Awesome Machines

How Deli Slicers Are Made

How Deli Slicers Are Made

There’s nothing like a deli sandwich stacked high with thinly sliced meat. Such delights are made possible thanks to the electric deli slicer. How It’s Made takes us inside the Hobart factory to see how they assemble these useful and ubiquitous carving machines. We would have liked to have seen the metal casting process too.

Rube Goldberg Pizza Machine

Rube Goldberg Pizza Machine

While you could just order in, some of us enjoy homemade pizza. Why make your pizza by hand, when you can have a machine make it for you? IDEAS EN 5 AÑOS built this over-engineered Rube Goldberg machine that evenly distributees the sauce, cheese, and toppings onto spinning pizza dough. Too bad it can’t cook it too.

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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.

Building a Stroboscopic Water Display

Building a Stroboscopic Water Display

Inspired by a Gatorade ad that used strobes to display images on falling water, 3Dprintedlife wanted to replicate the idea on a smaller scale. He developed a desktop version that uses solenoid valves to release water droplets illuminated by an LED strobe light. It only displays 2D images, but he plans on making a 3D version.

Bottle Cap Plinko Machine (w/Candy)

Bottle Cap Plinko Machine (w/Candy)

Over on Etsy, you can find a variety of bottle openers that have a Plinko-style drop mechanism. But Thompson Woodworks built the best version we’ve seen, combining the bottle opener with a Skittles dispenser that triggers only if you land your bottle cap in the proper tray at the bottom.

LEGO Braiding Machine

LEGO Braiding Machine

Nico71’s motorized LEGO Technic creation deftly maneuvers five spools of thread, carefully twisting, turning, and juggling each one to form a braided cord. Its hypnotic moves remind us of some kind of an amusement park ride. Full build instructions can be found here.

LEGO Playing Card Gun

LEGO Playing Card Gun

While it’s not as powerful or accurate as Mark Rober’s motorized playing card thrower, Brick Experiment Channel’s version is still pretty sweet, and was built entirely using LEGO components, giving it double the geek cred. Now we want him to build a version that fires cash… or minifigs.

Exploding Circle Machine

Exploding Circle Machine

JBV Creative loves to make unique machines using 3D printed parts. Inspired by a computer simulation of a similar contraption, he created a mechanism that splits a circle into four quadrants, flips them over, and reassembles them with a turn of its crank. You can purchase the STL files at the link.

Making a Tiny Drill Press

Making a Tiny Drill Press

A drill press is a large piece of workshop equipment mounted to a heavy base to provide a steady work surface for drilling through objects. Hands on Table thought it might be fun to make a miniature replica of a drill press and did an outstanding job building the tiny, working tool from scrap metal and some old motorcycle parts.

LEGO Mangle Rack Mechanisms

LEGO Mangle Rack Mechanisms

LEGO machine master Akiyuki shows some fascinating and unusual mechanisms. The designs were inspired by a “mangle rack,” which converts circular motion into rectilinear motion by moving a gear along the outside of a set of pins. He uses the method to smoothly move shapes around a track and to create a clock display.

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.

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.

Doc Ock Claw Machine

Doc Ock Claw Machine

Sculptor Steven Richter set himself the challenge of creating a mechanical claw machine based on Doc Ock’s tentacles from Spider-Man 2 and No Way Home. The build features cast resin parts and a cable-driven mechanism that lets an operator move the claw and grip objects with it. Plush Spidey doesn’t stand a chance.

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Flexible LEGO Technic Tank

Flexible LEGO Technic Tank

GazR’s Extreme Brick Machines shows off another unique LEGO Technic vehicle. This tank-like machine features two wedge-shaped body segments connected by a retractable hinge mechanism. This design allows it to crawl easily over a variety of uneven terrain, climb stairs, and even negotiate soft objects like pillows.

LEGO Store Minifigure Factory

LEGO Store Minifigure Factory

LEGO fanatic Bricksie first shows off his massive collection of minifigs, then heads to the LEGO Store in the West Edmonton Mall for a look at a new addition – an inkjet printer that can create custom-printed Minifigs. The figures can be embellished with full-color printed clothing including icons, doodles, emojis, and text.

Epic Cardboard Marble Run

Epic Cardboard Marble Run

We always enjoy watching the spheres go round and round on marble runs. They’re usually made wood, metal, or plastic, but DanCreator made his marble run out of his favorite material, cardboard. We’re impressed with its complexity and the precision of its ramps and curves. It took him roughly two months to build, and the effort shows.

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.

LEGO Car Climbs Challenging Obstacles

LEGO Car Climbs Challenging Obstacles

The Brick Experiment Channel follows up its video of LEGO vehicles climbing over things with a series of more challenging obstacles. The new vehicle design includes a second adjustable joint, which allows it to climb objects and surfaces that look like they should be impossible to traverse.

Pneumatic LEGO GBC

Pneumatic LEGO GBC

We love watching LEGO Great Ball Contraptions like the ones made by Akiyuki and Quanix. Taking inspiration from these two mechanical brick masters, engineering student Roatchanatam Anattasakul built his own machine that moves around lots of little balls and uses pneumatic power to keep it all moving.

How Cardboard Tubes Are Made

How Cardboard Tubes Are Made

Heavy-duty cardboard tubes are used to protect rolled goods in transit and provide forms for concrete construction projects. SBS Tube shows off the production process behind these large tubes, which involves gluing together numerous individual strips of brown paper around a metal roller.

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The Human Catapult

The Human Catapult

Launching watermelons from a catapult sounds like a lot of fun, but launching humans seems like a terrible idea. The guys from TKOR teamed up with Jake Makes to build a catapult with a tub at one end that can fire a person into the air. At least they aimed it at a deep pond. Needless to say, don’t try anything like this at home.

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.

How Paper Cups Are Made

How Paper Cups Are Made

Enjoy this hypnotic look at a machine designed for the high-speed production of paper cups. It starts with flat sheets of paper, rolls them onto a form, glues the seam, adds the bottom, and eventually rolls the top edge, cranking out as many as 130 cups per minute.

Celluveyor Omnidirectional Conveyor System

Celluveyor Omnidirectional Conveyor System

Traditional conveyor belts can move items along a single axis. But Cellumation’s unique system can shuffle items around in any direction. It uses a series of hexagonal modules, each of which has three sets of wheels. Its controller and software can then be programmed to shuffle and arrange a payload in any pattern.

Tennis Balls vs. Razor Racket

Tennis Balls vs. Razor Racket

A normal tennis racket has gut, nylon, or polyester strings. But what if you replaced those strings with razor blades and then fired the ball at the racket with a powerful air cannon at 500+ MPH? Tyler Bell demonstrates exactly that, dicing up tennis balls in a fraction of a second with his deadly looking rig.

Human-Powered Tennis Ball Cannon

Human-Powered Tennis Ball Cannon

Machines that fire tennis balls are as common. But we’ve never seen one that uses human power. Creative Machines’ ball cannon launches tennis balls up to 200 feet. Each time its handle is pushed, it raises a weight. When it reaches the top, it falls and becomes a piston, flinging balls into the sky using compressed air.

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