THE BEST Engineering

Making a Flywheel Trebuchet

Making a Flywheel Trebuchet

Engineer Tom Stanton is fascinated by the way in which flywheels can store up energy as they’re spun up to speed. In this clip, he combines a flywheel mechanism with a sturdy aluminum trebuchet, creating a durable machine that can toss a tennis ball at fast as 180 mph.

Robot Pool Cue

Robot Pool Cue

“I don’t have skill, but I do have technology!” Shane of Stuff Made Here adds to his collection of robotic sporting goods by engineering a pool cue that automatically lines up the best shot. We love how Shane shares his failures and troubleshooting process along the way. Also, we learned a cool new word: fiducial.

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DIY Cupcake Machine

DIY Cupcake Machine

What’s better than a delicious cupcake? A machine that can crank out cupcakes for you on-demand, that’s what. Skeyntific shows off a robotic factory line he built that first pours dough for each cupcake, moves it into a modified microwave for cooking, then applies toppings using motorized caulking guns.

Engineering a Climbing LEGO Car

Engineering a Climbing LEGO Car

If you slap wheels onto a basic motorized LEGO vehicle, it will have a hard time climbing over obstacles. The Brick Experiment Channel tested out a variety of design and drivetrain modifications to their car to see what it would take to climb over stacks of books with the best results.

Carbon Fiber Strength Comparison

Carbon Fiber Strength Comparison

Carbon fiber is an amazing material, combining strength and weight efficiency. When set into resin and woven properly, it can be used to build airplanes and cars. But this clip from JPRC shows the dramatic difference in strength that carbon fiber exhibits when its fibers are pulled in a straight line versus tied into a knot.

Custom Split-Flap Displays

Custom Split-Flap Displays

Oat Foundry builds electro-mechanical signboards, inspired by the ones that show schedules at older train stations and airports. Puzzle fiend Chris Ramsay commissioned one, and is here to show off just how cool it is. If you’re interested in having one built for yourself or your business, you can request a quote here.

Glitter Bomb 3.0 vs. Porch Pirates

Glitter Bomb 3.0 vs. Porch Pirates

After two two prior efforts to get back at package thieves, engineer Mark Rober kicks things up another notch. His latest Glitter Bomb is the most diabolical “gift” yet, adding the nasty glue from mouse traps, 4x the fart spray, eau de skunk, a police light effect, and a mechanism that makes it harder to shut off.

Hydraulic Press vs. Hot Steel

Hydraulic Press vs. Hot Steel

Here’s a hydraulic press video that’s not from the Hydraulic Press Channel. The clip, recorded in an unnamed metal shop shows how oxidization in the outer layer of steel results in a spectacular show of sparks as small amounts of the metal are shed under compression.

3D-Printed Expanding Mechanism

3D-Printed Expanding Mechanism

In the 1800s, an engineering reference book showed off a pulley design that could expand its size. Angus of Maker’s Muse wanted to see if he could replicate the part using 3D printing, and along the way found a different use for it, and incorporated the mechanism into a nifty looking puzzle box.

Robot Learns to Climb Terrain

Robot Learns to Climb Terrain

Rather than hand-program their robot to walk on varied terrain, scientists from ETH Zurich, KAIST, and Intel allowed their quadruped to learn for itself through software simulation. They then turned it loose using only basic sensors to give the robot awareness of its own internal state. Two Minute Papers explains.

Making an All-Terrain Skateboard

Making an All-Terrain Skateboard

Maker Ivan Miranda’s electric off-road vehicle is built more like a tank than a skateboard, riding on motorized, 3D-printed tracks instead of wheels. The drivetrain engineering is impressive, but is it powerful enough to climb a hill while he’s riding on it?

Making a (Possibly) Unpickable Lock

Making a (Possibly) Unpickable Lock

Until LockPickingLawyer gets his hands on this lock, we’re not going to call it infallible, but Shane from Stuff Made Here put an impressive amount engineering effort into this deadbolt that managed to stump a professional locksmith. Along the way, he offers a great explanation of how lock pins and cylinders work.

10-Gear Planetary Gear

10-Gear Planetary Gear

A planetary gear is an arrangement of gears in which a central “sun” gear rotates as an outer ring is turned. Typically these have 3 or 4 “planet” gears to transfer energy from the ring. This impressive feat of engineering has 10 planet gears with a square sun gear. This 3D-printed double planetary gear is pretty awesome too.

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Explosive Bat in Slow Motion

Explosive Bat in Slow Motion

Destin from Smarter Every Day and Shane from Stuff Made Here have had a little friendly competition going on to see who could hit a baseball furthest through engineering. Now, the two have teamed up to examine exactly how Shane’s explosively-charged home run bat works its magic, in glorious slow-motion.

Dual-threaded Steel Rod

Dual-threaded Steel Rod

Canadian steel fabrication company Ironmen Industries created this unique metal rod that’s got two interwoven threads, allowing nuts with opposite threads to move in different directions. We’re not sure of the practical application but it sure would make an amazing fidget toy. Originally spotted by Stene Woodwork.

Unmissable Basketball Hoop

Unmissable Basketball Hoop

Do you suck at basketball? Maybe you need a robotic assist. Stuff Made Here has previously built a motorized basketball hoop that deflects a ball into the hoop, but only work if you at least hit the backboard. This new robot solves that problem, letting you toss the ball pretty much anywhere in its general vicinity.

Car Suspension Stress Test

Car Suspension Stress Test

When you’re inside of a modern car, it’s very easy to take all of its mechanical wizardries for granted. This footage gives you a much better idea of what your vehicle is dealing with under its body, as a specialized rig puts a BMW E39 M5 suspension, wheels, and tires to the test.

Explosive Baseball Bat

Explosive Baseball Bat

In order to improve his hit distance, engineer Shane Wighton Stuff Made Here created a baseball bat with the ultimate sweet spot. If hit just right, explosive charges fire, pushing a piston forward, and launching the baseball into home run territory. Along the way, he shows off his fancy new Tormach 24r mill.

Lucky Charms Sorting Machine

Lucky Charms Sorting Machine

Only like the marshmallows from Lucky Charms? Well you could buy a bag without the oat bits, or you could do what these guys from Google did, and build a machine that separates them for you. The Teachable Sorter can actually be used to recognize and sort other objects, and you can get the code, 3D files, and build details here.

Mechanical Prosthetic Hand

Mechanical Prosthetic Hand

Ian Davis needed a prosthetic to replace four fingers on his left hand. Rather than purchase a commercial model, he engineered an awesome metal hand that looks like something out of The Terminator. It’s capable of opening, closing, and the unique ability to splay its fingers, and makes satisfying sounds as it flexes.

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Wooden Radial Engine

Wooden Radial Engine

Ian Jimmerson shows off an impressive wooden model he built that demonstrates the inner workings of a 9-cylinder radial engine, like the ones used on some older airplanes. It’s really amazing how stable it is as it gets up to speed. Check out his in-depth explainer videos here and here.

Power Line Fiber Optic Robot

Power Line Fiber Optic Robot

To help deploy high-speed Internet access to rural areas, Facebook Engineering has been developing a robot which can ride along on existing power lines to install fiber optic cables, saving time and money compared to conventional methods such as digging. The system uses with special cables which resist weather damage.

Rocket Fuel Tank Explosion

Rocket Fuel Tank Explosion

As NASA engineers work on the Space Launch System (SLS) it will use for its Artemis lunar missions, they must perform extreme tests to determine its structural limits. In this short video, they intentionally squeezed this liquid oxygen tank with millions of pounds of force until it burst, sending water everywhere.

How Escalators Work

How Escalators Work

As long as we’re not carrying a heavy suitcase, we generally take the stairs when given a choice. But for those times when you feel like giving your legs a break, the escalator is quite the invention. Jared Owen provides an animated explanation of the inner workings of this engineering marvel that dates back to the mid-19th century.

How Drop Tower Rides Work

How Drop Tower Rides Work

If you’ve ever been a passenger on one of those drop tower rides, you know how the combination of speed and plummeting toward Earth can be quite the thrill. Art of Engineering talks us through the history of these rides, and the different techniques that have been used to bring a hurtling mass of steel and people to a safe stop.

HelloMask Transparent Mask

HelloMask Transparent Mask

Beyond the comfort issues, one of the reasons people don’t like wearing masks is that it covers their face. Engineers from EPFL’s EssentialTech Center and Empa have developed a mask that both acts as a filter and is transparent. The trick is the weave, made from incredibly thin nanofibers, woven together using electrospinning.

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