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.
LEGO machine maker JK Brickworks follows up last year’s Halloween candy dispenser with an even better one. His latest machine spins round and round, and flings candy bars at the kids. Want one? Buy the LEGO 17101 BOOST Creative Toolbox, and follow the directions here.
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.
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.
It’s both a useful packing material and a wonderful plaything for fidgeters like us. Now go inside Sealed Air’s factory and see how they make their official BubbleWrap brand bubble wrap. It’s interesting that the first bubble wrap machine was designed to make wallpaper.
Designed by Shunji Yamanaka for the Future Robotics Technology Center, this incredible work of mechanical engineering can transform between walking, rolling, and spinning, and even climbs stairs. The robot was designed as a study for potential future vehicles. More here.
K’Nex builder Thibault Art shows off “Pluto,” an incredible machine that involves a number of lifts, rotating tracks, a turntable, and loops to move balls through its 8 different pathways. It’s made from over 19,000 parts, and took him 16 months to plan and build.
LEGO Technics and Mindstorms geek Munimuni Bekkan shows off a series of unusual devices they built trying to figure out the most efficient design for a machine which could drill itself into a bin of bricks. Drill-kun no. 6 works the best, but the one with all the gears looks the coolest.
An amazing LEGO Mindstorms build from the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Science. This wheeled machine can approach the edge of a table, and lay down a bridge that’s sturdy enough for it to cross. Oh, and when it’s done, it packs the bridge back up.
LEGO engineering master Yoshihito Isogawa shows off a simple, but impressive creation. This circular train track has a ramp with an open end, and a pivoting motor drive in the center. As the train car increases in speed, it takes flight, and manages to nail the landing every time.
A brief look at the Pocket NC V2, an amazingly compact and precise 5-axis milling machine that’s small enough to put on your workbench. This desktop manufacturing marvel costs just under five grand, tens of thousands of dollars less than most 5-axis machines.
The guys from Lofty Pursuits got their hands on a rusty old candymaking machine from the 1800s, and fully restored it so they could use it to crank out some strawberry shaped candies before returning it to the museum that found it. Buy the actual candies they made here.
While mechanical metronomes have gone the way of the dinosaur for most, we still find these old school rhythm keepers fascinating. Mr. Smith’s LEGO Models shows off a build which uses Technic parts to replicate the functionality, complete with an adjustable interval.
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