1/10 Scale Microtunnelling Machine

After a long search of the web, I was unable to find a set of plans to make a reasonable sized model tunnelling machine that was not too complicated.  I decided to change that!

To keep the parts a reasonable size and scale, along with a model that would fit on a shelf, I settled for a Microtunnelling machine in 1/10th scale.  The real machine would be 1050mm in diameter and the model is 105mm.  The Plan Set included the Tunnelling Machine, Hydraulic Jacks, Guide Rails and Thrust Ring.

microtunnelling machine MTBM Model Microtunnelling Model

The model is built from plastic (expanded PVC) which is used in sign making. It has the durability of plastic and the machinability of wood, making it the ideal medium for prototyping.

Parts are cut on a CNC router and complex shapes are made up by layering pieces on top of each other, as seen with the cone and crusher.

Cone CRUSHER microtunnel Microtunnelling machine model plans Tunnelling machine model

Non functioning Hydraulic Rams are made from PVC water pipe, available in all hardware stores. The body of the Microtunnelling Machine is made from larger diameter PVC pipe.

The rams are assembled with an 'O' ring to give a more realistic movement and to temporarily hold the positon of the rod where placed.

Model Hydraulic Rams Model Hydraulic Cylinders TBM Steering Ram model

All cylindrical parts are made from PVC pipe or wooden dowel, so no lathe work is required. The articulations are pinned with brass tubing or steel rod.

Model Tunnel Machine Model Hydraulic Cylinder set Tunnelling model equipment

The Jacking Rails are made from 2mm plastic sheet, cut to size and glued together, with CA adhesive (super glue) to form the shape of the H Beam used to make up the frames and rails.

Model H Beam model tunnelling equipment model plans