Sterling Engine
MIT, January 2006

Class: Mechanical Engineering Tools
Team Size: Individual
Duration: 2 weeks
Project: Create a working sterling engine with a customized flywheel.



This two week machine shop class is the first introduction to machine tools for most mechanical engineering undergraduates at MIT. In this class, each student learns to use the milling machine, lathe, drill press, band saw, and belt sander to build a working sterling engine. The customized flywheel on the stirling engine was created by CAD modeling the design, and then using a CAM program to convert the design into code that was used by a CNC mill to produce the desired pattern.

My flywheel design was loosely inspired by the swirling patterns of Celtic knots. The design was so appealing to me that a modified version of it was used two years later when making a CNC-milled and lathed paperweight.


CAD model for the custom flywheel, plus two other designs which were not used.