Awesome Machines

Ammo Up Ammunition Picker Uppers

Ammo Up Ammunition Picker Uppers

Designed for cleaning up firing ranges and paintball fields, the Ammo-Up makes quick work of spent shell casing and paintball pellets. The machine rolls along and snatches up ammo with “fingers” and deposits them into a bin for easy disposal or recycling. They also make a compact model which you poke at the ground.

How Steam Engines Are Made

How Steam Engines Are Made

The way that steam engines can propel things using boiling water is pretty amazing. This video from How It’s Made takes us inside a factory that makes radial steam engines and shows not only how they come together, but how they work.

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Battle of the Titans

Battle of the Titans

For more than 20 years, theater company La Machine has been building massive mechanical puppets that they march through the streets. During an April 2022 performance in Toulouse, France, their fire-breathing dragon-horse Long Ma Jing Shen teamed up with Asterion the minotaur to stare down a giant spider.

LEGO Flip Walker Machine

LEGO Flip Walker Machine

After seeing footage of a rare 1980s model from Bandai Japan, JK Brickworks wanted to see if he could replicate its unique walking mechanism using LEGO parts. The unusual vehicle has a motorized trolley at its center which drives along the inside of a loop, causing it to continuously flip over and walk forward.

Waterjet Glass Spiral

Waterjet Glass Spiral

With enough power to cut through glass or even metal, industrial waterjets can be incredibly impressive. In this video from WARDJet, they show how one of their computer-controlled machines can slice a spiral so precisely in a sheet of glass that the glass can be stretched out into a dome after cutting.

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.

Link

Link

Setting up a Rube Goldberg machine and getting it to all work perfectly can be quite difficult. Filmmaker Tomohiro Okazaki took a different approach to making their machine, building an impossible chain-reaction sequence using stop-motion animation.

Making a Spark Wheel

Making a Spark Wheel

Builder Laura Kampf designed and created this dangerous but awesome looking machine which generates a huge stream of sparks for creating epic long-exposure photos. When she got stumped about the ignition system, she turned to her pal Adam Savage to help come up with a creative solution.

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.

Full-Size Cardboard Vending Machines

Full-Size Cardboard Vending Machines

DanCreator has made some pretty amazing cardboard objects over the years. Now he’s gone and built not one, but three full-size vending machines out of the corrugated brown paper. Not only do they look like the real thing, but the soda fountain, can dispenser, and instant ramen machine are fully functional.

LEGO Flight Simulator

LEGO Flight Simulator

Brick Science host Riley Scott wanted to see if he could build a flight simulator out of LEGO bricks. With the help of his friends Christian and Marcel, they came up with a tabletop machine with a remote joystick and throttle which control the airplane’s propellor, pitch, and roll. Its motors are controlled by a Mindstorms EV3 module.

LEGO Mindstorms Pen Plotter

LEGO Mindstorms Pen Plotter

LEGO builder and coder ord shows off a machine they built using Mindstorms components that can draw images on paper. They programmed it using Pybricks, a framework for controlling LEGO motors and hubs. While it’s not as precise as an off-the-shelf plotter, it’s impressive for a LEGO build. It also looks like a tank.

How Plastic Bottles are Made

How Plastic Bottles are Made

Did you know that plastic bottles are blown like glass? Us neither. Here’s a look at a fascinating machine that takes small plastic tubes, heats them, and then blows them into a mold to make water bottles. The same basic process is even used for big 5-gallon bottles.

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Golf Club Shooter Caddy

Golf Club Shooter Caddy

When we first read the headline for Nick O’Hara’s Golf Club Shooter, we thought it was for throwing clubs when you’re having a bad day. But it’s much more helpful. This machine is a remote-controlled caddy that rotates to the specific club you want then tosses it to you. It can also recommend a club using a voice assistant.

LEGO Automated Toilet Paper Dispenser

LEGO Automated Toilet Paper Dispenser

Smoothly dispensing toilet paper is definitely a first-world problem. In fact, we’re not even sure it’s a problem that needs to be solved at all. But that didn’t stop LEGO maker Technic Brick from engineering a solution using a variety of gears, connectors, a motor, an ultrasonic sensor, and an Arduino controller.

LEGO Technic Table Saw

LEGO Technic Table Saw

It’s possible to make saw blades out of materials other than metal. GazR’s Extreme Brick Machines not only built a saw blade out of LEGO Technic parts, but an entire working table saw. It uses 14 motors to cut through objects and is definitely not something you’d want to stick your finger into. Here it is using a skinnier blade.

Bottle Cap Making Machine

Bottle Cap Making Machine

In this video from Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, they show how their El-Exis SP injection molding machine makes plastic bottle caps. Each time its molds fill with plastic, it stamps out 96 identical bottle caps, repeating the process every 1.9 seconds. We love that top-down view of all the caps falling to the production line below.

Robotic Wheelchair Lifter Arm

Robotic Wheelchair Lifter Arm

Getting around in a wheelchair poses its challenges, especially when it comes to putting your chair away after sitting in a car. The AbiLoader by AbiliQuip can lift up a wheelchair parked next to the driver’s door and stow or retrieve it from the trunk in just 25 seconds.

Wearable Robot Disc Launcher

Wearable Robot Disc Launcher

Shane from Stuff Made Here has made a career out of cheating at sports through the power of science and engineering. His latest build is a robust machine that can fling frisbees at speeds up to 115 mph. But can he use it without it breaking his arm?

Cleaning Steel from a Laser Cutter Bed

Cleaning Steel from a Laser Cutter Bed

Industrial laser cutters can slice through steel, but they leave behind bits of metal called slag on their work surfaces. While placing materials on support slats helps, there’s still a mess to clean up. This slat cleaner from TRUMPF offers a satisfying way to remove that debris. We want something like this for our BBQ grill.

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Uniek Tabletop Pottery Studio

Uniek Tabletop Pottery Studio

The Uniek is a tiny pottery studio you can take anywhere. It combines a miniature motorized potter’s wheel, a water pool, and a tool kit for refining and detailing your work. It doesn’t include a tiny kiln, though, so you’ll probably want to work with air-dry clay.

37 Chain Reaction Machines

37 Chain Reaction Machines

It can be so fun to watch chain reaction machines do their thing. In this collaborative video from DaksDominoes, 18 builders teamed up to showcase their machines and linked them together with editing to make it look like one massive construction. The one with the gears at 5:15 was our favorite.

Wall Mural Printer

Wall Mural Printer

Normally, if you want a mural on your wall, you need to paint it. But the guys at Russia’s Cool Print SPB have a computer-controlled rig that does all the hard work. The machine rides on rails and then moves along the wall like a gigantic inkjet printer, outputting large-scale, full-color images. Longer tracks = wider images.

Monster LEGO Technic Tank

Monster LEGO Technic Tank

This impressive LEGO Technic vehicle uses 16 Mindstorms EV3 controllers and 48 motors to drive its tank-like treads along the ground. Its builder, Eric Steenstra says it can tow over 220 pounds, so he likes to use it to pull people in their wheelchairs.

Fun with Sheet Metal

Fun with Sheet Metal

Get your daily dose of engineering porn with this video from Uwe Krumm GmbH. The company makes precision tooling for manufacturing, including the press brake tools shown here. It’s a hypnotic and satisfying 6-minute sequence of sheet metal being bent into complex shapes through the simple application of force.

Hubless LEGO Tank

Hubless LEGO Tank

GazR’s Extreme Brick Machines continues to impress us with their wild and inventive LEGO engineering. After showing off some unusual LEGO car designs, they took the same idea as their hubless car and applied it to tank treads. The vehicle has a truly unique look, is surprisingly agile, and capable of crawling over rough terrain.

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