Questions tagged [engineering]

For questions about the use of engineering to create structures and devices in other worlds, including whether or not a device could be made or what materials would be needed to make a device.

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5
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10answers
496 views

How Could Someone Make an Army Which is Immune or Resistant to Magic Attacks?

My DnD character is a sorta artificer/warlock mix who has technical prowess and has a patron that can give him glimpses into technology from alternate universes (basically advanced knowledge on ...
15
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7answers
6k views

Is there a reason why giant mechs have optics the size of a person instead of 'normal' sized ones?

It is said that eyes are the windows into the soul. In this case more like big openings to shoot into the head. Giant mecha robots mimic the human form very closely despite their gigantism. In media ...
3
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1answer
60 views

Altantropa vs Climate Change/raising sea levels?

Atlantropa was a geoengineering project to build a series of dams across the mediterranean sea to slowly drain it creating new land, satisfying the energy requirements of europe and even merging the ...
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4answers
293 views

Is it possible for a magnet to catch a bullet after it is fired? [closed]

Could a strong enough magnet deflect or stop a bullet?
40
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11answers
10k views

An engineering enigma: the useless "wings" behind giant robots. What is their TRUE purpose?

An engineering enigma: the useless "wings" behind giant robots. "Bold design choice." "What? I like anime." "Worst-case scenario, we'll end up with the world's most ...
2
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2answers
127 views

A car propelled by a turbine air jet has acceptable efficiency?

So, I know that there are vehicles that use gas turbines as their engines, but they are connected to the wheels. What I'm asking is that if a turbine with reasonable size (small enough to fit in a car ...
9
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3answers
2k views

Dam in the Mediterranean

I am looking to write a story where part of the Atlantropa project goes through. Now I know about all the issues with it: the soil is covered in salt and unusable, it raises sea level in other places, ...
5
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7answers
2k views

How do I make a steam engine work - with next-to-zero hydrocarbons, or, for that matter, biomatter - to use as fuel?

Let's say that my colony ship crash-landed on an atmosphere-less planet. Sure, there might be sub-surface pockets that have evolved primitive life, but sulfur and phosphorous are at a premium in the ...
8
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4answers
2k views

What are some of the structural problems inherent to a kilometer-scale hydrogen airship?

Airships are interesting vehicles, in that they are, as far as I know, the only ones to turn the square-cube law to their advantage. For a proportional increase X in length, width, or height of the ...
7
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1answer
540 views

Can a hydraulic system also serve as a battery?

Hydraulics commonly use mineral oil or water to provide the pressure needed for mechanical movement, which is good but the liquid just sorta sits there not doing anything else. So I though “why not ...
7
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4answers
860 views

How Would a Stirling Engine’s Throttle Work Using Technology From the 1800’s?

I am working on a stirling engine powered train for a DnD game I am a part of, and am trying to figure out how the engine works. I have the basics of the engine done, but I can not figure out how a ...
3
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2answers
122 views

How weight and volume-efficient can you make a high-yield nuclear weapon for setting off a volcano?

Let's say that we need a nuke that can fit into a very small space while also providing a very large boom. Now, the US's B-41 nuclear bomb was quite mass-efficient indeed; it put out 22 petajoules, or ...
5
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1answer
55 views

Best design for Plasma Magnet Sail/Catch

What's the best design for a receiving end of a Plasma Sail/Catch. That is, (ignoring the specific means of how for now), a broadcaster in solar system x sends out a soup of macro-scale particles at a ...
2
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9answers
810 views

Why would a tank have multiple main weapons or a main weapon with multiple barrels?

Fiction is filled with examples of tanks with multiple main weapons, from Command and Conquer's Mammoth to Warhammer 40,000's Baneblade to World of Tanks's IS-2-II (although the IS-2-II was based on a ...
3
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3answers
130 views

How to build an installation that utilises a perfect filter to get gold from the oceans?

In A perfect filter spell. What knowledge could it bring? I described a magical filter. The common suggestion of filtering out metals (specifically gold) dissolved in water has been wracking my brain. ...
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7answers
7k views

Would rubber carriage wheels significantly improve the efficiency of horse-drawn carriage travel?

So, suppose a medieval society knows how to create vulcanized rubber. (As long as they have rubber sap, sulphur, and the recipe, it shouldn't be outside of their capabilities. The process is super ...
2
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1answer
104 views

Mechanical-electric firearm ignition

For some time I've been thinking upon the concept of a firearm that uses a mechanical system to generate an electrical current for use in a electrically ignited firearm without the hassle of batteries....
4
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2answers
98 views

Explosive flechette. Mechanism of detonation

In a world I am currently conceptualizing, the militaries of said world make use of flechette ammunition due to advance ballistic armor which has made all but the higher caliber conventional slug ...
0
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0answers
71 views

Can I make a functional wingsail out of pre-industrial materials?

Definition of a wingsail, from Wikipedia: A wingsail, twin-skin sail or double skin sail is a variable-camber aerodynamic structure that is fitted to a marine vessel in place of conventional sails. ...
5
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5answers
223 views

How big does a floating island have to be for the effects of motion sickness to be negated?

Assuming a floating island is built from plastic trash or barrels how big would it have to be for motion sickness to become irrelevant?
10
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7answers
3k views

How efficient would pumping water uphill be using hydropower?

How efficient would hydropower be at pumping water upward? Waterwheels are the cornerstone of unmanned power and are basically gravity powered (solar too if you count the water cycle,) which is very ...
8
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2answers
604 views

How did King Ozymandias's statue crumble?

I was thinking about Ozymandias, and it struck me as a little weird that the head of the statue fell so close to the legs while the rest of the statue seemingly disintegrated into sand. Thinking a bit ...
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2answers
89 views

Ergonomics of a Metal Storm Staff Gun

Upon the The Peaks of Comprehension lies the the Temple of Knowledge, where monks labor, record, observe and preserve knowledge both old and new. With the knowledge they have gained, the monks go out ...
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2answers
150 views

How do I design a main battle tank to fight a tactical nuclear war?

Exactly what it says on the tin: how do I design a tank to fight a nuclear war? Nukes in this setting are limited to one kiloton yield or below by treaty, with the smallest ones having a yield of ten ...
10
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3answers
3k views

What would an above-ground residential apartment designed to negate the effects of a one-kiloton nuclear surface burst at 500 meters look like?

Exactly what it says on the tin: what would an above-ground residential apartment designed to negate the effects of a one-kiloton nuclear surface burst at 500 meters look like? NUKEMAP-2 says that the ...
2
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3answers
203 views

Harvesting energy from rain as efficiently as possible

The goal is to engineer the most efficient way(s) to harvest energy from rainfall using moderately advanced technology. My idea was to use this as widespread power source for a race of people that ...
3
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4answers
187 views

Restoring or recycling in a post-apocalyptic setting?

I have been wondering what would be more practical in a post apocalyptic setting, trying to restore the ruins of old (like refurbishing what can be restored and rebuilding over what cannot be and ...
4
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2answers
97 views

How can my eco-hippies build a taser to down a polar bear?

I have some radical environmentalists as some of my characters. They don't want to kill any living thing, but they live in an area where the polar bear population is anomalously high, and attacks are ...
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2answers
95 views

Gravity operated railroads in a low tech fantasy world?

I'm working on a low tech setting for a fantasy story. I'd like to see how far I can get operating within the laws of physics (no magic, gunpowder, or steam-powered devices) but still produce ...
7
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2answers
563 views

What would armor designed to withstand a grenade blast in an enclosed space look like?

Let's say that someone throws an M67 hand grenade into a completely enclosed room - i.e. the door is the only entrance/exit. How would someone build a suit of armor to functionally negate the ...
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3answers
301 views

What would a one-crew armored fighting vehicle look like with a modern level of technology?

Imagine something like the M2 Bradley, except with no passenger capabilities and a single crew member. I recognize that having one crew member is rather harmful redundancy-wise, but that's not ...
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2answers
134 views

Limb chopping device to prevent zombie infection

zombies exist Like bacteria their seeds are everywhere, can't be avoided. Never being infected is unheard off, everyone experiences it once or twice in their life. Every person, children included are ...
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2answers
87 views

How feasible would aerostat settlements be in my world?

For a while I have been considering adding aerostatic settlements within my world, which would be emblematic of the more advanced civilizations/societies/entities, hosting a number of people ranging ...
0
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1answer
53 views

What design adaptions would a wind turbine require to operate in a perpetual hurricane?

Never mind why there's a perpetual hurricane. This is about extracting power from it. Let's say that there's a perpetual hurricane that constantly "hovers" in one location - say, over ...
1
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1answer
91 views

How does one fight in a perpetual hurricane?

Never mind why there's a perpetual hurricane. This is about fighting in it. I'm not sure what the terrain of the Sahara is after getting blasted with hurricane-force winds for 2 million years, but ...
4
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2answers
86 views

What would be some design features of an international research station built in a perpetual hurricane?

Never mind why there's a perpetual hurricane. This is about a building being built in it. Let's say that there's a perpetual hurricane that constantly "hovers" in one location - say, over ...
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26answers
6k views

Why are UFOs disk shaped?

What’s the deal with flying saucers? There’s no drag in space, so alien engineers don’t have any limitations placed on them when it comes to ship design. Yet the ships portrayed by media look like ...
11
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6answers
2k views

What would land vehicles designed to operate in a perpetual hurricane look like?

Never mind why there's a perpetual hurricane. This is about the vehicles going into and out of it. Let's say that there's a perpetual hurricane that constantly "hovers" in one location - say,...
5
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5answers
237 views

What type of safety features would a commercial nuclear jet aircraft have?

Let's say that you have a commercially/privately-operated jet aircraft. It's not something that's going to be used by a single pilot, or someone making mail runs, or a bush pilot; it's more of the ...
38
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25answers
7k views

What kind of war would lead to Ultra-Heavy tanks being useful?

Ultra-Heavy tanks are a fun concept. Simply scale up a tank to weigh 1000+ tonnes, add a stupid amount of guns and armour, and you end up with something like the image below. Of course, this monster ...
3
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4answers
501 views

Would this be feasible method to get more power out of a hydrogen internal combustion engine?

The idea is to use the waste water & heat of a hydrogen engine to power a steam turbine for more power. The way it works is by taking the exhaust water/steam. Putting the water/steam through a ...
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1answer
169 views

What would be the best battery someone could make in the late 1400's?

In my champaign a character has the ability to gain knowledge from the far future and has used that knowledge to expand technology and bring on an early industrial revolution. They have built up to a ...
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1answer
103 views

Cooling the Indian subcontinent using tibet [closed]

The Indian subcontinent is at the same latitude as the Sahara desert, and if not for the Tibetan Plateau reversing the Haileys cell, would have the same enviornment. The plateau causes rain in the ...
23
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11answers
5k views

What could centipedal mechs do that tracked & wheeled vehicles couldn't do?

What could centipedal mechs do that tracked & wheeled vehicles couldn't do? It's been 6 years since the 2 legged mech question, it's been 3 years since the spider mech question. It's time for the ...
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2answers
191 views

Would life be possible on a planet with an eternal day and night? [duplicate]

The story I want to tell is about a world where one side of the planet always is sunlittenand the other side is always drenched in blank. The planet once stopped rotating (tangential meeting with a ...
2
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1answer
62 views

What would be the consequences for microelectronics if the Sun caused more coronal mass ejections?

Let's say that the Sun, instead of being the relatively tame star it is IRL, constantly sends out low-level but unpredictable coronal mass ejections that aren't enough to negatively affect life but do ...
4
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2answers
187 views

In an age of aircraft and long-range missiles, what justification is there for battleships?

The title says it all: in an age of long-range force projection, why would battleships still be a thing? Clearly, they're rather obsolete in our world, but I'm not talking about our world; what ...
9
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13answers
3k views

Would there be any fuel alternatives for an internal combustion engine before the discovery of crude oil/gasoline?

I am playing a campaign where my character (with the help of multiple experienced craftsmen and an artificer) is essentially working to bring about an industrial revolution to a world where such ...
14
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7answers
4k views

Any realistic ideas for a suction-based weapon?

I’ve been looking for real-life examples of suction-based weapons or weapons that work like a vacuum, violently sucking up the surrounding matter, but my search hasn’t generated any decent results. ...
0
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1answer
91 views

Can automatic semi-perpetual motion mechanical legs exist?

Related question >> A person has decided to mechanize themselves. Their spine was severed at the height of the L-1 vertebrae, legs and guts where removed. The leg prostheses come in many forms ...

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