Pardon me if my updates are a bit skewed/slow/sluggish I have cancer bad(no sympathy required) and am very low energy these days.
I started making solenoid engines in 1972 at the age of 12. Been making them ever since and they just keep getting more bizarre.
The engine is a single solenoid type(a round tubular type from ebay), and just use a microswitch and chip driver for timing. The crankshaft is 1/8 steel rod, but the offset and cam and flywheel are 3D printed as well as most of the engine. The battery holder is out of a junked toy and holds 4 AA batteries for engine power. It rests on a balsa wood frame with leftover balsa when I used to make model aircraft. The steering and throttle motors are china leftover from other projects. The tires are old dubro wheels for airplane use but I made hubs to attach the to the rear end differential made from surplus worm gears. I ended up making my own printed u joints because they just cost too much.
The geardown for the motor to transmission uses those cheap plastic gears you get for a few dollars a bag off ebay. The belts are O-rings from some plumbing mess I had a few years back.
There are 2 vehicles shown in the pictures. One is an open frame version and the other has a balsa wood bus body. Using the extra channels on the rc remote I made the horn work, headights, turn signals and even the bus destination light function light up.
The rc system is an 11 channel(they say its 12 but...) 2,4 gig unit that can be had off ebay for about 15$. I bought several and finally found a use. All of the parts for this project are available for building more. Most are from ebay that I bought here and the as extras or to sample. The real good news is for US folks they can all be sourced here now so no waiting.I will provide a detailed list if anyone cares to indulge but solenoid engines are really just a novelty to most., but so much fun if you make them do things. It is of important note to make the engine and drive train efficient so you can just use a small power source to run it. In this design I am running the engine off 4 AA batteries but the RC system has a rechargeable pack that is super light .Engine RPMs can be varied between 300-650 Rpm.
I always try and build my engines so they resemble a real fuel burning motor with exhaust pipes, carburetors, air cleaners etc to make them more interesting and fun to look and play with. I started building them in the early 1970s, and have ever since, so as you can imagine I have built many and still have pretty large pile of them on shelves and cubby holes. In the last few years I began 3D printing them as it allows for easy reproduction, and to make revisions and add ons.
I 3D printed everything in ABS but any will do. I generally indicate suggested infill on critical parts.
Interesting factoid! I once made this engine run a pencil sharpener! Quite a hoot...Several more apps come to mind but never got around to it yet.