Steam Engine Technical Drawings

I completed the first pass on the Steam Engine technical drawings a bit over a week ago. These are 2D drawings that specify each of the parts that make up the engine.

This is a fairly major milestone in the steam engine project, since it enables CAD drawings to be created that match the dimensions in these drawings. Work still needs to be done, however. There are likely to be errors in these drawings that need to be weeded out. Bolt holes need to align, for example. Nested parts need to fit. Etc.

I’ve already started a review of the drawings, but I’m also open to other people looking at them for potential problems. I’m also looking for ways to further simplify the engine for fabrication and assembly. Efficiency and power suggestions are also welcome, but radical changes to the design will be deferred to future versions.

You can see a list of all the steam engine illustrations at Steam Engine Images. Most of these can be accessed from the build instructions.

There has been some discussion of building the first prototype of the steam engine at Factor e Farm in July or August, but if you would like to try your hand building one, contact me so we can work together. We like to capture early prototype development efforts in photos and videos.


  1. Matt Whiting

    Mark, Thanks for the post and all the work on this. I spent a couple hours reviewing the design and getting excited about this project. I don’t have the expertise to help with the design or build one yet, but hopefully in a few years I’ll get some.


  2. Max K

    Just looked at the diagrams. Why is a horizontal design which introduces gravity induced side forces the primary consideration? Vertical cylinders are much more common (for good reason) and reduce wear due to not having side forces, Also reduce bump valve complexity due to vertical travel.

  3. Mark J Norton

    A reasonable suggestion, Max. I will make a note of it to consider this in future design modifications.

  4. Adamantus

    Good luck with the steam engine, I can’t wait to see a video once one of these gets made.

  5. Adamantus

    Due to the pelleted biomass element this thing has to be called the Mr Fusion..

  6. Matt

    Is there a requirement on the volume of steam needed to run this at max efficiency or at minimum of load?

    1. Mark J Norton

      The engine is designed to run across a range of steam pressures. Likely there will be optimal operating conditions and some of them will need to be determined experimentally. Power and efficiency suggest high pressures and speeds. Wear and breakage call for low pressures and speeds. High pressure steam is dangerous. As you can see, there are trade offs.

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