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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
14
votes
9answers
1k views

Telex more popular than telephones

This question is inspired by the answer for another question. What changes in technological development after the World War 2 could have led the telex machines to be more popular than telephones, ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Using brine as construction material for an ocean floating town

Am trying to build a floating town with a starting resident population of about 3000 inhabitants. The setting: Around the end of the XXII century. The town 'Pioneering Pinnacle' is floating in the ...
7
votes
5answers
275 views

Uses for a 1950s-era nuclear-powered land vehicle?

I have heard of the Chrysler TV-8 design, an amphibious armored vehicle powered by an onboard nuclear reactor...basically a nuclear-powered tank. The TV-8 never made it off the drawing board; the ...
1
vote
3answers
160 views

how to get around a centrifugal force gravity ship

Lets say you had a really big space ship that uses the ramjet method to collect hydrogen. It can only generate gravity in a ring spinning around the collection cone. This means there's nothing in the ...
10
votes
8answers
2k views

Designing an aircraft for a cyberpunk setting

So I was thinking about the dynamic you always see in space settings in which the heroes always have a mobile basecamp in the form of their ship, and was thinking about how to have this sort of thing ...
-3
votes
2answers
95 views

Backyard Planetary Escape: From the Earth to the Moon, the Jeb Kerman way [closed]

A pair of aerospace engineers discovers that the New World Order wants to depopulate Earth by means of starting a nuclear war on the 1st of January of [Enter number between 2025 and 2040]. The elite ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

By what methods could the most energy and matter be collected from a supermassive black holes quasar jets?

I was wondering if it is possible to capture the majority of the energy and matter from the jets of a quasar from a supermassive black hole? The methods that I can think of is some sort of net like ...
6
votes
10answers
3k views

How to Salvage From a Sunken Spaceship

This was an idea loosely inspired by a Sci-fi movie that I will not name here. But the relevant part is that it involves an interstellar colony ship landing on a planet and the crew learning that the ...
5
votes
4answers
236 views

How large could you theoretically build a freestanding hall?

The Tropical Islands Resort in Germany is the world's largest freestanding hall. But how large could you theoretically build a freestanding hall on Earth? A freestanding hall is a building with no ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

What is the tallest structure that can be built on the Moon? Can it be used as a landing pad?

Earth provides many obstacles to building large structures. Earthquakes and strong winds are just two of them. As far as I know there are no quakes on the Moon nor are there any winds. Question ...
5
votes
2answers
189 views

Feasibility of sourcing fuel from air

Is it feasible to modify a combustion engine to source fuel from air and oxidizer from a tank, in an atmosphere that has significant amount of flammable fluids, such as one found in Titan? If so, can ...
4
votes
2answers
230 views

Duplication of human advantages by biological machines

People often postulate in works of fiction that humans (and other sentient biological organisms) have powers that machines will never duplicate, but by machines people often think about constructs ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

What would be the dimensions of an orbital ring space station built around Deimos (the Martian moon)?

To be more specific, What radius would enable a ring-shaped space station to stably spin around Deimos and provide its occupants with rotational gravity?
4
votes
2answers
164 views

How fast could a 300 foot wide, 300 mile long road be constructed in the same manner as the Roman Empire would?

The road is to be used to resupply a city siege. The best estimate of speed for how fast the Roman's could build a road I can find is their construction of the Appian Way or "Queen of Roads". This ...
1
vote
3answers
147 views

What is the viability of this airship using modern technology?

I want to design an airship using modern-day technology. I have read around the stack exchange and while there are many questions on airships they do not completely answer my questions. My main idea ...
3
votes
5answers
654 views

Detection systems and trigger mechanism in a pre-electronic world?

I am building a setting that is essentially steampunk,being exact it would be pneumatic punk. What electronics and electronic equivalent exists, are primitive and extremely expensive. Thus the ...
5
votes
2answers
211 views

Could we build a roof over the Grand Canyon?

(or some other Lesser Canyon) I'm playing with story ideas for a videogame that takes place in the post-post-apocalyptic US. Everything is overrun with monsters and ocean horrors and whatnot, you've ...
3
votes
3answers
108 views

Artificial oxygen oasis in an otherwise CO2 atmosphere

I wonder if it is possible to install artificial equipment that would exhaust oxygen into air in otherwise CO2 atmosphere so that locally people could breath in open air without any kind of tent or ...
0
votes
1answer
177 views

To what extent would it make sense to build a city like Midgar? [closed]

Please understand: This isn't a completely serious question. It's more just meant to have fun with, but to still learn something in the process. So in light of the first chapter of the Final Fantasy ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

How could a ballistic mask provide full protection without compromising the wearer's singing voice?

So, I'm having trouble with one of my character designs. Guardian angels are former humans who died in such dumb ways that Heaven simply couldn't let them in, not before they proved they can prevent ...
25
votes
22answers
6k views

How can I make the supporting pillars of an underground city less obstructive?

Node is the last active city of the lizard people. Node was built to be a self-sufficient city and a nexus of an interconnected bunker system. It was a vanity project from the peak of the lizard ...
2
votes
2answers
134 views

How could the Kobold Cannon's munition work?

"That is a weapon, NOT a teleporter" - Samuel "Whyamieventrying" Hayden The concept is fairly simple. You have a crazy, but crazy talented kobold inventor with lots of spare time and junk. This ...
4
votes
7answers
1k views

Powertrain for mid-19th century mecha

I’m writing a steampunk/weird west story set in 1867 and I want to incorporate some form of armored battle “walkers” (aka mechs). Looking for ideas for powertrains that could conceivably run such a ...
0
votes
2answers
127 views

Could a medieval society expand a river [closed]

What are the ways a society with medieval or at most middle age technology go about widening and deepening a river?
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Mechanics and structure for an artificial giant creature?

I originally wanted to create giant land biological life-forms but the square cube law is limiting me to sauropod body sized creatures so another element of my story is artificially enhanced ...
15
votes
6answers
5k views

How can sapient beings engineer transportation and building when they can only count 0, 1 and many?

Imagine a species of humanoid beings living on an Earth-like planet somewhere in the universe; they have developed complex spoken and written languages and they can study their own anatomy and the ...
10
votes
5answers
819 views

Viability of a Matchlock Rotary Gun?

The first effective rotary gun was the Gatling Gun, invented in 1861 and it was a brutally effective weapon that had the advantage of high quality steel, rifling, and percussion caps. But for most of ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Would “land assist” technology be possible in real life?

In the game Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, characters wear exoskeletons with an ability called "land assist", which allows them to slow down their fall using a jet of compressed air (or some specific ...
5
votes
1answer
126 views

Can multiple space habitats be joined by tubes?

I wanted to create an extremely large space city which will be made up of many different large space habitats of ringed and cylindrical varieties. Although each habitat will contain its own city or ...
16
votes
11answers
7k views

Is it possible to build a catapult strong enough to launch a person to the moon? [closed]

Lets say the advanced civilization never discovered rockets and for whatever reason never will. Is it possible to create some kind of mechanical device to launch a 90kg person to the moon from earth? ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible to build mirrored goggles for seeing through illusions?

Lore has it that some magical illusions fool only the eyes. They do not appear in a mirror. Is there a way to harness this? Could a hunter of wizards and magical creatures build a set of mirrored ...
6
votes
6answers
283 views

How to allow a cylindrical habitat (O'Neill or McKendree) to radiate heat to space?

Background I am trying to find a design for a cylindrical habitat that would allow the enclosed cylinder to radiate heat out to space as does the Earth without using mirrors and windows. Problem In my ...
24
votes
5answers
6k views

How long would it take to dig a 10 km canal with Bronze Age technology?

There’s a a decent sized kingdom that is situated between the ocean and a gigantic dried out seabed. The Priest-King and his lackeys want to flood the useless desert because who wouldn’t want more ...
4
votes
2answers
470 views

Dyson Sphere only ever possible theoretically

Assume technology more advanced than current levels, let us theorise for this question that we are capable of reaching and if needed extracting material from any planet or moon / body in our solar ...
26
votes
15answers
8k views

Justification of the trope that mining tools are tougher than military equipments

It seems to be a recurring idea in science fiction that some industrial tools, especially mining tools, are extremely sturdy and reliable to the point that in certain combat situations where ...
1
vote
1answer
172 views

How massive can a structure get on the inside of a Mckendree cylinder?

Background A McKendree cylinder is a rotating cylindrical space habitat comparable to the more well known O'Neill model. It was proposed by NASA engineer Thomas McKendree in 2000 as an update of O'...
6
votes
1answer
237 views

How do I determine the physical size of a quartz crystal of a given shape and vibrational mode needed to approximate a specific resonant frequency?

So, one of my D&D characters has a cut/relief-carved quartz crystal amulet (medallion shaped) that's both an arcane focus (crystal) and a holy symbol (amulet), and I thought it would be a good ...
20
votes
5answers
6k views

Does adamantium solve the giant mecha problem?

When the giant aliens came lumbering out of the interdimensional fissure, we fought back, building giant robots of our own... which promptly collapsed onto themselves and were unable to move because ...
2
votes
2answers
62 views

Futrinka street and the plausiblity of comfortably habitable giant-pumpkin houses

So, there was this pupet show about two characters, Mazsola and Tádé. They lived in a BIG pumpkin, that had been hollowed out and repurposed as a house. It looked something like this. Now, I kinda ...
3
votes
1answer
230 views

What to remove to make a realistic Omni-Directional Maneuver (ODM) gear?

One thing I like about Attack on Titan are those lovely Omni-Directional Maneuver (ODM) gears! They're the perfect combination of a jetpack and a grappling hook. I love how the thrusters are placed at ...
1
vote
2answers
127 views

How to make fail-safe for full body virtual reality?

My VR machine isn't the plug-it-to-your-brain type, but instead it's more like a "reality sphere" around your body that have some kind of gravity machine to keep you in the center of the sphere and ...
12
votes
8answers
3k views

Pre industrial form of rapid mass transit over land

I have a world that isn't an exact analogue to medieval technology, closer to the late 1700s in terms of culture and agriculture/metallurgy, only without gunpowder. I have them ahead of real history ...
9
votes
4answers
422 views

Horizontal lane separation for flying cars?

First these are ground effect vehicles, not true aircraft. While Star Trek, Star Wars, Blade Runner, The Jetsons, and every scifi I can think of has "magically hovering" private transportation, I am ...
-3
votes
1answer
122 views

Is cheap pure silicon going to save the world? [closed]

A scientist develops a process that can extract the Si out of any compound that contains it ten thousand times cheaper than the current processes. He released his invention for free without patenting ...
31
votes
19answers
6k views

My mysterious “ruins” wander around and change on their own, what'd be a rational way for them to do that?

Civilization is fairly young in my setting. Thus, the sheer number of ruined buildings and abandoned structures, found throughout the wilderness, seems strange. The ruins vary a lot: has-seen-better-...
7
votes
3answers
333 views

1g Acceleration Spaceship Design

In my story, a ship is built in orbit around Earth, designed for a 20-person scientific expedition to a planet 11.4 ly away. It will accelerate at 1g for half the distance, then flip around and ...
8
votes
8answers
441 views

Repulsive magical engine

In my setting, magical civilizations have physical aversion to metals and moving metals have nasty distruptive effect to magic, so these civilizations development went completely different way from ...
2
votes
3answers
106 views

What materials and what shapes should be used for struts inside a vacuum airship's envelope?

What materials and what shapes should be used for struts inside a vacuum airship's envelope? The vacuum airship is a theoretical dirigible design were you replace the hydrogen/ other lifting gas with ...
0
votes
3answers
112 views

All Conditions Weapon Platforms? [closed]

Basically, how to make modern weapon systems, specifically, tanks and planes, work in all environments. Background I'm currently putting together a role-play setting, which is fair high tech. The ...
6
votes
4answers
339 views

Design for an Extendable Melee Weapon?

Design for an Extendable Melee Weapon? Background I've been working on a RolePlay setting, for me and friends. The setting mostly uses energy weapons, and at the higher levels, anti-energy shields (...

1
2 3 4 5
7