I am working on an engine for the Pistonrobot. I describe this robot at my website Home Page for Pistonrobot. The interesting thing with complex mechanical models is that you can advance the parts of the model a little bit and save the new configuration as a new layer. Then you can cycle through these layers and export 2D images without ever changing the camera view. These images can be stitched together to make videos. I advanced the crankshaft of this engine in 10 degree increments, so that for a full 360 deg rotation, there would be 36 images. WIth each increment of the crankshaft, one needs to move the connecting rod to where it should be on the crankshaft, then rotate the rod to its proper angle, then move the pistonhead so it is again properly connected to the rod. If you do this for all 4 cylinders for all 36 increments, then you’ve got a video. I made a YouTube of this Pistonrobot The Engine of the Heart with closeups. Also, another fun topic. This engine drawing includes a gas control valve and this valve demonstrates some pretty cool stuff one can do in Sketchup with adding and subtracting solids, altering opacity, and using colors to highlight stuff.
I sent the Sketchup drawing of the Engine to the Trimble 3D website, so if you want to download it, you can make some videos of your own.
Here’s the webaddress for this: Engine of the Heart at the Warehouse
Follows is an image of it rendered out via Sketchup, then another rendering via KeyShot.