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Author Topic: Feathering Wheels: Efficiency vs Complexity?  (Read 1376 times)

Offline Markess

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Feathering Wheels: Efficiency vs Complexity?
« on: March 12, 2021, 07:05:46 AM »
I'm in the process of selecting my next project (a side wheel of some kind) and am unsure what kind of paddles to use.  I'm less concerned with fidelity to an original ship's running gear (whatever it ends up being), and more concerned with building a model in the 1-1.5 meter range that can keep station and track properly in the mild breezes that are common where I live. 

The educational non-profit where I volunteer is relocating to a new building and has given me their 3D printer for safekeeping during the move.  So, I have a 2-3 week window where I can print all the lengthy and complex prints that I want.  I also have occasional access to their laser cutter for parts that are easier cut from flat stock (wood or acrylic).

I've been thinking that making 3D printed parts for a feathering wheel wouldn't be any more difficult than one with fixed paddles.  It would just take longer.  But, I'm sure that getting it to work smoothly is probably another matter entirely!.  I have decent modeling skills, but zero experience with paddlewheels.  I can only assume that a wheel with feathering paddles will take some (much?) fine tuning, and I wonder if the added efficiency is worth the effort on a model that size? 

I had something like this in mind:  https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4668296

Thanks for any thoughts and advice!

Offline Hankwilliams

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Re: Feathering Wheels: Efficiency vs Complexity?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2021, 09:02:00 PM »
The picture shows a classical Morgan geared wheel.
The grade of efficiency depends on diameter of the wheel and of course if it`s geared or not. In general one can say: A geared wheel of half diameter than the radial wheel will have the same grade of efficiency - at least in original size. Relativ to model size in my own experience I can say: The efficiency of the geared wheel is also much better, according to the diameter. The grade of efficiency of a small radial wheel for example 100 mm diameter will be much more worse than the geared wheel of same diameter.
This is the reason, that original American paddlers long time has had very big radial paddlewheels in combination to simple slow revolving engines. The Europe tradition is different, rather early geared wheels with fast revolving engines were developed.
But we must conclude, that grade of efficiency in our models is not as important than in original size. So the 100 mm diameter wheel will need much faster revolving than a geared wheel.
Even in models I would ever prefer the geared Morgan wheels.

Thomas

Offline Markess

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Re: Feathering Wheels: Efficiency vs Complexity?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2021, 05:14:53 AM »
Thank you!  That's just what I needed to know. 

Offline Paddlemex

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Re: Feathering Wheels: Efficiency vs Complexity?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2021, 04:13:21 AM »

Hello Markess,

The efficiency is not really a topic in our models. However the looks and the cool-factor clearly favours the feathered wheel.
Regarding the wheel you refer to from thingiverse my concern would the the rigidity of the material. The wheel looks great, no doubt. But is it possible to print the links and levers sufficiently solid to withstand operation in water? Maybe it is only for static display?
Anyway, I would really like to see someone give it a try.

Jurgen

Offline Spankbucket

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Re: Feathering Wheels: Efficiency vs Complexity?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2021, 07:38:57 PM »
I got some limited experience with 3d printing last year using the filament method.

Personally I'd be wary about using this technique to make paddle wheels of even a fixed simple design. I found that to get any level; of accuracy you had to deploy inordinate amopunts of time to get an acceptable result and even that was not up to my generally low standards.

I have used the 'Thingverse' site and always found the item files of high quality content and well designed.

My experiences were in the context of OO/HO model railway rolling stock and none had any working components.


Offline Markess

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Re: Feathering Wheels: Efficiency vs Complexity?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2021, 03:38:58 PM »
I think I'm going to give this a try, if only as a proof of concept.  According to the Thingiverse description, the 3D printed wheel is installed on a working model.

But, I agree that for some of the parts, 3D printing probably won't yield a great deal of strength.   After a couple test prints, I've decided to convert & clean up most of the the 3D printer files for laser cutting instead.

@Spankbucket...getting good quality and strength from 3D printed parts can be quite the challenge.  I've got access to a commercial grade 3D printer, and several years experience using it, which I hope will allow me to coax some decent parts out of it.  That said, I think I'm only going to try to 3D print the paddles due to their more complex shape. The rest of the parts are going to be easier and stronger if I do them with the laser.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2021, 03:54:08 PM by Markess »

Offline Hankwilliams

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Re: Feathering Wheels: Efficiency vs Complexity?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2021, 08:57:06 PM »
The practical aspect of making feathering wheels in this coincidence may be interesting. I `m making geared paddlewheels for my "Colonel Lamb", I hope to finish these wheels end of next week. The material strenght of nuts, scews and whole wheel stars of course should be more than in scale 1 : 48.

Thomas

Offline Markess

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Re: Feathering Wheels: Efficiency vs Complexity?
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2021, 07:44:57 AM »
Hankwilliams, that's some excellent work!  If I may ask, what tools/equipment did you use to fabricate the wheel disks?

Offline optima21

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Re: Feathering Wheels: Efficiency vs Complexity?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2021, 08:23:26 PM »
if those paddle wheels are filed, they are nicely made

Offline Hankwilliams

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Re: Feathering Wheels: Efficiency vs Complexity?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2021, 08:24:56 PM »
Hello Markess,

Only normal tools like fretsaw, powerdrill, some files, circle and scriber are necessary. Today I will begin to make the movable floats.

Thomas

Offline DavidM

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Re: Feathering Wheels: Efficiency vs Complexity?
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2021, 07:33:17 AM »
i know it's a tad irrelevant but I found these while gathering information on what I need for my Waverly.
https://www.shapeways.com/product/V5FAVPZLK/paddlewheel-paddles
Oh my!

Offline Hankwilliams

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Re: Feathering Wheels: Efficiency vs Complexity?
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2021, 06:38:30 PM »
The impression of these plastic parts seems good to me. Obviously the grade of precision is much better than hand made parts. Presumable a paddlewheel made of this parts will functionate well. Another question is the desirable stability of the model paddlewheel. The axle of the movable floats should go through from one paddle stern to the other. In the pictures the wheel of "Colonel Lamb", made of 2 mm aluminium.

Thomas

Offline DavidM

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Re: Feathering Wheels: Efficiency vs Complexity?
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2021, 08:55:26 PM »
So in the opinions of the more experienced builders on here do you think those 3d printed paddles i posted worth a punt?
« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 06:24:08 AM by Leaky »
Oh my!

 

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