Ditto that Xjandin. I thank the Thor daily that RF scales down nicely. Forget what the naysayers think. Another 'for what purpose' is I had a Vette that would do 120mph and live in an area where the max speed limit is 55mph. For what purpose? No purpose, I just loved a car that would slam me into the seat from a dead stop. Today I drive a 'mild' Mustang GT convertible. Old age is setting in.
But his engine is indeed awesome. An engineering WOW.
This is TOTALLY AWESOME! Engineering at it's best. Find a difficult challenge and then find an innovative solution. The idea of putting valleys on the cylinder walls is genious. I wouldn't have thought that the molecular size of oil would matter or that oil would be the limiting factor.
As for the detractors, time to start living again and seeing the beauty in the world around us and the fun and excitement of exploration. I have no doubt that this innovative design will be used in many more 'lubrication intensive' designs.
I bought my 91 Honda CRX for 5 grand a decade ago. Spent a couple of grand on over the years, great car. Something like this looks like throwing good time after bad, unless you happen to be Jay Leno. Now if he owns one that is a different story...
I agree, we never know at first where our ideas will lead. I think it is a good strategy to "waste" a certain amount of time just exploring mentally and building a few prototypes. It's also a lot of fun and you never know where the ideas and techniques you find will be useful.
As for applications, I would think that improving battery technology especially energy density would make electric motors a better choice since they are so much simpler mechanically. The complexity of a single cylinder/piston subassembly in any internal combustion engine is greater than the entire electric motor of similar size.
The power curve is much flatter with loads of torque immediately. The Tesla cars have only one gear, and reach 60 in 3.9, 5.9 or 6.5 seconds depending on how much money you put into the battery size.
This reminds me of the change from steam to diesel in locomotives. Newer tech is simpler and costs less, but the old school stuff is more fun to work with, and easier to understand because you can see different parts pushing and pulling.
It's a cute project, and I understand perfectly how he must have felt when it worked. I wondered how a teflon engine coating such as Slick 50 would work here? I put that into the 1.8 liter motor in my Pontiac Firebird and got 15% better mileage and drove that car well into the 200k range, 230 IIRC,
>> he hopes to scale up his runs to between 150 and 180 of the units, which cost between $5,600 and $7,500 each.
This gives a hint into the purpose of the effort. A lot of us think it's worthwhile simply because it's cool, but there appear to be people that think it's cool enough to trade their money to own one. This makes the effort both a cool and practical use of time/resources.
Sometimes going one way with research or development ends up nowhere near the expected destination, and that can be a good thing. Not always, to be sure, but sometimes it can change the world. Years ago there were a couple of books that explored the phenonmenon: James Burke's Connections and Joel Barkers book on future (I forged the exact name). Also, there can be a time lag in the time it takes to get from the original thought to a useful application, not to mention an optimized solution of that application: to wit see link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lohner-Porsche . 1901 idea coming around again.
Personally, I think it's great. I'd bet some application will be found, though it may be at a less than 8 cylinder size, and maybe not used in a "vehicle" as we know it.
We looked at a number of sources to determine this year's greenest cars, from KBB to automotive trade magazines to environmental organizations. These 14 cars emerged as being great at either stretching fuel or reducing carbon footprint.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is