THE BEST Machines

Rock Age Sorting Machine

Rock Age Sorting Machine

Artists Prokop Bartoníček & Benjamin Maus created Jller, a fascinating machine that is capable of automatically identifying the geologic age of individual stones, then sorting and organizing them according to their era. Its slow and methodical approach is hypnotic.

LEGO Pop-up Castle

LEGO Pop-up Castle

Another amazing LEGO creation from builder Talapz. This incredible mechanical construction starts out looking like a big book, but unfolds to reveal an intricate model of Japan’s iconic Himeji Castle. It looked a little precarious there when he went to fold it back up though.

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LEGO Planets Contraption

LEGO Planets Contraption

Another fantastic and hypnotic LEGO great ball contraption module by builder Akiyuki, his latest machine is designed to pickup tiny LEGO soccer balls and basketballs and put them into planetary orbits. The planetary hemispheres came from various Star Wars sets.

The Oomphalapompatronium

The Oomphalapompatronium

Instrument maker and musician Leonard Solomon shows off another one of his unusual contraptions. The Oomphalapompatronium uses a crank, belts, bladders, bottles, and PVC pipe to create something that sounds like a pipe organ with frog in its throat.

Additive/Subtractive Combo Machine

Additive/Subtractive Combo Machine

Check out this footage of the DMG MORI Lasertec 65 3D, an amazing marvel of modern engineering which is capable of first building up rough metal forms using laser deposition welding, then switching heads to precisely mill and drill them into finished parts.

World’s Largest K’nex Ball Machine

World’s Largest K’nex Ball Machine

In 2014, Austin Granger set the world record for largest K’nex great ball contraption with a 40ft-long machine. The 23-year old outdid himself this year, creating a mesmerizing contraption that’s a whopping 912ft. long.

Useless Pencil Machine

Useless Pencil Machine

At some point, we’ve all turned to playing with office supplies to pass the time at work. The guy who built this contraption used a pen, pencils, binder clips, rubber bands, and a box to create what looks like a perpetual motion machine (though pesky physics say otherwise).

Marble Mountain

Marble Mountain

Ben Tardif says he’s been working for over three years on the construction of his complex contraption, a kinetic sculpture that sends marbles on a seemingly endless ride through 25 different environments, along twisty roads, down tiny staircases, and even off a ski jump.

Strangely Satisfying Robot Videos

Strangely Satisfying Robot Videos

BuzzFeed Blue compiled this video featuring a variety of robots and automated assembly line machines doing what they do best. We think the clip should have been much longer, but we were still transfixed by these mechanical marvels.

Miniature Rube Goldberg Machine

Miniature Rube Goldberg Machine

We’ve seen all manner of Rube Goldberg machines over the years, but never one as precise as this one from Seiko, that uses some 1200 watch parts and watchmaking tools in its design. It required a little human assist along the way, but it’s still pretty awesome.

Inside the Wintergatan

Inside the Wintergatan

Musician and inventor Martin Molin explains the complex mechanisms behind his genius musical contraption, the Wintergatan. Beyond the marble machine, there are drums made from coasters, a snare that uses basmati rice, among other crazy bits. Part two here.

The Invisible

The Invisible

This odd contraption by artist Peter William Holden uses a series of eight robotic arms which move fedoras in sync with a musical track. By the end, you’ll be imagining a group of invisible dancers wearing said hats. Also, we’re pretty sure we found their feet.

Skin Packaging Machine

Skin Packaging Machine

Another video to file under the “oddly satisfying” category, Cpack Pendle Machinery shows off the SP7, their latest “skin packaging” machine – a device which uses heat and a vacuum to seal oddly-shaped items into flat packages.

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The Musical Marble Machine

The Musical Marble Machine

This truly amazing musical instrument was created by Swedish musician Martin Molin (aka Wintergatan). It uses an incredibly complicated mechanism to produce notes and rhythms using human input and the sound of 2,000 falling metal marbles. (Thanks Paul!)

The Cycloid Drawing Machine

The Cycloid Drawing Machine

Like a Spirograph on steroids, Joe Freedman’s Cycloid Drawing Machine uses a series of highly adjustable geared discs for create incredibly complex geometric images. Skip to 1:00 if you don’t care to hear how amazing the cardboard box was. Or skip to 3:31 to see it in action.

The Applause Machine

The Applause Machine

“Finding a better way is all I do. You’re welcome, world.” For once comedic inventor Simone Giertz made a machine that doesn’t threaten to maim her. It’s still a piece of crap, but hey, baby steps. Check out her Pop Sci article for more.

Mischievous Useless Machine

Mischievous Useless Machine

Contrary to Redditor tytyvm’s experience, this isn’t the most amazing useless machine we’ve ever seen. But it’s quite witty and has a variety of sassy responses hidden in its tiny body.

Handwriting Automata Clock

Handwriting Automata Clock

This incredibly complex timepiece comes from design students at the Tohoku University of Art & Design in Japan. The intricate wooden machine uses more than 400 precision components to move an stylus that writes, then erases the current time like an Etch-a-Sketch.

LEGO Paper Plane Machine

LEGO Paper Plane Machine

LEGO machine building expert Arthur Sacek was approached by Arrow Electronics to design and build a LEGO contraption that could take a sheet of paper and turn it into an airplane. The result was not only a cool machine, but a great commercial. Behind the scenes video here.

Mecanum-wheeled Robots

Mecanum-wheeled Robots

These unusual wheels have found their way onto fork-lifts and other machinery in recent years, allowing vehicles to maneuver in all directions, and in very tight spaces without a steering rack. Here, we see some Robotnik Summit XL OMNIs strutting their stuff.

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Rube Goldberg Soda Machine

Rube Goldberg Soda Machine

YouTuber berlagawesome spent a total of 140h creating and trying to get his 175-step Rube Goldberg machine to work completely. There’s a thrift shop’s worth of odds and ends in there, and halfway through we actually forgot what its purpose was. Single camera perspective here.

High-Speed Milling Machine

High-Speed Milling Machine

A mesmerizing look at the dexterity and speed of a GROB-WERKE CNC milling machine, as it sculpts a solid block of metal into a precision part. The way it moves the object to meet the cutting blade is like a robotic ballet. More here.

Glass Steam Engine

Glass Steam Engine

Get a look at the inner workings of a steam engine with this impressive model built entirely from glass, by master glassblower Michal Zahradník. A couple of the engines have been made, then auctioned off on eBay. Keep an eye out here for future auctions.

The Tunnel Zipper Truck

The Tunnel Zipper Truck

Lock Block Ltd. built this custom truck which allows them to build free-standing tunnels by using the roller-covered, arched rear of the truck as a temporary support as their brick structures are set into place. We recommend changing your playback speed to 2x.

(Almost) Perpetual Motion Machine

(Almost) Perpetual Motion Machine

Physicists will quickly point out that magnets aren’t truly permanent, and energy is never truly “free,” but that doesn’t make inventor Reidar Finsrud’s wonderful and extraordinarily efficient kinetic sculpture that appears to move on its own forever any less impressive.

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