Home 3d Printing 3D Printer Air Compressor Is A Wankel

3D Printer Air Compressor Is A Wankel


We wonder if mechanics are as annoyed when we say “engine” as we get when someone talks about a “computer” or a “radio.” Sure, you know what all three of those words mean, but there are many different kinds of radios, computers, and engines. In [3DprintedLife’s] case, he made a compressed air engine of the Wankel style.

The Wankel — a rotary engine — is most famous for its use in some Mazda cars. If you’ve done a lot of 3D printing, you know that creating an air-tight piston on a 3D printer is no mean feat. Of course, he didn’t do it right off the bat. It took what looks like a number of iterations to get it going, and he shares some of what he learned doing this project.

The engine isn’t particularly efficient and you can see it spins for a while and stops, but it is a great demo, especially when he replaces the 3D printed cover with a clear plastic one. Getting the tight tolerances you need can be a real challenge. One thing that helped was printing on a raft so that the bottom of the parts were flat instead of matching the slight tilts in the printing bed.

We were impressed with the two-part design and the 3D printed springs and valves. Even if you don’t want to build a Wankel, you can pick up some tips on creating mechanical parts with filament 3D printers.

This isn’t the first 3D printed Wankel we’ve seen. The technology has its fans and detractors if you can go by the Hackaday comment history.

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