The Simple Stirling 1 Engine —Plans, Photos, General Information

3D CAD model (369k pdf)

Parts drawings (123k pdf)

Assembly drawings (282k pdf)

BOM and notes (102k html)

This first version of the Simple Stirling 1 Engine is powered by hot water.

I had several design goals in creating the Simple Stirling 1 Engine:

  1. No Lathe or Milling Machine: I wanted a small engine that could be built without a lathe or a milling machine, just a drill press and hand tools. I’ve kept the work relatively simple—no tapping. You do need to drill some small holes and you need to accurately layout the parts. The drill press is needed for the small holes and to drill accurately perpendicular holes. Almost all of the drilling is in aluminum.
  2. Hardware store materials: This engine is based on hardware store materials that you should be able to pick up locally. There are a few items such as the brass tubes and music wire that might require a hobby store, but my hardware store had everything except some small collars that I bought at a hobby store.
  3. An engine to experiment with: Most importantly, this is an engine you can experiment with. If you build one of those beautiful models with many hours on a lathe and mill, are you going to want to try drastic or even small changes? On this engine you can change virtually anything by just building a few parts. Experimenting with these engines is fun. Although this prototype has a 3-inch ABS coupling for a displacer cylinder, you can easily change it to a tin can by just bending a few new attach wires and making a new displacer.
  4. Free Plans: The plans are free because I want to encourage people to build and experiment with these engines.


By adding a regenerator to the displacer I’ve increased the RPM from 130 to 248 using hot water at 170 deg F (hot and cold source difference of about 85 deg F).


See the Simple Stirling 1 turning 340 rpm on 190 deg F water:


The Simple Stirling 1 running on solar power concentrated by a Fresnel lens.


Be sure to also see my new open-source 3D printed Stirling engine. All information and design files (.stl files) to build this engine are free.

3D Pringed Stirling engine
3D printed Stirling engine now open-source
3D printed engine BOM and assembly instructions

3D printed Stirling engine

3D printed Stirling engine