Awesome Machines

Mechanical Man Kinetic Wall Art

Mechanical Man Kinetic Wall Art

Mechanical engineer Kiyoshi Adachi created this wonderful work of kinetic wall art which features a tiny metal man who turns a crank, setting into motion a ballet of spinning gears and dancing rods. Those elliptical gears are especially cool.

Sandwich Assembly Robot

Sandwich Assembly Robot

Mechanical engineer Kuroki Yuto and his collaborators came up with a novel use for a 3D printer mechanism – using the 3-axis machine to manipulate and assemble parts. In this video, they show how the system can be used to put together a sandwich. They used the same technique to assemble a toy car and to fold a shirt.

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Bowling Ball Balancing Machine

Bowling Ball Balancing Machine

Try to balance a bowling ball on a circular object, and you’ll almost certainly fail. But engineer Stepan Ozana shows how it’s possible to do just that with a machine. It uses a principle called LQR and REXYGEN control software to monitor the ball’s position and to rapidly move the wheel back and forth to keep the ball from falling.

Propeller Copying Machine

Propeller Copying Machine

Aviation enthusiast Viktor built a custom machine that can make identical copies of paramotor propellers. Area28 shared this video that shows how it works by the form of the original, much like one of those machines they use to copy keys. Skip to 6:10 for the money shot.

How Espresso Machines Are Made

How Espresso Machines Are Made

How It’s Made takes us inside the factory for WEGA, makers of high-end commercial espresso machines. There, industrial machines transform sheets of steel into parts, then skilled workers assemble dozens of components, including a large copper and brass boiler that sits at the center of each machine.

Useless Machine Battle

Useless Machine Battle

A useless machine is a contraption that’s designed to automatically flip its own switch off as soon as you flip it on. Fornax built a pair of 8-switch useless machines, then linked them up to flip each other’s switches, resulting in a perpetual battle for switch-flipping supremacy.

Boston Dynamics Stretch Robot

Boston Dynamics Stretch Robot

Skynet, er Boston Dynamics reveals another of our future robotic overlords. Stretch is a wheeled robot that uses an articulated arm and suction grabber to pick up and carry objects, reducing repetitive and back-breaking work for humans. Watch it pick up a Spot robot, then set up and operate a box handling line.

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.

LEGO 7-Segment Display

LEGO 7-Segment Display

A while back, expert LEGO engineer and mathematician Alexander Holroyd created a 7-segment display that uses LEGO Technic parts to change digits. Fello LEGO fan and GBC builder Fernando recreated the intriguing machine, and shared video footage of his version in action.

Wind-up Marble Machine

Wind-up Marble Machine

Most of the marble machines we’ve seen are either powered by gravity or motors. But builder Daniel de Bruin shows us how he made a mechanism that stores up energy using a spring, carrying marbles to the top of a tiny bent-wire maze using a Ferris wheel of sorts.

Self-Balancing Cube

Self-Balancing Cube

It’s pretty tricky to balance a cube on one of its corners or edges. But ReM-RC shows off a really cool machine they built that does just that automatically. The system uses an ESP32 controller, an MPU-6050 gyroscope-accelerometer chip, and a set of three servo motors that spin wheels to maintain its balance.

Mayku FormBox Vacuformer

Mayku FormBox Vacuformer

Mayku’s FormBox brings the power of vacu-forming to your desktop. It connects to an ordinary vacuum cleaner and heats thermoplastic sheets to create objects and molds. Its can mold objects up to 150mm x 150mm (~5.9″ x 5.9″) and can mold objects up to 130mm tall (~5.11″). It works with a various plastics in from 0.25 – 1.5mm thick.

Chain: The Secret Life of Components

Chain: The Secret Life of Components

Engineer and inventor Tim Hunkin is the man behind the beloved UK educational series The Secret Life of Machines. Each episode of his new YouTube series will dive deep with a specific component. Episode 1 teaches everything you’ve ever wanted to know about chains and belts, along with their history, physics, and varieties.

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The Egg Machine

The Egg Machine

There’s something immensely satisfying about this video of the SANOVO OptiBreaker, a specialized assembly line machine which ingests over 200,000 eggs hourly, gently cracks each one, then separates the whites from the yolks. It also can wash itself automatically.

The Productivity Booster Machine

The Productivity Booster Machine

It’s nice to be able to work from home, but it’s easy to get distracted too. Sprice Machines came up with a solution – a silly Rube Goldberg contraption that’s designed to keeps him focused on the task at hand. Or is it a Productivity Killer Machine?

Laser Fabricates a Drone

Laser Fabricates a Drone

Engineers from MIT CSAIL have developed LaserFactory, an innovative fabrication machine that uses a modified laser cutter to create entire devices. It can cut parts, pour silver circuit traces, and place electronic components all in one system. In this video, it makes a drone, which flies straight out of the machine.

How a Tank Works

How a Tank Works

Jared Owen always does a great job explaining how things work by creating 3D animations of their inner workings. This time, he walks us through the caterpillar-tracked M1A2 Abrams tank, which weighs in at an incredible 68 tons, and can cross just about any terrain. We had no idea these things were powered by jet fuel.

Drilling Hundreds of Holes

Drilling Hundreds of Holes

To prove how fast and durable the Kennametal HPR drill bit is, the guys from Titans of CNC: Academy programmed one of their machines to drill a perfect grid of 672 holes in a block of cast iron. The tool moves at an impressive 103 inches-per-minute, drilling 1.85″ deep holes over and over again without wearing down.

Shark with Hydraulic Jaws

Shark with Hydraulic Jaws

Stuck at home under quarantine, builder Colin Furze was feeling restless, so he decided to piece something together from items he had around his shop. The monstrosity you see here is a plastic shark head that Colin retrofitted with a 10-ton hydraulic jack and pointy metal teeth. Let the crushing begin!

Ammo Up Ammunition Picker Uppers

Ammo Up Ammunition Picker Uppers

Designed for cleaning up firing ranges and paintball fields, the Ammo-Up makes quick work of spent shell casing and paintball pellets. The machine rolls along and snatches up ammo with “fingers” and deposits them into a bin for easy disposal or recycling. They also make a compact model which you poke at the ground.

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Making a Flywheel Trebuchet

Making a Flywheel Trebuchet

Engineer Tom Stanton is fascinated by the way in which flywheels can store up energy as they’re spun up to speed. In this clip, he combines a flywheel mechanism with a sturdy aluminum trebuchet, creating a durable machine that can toss a tennis ball at fast as 180 mph.

The Bagel Buzzsaw

The Bagel Buzzsaw

Boston bagel chain Finagle a Bagel slices its bagels in the best possible way. After each bagel ordered is placed onto a conveyor belt, it heads into a rapidly-spinning circular saw blade, which cuts the bagel in half and flings it towards the cashier at lightning speed.

DIY No-Dip Bubble Wand

DIY No-Dip Bubble Wand

Normally, if you want to blow big bubbles, you need to dip a bubble wand in a pool of soap bubbles. But designer pojken shows off a fun and easy gizmo that uses a pressurized garden sprayer, a wand, and a string frame to continuously feed giant bubbles on demand. Learn to build your own on Instructables.

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.

Over-engineered Candy Dispenser

Over-engineered Candy Dispenser

You could just put M&Ms in a candy dish, or you could overengineer a solution like JBV Creative did. The machine is basically a tiny candy factory that dishes out individual candies from a storage tank onto a conveyor belt and then into a tray. Money shot at 7:56. Want your own? Grab the STL files for 3D printing here.

Milling a Metal Gear

Milling a Metal Gear

Machine shop DataPro shares hypnotic footage of a Datron CNC milling machine, as it takes a disc of aluminum and transforms it into a precise and smoothly formed gear. It was shot as a time-lapse, but won’t it be awesome when machines can do this in real time?

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