Questions tagged [steampunk]

For questions based in worlds where technology is typically steam-powered rather than based on electricity.

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7 votes
4 answers
157 views

Is there development of advanced polymers/composite materials?

Background: seeking modern technologies, resources, etc that could potentially be discovered and applied in a fantasy setting where manufacturing processes, while advanced, are more akin to the late ...
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  • 71
-1 votes
2 answers
180 views

Does my command structure work?

Background The first 'Engev' (Emperor of Lazaeron) sees a need to unite the entire planet to defend against an alien threat, only he knows of this threat and he has no way to definitively prove this, ...
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  • 1,136
2 votes
3 answers
181 views

How would anti-gravity airships change 1950s warfare?

The antigrav is a bedroom-sized cube of smooth sheet metal walls encasing complicated metallic machinery inside. When switched on, it generates an anti-gravitational field enough to lift a stone ...
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  • 843
8 votes
4 answers
370 views

Illegal Steampunk horse racing after the apocalypse: What format is most profitable?

My pirates need to maximize profit from their illegal horse racing activities But the horses are not normal, they are machines. You can ride on top with difficulty, and it may slow them down. So ...
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  • 5,947
4 votes
2 answers
183 views

How large could a passenger airship be built with 1920s era technology?

I am writing a steampunk novel set in a human world without computer chips, heavier than air aircraft, or recyclable plastic. How large could a passenger airship be built using 1920s era technology? ...
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  • 4,120
7 votes
4 answers
891 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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
129 views

What population size is reasonable for a moving, steam powered, predatory city?

For a DnD campaign, I'm designing a setting with steampunkish tech level, as well as magic used to explain tech accomplishments not possible with real world physics. Almost all settlements in this ...
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  • 13
3 votes
1 answer
111 views

Societal impact of steampunk robots on the Victorian era [closed]

I’m doing some cursory research into the Industrial Revolution as a whole for a steampunk/Victorian fantasy story and one detail of my setting that’s setting off alarm bells in my head is the use of ...
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  • 1,005
5 votes
1 answer
115 views

3D models for steampunk components [closed]

I'm looking to do design/fabrication of some steampunk accessories. I want to find component-level models of stuff like gears, pistons, gauges, etc. Can anyone point me to resources? I've done ...
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4 votes
1 answer
120 views

My in-atmosphere traversible wormhole, does it make sense, and what propulsion is needed to gain access to it?

I am trying to make up my own special Wormhole concept, researching and trying to understand what the practical and theoretical sciences we have, and am curious if its good or bad? The simple idea is ...
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2 votes
5 answers
411 views

What kind of rock could I use in my mountains?

in my world there is a mountain system where most of the rock is some kind of material or mineral that conducts heat very well. So much so that there is no snow on the peaks as it melts quite quickly ...
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28 votes
26 answers
4k views

How to limit the usefulness of an anti-gravity mineral to airship construction in steampunk?

Airships are awesome, but making them realistic while retaining the awesome factor is hard due to how relatively little weight they can realistically carry. I was thinking about ways to mitigate that ...
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3 votes
4 answers
171 views

How do you navigate on a cylindrical world?

In my setting, the inhabited world is basically a huge cylinder sticking out of the pole of a gas giant with a breathable atmosphere: Everyone lives on a side of a giant wall, basically - the top is ...
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3 votes
2 answers
133 views

How would limited and mostly narrow living space affect pre-industrial warfare?

In my setting, the entire known world is clinging to the side of a humongous nearly vertical cliff. Living space is a kind of commodity since there aren't many cliff benches large enough to build a ...
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12 votes
6 answers
714 views

Advanced mechanical engineering without electricity in a traditionally medieval fantasy setting?

Could you have advanced mechanical engineering without, say, advanced electrical engineering accompanying it? Thick clockwork, clickety clackety stuff, does it need steam/electricity by default? How ...
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1 vote
0 answers
74 views

What are the technologies which has a prerequest of quantum mechanics [closed]

I'm thinking about a world where the planet was wrapped by a force field that experiments which lead to quantum mechanics and special relativity gives the false result. I'm wondering what technology ...
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5 votes
6 answers
1k views

Logistics of a steam-powered subway system

I'm building a steampunk city, and I wanted to include an underground subway system, where things like goods and people might be transported to different parts of the city. But the logistics of ...
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21 votes
9 answers
3k views

How would a Steampunk voice synthesizer work?

I have a character who is mute and they would need a voice synthesizer to assist them in their day-to-day communications (shopping, working, romancing, etc.). How could that work in a Victorian-...
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  • 351
8 votes
8 answers
2k views

How functional/versatile would airships utilizing perfect-vacuum-balloons be?

tl;dr: My world has airships using vacuum spheres made out of a super-strong and lightweight material. I'd like to know how versatile such airships could be used, and how big the spheres would be ...
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4 votes
2 answers
197 views

Mounting a cybernetic prosthetic arm

So I have a steampunk setting with some magic and I have a young, 20 year old female character who is supposed to have a full prosthetic arm. It might be assumed that the answer to this question could ...
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  • 1,926
6 votes
5 answers
543 views

Automated Steampunk Artillery

I have a world with late 19th-century steampunk technology. The major nations are at war, and one of them has depleted a lot of its manpower. I thought that they could try to design automated ...
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6 votes
6 answers
428 views

Materials preferably available up to early 1900s ideal for mechanical wings

My universe is focused on a steampunk-esque atmosphere although with more modern technologies up to the early 2000s (yes I am aware of dieselpunk, atompunk etc, but in here the steampunk aesthetic is ...
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25 votes
18 answers
6k views

Why would a compass not work in my world?

I’m trying to build a world with steampunk-level technology, but would like it if compasses didn’t work/exist (or, failing that, if they were prohibitively expensive or difficult to get hold of). The ...
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  • 4,227
3 votes
2 answers
227 views

Coal or coal analogs without Carboniferous?

In my world, there could be no Carboniferous, during which the overwhelming majority of coal was deposited on our planet. No swamps probably exist either, cutting off that way of generating coal as ...
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6 votes
4 answers
332 views

Would lack of petroleum oil help make planes impossible, or uncompetitive to airships?

In my steampunk world (developed to roughly 1870-1910 levels of technological development), there are no oil deposits and flatlands are highly valuable due to their relative rarity (the entire thing ...
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17 votes
16 answers
7k views

Could they send a satellite in space before the 15th century?

Suddenly, on one of their routine maintenance space missions, NASA or SpaceX (or whoever else) finds a big, clunky piece of metal with some kind of mechanical, crude mechanism and a big mirror with a ...
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7 votes
5 answers
237 views

Can clockwork robots have any sensory apparatus other than touch/contact/pressure? [duplicate]

Ignoring the constraints of mechanical computation, what sensory modes are even available to such a robot? Even in the 21st century artificial odor detection is rather primitive, and we have over a ...
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  • 9,984
8 votes
3 answers
348 views

Sensors for a clockwork/fluidic robot?

So, mechanical computers are a thing, as are pneumatic and hydraulic actuators. Combining those ideas, it's not that hard to design simple purely-pneumatic/hydraulic robots--provide them with a ...
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3 votes
3 answers
765 views

What medium to use to drive steam engines?

I want to create a Steampunk setting, but I'd like to introduce another medium than water to do the inner-engine work for me. Of course, water is a fine medium for steam engines, because: it expands ...
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2 votes
2 answers
100 views

highly resistant metal or other material in late 1700s

What metal or material could be used to make super high-pressure canisters in the 1700s? It is for use as a fuel or propellant for a piston-driven engine to power vehicles, due to the fact that a gas ...
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13 votes
10 answers
3k views

How would medieval/Renaissance-era castles protect themselves from air raids?

Context : my fictional universe is set in a time period akin to the european Middle Ages/Renaissance. Think of the 1400s-1500s for reference. In most aspects (political, social, industrial etc.) my ...
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  • 1,227
5 votes
7 answers
529 views

Roman air force

I need help in figuring out how to form an air force in the roman empire. In my story a time traveller goes back in time to ancient rome and becomes emperor and begins his attempt at modernizing the ...
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4 votes
4 answers
696 views

Steam-heated Balloons?

In my world, one of the main methods of transportations is via hot-air balloon. These balloons are propelled by aluminum(or other lightweight metal, it doesn’t really matter) steam engines, and the ...
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  • 43
9 votes
4 answers
259 views

what could be used for flexible piping in the 1780s

How and out of what could flexible, thin air-tight tubes be made of at around 1780? These tubes need to be around a centimeter wide, with a 7.5 mm tube going through it. It must also be heat resistant ...
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8 votes
9 answers
1k views

How could a steampunk zeppelin navigate space?

it's my first question here, I'll try to be clear. I'm creating a story where there is a steampunk style civilization that has to face advanced civilizations in planetary and spatial battles. I'm ...
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2 votes
3 answers
1k views

Impact on the Environment of a Steam-Powered World

So in the world I've been creating, I decided that the inhabited world (which is actually pretty small because of reasons) uses steam power as its main source of energy. This inhabited area is about ...
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  • 1,035
6 votes
7 answers
524 views

How would you design and build an American Civil War Steam Gun?

I am writing a Steanpunk novel and am interested in having a "plausible" Union Steam Gun that would help turn the tide in an Alternate History American Civil War. The gun can be either a machine gun ...
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22 votes
13 answers
5k views

Fantasy Military Arms and Armor: the Dwarven Grand Armory

I'm having some trouble coming up with arms and armament for my fantasy world's dwarven race. I have a few ideas for what they could wield but I'd like a few more to really make this army feel Alive. ...
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  • 694
7 votes
5 answers
492 views

What are some ways an airship could be landed without people on the ground?

In my novel, an experimental airship needs to land in a field but it's in a foreign country where there was no coordination ahead of time to have people on the ground help tether it. Is is still ...
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  • 399
22 votes
18 answers
4k views

Quick destruction of a helium filled airship?

I am writing a steampunk novel and am working on a scene where an enemy quickly overwhelms and destroys a US airship. The enemy has flying gyro sleds and a large airship of their own that is armed ...
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6 votes
6 answers
498 views

Realistic rollerblade steam propulsion device, like something that might have been invented with 18th century technology. Is it possible?

This was an idea generated by my sister that I thought was very interesting. I intended to make it work by strapping rollerblades on a person's legs and utilize a compressed gas/steam-powered pumping ...
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5 votes
4 answers
371 views

What would the port of an airship be called? [closed]

Marine ships and boats have ports. Airplanes have airports. In scifi spaceships can have space ports. What would be the airship equivalent in a steampunk world where marine ships are still heavily ...
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4 votes
1 answer
317 views

Steam-powered organ

Today I visited a two hours long organ concert (man, it was amazing) and weird idea have popped up in my head: organ powered by steam instead of pressurized air. This also made me thinking that it ...
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3 votes
2 answers
299 views

How high can a Victorian-era kite sail be flown?

A big problem with Steampunk airships is how to propel them. Steam engines tend to be too heavy to be useful. And sails cannot be used, because unlike sea-going ships, airships are in contact with ...
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  • 4,610
1 vote
1 answer
189 views

A society built an airship. What else? [closed]

A steampunk society managed to develop functioning airships filled with helium, powered by a steam engine. They mine this helium from an underground reservoir along with other natural gas. What else ...
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3 votes
3 answers
3k views

Biggest possible Steampunk Airship? [duplicate]

I have noticed that one thing that is very common among steampunk airship art is that the size of the decks beneath the gas chamber is outrageously larger than that of the real world. Example: ...
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0 votes
4 answers
369 views

Need help developing a weapon for destroying a dam [closed]

I am working on a story that happens in a dystopian world where the only source of energy is Coal. I wanted to know whether it is possible to break a dam by pressurizing Dam walls with coal GAS ...
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5 votes
2 answers
203 views

Hot air balloons lifting bridges in volcanic areas are possible?

In this world, there is a land isolated by a lava line, and the only way to get in there, is across a bridge levitated by hot air balloons. I had the idea of making a wooden bridge being supported by ...
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  • 151
9 votes
13 answers
6k views

What historical events would have to change in order to make 19th century "steampunk" technology possible?

I know this is similar to this question but I'm not interested in suppressing 20th century tech to create 21st century steampunk, but in creating late 19th century steampunk with fantastic, Jules ...
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  • 1,087
4 votes
3 answers
332 views

need help building a convincing Airship steam engine room [closed]

Building a world with airships that are powered by steam engines. Big boiler, water tank, lots of coal. Enormous engine room. Propellers, masts with huge sails. There are steam-powered automatons in ...
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  • 41