Awesome Kinetic

Gyre

Gyre

Yunchul Kim created this kinetic sculpture which looks like some sort of segmented alien robot. The work represents the infinite nature of creation and extinction, with each of its parts made from acrylic, flexible LED panels, and motors. It’s on display at the 59th International Art Exhibition in Venice, Italy through 11.27.22.

Robot Caterpillar Climbs a Pile of Wood

Robot Caterpillar Climbs a Pile of Wood

Artist Reuben Margolin creates kinetic sculptures inspired by nature and math. For his work Caterpillar and Woodpile, he created an articulated robot that moves like a caterpillar and programmed it to climb a woodpile in the shape of a polynomial spline. The machine’s slow crawl is so relaxing to watch.

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Pantone’s Interactive Color Wheels

Pantone’s Interactive Color Wheels

Argentina artist Felipe Pantone is known for eye-catching artworks that play with shades of color. His Subtractive Variability series is especially fascinating with its layered gradient color discs that reveal different color schemes as they’re rotated. He’s made other variants which are similarly awesome to watch.

Strandbeest Evolution

Strandbeest Evolution

Since 1990, artist Theo Jansen has created numerous walking and moving machines. Each year, he heads to the beach with a new one of his Strandbeests and lets it able about along the, powered solely by the wind. This video compilation shows off some of the many amazing and amusing creatures as they march across the beach.

Over-engineered Candy Dispenser

Over-engineered Candy Dispenser

You could just put M&Ms in a candy dish, or you could overengineer a solution like JBV Creative did. The machine is basically a tiny candy factory that dishes out individual candies from a storage tank onto a conveyor belt and then into a tray. Money shot at 7:56. Want your own? Grab the STL files for 3D printing here.

The Corporate Ping Pong Machine

The Corporate Ping Pong Machine

JBV Creative loves to engineer kinetic sculptures and machines using 3D-printed parts. For this interactive piece, he created a wall-mounted mechanism that represents the slow, repetitive churning of the corporate machine. It launches ping pong balls into the air and catches them in a funnel to repeat the process endlessly.

Incredibly Long Marble Run

Incredibly Long Marble Run

Scott’s Marble Runs shows off a truly impressive build that start outside of his house, then winds its way inside through countless bends and turns. It takes a full six minutes for a marble to complete the entire course, which he built using Quercetti Skyrail marble tracks.

NOXU X7.0 Smart Table Lamp

NOXU X7.0 Smart Table Lamp

This bold and modern accent light doubles as a kinetic sculpture. Its three elongated hexagons rotate atop its base, casting an ever-changing and soothing splash of color on your walls and around the lamp. An accompanying app lets you choose from millions of colors, adjust brightness, and program animation effects.

5-Axis Moving Rack Sculpture

5-Axis Moving Rack Sculpture

Inspired by the geometric star art of John and Jane Kostick, mathematical artist Henry Segerman shows off a neat bit of mechanical engineering which uses a set of five geared racks that can smoothly slide through each other. The model is available as a 3D print from Shapeways, but it’s not cheap.

Magnetic Kinetic Sculptures

Magnetic Kinetic Sculptures

Magnet Tricks created a few cool kinetic sculptures using small neodymium magnet spheres and rods. They start spinning using air blown through a straw, and some of the designs incorporate colorful rods to create a rainbow effect as they get up to speed. They look easy enough to replicate using Neobuildr parts.

Ocean Wave Kinetic Sculpture

Ocean Wave Kinetic Sculpture

Artist Ross McSweeney created this beautiful work of moving sculpture, which uses a series of cams to create a wave-like action. A tiny boat rocks back and forth as a wooden ocean moves below, and fish dive in and out of the waves. We also love his caterpillar marble machine.

Mechanical Man Kinetic Wall Art

Mechanical Man Kinetic Wall Art

Mechanical engineer Kiyoshi Adachi created this wonderful work of kinetic wall art which features a tiny metal man who turns a crank, setting into motion a ballet of spinning gears and dancing rods. Those elliptical gears are especially cool.

The Fragility of Complexity

The Fragility of Complexity

Illustrating just how interdependent the world has become, artist Neil Mendoza built The Fragility of Complexity, a motorized, kinetic art installation composed of a row of hammers that rotate perilously close to a series of moving light bulbs. Neil says only a single light bulb was broken during its construction.

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SpinLaunch Centrifugal Rocket Launcher

SpinLaunch Centrifugal Rocket Launcher

Aerospace company SpinLaunch wants to launch rockets without rocket fuel. Their system uses an electric centrifuge to fling rockets up to 5000 mph. They plan to use the tech to put small satellites into low-earth orbit with less environmental impact and cost than current methods. On 10.22.21, they completed a suborbital test.

Cosmic Eye Kinetic Plaything

Cosmic Eye Kinetic Plaything

Artist and engineer Robert Spillner created this unique plaything – a disc filled with a sparkly fluid that looks like an atmosphere swirling around a planet. As you shake and move the disc, the metallic liquid creates an endless variety of organic patterns. Its particles can also be influenced by a magnet placed outside of its chamber.

Zillatron Kinetic Wind Spinner

Zillatron Kinetic Wind Spinner

This mesmerizing kinetic garden sculpture from Bug Store Designs adds new movement to outdoor spaces. It has 21 spinning points, each of which moves as the wind catches them. It measures 78″h (including its 10″ ground spike) x 47″w and has five stake points to hold it securely in the dirt.

Wall-Mounted Marble Coaster

Wall-Mounted Marble Coaster

JBV Creative designed this interactive marble coaster that can be wall-mounted. To build the maze, he created 3D models in Solidworks, then rendered the components on a 3D printer. Once it’s loaded up with marbles, it continuously recirculates with the turn of its crank. You can buy the STL files to make your own on JBL’s website.

Making a Kinetic Sculpture

Making a Kinetic Sculpture

If you’ve ever walked through an outdoor sculpture garden, you’ve probably seen sculptures that move when the wind blows. Artist Anthony Howe is known for creating kinetic sculptures like these. In this video, he provides a glimpse into the painstaking process that’s involved in making these dynamic and precise works of art.

The Drone that Cannot Fly

The Drone that Cannot Fly

Making drones out of lightweight materials is a must if you want them to fly. But Motores Patelo went the opposite direction, and created a flightless drone out of metal. Sadly, he couldn’t record the whole build due to the lockdown, but the finished piece is still amazing… and could easily take off a finger.

Tiny Automata

Tiny Automata

Back in 2017, artist Federico Tobon of wolfCat Workshop built a series of 29 tiny kinetic sculptures from wood, wire, and paper, each of which was brought to life by simply turning a crank. There are lots of nifty designs, but the walking man and the creature with spinning eyes at the end are our faves.

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Wind Wall

Wind Wall

Artist Ned Kahn created this kinetic art installation on the exterior of a parking garage in Clayton, Missouri. Its thousands of tiles each flap in the wind, creating an endless series of patterns which reveal the movement of air currents. The artist’s many works are each inspired by wind, fire, water, sand, or fog.

Square Wave Spinner

Square Wave Spinner

Designed by Wales-based sculptor Ivan Black, this hypnotic, kinetic plaything is made from 21 interconnected metal rods, which can be spun and twisted to produce visually-stimulating patterns inspired by the Fibonacci sequence. It’s available in silver, gold, bronze, or a limited edition scarlet color. Be sure to watch the video.

Galloping LEGO Horse

Galloping LEGO Horse

In this soothing LEGO build video, Jason Alleman of JK Brickworks shows off another one of his awesome kinetic sculptures. Like his others creations, it can be driven by crank or a motor. If you want one for your own desktop, he’s posted the build instructions and a link to buy the bricks on his website.

Svalbard Ice

Svalbard Ice

Brooklyn art studio BREAKFAST’s interactive artwork uses arctic temperature data to visualize climate change in real time, displaying above average temperatures in gold, and below average in blue. It also changes appearance when you approach to represent the impact climate change has on all of us.

Makeway Marble Tracks

Makeway Marble Tracks

These fun-looking marble tracks mount on magnetic surfaces like some whiteboard and fridges, letting you create Line Rider-style courses that take full advantage of gravity. Available tricks will include a spinner, bell, launcher, catapult, a motorized lift and more. Launching soon on Kickstarter.

Rolling Ball Sculptures

Rolling Ball Sculptures

Australian artist David Morrell bends metal wire to form roller coaster style tracks, on which marbles spend their days rolling round and round in a perpetual loop. His kinetic sculptures are available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, and he accepts commission work.

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