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Machines

Milling a Metal Gear

Milling a Metal Gear

Machine shop DataPro shares hypnotic time-lapse footage of a Datron CNC milling machine, as it takes a disc of aluminum and transforms it into a precise and smoothly formed gear. It was shot as a time-lapse, but won’t it be awesome when machines can do this in real time?

Spinning LED Light Ball

Spinning LED Light Ball

We had to go back in time to 2010 to find the original video of this crazy device, but the payoff was worth it. Forssa1’s crazy spinning contraption is loaded up with RGB LEDs and looks like some sort of inter-dimensional travel portal when activated. More here.

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DIY Wire Bending Machine

DIY Wire Bending Machine

We’ve seen industrial machines that can bend wires into shapes, but thanks to 3D printing and low-cost controllers like Arduino, you can make your own desktop machine now. How to Mechatronics shows us exactly how. Grab the full instructions, models, code, and schematics here.

Marble Machine X Work in Progress

Marble Machine X Work in Progress

Martin Molin is known for his amazing Wintergatan music-making marble machine. He’s been working on an even more complicated machine for years, and has been documenting the build. This conveyor belt assembly is one of the more enthralling parts he’s completed so far.

iPad LEGO Spirograph

iPad LEGO Spirograph

LEGO Technic expert Yoshihito ISOGAWA created a couple of neat little drawing machines, which spin around while holding an Apple Pencil, resulting in Spirograph-style drawings on an iPad screen. He also made a rig that does pointilist drawings.

Weaving a Carbon Fiber Rocket Tank

Weaving a Carbon Fiber Rocket Tank

Hypnotic video footage of a rocket propellant tank being made by wrapping and weaving layers of carbon composite filament around an aluminum form. The custom-built machine and software were engineered by the literal rocket scientists at Interorbital Systems.

Incredible LEGO GBC

Incredible LEGO GBC

One of the more impressive LEGO Great Ball Contraptions we’ve seen turned up at Japan Brickfest 2018. Among its contributors was Akiyuky, whose modules wowed the crowd with all manner of hypnotically moving parts, while his LEGO Technic railway shuttled balls alongside.

LEGO Tower Climbing Machines

LEGO Tower Climbing Machines

Builder munimuni Bekkan first plays around with a spring-loaded LEGO machine that can climb a tower, then proceeds to evolve his design into a motorized contraption that carries, then stacks its own Duplo brick tower to climb.

Machining the Eiffel Tower

Machining the Eiffel Tower

German CNC machine maker Hermle shares footage of its C 42 U 5-axis milling machine cranking out an intricate model of the Eiffel Tower, carved from a single block of solid aluminum. Why can’t we have a machine like this in The Awesomer office?

DIY Cardboard Slot Machine

DIY Cardboard Slot Machine

The Q takes a gamble with this build – a fully-functional slot machine built from cardboard, popsicle sticks, and hot glue. We love the detail he included on the reels to make it look like the real deal. Stick around for a few other fun DIY builds in this compilation video.

LEGO Demolition Machine

LEGO Demolition Machine

Tearing down LEGO buildings usually requires plucking bricks off by hand. But Shadow Elenter’s approach is way cooler. He built a crane to do his demolition, using LEGO Technic parts and 18 motors. It can lift items, knock them down, and claw or break them apart.

Laser Etching a Bitcoin

Laser Etching a Bitcoin

Heads or Tales Coins & Collectibles presents a wonderfully satisfying video showing a laser etching machine making a cold storage coin – a physical manifestation of cryptocurrency. These coins feature a unique private key which can be used to unlock its bearer’s Bitcoins.

Pass the Salt

Pass the Salt

So you need to get salt from one end of the table to the other. You could just stand up and walk it down, or you could do what Joseph’s Machines did, and build a ridiculously complicated Rube Goldberg machine to perform the task for you.

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The Machine that Made Everything

The Machine that Made Everything

The industrial revolution kicked off the biggest boom of innovation in the history of humanity. Machine Thinking looks back at one specific machine which came at the very start of that era that he considers as the linchpin for much of what came after.

How a Gumball Machine Works

How a Gumball Machine Works

It’s a requisite stop for every kid with change in their pocket. But have you ever wondered how dropping a coin into a gumball machine makes it dispense a chewy treat? Animator and explainer of things Jared Owen gives us a detailed breakdown of its mechanism.

Back Scratching Chair

Back Scratching Chair

After making a machine that can automatically pet his dog, woodworker Matt Thompson decided to make something nice for himself – an Adirondack chair that can scratch his back and massage his scalp automatically

LEGO Pixel Displays

LEGO Pixel Displays

LEGO builder D FB shows off an amazing contraption which uses LEGO bricks to flip pixels on a display. There’s a motorized scroller version, and a hand-cranked one. Learn about how it works on the Eurobricks forum.

LEGO Tamburo Meccanico

LEGO Tamburo Meccanico

Inspired by a mechanical drum-playing machine designed by Leonardo Da Vinci, this LEGO music maker by Giuseppe Acito uses a series of pegs placed onto a spinning wheel to trigger sound sequences as its “fingers” press keys connected to synthesizers.

How to Harvest Olives

How to Harvest Olives

While the traditional method of harvesting olives uses rakes to knock them off trees, we prefer this method from Afron Machinery, which involves surrounding the tree with tarps, then shaking the hell out of its trunk to release the fruit onto a sorting machine.

How Paper Cups Are Made

How Paper Cups Are Made

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

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Machining a Giant Gear

Machining a Giant Gear

A look inside the P. van der Wegen Gear factory, where they make enormous gears for mining applications. While the process of milling these massive parts is truly fascinating, we can only imagine what they look like when in use in the machinery they’re destined for.

LEGO Catch and Spin Robots

LEGO Catch and Spin Robots

Mechanical LEGO master Akiyuky shows off a fun Great Ball Contraption module. This one features two tiny robots who clap their hands awaiting a ball delivery, then spin around and drop them into the next stage when they detect one in their grabby mitts.

Milling a Metal Basketball Net

Milling a Metal Basketball Net

In this promotional spot for CAD/CAM software developer Open Mind, they demonstrate how a 5-axis CNC mill can transform a solid block of metal into a replica of a basketball net, by gradually carving away bits of metal until only a woven net remains. Skip to 1:06.

LEGO Ride of Blades

LEGO Ride of Blades

Take a trip on latest LEGO thrill ride from builder Shadow Elenter. Comprised of close calls with spinning saw blades, collapsing walls, and swinging swords, the ride plays out more like a level from God of War than an amusement park ride.

The Staircase Treadmill

The Staircase Treadmill

Inventor and maker of crazy stuff Colin Furze decided to build himself one of the most torturous pieces of home fitness equipment ever – a treadmill that runs up the staircase. Our knees hurt just watching this one. Coming downstairs looks like fun though.

Coil Wrapping Machine

Coil Wrapping Machine

A wonderfully satisfying bit of engineering wizardry. What you’re looking at is a specialized industrial machine which spins a roll of plastic wrap around a freshly-milled steel coil until it’s fully protected for shipment. Here’s a slightly more sleepy look at a similar machine.

Keaton Music Typewriter

Keaton Music Typewriter

A brief demonstration of a rare piece of office equipment c. 1953. The Keaton Music Typewriter made it relatively easy to create sheet music much in the same way you’d type a letter. If you made a mistake, however, you’d have to wait until 1956 for correction fluid to be invented.

Transforming LEGO Howitzer Tank

Transforming LEGO Howitzer Tank

LEGO master Shadow Elenter shows off another impressive Technic build. His latest creation is a Howitzer style tank that weighs in at 12 pounds. It has working treads, and some amazing weaponry, including a massive gun that plants itself to handle its recoil.

The Robot Juggler

The Robot Juggler

We have a hard enough time keeping two balls in the air at the same time, but this robotic contraption is able to deftly juggle five balls at once. It’s even smart enough to detect when a ball is intentionally dropped and resumes without skipping a beat.

Noisy Marble Machine

Noisy Marble Machine

Denha shows off a mesmerizing machine that’s designed to produce a variety of soothing sounds as dozens of metal spheres move their way through its maze of metal tracks, spinning wheels, and moving stairsteps. It sounds sort of like a perpetual Pachinko machine.

Polar Drawing Machine

Polar Drawing Machine

ft Robotics shows off a nifty Arduino Mega and Fischertechnik based plotter. Unlike other drawing machines which are driven by cartesian coordinates, this one uses polar coordinates. It draws by moving a pen along one axis, while a turntable rotates beneath its retractable pen.

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