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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
French artist Parse/Error created a machine to produce his rhythmic and undulating line drawings. The designer conceives each image on a computer, while the machine acts as his hands and outputs his work. You can purchase original drawings in the Parse/Error shop.
Did you know that plastic bottles are blown like glass? Us neither. Here’s a look at a fascinating machine which takes small plastic tubes, heats them up, and then blows them into a mold to make water bottles. The same basic process is even used for big 5-gallon bottles.
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.
Yoshihito Isogawa shows off another impressive build. He used LEGO Technic and Mindstorms parts, along with mirrors and a laser pointer to create a mechanism that can project laser patterns on the wall by rapidly modulating its reflector. Here’s another variant he also made.
A wonderfully satisfying bit of engineering porn showing off a slick modular tooling machine. The Bihler Leantool system is used in factories to form and cut wire and rolled metal into precisely bent shapes, such as chain links, hooks, and other small, high volume parts.
Skeletonics‘ 9+ foot tall, 88 lb. electro-mechanical exosuit is more puppet than practical work assistant, but it’s still pretty awesome. In addition to offering its wearer a lift on stilts, it gives them giant robot arms and individually-controlled bony fingers.
Brick fanatic Sariel shows off one of his most creative builds yet – a LEGO machine that uses a rotating loop of bubble wands and and a spinning fan blade to blow soap bubbles. Yes, there are off-the-shelf machines that do the same, but they’re not made from LEGO.
This highly-articulated LEGO Technic robot by Shadow Elenter uses 19 motors to move its wheels, arms, snippers and grippers to defuse, pick up, and dispose of a phony explosive payload. We’re not sure we’d use it for a real bomb threat, but we’re still impressed.
Cookiecutter.com shares a brief look at a machine that transforms rings of metal into cookie cutters. It uses several, hydraulic tools to precisely push the metal against a central form. While the machine is amazing, for some shapes, they still use the old-fashioned method. Wow.
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