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Single Cylinder Air Engine Balloon Powered Rolling Chassis is a balloon powered vehicle based on my earlier air engine design (https://www.instructables.com/id/Single-Cylinder-Air-Engine-Smaller-Edition). This vehicle can run over 40 feet on a smooth surface.

My wife laughed so hard when this vehicle chugged through the kitchen and into the family room that, well, now there's six of them (hers is in red).

You will need to purchase 4 "AS568" #219 o-rings (1 5/16" I.D., 1 9/16" O.D, 1/8" section) for the tires and at least 1 "punch balloon" (I found mine at a local party supply store, but they also are available on line).

I probably forgot a file or two or something, so if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Designed using Autodesk Fusion 360, sliced using Cura 2.3.1, and printed in PLA on an Ultimaker 2+ Extended and an Ultimaker 3 Extended.

Step 1: Print and Prepare the Parts.

I printed my parts on an Ultimaker 2+ Extended and an Ultimaker 3 Extended using .1mm vertical resolution and 100% infill for "Cylinder.stl" and "Rod Balloon.stl", 50% infill for the remaining parts, and no supports.

Prior to assembly, test fit and trim, file, sand, etc. all parts as necessary for smooth movement of moving surfaces, and tight fit for non moving surfaces. Depending on the colors you chose and your printer settings, more or less trimming, filing and/or sanding may be required. Carefully file all edges that contacted the build plate to make absolutely sure that all build plate "ooze" is removed and that all edges are smooth. I used a flat jewelers file and plenty of patience to perform this step.

Study "Assembly.stl" carefully noting the locations and positions of the various components as assembly proceeds.

Step 2: Assemble the Air Engine.

Slide "Rod Piston.stl" into "Head Cylinder.stl" carefully noting the orientation of both parts.

Next, press "Piston.stl" onto "Rod Piston.stl" until it is exactly 28mm from the end. If the piston is not tight on the piston rod, a small dot of thick cyanoacrylate glue can be used to hold the piston square to the piston rod and in position. This is the cylinder head assembly.

Slide "Valve.stl" into "Cylinder.stl", carefully noting the orientation of "Valve.stl". The valve should easily slide in and out of the cylinder. If not, "surface sand" both sides of the valve until it does. To surface sand, I place an 8 by 10 sheet of 220 grit sandpaper flat on my work table, then using light pressure, rub one side of the valve for 20 strokes, then the other side for 20 strokes. Clean the valve of sanding dust, then try the fit again and repeat as necessary until the valve slides with ease in and out of the cylinder.

Press the cylinder head assembly onto the cylinder aligning the valve slot with the valve. Once attached, check that both the piston rod and valve easily slide in and out with ease. This is a critical step as both the piston and valve must slide with ease.

Attach "Arm Piston.stl" to the piston rod using "Pin Arm Piston.stl". Once attached, "Arm Piston.stl" should swing freely on the piston rod.

Attach "Arm Valve.stl" to the valve arm using "Pin Arm Valve.stl". Once attached, "Arm Valve.stl" should swing freely on the valve arm.

Step 3: Assemble the Crankshaft Journals.

Slide the axle of "Journal Crankshaft 10mm 2.stl" into the hole at the end of "Arm Piston.stl". Once in place, press "Journal Crankshaft 10mm 1.stl" onto the axle of "Journal Crankshaft 10mm 2.stl" carefully noting the orientation of both. Make sure the axle of "Journal Crankshaft 10mm 2.stl" fully inserted into the hole in "Journal Crankshaft 10mm 1.stl". This is the piston journal assembly.

Slide the axle of "Journal Crankshaft 4mm 2.stl" into the hole at the end of "Arm Valve.stl". Once in place, press "Journal Crankshaft 4mm 1.stl" onto the axle of "Journal Crankshaft 4mm 2.stl" carefully noting the orientation of both. Make sure the axle of "Journal Crankshaft 4mm 2.stl" fully inserted into the hole in "Journal Crankshaft 4mm 1.stl". This is the valve journal assembly.

Step 4: Assemble the Chassis.

Press "Chassis Left.stl" onto the left side of the air engine assembly. Slide the axle of "Journal Crankshaft 10mm 1.stl" into the hole in "Chassis Left.stl". Note that if the hole spacing in "Chassis Left.stl" does not match the pin spacing on the air engine assembly, then the cylinder of the air engine assembly is not fully seated in the head.

Press "Chassis Nose.stl" onto "Chassis Left.stl" making sure it is fully seated.

Slide the axle of "Journal Crankshaft 4mm 1.stl" into the hole in "Chassis Nose.stl", then this axle into the hole in "Journal Crankshaft 10mm 2.stl" carefully noting the orientation of both journal assemblies (when the piston journal assembly is pointing straight back towards the cylinder head, the valve journal assembly must be pointing straight up).

Press "Chassis Right.stl" into "Chassis Nose.stl",making sure it is fully seated.

Press "Chassis Right.stl" onto the right side of the air engine assembly. Note that if the hole spacing in "Chassis Right.stl" does not match the pin spacing on the air engine assembly, then the cylinder of the air engine assembly is not fully seated in the head.

At this point the crankshaft should rotate with ease and the piston and valve assemblies should slide with ease. You should feel no binding or catching as the crankshaft is rotated.

Step 5: Assemble the Wheels.

Install the one o-rings onto the wheels.

Press "Wheel Left Front.stl" onto the axle of "Journal Crankshaft 10mm 1.stl" making sure it is fully seated.

Press the axle of "Wheel Right Front.stl" into the hole of "Journal Crankshaft 4mm 2.stl" making sure it is fully seated. With both front wheels installed, the front wheels should rotate freely with no binding or catching.

Slide "Wheel Right Rear.stl" into the rear of the chassis from the right side, then press "Wheel Left Rear.stl" onto the axle of "Wheel Right Rear.stl". With both rear wheels installed, the rear wheels should rotate freely with no binding or catching.

Step 6: Final Assembly and Break In.

Press the 3 "Rod Balloon.stl" rods together using the 2 "Rod Balloon Coupler.stl" rod couplers.

Press "Rod Balloon Coupler Hook.stl" onto one end of the balloon rod assembly.

Press the remaining end of the balloon rod assembly into the small hole in "Chassis Nose.stl".

Attach a punch balloon to "Adapter Balloon.stl", press the adapter into the upper port on the air engine assembly, then hook the punch balloon to the balloon rod hook.

To break the vehicle in, I placed small drops of light machine oil on the moving parts (axles, journals, pins, etc.) then removed "Adapter Balloon.stl" and installed "Adapter Compressor.stl" (with a compressor quick connect) in its place, and ran the vehicle for 30 minutes at around .5psi.

To run the vehicle, I use "Adapter Balloon.stl" as a mouth piece to inflate the punch balloon, after inflating I press my thumb onto the balloon end of the adapter to seal the air, then press the adapter into the air engine upper port and off it goes!

Good luck, and I hope you like it!

<p>Love It! Quick question. Did you make a square piston because of printing orientation, or some other reason?</p>
Thank you very much, and I'm very glad you liked it!<br><br>The piston was made square for two reasons. First, given a fixed area, a square cylinder provides more volume than a round one and thus allows a larger volume of air to enter the cylinder. For &quot;normal&quot; pistons, square piston rings are indeed quite a challenge to install so for that (and a few other reasons) &quot;normal&quot; pistons are round. And second, a square piston is easier to file square than than a round piston is to file round. This made removing &quot;build plate ooze&quot; easier.<br><br>Again, thanks much, and thanks for your question! I'm always glad when someone is curious enough to ask why I did what I did, I truly enjoy your interest!
<p>Thanks for sharing this. I'm making two for my children and wanted to know if you had a recommended source for the o-rings. I can find quite a few sellers for the AS568-219 with options for material (nitrile, neoprene, silicone, etc.) and hardness (70, 75 and 90). Just wondered what you went with.</p>
You are welcome, I hope you and your children have a wonderful time with it.<br><br>I purchased this kit: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000OMKIDI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1. All of the o-ring tire vehicles I've designed use o-rings out of this kit. There are other suppliers, but this one works well. The o-rings in the kit are BUNA-N BG 715 (nitrile 70 shore).<br><br>Thanks again, and have fun!
<p>Cool! Thank you so much! This is such a well rounded proof of concept for physics. My kids (ages 11 and 13) will have a good time with these.</p>
<p>Great mechanism and model, thanks for sharing !!</p>
<p>Thank you very much, and you are very welcome!</p><p>I hope you enjoyed it.</p>
<p>Have you tried the slicer in Fusion 360?</p>
No, I have not, and in fact didn't even realize Fusion 360 had a build it slicer! I'm a very new Fusion 360 user, and I'm sure there's many powerful / helpful things I have yet to discover.<br><br>I do use the Cura 2.3.1 Slicer since it interfaces with the Ultimaker 2+ Extended and Ultimaker 3 Extended printers that I use.<br><br>But I'll check it out, if I can find it!
<p>to cool I will have to make one or two to race</p>
Thanks!
<p>I love it. Especially the sound. Just like a steam engine. I think I am going to print one. Thank you for sharing the stl files.</p>
Thank you, I'm glad you like it!<br><br>And you are very welcome!
<p>I loved these when I was a kid! Though ours where jet rather than piston - the balloon exhausted through a vent at the back of the vehicle and they where quite speedy and could cover quite long distances on a smooth surface. This must have been in '73 or '74 as I was a kid in primary school.</p><p>Thank you for sharing! Voted.</p>
<p>Thank you very much!</p><p>I replied earlier, this is my &quot;Rube Goldberg&quot; style balloon car!</p><p>More to come...</p>
<p>this is great! </p>
Thank you, I'm very happy you liked it!<br>
<p>I remember in eighth grade we made balloon powered cars. The premise of those however was to shoot the air quickly backwards to push the car forwards. Nothing as genius as this. I wish this Instructable had been published back then. I can only imagine the look of my teacher if I brought one of these in for the big race. Great work!</p>
<p>I was and sure many of us, were thinking the same thing. Very cool upgrade for the air engine. Thanks for sharing this gzumwalt.</p>
<p>Thank you!</p><p>I'm very glad you liked it!</p>
Thank you, as always I am glad you like it!<br><br>It's my &quot;Rube Goldberg&quot; of balloon cars...
<p>Soo cool!</p>
Thank you very much, I enjoy making things such as this for people to examine, print and assemble. And I'm very glad you liked it!
so nice idea
Thank you, I'm am glad that you like it!
<p>coool, very creative idea.</p>
Thank you so much, I'm glad you like it!
<p>This made me smile. Elsewhere on instructables there are servo controlled air valves that could be used to control air flow out of the balloon. Obviously not having made one I've no idea how this wonderful little car with the added weight. But this is the synergy that comes to followers of this site.</p><p>Cheers,</p><p>Neil</p>
Thanks Neil, I'm glad I got you to smile!<br><br>I think I mentioned in the description my wife had a great laugh as this thing came chugging through the kitchen at her. I did have to make yet another one, for her.<br><br>Thanks again,<br><br>Greg
<p>Great! Aother toy for my godson. Thanks for sharing.</p>
Thank you!<br><br>I hope he likes it!

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Bio: Formerly the owner of a company that designed software for avionics (EFIS, FMS, etc.) and video games (Tetris, Robocop, Predator, Michael Jordan in Flight, and ... More »
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