For my semester project I decided to make something that I’ve always been interested in making, but never had the proper resources: a stirling engine. A stirling engine is a engine that draws its power from a heat difference, usually a flame. I won’t go into the physics of it, but here is a nice gif of the process. It’s a relatively simple concept, and there aren’t a lot of complex parts, which makes me think this would be a great project. For obvious reasons, having an open flame creates some design obstacles when it comes to meltable plastic. I’ve been doing some research, and to my surprise this isn’t an uncommon thing for people to make with 3D printers and some pretty clever designs use glass medical syringes for the work and displacement pistons. Since it would be very hard to find some airtight seals on parts that must withstand high heat, I think I will be borrowing this idea. With that out of the way, the majority of the rest of the work will be modelling the supports and pieces in fusion 360. Since there will be moving pieces, I will be purchasing some ball bearings and face some design challenges incorporating them into the build. I also need to do a little math to figure out the right displacement and dead volumes for the actual physics of the engine. Overall, I am very excited about the project and hopefully my engine will actually work and not just be a paper weight.