Contest Winners: A little engine that could (win) with product design software

Written By: Cat McClintock
  • 7/30/2016

In March, we launched our Product Design Contest. People from more than 60 countries submitted their best models made in Creo 3D CAD software for a chance to win cash, a spot in an upcoming eBook, and – for the winners – a trip to LiveWorx, held in June in Boston.

Recently, we introduced the winners in this blog. Now, we’d like to tell you more about the best of the best:

Winners Majesa Trimmel and Christopher Muhr

Chris and Majesa are among the winners of our recent product design contest

Location: Austria

The design. This dynamic duo developed a cost-effective, high-efficiency engine that works via pressure and heat. In contrast to the conventional stirling engine, which only has one pair of pistons, this winner consists of four pairs of pistons, picking up new power with every stroke. To fire the engine, the team used methylated spirits, which can reach temperatures of 900°C. The engine is customizable, and various devices can be added to the shafts, which are fitted with different types of clutches for optimal flexibility.

Thermic engine design shown in CAD system

What do you call two novices who learned Creo on their own, created all their engineering calculations in Mathcad, and designed a cost-effective, high-efficiency, thermic engine? Winners.

Why Creo? Trimmel and Muhr used Creo simply because it’s what was available at their school. However, for this sophisticated project, they went well beyond the technology set up in class. They enlisted add ons in order to create skeleton models and weldments, as well as Mathcad for driving their engineering calculations. They even reconfigured the settings on the school’s CAD system.  Creo gave them all the tools they needed/

What’s the biggest advantage to using Creo? “It’s easy to learn – but has so much to offer,” said the pair. “The only other program we used was AutoCad. If we compare the two, we think it’s much easier to learn how to use Creo.”

Anything surprising about the software while working on this project? Yes. “There are so many commands we have never thought of. At first we believed it was only for basic design, but now we know that Creo can do much more.”

Thermic engine design

Any advice for someone trying to create their own winning design with Creo? “For the people out there who are creating something great and trying to win a design contest: do not give up. We know it can be hard, but stay calm and go on, even when the program does not do what you want.”

What the judges said. Basically, they've taken the concept of a stirling engine that exists today and expanded it to build this bigger version. It was very well executed, and they’ve done a good job of leveraging a number of the different capabilities that we have inside Creo today to be able to prove out the concept. We also really liked the use of Mathcad to show the engineering calculations behind the design.

Ready to explore product design software for yourself or your team? You’ll need a checklist to see if the tools you choose meets your best practices. Download our free Purchasing Checklist to make sure you buy the best solution – and get on the winning path. 

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About the Author

Cat McClintock

Cat McClintock edits the Creo and Mathcad blogs for PTC.  She has been a writer and editor for 15+ years,  working for CAD, PDM, ERP, and CRM software companies. Prior to that, she edited science journals for an academic publisher and aligned optical assemblies for a medical device manufacturer. She holds degrees in Technical Journalism, Classics, and Electro-Optics. She loves talking to PTC customers and learning about the interesting work they're doing and the innovative ways they use the software.