CNC & Machining Energy & Sustainability Workshop
“World’s Smallest” Working V-12 Motor

A Spanish craftsman named Patelo skillfully designed and fabricated this tiny working V-12 motor from stock stainless steel, aluminum, and bronze for his grandchildren Sara, Carmen, Jose and Pablo. It took more than 1200 hours of work. Not counting the 222 screws, he machined all 261 pieces himself. The engine operates via compressed-air injection, has 12cm3 total displacement, 11.3mm cylinder heads, and a 10mm stroke on each piston.

His video log of the project is fairly long, at almost ten minutes, but includes some really amazing footage. It’s divided into four main parts:

  1. 0:10 – Machining the connecting rods (photomontage)
  2. 0:50 – Machining the crankshaft
  3. 2:28 – Assembly
  4. 8:05 – Operational testing

If you just want to see it go, click here for Part 4. Part 2 shows the turning, grinding, and polishing of the tiny crankshaft in some detail, and is my personal favorite. [via nerdstink]


I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan