I wanted to do something different than I normally do as well as try some features I had not previously visited in Blender.
So I decided to try out some of the newer modifier stack options. Animations are always fun so combining those two things I came up with this:
Turns out it was very easy to setup. Only the camshaft is specifically animated (to rotate along the X-axis). The piston is a child of the connecting rod. The connecting rod is a child of the cam shaft. After that it was just a matter of adding a rotation constraint modifier (no rotation in any axis) and a location constraint modifier (no motion except along the objects Z axis) to the piston and a locked track modifier to the connecting rod (targeting the piston). It actually was easier than I thought it was going to be so that was something of a combined surprise/let-down (given my initial goal).
After sorting out that part I’ve started refining the objects. I don’t really intend to model an entire engine but will do a few more things before I’m done. For instance it will have a 16 valve DOHC (which will present it’s own challenge for animation). Here is the current state of the refinements:
XviD Codec can be obtained from xvid.org