Structural Power Cube

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Note: this is a structural power cube with 8x8x8 hole size. OSE built a 8x9x8 hole size Structural Power Cube prior to this.

Development Spreadsheet



The Power Cube, if placed into its own structural frame, can become a structural module that can be integrated readily within the LifeTrac Construction Set. The structural frame enables stacking of Power Cubes so their power can be combined.

May 2014 - Optimization

Power Cube 7 is a stable release, and is recommended for replication. We are currently optimizing the stackability from 1 to 2 Power Cubes. See Problem Statement:



Prototypes have been developed, but they were larger than expected. A new design has been developed and is being finalized now (July 2014). This design will be used to build two prototypes and parts are already being ordered for this build.


This design has the following features:

  • 8 x 8 x 8 Structural frame
  • Built-in pressure relief control
  • Interconnect port for equalizing hydraulic fluid in reservoirs
  • Easy access to tanks for checking/filling fluids

August 12, 2014

Shipped two kits for Structural Power Cubes to Facotry-E-Farm. These kits are for an new, untested design of the Structural Power Cube. I expect some adjustments will be necessary.

August 25, 2014

Ordered parts for delivery to Missouri to make up for some design oversights. The Engine and pump plates will have to be re-cut per oversights as well. I updated the BOM and Sketchup designs accordingly.

September 3, 2014

Mathias completed one of the two Structural Power Cube kits and started it today (Hooray!).


The original Structural Power Cube design used horizontal tanks, but the new "Vertical" design simplifies the design and packages it into a smaller frame.

Sketchup (CURRENT MASTER): File:PCSF vert.skp

Sketchup (Tom's Latest): File:PCSF.skp

Sketchup_V8 ZIP (Latest): File:PCSF vert V8.skp

Sketchup (Original): File:Structural PC.skp

Bill Of Materials (BOM): File:PCFS BOM.xlsx

Pump Module: File:PCSF Pump Module.skp

Solenoid Mount: File:Solenoid.skp

Kit Cost Breakdown

Note: This breakdown resulted from ordering parts for two kits. Costs include shipping for ordering two of each component - shipping costs will be higher if ordering components for more or fewer kits. Please note that this does not include the cost of engines, mufflers, the structural steel frame or large bolts.

Description Price
2 Wiring Harnesses $25.98
2 Key Switches $20.38
2 Oil Coolers $269.22
2 Fuel Filler Necks $27.90
2 Fans $38.99
Steel $255.34
Surplus Center Order $851.91
Hardware $78.64
Total cost for 2 kits $1568.36
Adjusted cost per kit $784.18


The Structural Power Cube is comprised of modules. Each module can be built separately, then combined for the final assembly. The module are detailed below:

Control Panel

The Control Panel Module groups the Power Cube control and inputs / output connections.



The Engine Module consists of the engine, mounting plate, exhaust system and shaft coupling.



The Frame Module is made from 4" x 4" tubing for structural mounting. This module also includes the battery box.


The above drawing doesn't show the battery support, which is fabricated from 1/8" angle iron and 1/8" flat steel:

Battery Bracket.png

Fuel Tank

The Fuel Tank Module has mounting flanges for mounting on the side of the power cube.


Hydraulic Reservoir

The Hydraulic Reservior Module has several holes for transfer of hydraulic fluid, as well as mounting flanges for mounting on the side of the power cube.


Oil Cooler

The Oil Cooler Module consists of a cooling fan, a radiator, connections and protective expanded steel.



The Pump Module employs a pump plate to provide quick installation / removal of the pump.

PumpModule v2.png

Please note that for the pump module employs two pieces of "threaded rod" to secure the pump to the plate. These rods are about 2" long and 3/8" in diameter. These are to be welded in the pump plate and the top surface ground flat so the plate will lie flat against the support tube. Note that these pieces should employ a nut below the plate to adjust the depth of rod 1/16" - 1/8" below the top surface of the plate before welding. The rod must be well aligned before welding.

PumpPlate v2.png

On the inside of the 4" x 4" tubing is a seam along the length of the tube - where it was welded to form the tube. This seam should be oriented on the side facing the hydraulic reservoir. The seam will get in the way of any nuts or washers from lying flat inside the tube, and we will have them on the inside of three sides of the tube.

In addition, two holes in the 4" x 4" support tube must be widened from 1" to 2" diameter, as shown below:


If I were cutting the holes wider, I'd just mark 2" circles using something like a socket with an outer diameter of 1 1/2" to 1 3/4" (to allow for standoff of the marker), then cut the circles with the torch. If the engine plate doesn't match, it should be cut to match the 2" holes when mounted. The pump plate is already cut to 3 1/4" diameter and shouldn't need re-alignment.

The 1" holes securing the pump and engine plates to the support should already line up with the holes in the tube. They will be secured using bolts about 1 1/2" long.


The solenoid is to be mounted on one of the metal strips included with the oil cooler. The metal strip is about 8" long, with 7 holes along its length. To mount the solenoid, the metal strip should be bent to provide a standoff for the solenoid and so the holes in the strap match the 4" hole spread in the structural steel tubing:


Wiring Harness

The Wiring Harness Module provides electrical connections to components in the Power Cube.