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.
We can’t think of any practical reason you’d need a car jack that fits in the palm of your hand. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. Maker B took the time to craft a 1/5th-scale hydraulic jack from steel, brass, and copper. It not only looks amazing, but the tiny jack is fully functional. Maybe he can use it to change tires on an R/C car.
The enormous OrangeStorm Giga 3D printer can output objects up to 800mm x 800mm x 1000mm (31.4″ x 31.4″ x 39.4″.) With a top speed of 300 mm/s, it prints fast and can hold up to four FDM print heads for outputting four of the same model simultaneously. Despite its size, it’s well-priced – with Kickstarter orders starting at $1500, including one print head.
Expert LEGO builder Brick Technology put together a series of unusual mechanisms designed with one purpose – to sink LEGO ships. After starting with a machine that fires bricks at rowboats, he stepped up his efforts with machines that create waterspouts, waves, and floods and tested them on progressively larger boats.
This industrial robot from Eatch can cook up to 5,000 meals per day, with each meal prepared in its own small pot instead of one giant one. The system automatically dispenses cooking oil, fresh ingredients, and seasonings into the pots, then spins them at an angle over a flame. It even washes the pots after it’s done.
We’ve seen how rebar is made; now watch how these metal reinforcing rods get a second chance at life after they’ve been bent. Created by JP Botelho, this machine can take even severely mangled lengths of rebar and literally set them straight. It’s an oddly satisfying process to watch.
Sliding, swinging, garage, barn. There are lots of different kinds of doors. The Brick Experiment Channel shows us how to make various kinds of doors using LEGO Technic parts and how to automate them to open and close with the twist of a dial. That sectional garage door works a lot like a real one does.
This fascinating factory machine sits along a conveyor belt as it waits for individual items to arrive on the scene. It then lowers a series of suction-powered grippers to grab each one, and then shuffles them along to the next stage in the packing process. It uses VMECA’s Magic Gripper technology to work its magic.
Engineer Tom Stanton is fascinated by the way in which flywheels can store up energy as they’re spun up to speed. In this clip, he combines a flywheel mechanism with a sturdy aluminum trebuchet, creating a durable machine that can toss a tennis ball at fast as 180 mph.
Marble machines can be so much fun to watch in action. The 3D Printer Academy shows how they built a neat marble machine from modular components that hold together with 3D-printed thumbscrews. It took a little trial and error to get it all working smoothly and without jamming, but eventually, it worked perfectly.
MW Restoration paid 15 euros for a gumball machine that was in terrible shape. The machine was subjected to decades of wind and salt spray by the North Sea in Germany, along with what appears to be fire damage. But MW was undaunted and disassembled, sandblasted, repaired, and powdercoated the machine to make it look as good as new.
After seeing a video of an artist making string art portraits, engineer Paul Morris Hill wanted to see if he could achieve a similar effect with a machine. This video chronicles some of the trial and error he worked through developing the machine and its software, eventually arriving at a system using a grid of nails. Paul posted a full build log on Medium.
Jamie’s LEGO Jams created this musical instrument that works sort of like a miniature pipe organ. It’s powered by compressed air stored in plastic soda bottles, which flows through plastic tubes and into a plastic pan flute. The real magic is made by the LEGO keyboard, which manages airflow by crimping and releasing the tubes. It sounds a bit like a calliope.
We don’t use pencils nearly as much as we used to, but we still enjoy sketching and drawing with a real-world writing instrument and not just on our iPad screen. This YouTube playlist of short videos from Rescue & Restore shows off a few very different antique pencil sharpener designs that date from the 1880s to the 1930s. Which is your favorite?
GazR’s Extreme Brick Machines created this unusual LEGO Technic vehicle that gets around on eight tank-like continuous tracks. It’s driven by eight large Powered Up motors and has articulated outer tracks that help it to climb stairs and maneuver on uneven, rocky terrain.
We drive past construction sites all the time and see all kinds of heavy machinery. But most of us have no idea what the difference is between a bulldozer, a skid-steer, and an excavator. Practical Engineering offers a concise explanation of the jobs each of these machines is designed for.
You can pick up a bubble-blowing machine for about $20. But if you prefer to DIY all the things, CrazyScience has got you covered. In this video, they show how they built a simple bubble machine by drilling holes in a compact disc, attaching it to a motor and battery, adding a small fan, and using a water bottle as a reservoir. Read the full build guide on Instructables.
A little while back, JK Brickworks built a circular LEGO machine that knocks over dominoes and stands them back up. In this video, he experiments with the concept a bit more based on reader comments. In addition to changing their face colors, he tweaks the machine’s speed, adds a second carriage, and swaps in a colorful rainbow of dominoes.
Matty Benedetto is known for making things we don’t need but seem like plausible products. After completing hundreds of projects on his Unnecessary Inventions channel, he revisited three of his earlier builds to apply new skills he’s gained. He started with a motorized ice cream cone spinner, and things get sillier from there.
At first glance, we thought these were costumed dancers, but these straw men are machines. Artist U-ram Choe’s Round Table is a kinetic sculpture featuring 18 headless characters supporting table on their backs. Its mechanisms are programmed to keep a rubber band “head” from rolling off the table. The piece was displayed at the MMCA Seoul in 2022.
Blow molding is an industrial process for making hollow plastic items like toy boats, water bottles, and storage tanks. This video from Yankang Plastic Machinery shows how a tube of warm plastic pours from a chute and is blown into two molds to form a massive 10000-liter water tank. We love how they just let it fall on the ground when it’s done.
A well-balanced top on a low-friction surface can spin for a long time. Brick Machines wanted to see if he could make a top spin indefinitely like the one in Inception by creating a motorized machine to get it up to speed. It took several iterations, but the final design and top combination turned in some very impressive spin times.