Design of the Week: Chevy Camaro LS3 V8 Engine

A full 3D printed replica of a V8 engine

This week’s selection is the incredible Chevy Camaro LS3 V8 Engine by mechanical engineer Eric Harrell.

This model is exactly as you might expect: it’s a scale model of a V8 engine. However, while you might find other engine 3D models on the Internets, the difference with this particular offering is that it’s virtually identical to the actual engine. There is, however, a hidden electric motor that actuates the mechanism to simulate engine operation. 

In the video you can see Harrell assembling the engine in a drastically sped-up time lapse, where you’ll see the large number of parts being assembled. In fact there are 60 different part types required for this model, and you’ll need to print 173 of them. 

Harrell explains that this will take at least 200 hours of successful 3D printing, and that the engine block itself, composed of two halves, will alone take 72 hours of printing. This will take more than 2kg of plastic to produce. 

I mentioned there’s an embedded electric motor, and there’s actually a number of other non-3D printed components required to complete this model. You’ll need quantities of 28 miscellaneous hardware items, mostly nuts, bolts, rods, bearings and magnets. In all, there are 434 hardware pieces required, plus the electric motor. 

 Some of the 3D printed parts required to assemble the Chevy Camaro LS3 V8 Engine
Some of the 3D printed parts required to assemble the Chevy Camaro LS3 V8 Engine

If that sounds daunting, don’t fret, as Harrell is selling hardware kits to accompany the 3D model to simplify the project.  He’s selling a complete set of hardware (less motor) for USD$62. 

 Assembling the 3D printed Chevy Camaro LS3 V8 engine
Assembling the 3D printed Chevy Camaro LS3 V8 engine

You can download the STL for all the 3D models from Thingiverse at no charge, but this project is of such significance you’ll also have to budget for a motor and, of course, a few spools of plastic. 

Apparently some have requested the original Solidworks CAD files from Harrell, but he’s not giving them up. The development of such files would have required a tremendous amount of work and it is sensible Harrell would prefer to protect them.

I suspect few will attempt this large project, but those who do will be rewarded with a very unique model.  

Via Thingiverse and Eric Harrell

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