I would be curious to know if some kind of synthetic oil would have worked better in this situation, maybe we should get out of this, that oil may not be the best solution for lubricating, or that explosions and pistons are not the best way to propel things at this scale.
You are absolutely right, and the solution with cross-hatching of the walls of the chambers did not go unnoticed, and may serve some purpose in the future. My point was simply that the time and money could have been spent on something more productive and gained a better insight into something. This is old technology and certainly not something they were modeling to find a better way to do something. They were just having fun, and that's ok, because many advances in technology happen when trying to accomplish a different goal.
The purpose is for model vehicles. I have seen many scale model jets powered by real jets engines, scaled down. People who have the money to do this type of thing do it because they find it interesting and a challenge. I have watched these jets flown remotely at real speeds of 200MPH. Now that is a feat. Is it practical or important? Well, frankly no. Is it interesting and a challenge. Well, yes. Just discovering the issue with the oil is interesting. Who knows, there might even be a practical use for this knowledge in the future.
I can't think of any way to justify the time and effort put into this engine, I'm kind of sad that I wasted the time reading this article, as are the people at the show that bothered to stop and look at it. Novelty at best. Complete waste of time at worst.
At this year's MD&M West show, lots of material suppliers are talking about new formulations for wearables and things that stick to the skin, whether it's adhesives, wound dressings, skin patches and other drug delivery devices, or medical electronics.
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