Awesome Hacks

Glowing Pattern Drawing Machine

Glowing Pattern Drawing Machine

RCLifeOn built a unique drawing machine that creates geometric illustrations on a sheet of acrylic using a fluorescent marker. Bright LED lights help the images glow brilliantly. For now, images must be manually erased between drawings, but they plan on adding an eraser mechanism at some point.

Making a Piano BBQ Cart

Making a Piano BBQ Cart

Handy Geng is back with another one of his crazy inventions that nobody asked for – a combination barbeque grill cart and electric piano. As he plays each key on the piano, it rotates a skewer of meat over its charcoal pit, ensuring its cooked evenly on each side. Oh, and it drives. English captions available, but not necessary.

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Fishing Reel Hurdy-Gurdy

Fishing Reel Hurdy-Gurdy

A hurdy-gurdy is a musical instrument that makes sounds by rubbing a spinning bow against its strings. Vinheteiro made a low-budget approximation of the instrument by combining a fishing reel with an acoustic guitar. His version only has one string, and the sound it produces is like a kind of traditional Asian music.

DIY Ultra-Bright Outdoor TV

DIY Ultra-Bright Outdoor TV

If you’ve ever tried to watch TV outdoors, you know that the picture washes out in the sun. DIY Perks shows us how he built a custom outdoor TV by hacking a grid of bright LED lighting onto the back of an LCD panel recycled from a broken TV. To keep it from overheating, he built a water-cooling system using a pump and a car radiator.

Big Mouth Billy Beetlejuice

Big Mouth Billy Beetlejuice

The scene in Beetlejuice where the Maitland’s possess the dinner party and make their unwanted houseguests sing “Day-O” is a classic. Now imagine if the same thing happened to a school of Big Mouth Billy Basses, and you’d have this video. You’re welcome.

Building a 3-Story Bicycle

Building a 3-Story Bicycle

Remember that time Colin Furze built a ridiculously tall bicycle? Well, The Real Life Guys have outdone that by some measure. After being set loose in the Urban-Drivestyle bike factory, they fabricated a 16-foot-tall bicycle with seating for six. The video is in German, but insane builds are a universal language.

The 14-Wheel Lada

The 14-Wheel Lada

So what could be better than a crappy old Italian car with eight wheels? How about an even crappier old Russian car with six more wheels? Thanks to the insane minds at Garage 54, your dream has come true – assuming that dream includes six axles and giant tractor wheels on front.

7200-Segment Display

7200-Segment Display

Numeric displays typically have seven segments. Artist and engineer Chris Combs linked together 288 four-digit displays for a total 7200 segments once you factor in the colons. It can be programmed to show large digits or other moving images. It’s on display at VisArts’ Concourse Gallery in Rockville, MD through 10.17.21.

Skittle Pixel8r

Skittle Pixel8r

This bit of geeky fun comes courtesy of builder JohnO3, who created a machine which works like a giant dot-matrix printer. Except in this case, it deposits colorful and tangy Skittles to create its prints instead of droplets of ink. He provided the full build details on Instructables, should you want to build your own candy printer.

Wooden Nintendo Switch

Wooden Nintendo Switch

After winning more eBay auctions than he expected to, modder Peter Knetter had some extra Nintendo Switch handhelds lying around. So he took one of them and gave it a complete makeover – covering its plastic case and buttons with wood ones. It’s definitely thicker and heavier than the original, but it’s certainly unique.

The Teletubby Tidal Wave

The Teletubby Tidal Wave

After building an organ out of Furbies and an orchestra out of LEGO, musical hacker Look Mum No Computer has unveiled his latest creation, an army of interconnected Teletubbies who wiggle and giggle in sync thanks to a custom controller system. The sound of 30 Pos and LaLas is just as annoying as you might imagine.

The Un-Toaster

The Un-Toaster

Don’t you sometimes wish there was an “Undo” key for life’s mistakes? While this invention from Joel Creates doesn’t reverse any major tragedies, it is capable of un-toasting bread that you didn’t mean to toast. It’s more of a bread rehydrator than a toast time-travel machine though.

Could You Stop Rain with a Jump Rope?

Could You Stop Rain with a Jump Rope?

If you spun a jump rope fast enough, would it be possible to shield yourself from the rain? I did a thing wanted to know the answer, so he did some math and got to work building a terrifying-looking machine intending to spin a rope fast enough to stay dry under its arc.

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Automatic Hair Scissors

Automatic Hair Scissors

If you’re not careful, you can cut yourself while trimming hair with scissors. But in the case of these automatic shears made by Joel Creates, you’re practically guaranteed that you’ll draw blood. He then gave the terrifying motorized scissors to a hairdresser to see how they worked in the hands of a professional.

Turning Bread into Bacon

Turning Bread into Bacon

Inspired by a Tik Tok video by RJ the Magician, Vegan chef Sauce Stache wanted to see if the faux bacon he showed off really tasted like the smoky meat. The recipe involves soaking thin strips of bread in sauces and spices then pan-frying them. Of course, you’ve just traded fats and protein for fats and carbs.

Barcode Skateboarding

Barcode Skateboarding

As we’ve seen and heard before, Electronicos Fantasticos! love to make music using barcodes. They recently rigged up a couple of skateboards with barcode readers and circuitry under their decks, covered floors and ramps with black-and-white patterns, then took a little ride.

Floppy Drive Video Demo

Floppy Drive Video Demo

Back in the 1980s, the demoscene was all about creating cool motion visuals and music using the computers of the day. Engineer Matthias Kramm figured out a way to create an old-school demo without a computer by hacking the output of an old Commodore 1541 floppy drive into a video signal. More details on his blog.

Leslie Speaker Guitar

Leslie Speaker Guitar

Look Mum No Computer adds to his collection of unusual musical instruments with a custom guitar that has a Leslie Speaker as its body. These vintage performance speakers had a motorized baffle which created a unique analog warble. In a second video, he added a Perspex enclosure and a Doppler effect.

Making a Waterjet Skateboard

Making a Waterjet Skateboard

Motorized wheels aren’t the only way to make a self-propelled skateboard. Integza shows us how he built a 3D-printed water pump to propel a skateboard. After a couple of failed attempts, he was able to get enough water flowing to move the skateboard. It seems to be more effective as a water gun than as a skateboard.

Giant Working Lighter

Giant Working Lighter

Is that little lighter in your pocket not doing a very good job getting the fire started? Check out the jumbo-sized 500,000 BTU lighter that BrainfooTV made. Since it’s more flamethrower than Bic lighter, we don’t recommend trying to light your cigarettes with it. Be sure to check out the build video.

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One-Handed Mini Chainsaw

One-Handed Mini Chainsaw

Because of their size and weight, chainsaws typically require both hands for safe operation. Make It Extreme shows how it’s possible to engineer and construct a compact chainsaw small enough to be held with one hand, yet capable of sawing through thick branches and making very rough cuts of lumber.

Car Driveway Gate

Car Driveway Gate

You’re supposed to park your car in your driveway, not in front of it. This whimsical motorized gate in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil has a slice of a hatchback welded to its front, so it looks like the car is driving along the sidewalk whenever the gate opens or closes.

Drilling with Paper

Drilling with Paper

We’ve broken our share of metal drill bits, so the idea of making one out of paper seems ludicrous. Mr. Hacker shows how a densely packed cone of paper can be used to drill through various materials. It’s definitely clumsy and inefficient, but we’re impressed it held up as well as it did.

Infinite 3D Printer

Infinite 3D Printer

One of the limitations of cheap desktop 3D printers is their small print bed size. But this nifty hack by Swaleh Owais incorporates a conveyor belt print surface that can eject parts and then move on to the next one without human intervention. By angling its print head, it can also print very long objects.

Hubless Chain-drive Bicycle

Hubless Chain-drive Bicycle

The Q has built more than their share of unusual bicycles over the years. But unlike their earlier approach to making wheel spokes disappear, this time they actually built a working hubless bike. The trick is that it redirects the chain to the outer edge of the wheel instead of its center.

Bigfoot Fat-Tire Bike

Bigfoot Fat-Tire Bike

The wider the tires on your bike, the more traction you’ll get on loose terrain like sand, mud, or gravel. But there are fat-tire bikes, and then there’s BigWR’s Bigfoot bike, which he rigged with the wheels and tires from an off-road truck. We’re guessing it requires quite a bit of leg strength to keep those wheels turning.

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