Projects of the Past

A number of years ago I had a student that came to me and said
I want to machine out a miniature “Hit and Miss Antique Engine” and to be honest I had no idea what he was even talking about.. But after explaining to me about the engine I remember going to the Iowa State Fair and seeing these run as a child. I have also seen them at antique farm equipment shows that are common in the Midwest….

I told him that his first task was to reverse engineer and scale down the original Engine that he wanted to duplicate. He spent countless hours at home using his digital caliper and drawing all the parts into Inventor. He then assembled every part and then put motion constraints on the model to make it work. This alone was huge project in its own as you can see with the assembly.

Model student made using Autodesk Inventor for this project.

Model student made using Autodesk Inventor for this project.

He then practiced making parts using some jigs and fixtures that he designed before he made his final production models on our small desktop CNC mill using plexi glass and solid plastic that we got from a local company. He made every part that included the bolts to assemble it. The only thing that he didn’t make was the springs for the valve assembly that you will see in the photo’s

Trust me there were a lot of mistakes when making this and in fact it took him about a year and a half to get it all done. It is by far the creative project I have ever had a student make.

The final results Valve 

Gear Assembly

Gear Assembly

Valve Assembly

I am sure many of you have similar stories like this… I would love to hear and see them.
When I show some of my current students what they can make on a small CNC MILL they are amazed with this project that is for sure.

As for the student that made this… he is currently a design engineer for a carbon fiber plant… He is doing very well for himself!!!! But we can all see that was a predictable outlook for this young man.

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