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Home > Engines > Free Metalworking Project Plans: The Flame Eater (Vacuum) Engine by Jan Ridders

Free Metalworking Project Plans: The Flame Eater (Vacuum) Engine by Jan Ridders

Material: Steel and Brass

Back in February I posted plans for a Coffee Cup Stirling Engine by Jan Ridders, which have proved quite popular with more than 500 downloads to date.

Since the first engine went over so well with everyone, I thought it was about time for another. These plans are for a “Flame Eater” engine (AKA a Flame Sucker or Vacuum Engine).


The working principal is nicely illustrated by the animation below, but you really need to visit Jan’s site for the whole story on how this engine works, and what makes Jan’s design so special.flame-eater-principal

Here’s a short video of Jan’s Flame Eater in action:

If you decide to tackle this little engine, be sure to visit Jans site for lots great information on the theory, design, and construction of this great little engine.

Thanks Jan for contributing your plans!

  1-Cyl_Flame-Eater_Internal_Valve_-_Jan_Ridders.pdf (3.7 MiB, 10,426 downloads)
NOTE: You need to be a registered member (and logged in) to download this file.

  • HOW? You can register using the yellow "Register" link in the upper right corner of the website. If you've registered previously you just need to log in using the "Have an account? Log In" link located in the upper right corner of the site.
  • COST? It's currently free to register and become a member of this site.
  • PRIVACY? Your email address will be encrypted and kept private.


  • BENEFITS? Registering for the site allows you to download plans and other documents. Registering will also grant you forum access, allowing you to log into the forum using the same username and password you used to register for the site.
  • RSS? Subscribing to the RSS feed or subscribing to receive email messages whenever the site content is updated is not the same as registering. If you would like to receive email notifications you still need to sign up for that service. AND WE STILL WON'T SPAM YOU! We will, however, send you an email whenever the site is updated with new content. That's typically about 1 email a month or less.

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About Tyler

Tyler is a hobby machinist and 3D printing aficionado. He teaches computer programming and web development at Highline College near Seattle. Tyler founded Projects In Metal in 2008 because he was frustrated by the lack of free plans available for hobby machinists.


  1. mm… thank you ))

  2. Have tried to download Jan’s flame-eater several times over the last couple of days. Only ever seem to get around 2Mb into it and it drops out.

    Also have downloaded Jans Coffeecup Engine 9 times over the past few months but always get a corrupted PDF file and not able to be opened.

    I find the site as always an interesting place to explore.

    Cheers Gar

  3. Hi Gar, sorry you’re having trouble. I’ve had a few other visitors with issues opening a PDF that their system said was corrupt. In every case this was an issue with an old copy of Adobe Reader. Make sure your copy of Adobe is up to date and that should fix one of your issues. As far as downloading goes, I haven’t heard of any issues. However, I’d be happy to email you a copy of the plans if you still have issues downloading them. Let me know.

    Sorry for the trouble,


  4. Thank you,I hope to be able to do it.

  5. This little engine is my current project. I’m stuck at the moment because I don’t have a suitable way to mill the flats on the cylinder – but I’m working on that. I’ll get it sorted eventually.

    If you build your own, share some pictures of it on the forum!

  6. Nathan Bezuidenhout


    would like to know if there is a reason why every time I click on the PDF link for the plans its says “this file dose not exist” ? Confused

  7. Wow, you’re right!

    I hadn’t updated the path for the downloads folder after the move to the new server (I thought the path would be dynamically updated, but it wasn’t). 

    I wonder how many people left the site frustrated because none (not a single one) of the downloads were working?!

    Thank you for pointing this out!!!