Awesome Machines

How Plastic Bottles are Made

How Plastic Bottles are Made

Did you know that plastic bottles are blown like glass? Us neither. Here’s a look at a fascinating machine that takes small plastic tubes, heats them, and then blows them into a mold to make water bottles. The same basic process is even used for big 5-gallon bottles.

Golf Club Shooter Caddy

Golf Club Shooter Caddy

When we first read the headline for Nick O’Hara’s Golf Club Shooter, we thought it was for throwing clubs when you’re having a bad day. But it’s much more helpful. This machine is a remote-controlled caddy that rotates to the specific club you want then tosses it to you. It can also recommend a club using a voice assistant.

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LEGO Automated Toilet Paper Dispenser

LEGO Automated Toilet Paper Dispenser

Smoothly dispensing toilet paper is definitely a first-world problem. In fact, we’re not even sure it’s a problem that needs to be solved at all. But that didn’t stop LEGO maker Technic Brick from engineering a solution using a variety of gears, connectors, a motor, an ultrasonic sensor, and an Arduino controller.

LEGO Technic Table Saw

LEGO Technic Table Saw

It’s possible to make saw blades out of materials other than metal. GazR’s Extreme Brick Machines not only built a saw blade out of LEGO Technic parts, but an entire working table saw. It uses 14 motors to cut through objects and is definitely not something you’d want to stick your finger into. Here it is using a skinnier blade.

Bottle Cap Making Machine

Bottle Cap Making Machine

In this video from Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, they show how their El-Exis SP injection molding machine makes plastic bottle caps. Each time its molds fill with plastic, it stamps out 96 identical bottle caps, repeating the process every 1.9 seconds. We love that top-down view of all the caps falling to the production line below.

Robotic Wheelchair Lifter Arm

Robotic Wheelchair Lifter Arm

Getting around in a wheelchair poses its challenges, especially when it comes to putting your chair away after sitting in a car. The AbiLoader by AbiliQuip can lift up a wheelchair parked next to the driver’s door and stow or retrieve it from the trunk in just 25 seconds.

Wearable Robot Disc Launcher

Wearable Robot Disc Launcher

Shane from Stuff Made Here has made a career out of cheating at sports through the power of science and engineering. His latest build is a robust machine that can fling frisbees at speeds up to 115 mph. But can he use it without it breaking his arm?

Cleaning Steel from a Laser Cutter Bed

Cleaning Steel from a Laser Cutter Bed

Industrial laser cutters can slice through steel, but they leave behind bits of metal called slag on their work surfaces. While placing materials on support slats helps, there’s still a mess to clean up. This slat cleaner from TRUMPF offers a satisfying way to remove that debris. We want something like this for our BBQ grill.

Uniek Tabletop Pottery Studio

Uniek Tabletop Pottery Studio

The Uniek is a tiny pottery studio you can take anywhere. It combines a miniature motorized potter’s wheel, a water pool, and a tool kit for refining and detailing your work. It doesn’t include a tiny kiln, though, so you’ll probably want to work with air-dry clay.

37 Chain Reaction Machines

37 Chain Reaction Machines

It can be so fun to watch chain reaction machines do their thing. In this collaborative video from DaksDominoes, 18 builders teamed up to showcase their machines and linked them together with editing to make it look like one massive construction. The one with the gears at 5:15 was our favorite.

Wall Mural Printer

Wall Mural Printer

Normally, if you want a mural on your wall, you need to paint it. But the guys at Russia’s Cool Print SPB have a computer-controlled rig that does all the hard work. The machine rides on rails and then moves along the wall like a gigantic inkjet printer, outputting large-scale, full-color images. Longer tracks = wider images.

Monster LEGO Technic Tank

Monster LEGO Technic Tank

This impressive LEGO Technic vehicle uses 16 Mindstorms EV3 controllers and 48 motors to drive its tank-like treads along the ground. Its builder, Eric Steenstra says it can tow over 220 pounds, so he likes to use it to pull people in their wheelchairs.

Fun with Sheet Metal

Fun with Sheet Metal

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.

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Hubless LEGO Tank

Hubless LEGO Tank

GazR’s Extreme Brick Machines continues to impress us with their wild and inventive LEGO engineering. After showing off some unusual LEGO car designs, they took the same idea as their hubless car and applied it to tank treads. The vehicle has a truly unique look, is surprisingly agile, and capable of crawling over rough terrain.

Paper + Pencil Manga Machines

Paper + Pencil Manga Machines

Shinrashinge creates amazing interactive manga which play out with the turn of a pencil. Each one is made from a series of opaque and tracing paper rolls that overlay and combine to tell a story. Watch three more of their tear-jerking manga machine stories here, here, and here.

How Cardboard Tubes Are Made

How Cardboard Tubes Are Made

Heavy-duty cardboard tubes are used to protect rolled goods in transit and provide forms for concrete construction projects. SBS Tube shows off the production process behind these large tubes, which involves gluing together numerous individual strips of brown paper around a metal roller.

How a Coin Counting Machine Works

How a Coin Counting Machine Works

This Cummins Allison Jetsort coin sorter machine can count and separate 10,000 coins per minute, yet its sorting mechanism has just a single moving part. YouTuber Herb-O-Matic shows how its centrifugal action and precision-cut grooves ensure the right coins go into the right slots and bags. Full video here.

Loafing Around

Loafing Around

Sit back and enjoy this 14-minute video from a bread factory in Korea, where ingredients are combined, then kneaded into dough and baked in industrial ovens. Then the freshly-baked loaves of white and chestnut bread glide along an assembly line, tumble out of their pans, and head to the cooling racks before slicing.

Optic Portable Laser Cutter

Optic Portable Laser Cutter

Laser cutters are useful tools to have in a workshop, but they take up a lot of space. Rendyr’s Optic Laser Cutter folds up small when not in use, and its detachable cutting mat means you can cut on top of objects like tabletops for a virtually limitless work area. It has dual laser diodes totaling 15-watts and a built-in filtration system.

How Factories Make Pasta

How Factories Make Pasta

We know that pasta isn’t good for you, but we can’t resist the occasional bowl of carbs drowned in tomatoes, meat, and cheese. Wondastic Tech put together this satisfying compilation of factories that produce pasta, showing off the different machines used to form shapes like tortellini, fusilli, lasagna, and cannelloni.

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LEGO Technic Motorized Press

LEGO Technic Motorized Press

While it can’t keep up with the Hydraulic Press Channel’s 150-ton industrial press, we’re still quite impressed with this LEGO Technic machine which has enough power to juice an orange or flatten a carrot. GazR’s Extreme Brick Machines built this press using Eight Powered Up L motors, 24 actuators, and two Smart Hubs.

Making a Coin Sorter Machine

Making a Coin Sorter Machine

It’s easy enough to build a simple sorter that organizes coins based on size, but Daniele Tartaglia went the extra mile. The maker created an electromechanical coin sorting machine that not only separates and stacks coins based on denominations but counts and totals them as they drop through a curvy maze.

Finger Flick Machine

Finger Flick Machine

Is your finger flick underpowered? Worry no longer! Thanks to The Q, there’s now a solution for weak finger flickers. The maker designed and fabricated a metal cover that gives his middle finger an extra boost of power thanks to a spring-loaded mechanism. This must be killer for paper football games.

Micro-machining a Mountain

Micro-machining a Mountain

As impressive as large-scale milling machines can be, compact machines that can create intricate parts are equally fascinating to us. In this clip, Bantam Tools shows off their Desktop PCB Milling Machine as it carves a miniature topographic map of Washington’s Mount Rainier out of a cube of aluminum.

LathePro Modular Machining System

LathePro Modular Machining System

This modular tabletop machine gives makers the tools they need to drill, grind, saw, turn, mill, and lathe objects. Its tools work with wood, metal, and engineering plastics and is ideal for DIYers. The base kit includes sawing, grinding, and drilling modules, while milling, lathing, and wood-turning are add-ons.

DIY Cupcake Machine

DIY Cupcake Machine

What’s better than a delicious cupcake? A machine that can crank out cupcakes for you on-demand, that’s what. Skeyntific shows off a robotic factory line he built that first pours dough for each cupcake, moves it into a modified microwave for cooking, then applies toppings using motorized caulking guns.

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