I have a love of anything mechanical but above all, a love of steam. There is something amazing and almost magical about how fire and water can combine to produce something so powerful. Steam engines have a form that driven by function. The result is both beautiful and mesmerizing.
When I discovered steampunk I instantly knew that I had really found something. I began searching to find anything and everything steampunk. I found some truly amazing creations but soon came to the realization that there were very few actual did the thing they were supposed to do. They looked the part but that was it. The ubiquitous “if you glue a bunch of gears to something it is steampunk” comes to mind. I attribute this lack of steam in steampunk to its inaccessibility for most builders. I believe that this is due in part to engine availability but also due to affordability. This is what I would like to change.
My idea is to create a series of steam engines for use in steampunk creations. I don't mean some dinky models but real steam engines capable of doing work. I will start by combining historically proven engine designs with modern materials and construction techniques. The result will be high quality and reliable engines that can be used as the basis for steampunk designs.
After seeing Mythbusters use a water heater as a boiler I realized there was also a need for safe and reliable boilers. Once I have some solid and reliable engine designs under my belt, I plan to develop a series of boilers. After all what is steampunk without steam? The boilers would each be designed for the intended service and be in accordance with applicable safety codes.
The final steam power plants would be suitable for a wide range of designs and would be limited only to the creativity and the imagination of the builder.
The $25,000 would go towards the tooling and materials I'll needed to produce the first prototypes.
I am a mechanical engineer with a professional engineering license. I have been a garage tinkerer and a hobby machinist for most of my life. I believe I have the experience and the technical knowhow to make this dream a reality.