It took five months to a group of students from University of Glasgow to build a 3D Printed model of one of James Watt famous engines.

Image via Glasgow

Literally two centuries after his death, the 3D Printed model of the Boulto-Watt steam engine is about a metre in length, uses more than 800 parts. The design builds upon the earlier adaptation of Oliver Smith’s drawing for a model-sized beam engine by John Fall.

 Over 150 3D Printed parts, 845 hours and more than 2.2 km of printing filament later
The result is the largest additively manufactured working model of this design. While the original model was run on steam, the model uses an additional gear to move itself and demonstrate the engine’s range of motion at the touch of a button.

Watt was working as an instrument-maker at the University of Glasgow when, in 1765, he made improvements to a Newcomen steam engine, adding a separate condenser which made it vastly more efficient. His insight helped kickstart the industrial revolution and create the modern world.

Chris Triantafyllou, president of JetX, led on the design and construction of the model. He said: “The past five months have been very busy but we’re really pleased with the final model. The whole building process utilised a lot of design and prototyping practices we’ve learned throughout the years of developing jet engine models.

The University of Glasgow is rightly proud of its association with James Watt, and his legacy helps make it an inspiring place to study. We’re glad we’ve had the chance to contribute to the University’s 200th anniversary celebrations, and we hope that visitors to the exhibition in the library get as much enjoyment out of it as we do.”

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