3D Printed Toyota EngineOver the years we have seen many outstanding three-dimensional objects designed and printed courtesy of the additive manufacturing technology.

Usually though, the objects made are those designed by 3D printing aficionados who are simply looking to spend the free time on their hands doing something constructive.

These often involve fairly simple to create objects that with a little effort and some time on your hands, can be fashioned.

But with the technology growing so fast and many more people joining the world of 3D printing, more and more enthusiasts are taking on the challenge of creating just about anything they can think of using additive manufacturing.

One such guy who is beating all the odds through 3D printing is Thingiverse user and automotive connoisseur Eric Harrell. Being extremely passionate about automotives and also since he is a mechanical engineer by profession, Harrell mostly spends his free time working on machines. Now with the current 3D printing wave, he overtime found himself naturally drawn to the technology and mainly feeling curious to know just to what extent additive manufacturing could be used to Fabricate Intricate Auto Parts.

It is this deep urge to test the limits of 3D printing technology that led him to 3D print a working Toyota 22RE 4 Cylinder Engine.

The engine is an exact replica of the real thing. Remember that designing something as critical as an engine is one of those achievements that mainly are attained by big 3D printing companies in the industry, which have powerful top-end printers that can pop out basically anything.

What makes Harrell’s story way out of the ordinary is that he did not use one of the superior 3D printers in the market in 3D printing his working Toyota 22RE 4 Cylinder Engine. On the contrary, Harrell was simply using a RepRap Original Prusa. So have you ever dreamed of 3D printing any automotive part and thought that it was impossible?

Perhaps this is your chance to still give life to the design you had in mind and you can first test your hand by attempting to 3D print your own working Toyota 22RE 4 Cylinder Engine.

How did Harrell do it?

Given that the files Harrell used to design and fabricate this engine are currently Downloadable Here, it should be quite easy for anyone who would like to give it a try to come up with the exact replica of a Toyota 22RE 4 Cylinder Engine just like Harrell did.

Though, he warns 3D printing lovers who would want to go down this road that they should first and foremost make sure they are working with a good printing machine. It doesn’t necessarily need to be one of the expensive top-range printers but it has to be one which is at least robust enough to withstand the lengthy hours it is going to take to print all the parts required to assemble the engine.

Besides being able to handle the task, the right printer has to be well calibrated. For instance, he explains that while he was doing the printing he had to scale down the files to 35 percent.

This skilled engineer used up to 1kg of PLA filament on his RepRap Original Prusa while he was creating the engine. So anyone who would like to fabricate the engine should be prepared to use about the same amount of filament although this will also be greatly influenced by the setting used.

Since the fan pulley and the electric motor are ideally supposed to be connected, Harrell thought it fit to use Rubber bands to attach the two. He clearly voices that one of the challenges he was faced with is finding pre-made springs of the exact size he was looking for. Left with no choice but to improvise, he made valve springs with ¼ inch ratchet extension together with steel mig welding wire of 0.023 inch.

He also made sure that the spring had an outer diameter of around 0.470 inch. That is not all, here is the disclaimer. Every one of the springs has 10 loops and it is required of you to stretch each spring just long enough to ensure the valve remains closed.

All in all, any person attempting this must know that all parts of the engine will have to be 3D printed with the exception of just a few bearings and fasteners.

It’s More than a Weekend Challenge

Albeit this is something most people would love to attempt because well, it’s not every day that you get to create an engine right? It pays to keep in mind that this is not your usual weekend challenge. There is a great deal of time, effort and commitment put into the project that enabled Harrell to be successful.

Overall the Toyota 22RE 4 Cylinder Engine requires up to 80 different parts that need to be 3D printed. What’s more is apparently the engine took more than 3 days of printing time. Just to be precise, this is the expected minimum number of hours that you may need to 3D print the major parts of the engine:

  • Head (20-23 hours)
  • Engine Block (40 hours)
  • Oil Pan (13-15 hours)
  • Valve Cover (10-12 hours)

Given this information, you could always use our 3D Printing Cost Calculator App to help you calculate the real cost of making this engine, or any other 3D printing project you have lined up.

Looking on the positive side, at the end of this challenge you will feel immense satisfaction having known that you have created a working engine. And considering you already have Harrell’s files to go by, why not give yourself a ‘little’ something to work on that is going to challenge yourself – especially if you have a passion for 3D printing?

Harrell advises that one does not have to print everything all at once. He recommends a step by step process where you print the parts required in instalments then finally assemble everything to come up with your own fully rotating engine model. The end picture you are looking at here is a model that is complete with pistons, a working crank plus a valve train with the valves sequentially opening and closing.

If you’re looking for a simpler challenge to start with, why not print the parts for and assemble this little PLA Spring Powered Car, which Jason here at 3D PrintHQ made a little while ago.

Thanks for reading and feel free to LikeShare and Comment on this article.

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3D Printed Snow BlowerFlakes of snow falling from a white sky can appear beautiful and poetic.

But once on the ground, snow can prove to be quite inconvenient.

As roads get covered in feet of snow, transport is severely affected. It becomes impossible to drive; even walking becomes a challenge.

Life comes to a halt until large expensive machines are employed by the government to clear the snow. Untill then, people have to manually shovel the snow covering their driveways.

Your snow-shovelling days might be over thanks to Ryan, an amateur inventor from Minnesota, who has found the perfect method to clear your driveway: A 3D printed RC (remote controlled) snow blower.

Ryan is an inventor from Minnesota who goes by the moniker ‘The_Great_Moo’ on the internet.

Fed up by manually shovelling snow from his house, he decided to try a novel way of getting rid of the snow from his driveway. He bought a Kyosho Blizzard SR, a small remote-controlled snowplow, to do the job. However, after a whole day of work with the Blizzard SR, he realized that his problems were far from over. Not only was the machine slow but it also failed to remove the snow completely.

RC Snow Blower UsedNow, Ryan was well aware of the ability of 3D printing to make custom, innovative parts and so, he decided to transform his slow, powerless Kyosho Blizzard SR into a fast, powerful machine by adding 3D printed parts. In a blog post, Ryan explained his experience in the following words:

“I recently got a Kyosho Blizzard SR and could not really stand the plows performance! So I 100% designed a 3D printed snow blower. I designed all the CAD. It even has 24 pitch 3D printer bevel gears… It is about 14″ wide. Belt driven from a 540 motor.”

He went to the drawing board and made extensive changes to the snow plow. Instead of completely replacing the snowplow apparatus with snow-blower components, he chose to keep the snow plow in the front of the vehicle and the snow blowing apparatus at the back of the machine.

He also modified the body and servos to enable the vehicle to drive backward. Next, he designed the entire snow blowing mount using a CAD (computer-aided design) software. 3D printed parts have always been criticized for being weak. So, Ryan focused on designing his snow blower to be strong and durable. He says:

“It’s pretty sturdy. People think 3D printed parts are weak, and they can be, but it all depends on how you print it.”

Then, he printed all the components in ABS plastic with the help of a modified da Vinci 1.0 3D printer which took him around 40 hours. Finally, he assembled and mounted the snow blower on the back of his Blizzard SR. Ryan explains all the changes he made to transform a snow plow into a snow blower on his YouTube channel.

Ryan publicized his invention at RC snowcats category on zetaboard forums and got positive comments from many users. Encouraged by the positive reception, he went on to conduct numerous tests in order to fully analyze the snow removal capabilities of his RC snow blower. After some initial tests, he redesigned several components of the snow blower to improve its performance.

He also tried adding nylon to its blades to make them stronger but eventually settled for ABS plastic due to some technical issues with nylon. After five prototypes, he finally got the design he was looking for. He then posted a video recording of his test in which he shows an RC snow blower clearing his entire driveway from snow in less than an hour!

Most RC snow plows are little more than toys. They are slow and can’t keep up with heavy snow. Ryan’s snow blower, on the other hand, is a totally different beast. Powered by a 540 motor, it is not only faster than the any snow plow in the market but can also cut up thick snow. Thus, it is ideal for people who don’t want to tire themselves manually removing snow with a shovel and want to have fun at the same time!

Already intrigued by the RC snow blower? Want to get your hands on one? Well, you’re in luck. Ryan has recently set up a website in order to sell his products. You can order the snow blower in two forms:

First, you can buy STL files for USD $60. These are CAD files that you can use to print the various Snow Blower Components. You’ll have to print and assemble the whole snow blower yourself.

Snow Blower PartsSecond, you can buy a completely Assembled Snow Blower kit for USD $295. The kits will start shipping in a week or two.

Of course, with both options you’ll still have to buy a Kyosho Blizzard SR (which costs around USD $400) and do a few modifications to mount the snow blower kit. Incidentally, Kyosho also make the Mini-Z RC buggy, which Jason at 3D Print HQ added 3D Printed Wheels and Tyres to a few days ago.

Ryan’s project shows the potential of 3D printing in bringing imagination to reality. It allows amateur inventors to create revolutionary designs from the luxury of their homes.

The fact that he was able to modify a market-leading snow plow and release a unique, far more capable product clearly demonstrates the potential of additive printing in changing the way things are invented. No longer is there any need for large corporations to support and fund the development of innovative products.

Seen in another light, the snow blower signifies the will of human beings to Conquer Nature. As inspiring technologies like additive printing continue to evolve, this dream will soon be realized and perhaps the day isn’t far when people will be able to clear snow from an entire city block using their own personal machines just as easily as they’re able to clear dust from a carpet using a vacuum cleaner.

Are you interested in the RC snow blower? Will you order STL files or the full kit? Do let us know in the Comments. Also, feel free to Like and Share this wonderful invention with your friends.

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3D Printed Wheels and NinjaFlex Tyres on 4WD RC Car

March 3, 2015

When I was younger I used to race 1/10 scale electric Radio Controlled Buggies, both on and off road. I loved it so much that about a year ago I decide to save up for a new one so I could start racing them again. After managing to save what is equivalent to about $1200 […]

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WARNING – How Safe is Your Desktop 3D Printer?

February 28, 2015

A little while ago I wrote a blog post about the True Costs of 3D Printing at Home. This was by far my most popular, liked and retweeted post to date. The reason was partly because “How much did that cost to make?” is the most common question I’m asked about 3D printing. I also […]

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How I Made This Amazing PLA Spring Powered Car

February 21, 2015

Having realised the other day that I’d not used my 3D printer for a few days I decided it was time to take a look at some of the things I’d Liked (favourited) recently on Thingiverse. Some of the things I’d Liked were RC car chassis, a bit like this 3D Printed RC Truggy we wrote […]

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New 3D Printed Leg for Stumpy the Turtle

February 19, 2015

Stumpy is a 12 year old little cute box turtle, whom due to a serious injury, had to have one of her front legs amputated in September last year. In the past this would be the end of the line for a turtle such as stumpy. She would have to find a way to cope with […]

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