Using parts from a 3D printer, custom laser-cut components, and LED lighting RCLifeOn created this mechanical table that uses a magnet and a ball bearing to draw complex patterns in sand, only to erase everything it doodles. On the plus side, as soon as it wipes out an image, it gets to work on another.
THE BEST Hacks
If you had to pick the most simultaneously annoying and disturbing thing you can buy, it would have to be Big Mouth Billy Bass. Simon the Magpie modified one of these singing fish novelties and incorporated it into a bass guitar. Billy not only can slap the strings with his tail but has been circuit bent to produce some insane noises.
You don’t see vector-based video games these days, but there was something really cool about systems like the Vectrex and games like BattleZone. Electronics wiz Mixtela was longing for the days of vector graphics too, so he built himself an impressive little system, complete with game cartridges. More details here.
We’re not sure if they’re street legal, but we think every car should have taillights like the ones on this 1991 Nissan Skyline GTS-4. Steve Molans of Skeptik Innovations built these custom lights which use RGB LEDs and mirrors to create an infinite effect and can change colors. They still work as normal brake lights and turn indicators.
William Sun Petrus took an old 1920s Remington Portable typewriter and modded it into an electronic drum machine. Basically, it works as a MIDI controller, so it can play whatever sounds he loads into Ableton. He had to remix the live audio so you could hear it over the mechanical clacking sounds though.
See-through computer screens are a staple of sci-fi design. While they look really cool, they’re not the most practical way to view content. Still, makers Evan and Katelyn wanted to give it a try, set to building their own by modding a standard LCD screen, removing its LED backlight and polarizing filter, then building a new frame for it.
There are lots of cool NERF guns and NERF mods out there, but very few of them actually help with your aim. 3DprintedLife engineered this cutom build which can lock onto targets and track them automatically, reducing the chances of missed shots. The main blaster is based on a kit from CaptainSlug.
Wonder World shows us an unusual guitar that uses a motorized wheel to strum its strings, so the person playing it only needs to worry about the frets. Anthony Dickens‘ unique instrument has a other interesting innovations like the ability to output sounds one string at a time with the push of a button.
William Sun Petrus previously showed off a vintage manual typewriter that he converted into a drum machine. Since it’s really just working as a MIDI controller, the keyboard can be used to play any digital instrument, in this case, the fat synths from The Weeknd’s hit Blinding Lights. That’s a Novation Launchpad S to the right.
Last time we checked in with musician Mezerg, he was playing the watermelon. This time, he performs on a more conventional instrument – though Voël Martin rigged up this upright piano with an electronic circuit and pumps that dispense a variety of juices and liquor to make a custom cocktail based on the notes he plays.
Using an ordinary computer keyboard as a starting point, maker SKM managed to create a fully-functional keyboard that’s made out of cardboard and popsicle sticks. We’re not sure how long it will last, but it’s definitely more functional than his cardboard mechanical typewriter.
Joel Creates previously showed off two different designs for a weapon that can fire hot glue. Now, to prove that the third time’s a charm, he created an even more dangerous version. It’s basically like a Super Soaker, except it shoots a stream of molten glue instead of water. Needless to say, don’t try anything like this at home.
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.
Electric bicycles are a fast and fun way to get around. However, they have limited range due to their small battery packs. Peter Sripol wanted to see if he could build an eBike that never needs recharging as long as the sun is shining. The downside? The trailer of solar panels he has to drag along. Build starts at 2:20.
If you’ve ever been in a NERF war, you know it can be a pain to pick up the ammo lying all over the ground. Out of Darts shows us how a tool designed for picking up acorns does the trick brilliantly – especially when it comes to those NERF Rival balls. And it handily beats NERF’s own picker-upper.
With COVID-19 running rampant, it’s a very good idea to wear a mask. Face shields are also part of our defense against the virus. Well thanks to Andy Clockwise, we now know how to make a quick and easy face shield using nothing more than the box from a package of Krispy Kreme donuts and some tape.
Maker of things The Q has been on a bit of a roll lately, producing all kinds of nifty things for us to enjoy. Watch as he takes a copper coin, flattens it out, and turns the sheet metal into a working “paper” airplane. While it isn’t one of his more complex builds, it’s still a cool build.
Using a thermal sensor module out of a FLIR One smartphone module and some Zeiss Cinemizer goggles, The Hacksmith and engineering intern Ben managed to create a Predator-inspired helmet that actually displays heat and infrared vision just like what the creepy movie creature saw when it gazed upon on the world.
Tool company Litheli recently sent a bunch of their cordless power tools to the guys at The Hacksmith. Rather than use the chainsaws, leafblowers, and battery packs for their intended purposes, they strapped them to a couple of drift trikes to provide them with electric propulsion. They’re not fast, but it’s a fun build regardless.
Russian car modding channel Garage 54 has done some pretty wacky things over the years. This time, they took an old beater and covered the entire car with 300 high-output LED headlight bulbs. There’s no missing this thing on a dark road, though it might blind its operator and every other driver on the road.
The yellow machine you’re looking at is “Le Mécanophone,” otherwise known as a 1935 Citroën truck, equipped with 42 different car horns. But this thing doesn’t just beep, it’s basically a calliope on wheels. We want one of these just so we can honk at traffic all day long.
X-Creation likes to put speakers into a kinds of unlikely places. After building a wheelbarrow boombox, he created a stereo sound system by making cutouts in a pair of gas cylinder bottles, and installing speakers, crossovers, wiring, and sound-reactive lighting inside.
“My heart is human, my blood is boiling, my brain IBM.” Styx’s 1983 track Mr. Roboto represented the pinnacle of overwrought concept rock. Yet there has yet to be a more appropriate song played by Paweł Zadrożniak’s electromechanical orchestra, the Floppotron and its servo-powered instrumentation.
Photography expert Mathieu Stern loves to work with unusual camera lenses. After being stuck at home sickened by COVID-19, he decided to build a lens using stuff he had lying around the house. He enlisted the help of his wife to design this LEGO camera lens, while he focused on the optics. We love the brick-shaped bokeh.
In the interest of keeping his distance from others, builder Colin Furze decided that he was still too close to other people while riding his bicycle, so he built a stainless steel two-wheeler dubbed the “Highcycle” that rides more than six feet off of the ground. We’re impressed he was able to get onto this thing.
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