Steam power by KSW

Come see how things were done over 100 years ago! See lumbering steam engines turn water and wood into heat, power, and electricity! Print your own Maker Faire drink coaster. Watch the gears turn on our 12 foot orrery and feel the foundry in action!

What inspired you to make this project?:
We wanted to put the steam traction engine to work rather than just running it idle so that it might spark people's imagination of other loads or pieces of kinetic art that it might power. One way to do that is to go through several energy conversions. We start with the chemical/potential in the wood, then heat energy in the fire and water, then to mechanical power in the steam engine, then to electrical in the generator, and then perhaps back to heat (in the induction furnace) or some other whimsical final use of the electricity, mirroring the whimsical use of electricity by modern society. The orrery was built for the Edwardian Ball and uses the same fabrication techniques as many of our other creations, from casting, to machining to mechanical planning and execution. The press we bring every year because it is a beautiful machine that creates beautiful art and was very possibly steam-powered back in it's heyday of the early 1900's, which is the same vintage as the other steam equipment. Lastly, the casting is another tool in the fabrication toolbox to make things that one can't buy at Wal-Mart. Like with 3D printing, it can be a very powerful tool with the limit being only one's imagination, and the bonus, in the case of metalcasting, is a strong and durable something. Maybe that something is a broken or worn part to a 120 year-old steam engine or maybe it's something entirely new. We truly love what we do. We love coming to Maker Faire to share that and hopefully inspire others- especially the younger generation- to see where their creativity takes them.

Project Website
Categories: Education, Alternative Energy, Engineering, Fabrication, Kinetic Art