How to build a steam engine is fairly simple, and the technology which was perfected during the early stages of the Industrial Revolution was first developed in the ancient Hellenistic world by the Greek scientist Archimedes. A steam engine works by heating water in a boiler. This steam is then vented to a series of pistons, and these pistons move because of the pressure of the steam. These pistons are connected to wheels, belts, etc. This means that the steam engine moves in accordance to the amount of heat supplied. Steam engines are fueled by coal- or wood-burning fireplaces.