Saturday, February 5, 2011

The project begins!

I have just started building a Tesla Turbine. I could go into great detail about how it works but I'll just let you click the above link. It explains it much better than I can. I am using a design from Phoenix Navigation. Their design is simple yet elegant and well within my capacity and ability to build. Plus, their complete plans only cost $90. An incredible deal considering all the effort they put into design and testing.

For those that don't know me: I am a student at Pima Community College in their Machine Tool Technology Program. I am building it in their manual machine lab. Of course I'd love to use the 4 and 5 axis CNC machines in the same room but independent study is only offered on the manual side. Giving students free reign can be risky and crashing a $10,000 manual mill is better than a $60,000 CNC mill!

I started with the bottom plate as it will be subject to the least stress. I want to get more comfortable with my abilities before I start cutting the critical parts. So far I've faced and squared the plate on the mill. This coming week I will be putting it onto the lathe to radius the corners, cut the grove that will seal to the case and cut the center hole. It will then go back to the mill on a rotary table to drill the remaining holes.

Here is the plate getting faced to thickness:

And here it is getting squared and milled to size:

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