Awesome Machines

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Setting up a Rube Goldberg machine and getting it to all work perfectly can be quite difficult. Filmmaker Tomohiro Okazaki took a different approach to making their machine, building an impossible chain-reaction sequence using stop-motion animation.

Skittle Pixel8r

Skittle Pixel8r

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.

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Doc Ock Claw Machine

Doc Ock Claw Machine

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.

Flexible LEGO Technic Tank

Flexible LEGO Technic Tank

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 Store Minifigure Factory

LEGO Store Minifigure Factory

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.

Epic Cardboard Marble Run

Epic Cardboard Marble Run

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.

The Un-Toaster

The Un-Toaster

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.

LEGO Car Climbs Challenging Obstacles

LEGO Car Climbs Challenging Obstacles

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.

Pneumatic LEGO GBC

Pneumatic LEGO GBC

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.

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.

The Human Catapult

The Human Catapult

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.

Automatic Hair Scissors

Automatic Hair Scissors

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.

How Paper Cups Are Made

How Paper Cups Are Made

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.

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Celluveyor Omnidirectional Conveyor System

Celluveyor Omnidirectional Conveyor System

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.

Tennis Balls vs. Razor Racket

Tennis Balls vs. Razor Racket

A normal tennis racket has gut, nylon, or polyester strings. But what if you replaced those strings with razor blades and then fired the ball at the racket with a powerful air cannon at 500+ MPH? Tyler Bell demonstrates exactly that, dicing up tennis balls in a fraction of a second with his deadly looking rig.

Human-Powered Tennis Ball Cannon

Human-Powered Tennis Ball Cannon

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.

How Cranes Build Themselves

How Cranes Build Themselves

Art of Engineering explains how the tall construction cranes used to build skyscrapers are able to increase their own height. The process known as “climbing” a tower crane requires precision and patience and can be incredibly dangerous if not done properly.

Stuff Made Here’s Shop Tour

Stuff Made Here’s Shop Tour

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.

Gravity-Powered Ropeway

Gravity-Powered Ropeway

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.

LEGO Robots Climb a Flagpole

LEGO Robots Climb a Flagpole

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.

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Tiny Marble Machine

Tiny Marble Machine

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.

The Breathing PC

The Breathing PC

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.

Portable Baseball Pitching Machine

Portable Baseball Pitching Machine

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.

CNC Machine Makes Its Own Parts

CNC Machine Makes Its Own Parts

Woodworker John Heisz of I Build It recently added a CNC router to his shop. As he’s continued to build his CNC skills, he put the machine to the test by having it fabricate wooden parts to replace its own drag chain. The flexible, segmented cover is designed to keep the machine’s cables safe and tangle-free.

Flexible Excavator

Flexible Excavator

European construction equipment manufacturer Menzi Muck shows off its M545x excavator. This flexible machine has articulated hydraulic legs which can adapt and adjust to varying terrain and that can bend and flex in such a way that it can balance tripod style on three of its wheels or on its bucket and earth grippers.

Animated Graffiti

Animated Graffiti

Artist Niklas Roy shows off a computer-controlled graffiti painting machine called the Graffomat. In this example, the motorized plotter sprays out a sequence of images that serve as frames for brief animations. Now he needs some spray paints that don’t drip so much.

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