Jan 29, 2015 | By Simon

Among one of the better and most efficient ways that a user can teach themselves 3D modeling (and subsequently, 3D printing) is by reverse engineering RC cars or small engines and then rebuilding them digitally through a series of subassemblies and ultimately, one finished assembly that recreates the actual RC car or engine digitally.  

Recently, a Thingiverse user by the name of ‘ericthepoolboy’ recently uploaded and shared his build progress on a 22RE Toyota engine that he has reverse engineered and rebuilt using the 3D modeling program SolidWorks.  He has also gone as far as reducing the scale of the engine down 35% so he could print the final parts in PLA using his RepRap Prusa 3D printer.  In total, 80 parts were modeled and converted into STL files for 3D printing the entire assembly (not including the fasteners or bearings).  Eric estimates that the finished project probably used an entire 1KG roll of plastic filament.   

According to Eric, the model is capable of being built in different stages so that a user can have removable parts connected by magnets so that they can disassemble and reassemble their model for education or entertainment.  

The complex model and all 80 of its assembled parts took just over 34 hours of total print time... and the head alone took 20 hours of that 34-hour block.  Eric is quick to note that for anybody that wants to attempt printing the engine, this isn’t a walk-in-the-park project:

“Make sure you have a well calibrated and robust machine if you want to print this. It's definitely is a challenge for you and your printer.”

Alternatively, he recommends that a user scale the model even further to create a smaller build however they should double-check to make sure that the fasteners and bearings will match up appropriately on their own scaled-down build.  For users that want to create the same 35% scale model that Eric has built, he has generously supplied a hardware list and instructions for all of the non-3D printed parts that are needed to create the final engine assembly.

Among other non-printed hardware he used for his finished model include valve springs that he formed using his drill and metal wire and drive belts which were made using rubber bands to connect the fan pulley and the electric motor.

Although the project is complete, Eric has been updating the Thingiverse community with updates as he improves upon the design for anybody who wants to join in on their own engine build.  Among the updates include a new version of the head and an intake manifold with more parts on the way.  Additionally, Eric has said that he will be updating the full assembly drawings when he has a chance.

You can get started on your own engine build by heading over to Thingiverse.    


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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Julio wrote at 2/3/2015 3:20:27 PM:

Regarding times: More than 3 days of total print time. The block alone was 34 hours. So make sure you have a well calibrated and reliable printer. Some print times calculated in Cura at .2mm layer height Engine Block - 40 hours Head - 23 hours Valve Cover - 10 hours Oil pan - 14 hours

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