Single Cylinder Air Engine Balloon Powered Rolling Chassis

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Introduction: Single Cylinder Air Engine Balloon Powered Rolling Chassis

About: The more mistakes I make, the more knowledge I gain.

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!

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1 Person Made This Project!

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56 Discussions

0
mindorff1
mindorff1

Question 5 weeks ago

a few things really matter to make the car work:
1. the timing/setting of the journal crankshaft pieces relative to each other. It looks like the piston leads the valve by 90 degrees
2. The position of the piston in the cylinder relative to the air holes in the cylinder at top dead centre and bottom dead centre. You mention 28 mm from the end but that seems too far.

0
gzumwalt
gzumwalt

Answer 5 weeks ago

Hi mindorff11,

Yes timing is critical. And I'll look into the 28mm measurement, if I recall, someone else asked about that a few years back and I cannot for the life of me remember what was wrong.

Greg

0
bullstreetboy
bullstreetboy

6 months ago

What a great project - just what I needed for my Grand Children.

Unfortunately, for me, a complete failure when printed on my Da Vinci Duo 2.0.

Cranks would not print without warping , Engine no power with air leaking everywhere.

Tried the Repetier hack using Slic3r slicer - no perceptible difference.

£3.5K V £0.5K printer!!!

Can anyone print me a set of parts just so that I can see the difference in the prints and giver my Grand Kids a treat?

0
ekaprits
ekaprits

Question 8 months ago on Step 4

Hi, I'm trying to make this project, but it's not working for me. I think I'm missing something about how the cylinder and piston/valve are supposed to work. My parts are moving fine if I just roll the car over the table. But if I blow into the ballon adapter (no matter how hard) the piston doesn't move. Also, is there any reason the cylinder is printed using a different material/color in both yours and Sidd's build? Thanks!

0
gzumwalt
gzumwalt

Answer 7 months ago

Hi ekaprits,

Color can make a difference, but only for friction.

Check this video and make sure your model, especially the crank shaft and valve / piston relationship, is the same: https://youtu.be/XMmz6TVZupg.

Greg

0
xeski
xeski

1 year ago

It's a nice toy and project, thanks for sharing... I have'nt buit yet but only one question, why don't you used a cylndrical piston? It could be better for sealing

0
gzumwalt
gzumwalt

Reply 1 year ago

Hi xeski,

Thank you very much, I'm glad you enjoyed this model!

Good question. First, for a given area, a square piston provides more volume than a round one thus provides a slight increase in power. And second, a square piston is easier to sand and file into proper shape than a round one.

Hope that answers your question and thanks again!

Greg

0
xeski
xeski

Reply 1 year ago

Thanks, it's a very good explanation, to sand and the more surface... but I'm still thinking on round car's cylinders.
Maybe the corners are difficult to be sand and more easy to waste...

0
gzumwalt
gzumwalt

Reply 1 year ago

Hi xeski,

What I most enjoy from 3D printing is teaching, and the second most is learning. I always feel free to try something different, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't, but with every mistake I make, I learn something new, and that again is why I enjoy 3D printing!

Best wishes,

Greg

0
cuquylandia
cuquylandia

Question 1 year ago

Hi. Very good project I'm going to use it to teach at a Technical School. Can someone send me the 3D and 2D files (technical drawings) to my email? Thank you.

ferminmartinez2@gmail.com
0
mrehan.elshehawy
mrehan.elshehawy

1 year ago

I'd like to use it as an activity in maker faire cairo, can you send me the fusion 360 files so that I can adjust the fitting to avoid sanding if i'm going to print multiple ones ?

0
MatthewN85
MatthewN85

2 years ago

I love the idea of this and would like to use a modified version of it for a school project. Would you be willing to send the f360 files to me to use as long as I credit you. My email is mnelson2@my.monroeccc.edu.

0
posox2000
posox2000

2 years ago

Beautiful project! Enjoy every second.

63FB1E7E-3C57-4B29-AD59-154EC8B9B99D.jpeg
0
gzumwalt
gzumwalt

Reply 2 years ago

Thank you very much!

Your vehicle is awesome!

Greg.

0
Finckc
Finckc

2 years ago

I would like to use it as a possible class project.

0
gzumwalt
gzumwalt

Reply 2 years ago

Finckc,

If you would like, send me your e-mail address and I will forward a zip file containing the autodesk fusion 360 .f3d files.

Greg

0
Finckc
Finckc

Reply 2 years ago

Hi Greg,

Would you mind sending the link again for the fusion files, it did not come through.

Thanks,

Chip

0
Finckc
Finckc

Reply 2 years ago

Hi Greg,

Thanks for your help.

finckc@newtrier.k12.il.us

Chip

0
gzumwalt
gzumwalt

Reply 2 years ago

It has been sent.

Greg

0
javinkhong
javinkhong

2 years ago

Hey, im currently a student for my final year project and i saw this awesome model. Can i refer to your idea which use the pneumatic engine? Please?