Do you like challenging jigsaw puzzles? This detailed monochrome image of gears should keep you busy for a while. The 1000-piece puzzle has precision-cut curved pieces that radiate out from its center. Unlike other circular puzzles we’ve seen, this one has no color coding or lettering on the back to ensure it remains difficult.
Today’s most satisfying video comes in the form of this clip from the Brick Experiment Channel. Their goal? Create the longest possible chain of 1×1 LEGO Technic gears while retaining the same gear ratio from start to finish. We’re impressed that a single motor can drive that many gears.
Mathematician and maker Henry Segerman shows off more of his fascinating interactive mechanisms. This series of interlocking straight gears uses a rack-and-pinion mechanism to transmit motion. Henry posted the models to 3D print your own recursive racks on Printables.
Artist Ross McSweeney created these fascinating mechanical coasters. There are four smooth-spinning patterns, including geometric shapes, gears, and a bicycle. Their outer gears touch when placed next to each other so that you can spin multiple designs simultaneously. You can purchase the SVG files for laser cutting on Etsy.
Rapidly spinning objects can result in some cool, Spirograph-like patterns. LEGO mechanical builder Yoshihito Isogawa shows how different arrangements of LEGO Technic gears create different geometric patterns when spun in front of a camera’s lens. It would be interesting to see some larger and more complicated designs.
We recently saw how to create a very fast bicycle by dramatically increasing the size of its drive gear. YouTuber BigWR took a different approach by arranging multiple sets of gears to up this bike’s gear ratio. He was able to pedal up to speeds as high as 33 mph on flat ground.
The crank on a typical 10-speed bicycle measures about 5″ across. But what would happen if you supersize that? BigWR gives us a lesson in gear ratios by outfitting his bike’s crankset with an enormous gear to see how much faster it could go on pedal power alone. At least it’s not as bad of an idea as his double steering bike.
The greater the ratio between a bicycle’s crankset and rear gear, the faster its wheel turns. Taking that idea to the extreme, Filipo TV cranked up their bike’s top speed by making a huge 102-tooth gear. While it’s crazy fast on a bike stand, the drag caused by weight, air resistance, and friction limit its real-world potential.
An unnamed artist from China shows off a unique handmade phone case that’s so steampunk that its gears actually turn. It might not be the most practical design, but it sure looks awesome. We found a similar case you can actually purchase over on Etsy, or you could just glue some gears on your own and call it a day.
JBV Creative is always coming up with cleverly-engineered machines using 3D printed parts. This fun plaything is made up of interconnected gears arranged in a snowflake pattern, and all of its 145 gears turn smoothly with the turn of a knob on its back. You can purchase the STL files for printing here.
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.
Plane Pieces’ drink coasters are a great gift for aviation enthusiasts. They’re made using authentic Pratt & Whitney gears from WWII radial airplane engines. Each one is encased in clear resin, surrounded with a machined aluminum outer ring, and has a protective bumper underneath. Sold individually, or in sets of four.
Flat pack model maker Ugears 48-piece kit is one of their easier builds, yet it’s simply fascinating to watch. The mechanical contraption converts air pressure to movement, which in turn spins a pointer which acts as a sort of decision maker for the next task for you to work on.