One of LEGO’s slogans is “rebuild the world”. And it is that with the Danish plastic blocks we can build practically what we really want. Brick Technology’s YouTube channel is specialized in build all kinds of mechanical systems using LEGO bricks and a lot of imagination. On this occasion, he has decided to build six different motors, with six different mechanical configurations, with LEGO pieces… and powered by compressed air.
In this experiment, Brick Technology has used the same principle as steam engines, but instead of burning coal and heating water to generate pressurized steam, has created compressed air tanks using plastic bottles and a portable tire compressor. With this energy source, he has modified the pneumatic pistons that already exist in the LEGO universe to create “combustion chambers” with pistons moved by compressed air. Next, he just had to replicate engines of different mechanical configurations.
I don’t want to think about the amount of time you have to invest in creating these mechanical monsters.
The experiment starts with two-, three- and four-cylinder in-line configuration engines, moving on to a V6 and a complex open-vee V8. Each engine presents different challenges, especially in establishing the order in which each cylinder should “fire” and ensuring a constant supply of compressed air. The showpiece is a complex twelve-cylinder radial engine, similar to that of an old plane. Huge and with great inertia, but fully functional in form, mechanical layout and sound.