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February 26, 2016
All right guys, I give up. This thing is too awesome to wait any longer to post. It's pretty much a steam engine, I call it the Torquemaster. Dual jet-inflow pumps are used to generate Gas for pressure, spinning opposite of each other to minimize the rotational moment. The gas pressure forces the primary piston to travel to the other side of it's container, where it bumps into a switch that activates a small auxillary piston, which opens and closes the valves necessary to change the direction of pressure against the primary piston. The curved exhaust and inflow ports were originally intended to prevent the problem of high-velocity flow from accidentally triggering the auxillary piston buttons, but also turned out to be useful in improving the overall efficiency by preventing air flow before the exhaust valve is completely closed. The two primary pistons are set up to compliment each other's dead spot, and this usually works so long as the engine is running above the minimum RPM/under the maximum load. The times the engine slowed to a stop and had to be manhandled and thrown around a bit, were because the timing system on the left cylinder is a little less reliable.
The two primary pistons are connected via axles to the crankshaft-like device in the center, with the red and blue orbs, and are phased in such a way that they push and pull their axles on the crankshaft to generate rotational force. The red and blue orbs are connected to the same-colored orbs on the respective wheel, creating a series of four axles that transmit rotational energy from the crankshaft to the drive wheels. I could probably have gotten away with three axles, but four is more efficient and reliable. Three or four axles are necessary because two axles have a large dead spot in two places for every rotation, so four axles arranged at 90 degrees perfectly compliment each other's dead spots. The crankshaft and wheel axles are slightly loose in their housing, which creates a small limited-slip effect. When one of the wheels slip, it's axles lose pressure from the engine and the wheel must wait while the engine catches up, usually causing most of the engine's power to be transmitted to the wheel with better traction. The treads proved to be extremely useful, allowing the wheels to hook onto uneven surfaces and pump soft materials out of the way.
The suspension actually improves the machine's reliability. Without suspension, a hard impact could knock the main axle out of the wheel, and the excessive impact could damage other parts too, plus it looks cool. The suspension is made out of Viscous+Elastic, to damp excess vibrations.
The whole device is rather leaky, but this is because I was tired of running the simulation for the n-th time and having something fail half-way through a 7 hour recording, so I cranked the pressure to the absolute maximum the contraption could handle, (approaching the overpressure limit of OE-Cake's engine) to make it finish the track faster. The pressure was so high that it was causing the auxillary pistons to fail (and subsequently be redesigned), but other than that the machine held up fine! This basic design can be repurposed for anything that requires powerful rotational force. Future designs will probably be optimized for speed rather than strength. There is so much going on here that there is massive room for improvement and optimization; an interesting modification is to have restrictive exhaust ports because it helps stop the engine from spinning too fast and going out of sync, for example when riding down a hill, but has a minimal impact on the engine's strength. The Portable Lighter was previously my most detailed and complicated creation at about 7 modules composed of about 15 pieces, this device has over 100 pieces between about 35 modules. This machine is functioning proof that precise, insightful design has efficiency benefits. This is the second version of a pneumatic, piston powered vehicle, the previous iteration ran at the same pressure but had a far lower top speed, far less reliability, and far less strength, due to parts being too tight or too loose, positioned imprecisely, etc.
There is no replacement for displacement!
Also, a high-res schematic! Linked pieces have the same color.
Just created, schematic with lines connecting all linked pieces