Top Rated DIY Engines for Puzzle Lovers

diy engineering projects for adults 3D

“Every living being is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the universe”

Nikola Tesla

There are many 3D models and puzzles out there, but it is actually quite hard to find something truly unique as many brands and companies are constantly copying each other so much that sometimes you cannot even distinguish them.

Even though I like Wooden 3D Puzzles, I was always gravitating towards metal puzzles. Metal 3D Puzzles are harder to assemble and thus are more satisfying to accomplish. Nevertheless, I still felt that something was missing. I wanted more motion or even more features in those puzzles.

And that’s when I have found “DIY engines” — that is basically a quintessence of metal 3D puzzles and electronics, something that really makes you feel like a full-fledged engineer.

The quality of those is amazing, so I immediately fell in love with the design and idea.

Below, you will find 7 TOP rated DIY Engines that every puzzle lover must have:

1. Live Steam Locomotive


diy steam engine train mini

  • Level (Complexity): Complex (6)
  • Type: Locomotive model
  • Estimated time: 2-3 hours
  • Size: 22×3.9×6.5 cm.
  • Packaging: cardboard box
  • Materials used: Metal, Plastic, Glass
  • Safety: Small parts, choking hazard

Yes, you have heard me right — this is basically a real DIY locomotive with a real steam engine that runs on Butane Gas and operates by pumping got steam through its pistons — and YOU can assemble it all by yourself without any additional help or tools!

Isn’t that completely amazing?

The coolest thing is that it can run on medium speed for about 10 minutes non-stop — way more than any wooden or metal puzzle can.

It also comes with a nice set of test equipment, spare parts and, of course, 12 pieces of railroad tracks!


Check Prices for Live Steam Locomotive

2. Mini Steam Engine Model Kit Set with Steam Engine Boiler and Base


diy steam engine how to build

  • Level (Complexity): Complex (6)
  • Type: Steam Engine
  • Estimated time: 2-3 hours
  • Size: 17×8×15 cm.
  • Packaging: cardboard box
  • Materials used: Metal
  • Safety: Small parts, choking hazard

With this kit you will be able to assemble a real working mini steam engine right at home.

The best thing about it is that you can use it as a DIY project demonstration of how real engine works or you can even place it on RC Boat and it will be working no problem.

Amazing idea and exquisitely crafted model that is definitely one of my favorites.


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3. Stirling Engine Kit 4 Cylinder


  • Level (Complexity): Complex (6)
  • Type: Stirling Engine
  • Estimated time: 2-3 hours
  • Number of Parts: 165
  • Size: 20×15×16 cm.
  • Packaging: cardboard box
  • Materials used: Metal
  • Safety: Small parts, choking hazard

And here we are — this is a toy for the big boys, the Stirling Engine is definitely something that both teenagers and adults will engine.

Sporting a whopping 2000-2500 revolutions per minute — this DIY Engine is definitely a great eye candy to put on your shelf or desk.

Awesome model for showcasing and for different science projects.


Check Prices for Stirling Engine Kit 4 Cylinder

4. Cylinder Stirling V4 Engine


diy engine projects

  • Level (Complexity): Complex (6)
  • Type: Stirling Engine
  • Estimated time: 2-3 hours
  • Number of Parts: 165
  • Size: 27×16.5×16 cm.
  • Packaging: cardboard box
  • Materials used: Hardened steel, brass
  • Safety: Small parts, choking hazard

The older Brother of the previous Stirling Engine as this one is an amazing V4.

It is quite big and heavy — that way you can really feel the magnificence and power of this DIY engine that can do around 1800 revolutions per minute.

Safe to say, that it works exactly as a real one. The craftsmanship and metalwork is of the highest quality and will suit every puzzle lover for sure.

An amazing gift and a fun way to do a science project for kids.


Check Prices for 4 Cylinder Stirling Engine V4

5. Low Temperature Stirling Engine


  • Level (Complexity): Moderate (4)
  • Type: Stirling Engine
  • Estimated time: 1-2 hours
  • Size: 10.5×10.5×14 cm.
  • Packaging: cardboard box
  • Materials used: Stainless steel, aluminum
  • Safety: Small parts, choking hazard

Low Temperature Stirling Engine is truly unique even among other DIY Engine models. You actually do not need any fuel or alcohol to power this one. All you need is a cup of hot, steaming water and you are good to go.

This engine can be placed on top of a glass of hot water and after around 10-15 seconds it will start working.

Amazing model for science projects for kids as it can be operated by everyone.

Just make sure to have it cool down naturally!


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6. V2 Car Engine Assembly Kit


DIY Car Engine Assembly Kit Full Metal V2 Engine Build Best Gift for Him

  • Level (Complexity): Complex (7)
  • Type: Car Engine
  • Estimated time: 3-4 hours
  • Number of Parts: 217
  • Size: 21.3×21.5×13.5 cm.
  • Packaging: cardboard box
  • Materials used: Aluminum Alloy, Stainless Steel, Lithium Battery
  • Safety: Small parts, choking hazard

V2 Car engine is definitely a great looking and fun DIY assembly. Despite the fact it has quite a few parts in the kit — it is actually not that super hard to assemble — the manual is very clear and the all the craftsmanship is super smooth and peerless.

Safe to say — you will be able to experience the process the same way it is done at the assembly line at real factories. Amazing experience, no less!

Amazing model to assemble together with kids as well.


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7. V4 Car Engine Assembly Kit


small engine projects diy car

  • Level (Complexity): Complex (8)
  • Type: Car Engine
  • Estimated time: 3-4 hours
  • Number of Parts: 357
  • Size: 18.2×15×12 cm.
  • Packaging: cardboard box
  • Materials used: Aluminum Alloy, Stainless Steel, Lithium Battery
  • Safety: Small parts, choking hazard

This one is the best so far — V4 Car Engine is a bit harder to assembly than V2 (above), but it is definitely worth it.

The craftsmanship is of the highest quality with all the casting being precision made with awesome accuracy. The manual if very helpful and it makes the assembly easier. It is a great balance between fun and challenge.

Absolutely amazing for science classes and different projects for kids.


Check Prices for V4 Car Engine Assembly Kit

Conclusion and Tips

Overall, most of these DIY engines have the same idea, the implementation is just amazing and all this models will not disappoint in terms of quality, fun and challenge.

There are a couple of points that I’d like to mention in the conclusion:

  • All steam engines can work around 10 minutes non-stop. After that you should let them cool down a bit.
  • Make sure to pay close attention to heated parts when the engines are working and never touch them
  • Pay close attention to the manual — it usually shows the assembly process in a very detailed manner.
  • Doing it with kids is certainly a great deal of fun as you can play and teach at the same time.

We hope you like the models we have found for you. Make sure to let us know in the comments if you have any questions.

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