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This week I made the “>Maker Shed. I have always wanted to make a Stirling engine, and the Gakken kit is a great way to learn more about how they work. Stirling engines are finicky by nature, but this kit went together really easily and worked great the first time I fired it up. I took a few pictures of the build to show you the major steps in making this kit. I hope you like it.

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You don’t even need any tools, they are all included.

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I like to sort all the little pieces into these plastic trays. This way I can easily find anything I need.

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First step is building the base. It goes together really fast.

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The car is starting to take shape.

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The next part is adding the piston. It is made of several different materials and is beautifully crafted.

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I really like the gear mechanism that allows you to turn on and off the LED, fan, and drive train.

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All the gears are built, and the piston is connected. This part is tricky, make sure to follow the instructions carefully. It needs to spin freely.

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This part was really cool. They supply a little battery pack to plug into the generator. This allows you to make any adjustments necessary. The piston needs to have very smooth action.

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The glass tube, safety shields and fan are now attached. It’s time to fire it up.

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It takes a few minutes to get heated up. But once it does, the motor really works well.

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It’s really hard not to love this kit, especially when you first fire it up. I have a few more adjustments to make and I am going to try and run it off the stand. I wonder if the generator will produce enough electricity to run other accessories? I’ll keep you updated.

In the Maker Shed:
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Gakken Stirling Engine Kit

Marc de Vinck

I’m currently working full time as the Dexter F. Baker Professor of Practice in Creativity in the Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship Program at Lehigh University. I’m also an avid product designer, kit maker, author, father, tinkerer, and member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board.


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