
it should
Use small dc motor generator power for Led will be much Green and fun.<br>But still very good idea.
I like so much<br />
If you added a little coil and capacitor along with each LED with a few magnets situated near the flywheel, the motion of the flywheel could generate the power for the LED's.
trying your idea<br />
Good idea, since a hard drive has already been dissected there would be the option of the (voice) coil (assuming it can be extracted without destroying it - sometimes they are deeply embedded) or the stepper motor with some diodes to convert the AC to DC (or just wire a whole lot of LEDs across the four coil lines in different ways for a strobing effect). Probably a bad idea to spin the stepper around at that speed, not to mention difficult, So that option would probably work best with a belt linkage to the axle of the engine, the hdd platters could even be used to lend some inertia to the axle. drew
Congrats! Nice work!<br />
wicked man, this is really really awsome!
good luck!
Imagine a V8 Stirling engine? I have to go try this now.
i realy like your stirling engine an am going to make it but i have a few questions before i start, so if you could message my user acount or post the answers here that would be nice. Q1: with the epoxy that makes the piston, what brand is it? Q2: where can i find a hdd head from? Q3:where can i find a heatsink from?
Q1: with the epoxy that makes the piston, what brand is it?<br/><strong>I don't know</strong><br/>Q2: where can i find a hdd head from?<br/><strong>An old harddrive laying around</strong><br/>Q3:where can i find a heatsink from?<br/><strong>An old heatsink laying around</strong><br/><br/>My best suggestion if you don't have these just laying around--go to a thrift store until you find an old pc--then harvest it.<br/>
Note that it actually doesn't even have to be a putty "kneading" epoxy, it can be a 2 part pour/mixable epoxy. It's all about making SURE it doesn't Stick! (If you use 2 part liquid epoxies, 5min epoxy works the best I've found) Also note, that there's probably one angle that the piston will slide smoothly if done properly, so there's no need to sand it down. BUT, if you can't get it to go smoothly, it's ok to sand it. Anyways, interesting job using the putty epoxy, I never thought it would work when I made mine a while back.... hmm... probably a lot easier to work with too... Oh, and careful with that Styrofoam, if you run it too long it'll melt. I bet some lava rock would work pretty good though... cool pictures by the way! like the instructable!
Why does the brand matter? Just buy a decent priced one. Your can find the HDD head from a hard drive. Your can find the heatsink from an old computer. If you can find an old computer that is'nt needed you can salvage the HDD head also. If you cannot find an old computer you could buy a heatsink online.
huh...I will start gathering the parts ASAP...it looks like a cool toy
Stirling engines are awesome! I can't wait to see one of these: <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.msi.com/index.php?func=newsdesc&amp;news_no=591">http://www.msi.com/index.php?func=newsdesc&amp;news_no=591</a><br/>
W00T! Nice job. I like how this is like a steam piston style.
it would be awesome to add multiple LEDs along the length of the arm (of different colors) like <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.technomoves.com/images/2-5_led_spinner_globe_300.jpg">this thinger</a> and watch it spin in the dark<br/>
That's true. But it should only be a suggestion (and.... I had only 2 lithium cells).
it should only be a suggestion? im afraid im a bit confused...
can you power it off a shining light bulb?
Yes, it's possible. I tested this with a 12 V, 35W(att) Halogen-spot. If the distance between spot and bottom is approx. 1 inch, it will run.
will it run quickly?
No, not very fast. I think it will run with approx. 60 turns per minute.
Can you power it from the heat present on a hot water pipe?
probably not
Is there any issues with cutting a pressurised container?
Don't cut a container under pressure !! It's much safer to use container from canned-beer, red-bull, coke or so. I have revised the instruction (step 3).
probably that it's filled with highly flammable chemicals that can ignite on a few simple sparks... try to keep the can open (by pushing the button down with a weight or something) overnight before you start cutting.
I like this sterling engine design a lot, thanks for posting this! We should call these LED spinnies instead of throwies.
Thanks, that's a good suggestion. But - if you power the sterling engine with much more heat, it's possible that the "spinnies" becomes "throwies" ;-)
Nice project, but the question i have: is the weight in the back supposed to act like a flywheel?
No. This is only to compensate the weight of the auxiliary piston.
i wonder how fast this could go if you made the heat source more powerful
i've wanted to build a simple stirling engine for ages, but there's one problem- all of the simple engines look awful and the good looking ones are complex- But not this one..
Very interesting!
5/5 and heart !
Title is misleading. The LED's are affixed to the contraption, and therefore are not "throwies" but just "lights"
If I were you, I'd remove the "edit this step" link from substep 3.
I like Stirling engine great works!
Wouldn't this be a little to big to be considered a throwie.
very interesting! I prefer the slow rhythmic movement. it's hypnotic. I bet this would look amazing in the dark, this slow spinning light. How about adding a collar around the candle to black out it's light (and maybe as a wind guard!) Neat project!
that would be a good idea to block out the unnecessary light. however there needs to be vent holes along the top (exhaust) and bottom(intake) so the candle will stay lit or else when you put the collar around it, it will simply die out after using all the air in the chamber. so yea with vent holes it should work.
Wow.... This is awesome. I think this would be great for looking at when you're bored. I agree with mikeasaurus, it IS hypnotic... I think this was a good way to make a motor. Maybe you could make another one with more..... accessible materials? :P
those materials a fairly accessible, just go to the home depot

About This Instructable


193 favorites


Bio: My name is Volker. I am 49 years old and I live in Bissendorf, near Osnabrueck (Northwest-Germany). My profession is an electrotechnical engineer (developing heating ... More »
More by eVolti: Rotating LED throwies driven by a Stirlingengine (eVoltis Stirlingmachine) Wiggling clock (LED-Project)
Add instructable to: