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Laser cut, CNC machined engine

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Busted Bricks

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Hi All

I'm really just thinking out loud here but it would be nice to get some feedback :)

I run a laser cutting business and can cut up to 10mm mild steel. I have also recently bought a Mazak QT6 CNC lathe and a Syil X7-20 VMC has been ordered and should arrive in a few months time. I have been following the PM Research build series by Blondihacks and Joe Pie on Youtube. Those engines are machined from castings. It got me thinking that many of the cast parts could be laser cut instead. They would of course look different and parts like the frame would need to be built up from multiple parts that are bolted or soldered together. I imagine the finished look would be somewhat "agricultural" Whilst tolerances on laser cut parts are pretty good, some surfaces would still need to be machined and holes would need to be reamed. Other parts could be made from bar stock, perhaps with some rough machining done on the lathe/VMC.

Would anyone be interested in building an engine like this from a kit of parts? Would anyone be interested in working on the design with me? I always have a lot of scrap sheet material from customer jobs so making small prototype parts for a steam engine would not break the bank for me.
 

Jasonb

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Why not use the CNC yo make the parts rather than laser cut bits as you can get as good if not better than a casting with the CNC. Rather than look at existing designs that are still obtainable look for some older ones that castings are no longer available for or where the builder was expected to cast their own parts.

I've had similar thoughts about some of the engines I have made, produce a basic set of CNC cut "castings" which could be offered either needing the rest of the machining to be done by the builder or a second option for fully machined with the builder just making the parts that would have originally been made from barstock anyway.

A few examples
This was a design in 1936 Popular Mechanics. Crankcase halves, head, timing bracket, rockers, carb, stand, rtc done on CNC



The frame, flywheel and several other parts for this engine were CNC machined, does not have to look different to a casting



And what I'm working on at the moment, all ali parts and lettering CNC machined, cast iron flywheels being cut as I type.



J
 

Busted Bricks

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Part of the idea of using laser cutting is to give a different look and keep cost down. It's vastly cheaper to laser cut parts compared to machining them. Some people might be on a tight budget.
 

Barnbikes

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I currently run a Mazak laser for a sheet metal company.
We cut up to .625" material.
I am very interested in this and will be watching.
 

deeferdog

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Hi JasonB, that pic of the 1936 engine is an absolute credit to two people, the one who built the engine and the artist who photographed it. A delight to the eye. Are there any plans for the engine available? Thanks for the post, Cheers, Peter.
 

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