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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
After seeing footage of a rare 1980s model from Bandai Japan, JK Brickworks wanted to see if he could replicate its unique walking mechanism using LEGO parts. The unusual vehicle has a motorized trolley at its center which drives along the inside of a loop, causing it to continuously flip over and walk forward.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Shane at Stuff Made Here is the engineer behind creations like the haircutting robot and the unmissable basketball hoop. In his past videos, you may have noticed that he has quite the assortment of tools in his shop. To show off his collection, he used each of his machines to make a different kind of ball bearing catapult.
While it’s not as fancy as modern mining conveyors, this vintage ropeway transports shale from a quarry to a brickworks without using electricity or fuel. It uses the weight of materials coming downhill to pull empty buckets uphill. Tom Scott shows off the 100+ year-old system that moves 300 tons of shale per day.
Climbing a tall and curved object like a flagpole or a tree isn’t an easy task. Brick Experiment Channel tested out three designs for LEGO robots that perform the task and demonstrates the physics at play when creating a vehicle that can scale vertical and cylindrical objects. We were totally transfixed by the spinny third robot.
Artist Daniel de Bruin is an expert at making metal tracks for marble machines. He’s taught us how to make our own, and even made a room-sized marble track. Now, he’s downsized his efforts, creating the tiniest marble course we’ve ever seen, using a custom drive mechanism, 0.6mm wire, and a 5mm wide ball bearing.
Good airflow is important for keeping electronic components cool, so most computers use fans to circulate air. But we’ve never seen a computer that cools itself by breathing. DIY Perks shows off a gigantic machine he built that quietly pumps air in and out using bellows.
Microsoft asked Hacksmith Industries to help promote the addition of MLB The Show 21 to Xbox Game Pass. So they got to work building a shoulder-mounted pitching machine with the goal of firing balls at pro pitcher speeds. The sound it makes when it revs up is quite terrifying.