Awesome Machines

LEGO Basketball Shooter

LEGO Basketball Shooter

We love the creative ideas that LEGO builders come up with for Great Ball Contraptions. In this video, NDL-GBC shows off a machine that feeds miniature basketballs to minifig players who shoot them through a hoop. His design was inspired by a similar carousel by Charles Pascale. Build guide on Rebrickable.

100 Wheel LEGO Car

100 Wheel LEGO Car

It took the Brick Experiment Channel quite a bit of work to put together this over-the-top LEGO creation. What they ended up with was a crazy, trackless train of sorts, driven by a total of 100 wheels, 50 axles, 11 motors, and 4 battery boxes. It’s not the most reliable or agile ride, though.

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LEGO Particle Accelerator

LEGO Particle Accelerator

Jason from JK Brickworks shows off a nifty LEGO machine inspired by the design of particle accelerators. Instead of zooming protons and electrons around its ring, this one accelerates and collides tiny plastic spheres. A build kit will be crowdfunded on Bricklink, with limited time pre-orders kicking off 7.1.2021.

Fingerbot Plus

Fingerbot Plus

The Fingerbot Plus is an upgraded version of Adaprox’s tiny remote-controlled machine. In addition to its flipping all kinds of switches and pushing all kinds of buttons, it now has a touchpad so you can control devices when you don’t have your phone handy. It also has greater pushing force and a higher battery capacity.

Never-ending LEGO Climber

Never-ending LEGO Climber

Jason of JK Brickworks built this wonderful mechanical LEGO plaything inspired by an equally great retro Japanese battery commercial. It features a fire-fighting robot dog that climbs to the top of a tower, then smoothly descends to the bottom to repeat the task over and over.

Five Tilted Rings LEGO GBC

Five Tilted Rings LEGO GBC

LEGO mechanical wizard Akiyuki shows off a hypnotic Great Ball Contraption module that carries miniature balls to the top of a series of five stacked and tilted rings. We wish we could shrink down to tiny basketball size and take a ride on this thing. Stick around to see two more variants which ride on a spinning base.

CNC Engraving a Coin

CNC Engraving a Coin

YouTuber Phuc Nguyen shared this hypnotic video of an intricate image being engraved out of a thick disc of brass. He used a Woodpecker DP1212 CNC router, and a variety of different tooling bits to gradually increase the detail of the design.

Rube Goldberg Pizza Factory

Rube Goldberg Pizza Factory

Rube Goldberg machine creator Joseph’s Machines came up with the best way to make pizza ever. The clever invention uses a model railroad engine to spin the pizza, while various other mechanisms layer on the ingredients. Now he just needs to figure out a way to move it into the oven.

RopeCon Outdoor Conveyor System

RopeCon Outdoor Conveyor System

What you’re looking at here is one incredible feat of engineering. Developed by ski lift company Doppelmayr, the RopeCon system is a massive outdoor conveyor. This installation transports 1,000 metric tons of gold ore every hour over 1/4-mile of steep terrain at a mining operation in Mexico.

LEGO Bridge Factory

LEGO Bridge Factory

LEGO machine makers The Brick Wall have outdone themselves with their latest construction. This enormous and complex Technic machine is engineered to automatically install a bridge. It first deploys and positions its support towers, then gradually adds the bridge deck and roadway for vehicles to drive over.

All-Track LEGO Crawler

All-Track LEGO Crawler

GazR’s Extreme Brick Machines created this unusual LEGO Technic vehicle that gets around on eight tank-like continous tracks. It’s driven by eight large Powered Up motors, and its articulated outer tracks allow it to climb stairs and maneuver on uneven, rocky terrain.

LEGO Domino Machine 2

LEGO Domino Machine 2

We’ve previously seen a LEGO machine that could neatly distribute and space wooden dominoes. But this one works a bit differently. JK Brickworks‘ machine carries stacks of LEGO bricks in a cartridge then dispenses them to form perfect lines of dominoes. Its drivetrain allows it to be driven in straight lines or curves.

The Hole Doesn’t Move

The Hole Doesn’t Move

We spotted Tony Romero’s video on the Oddly Satisfying subreddit, and it definitely satisfies that criteria. What you’re about to watch is footage of an industrial lathe spinning an off-center workpiece with a centered hole drilled into it. The result is the illusion that the hole is staying in one place the whole time.

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SainSmart Genmitsu CNC Router Machine

SainSmart Genmitsu CNC Router Machine
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This compact machine offers a great and inexpensive entry point to computer-controlled fabrication. It can be set up in less than 30 minutes and can mill various materials like foam, wood, plastics, and metals. Its working area measures 300mm x 180mm and can work on objects up to 45mm thick.

How to Remove Corn from the Cob

How to Remove Corn from the Cob

Removing corn kernels from the cob can be an arduous and time-consuming task. But not so for Handy Geng, who built himself a ridiculously over-engineered machine that spews out corn kernels by the hundreds after loading up its magazine. He probably should invest in a bigger basket though.

Making Glass Soda Bottles

Making Glass Soda Bottles

We’ve taken you inside of a factory that makes plastic bottles, now see how more environmentally-friendly glass bottles are born. New Age Media posted this video of a high-speed production line that takes molten blobs of glass, blows them into molds, then passes them through a series of conveyors as they cool.

Wainlux L3 Desktop Laser Cutter + Engraver

Wainlux L3 Desktop Laser Cutter + Engraver

This compact desktop laser can cut wood, acrylic, leather, and other textiles, and the 10-watt model can engrave just about anything, including glass and aluminum, and cut through 5mm wood in a single pass. Its bed is large enough for objects up to 8.26″ x 7.48″, and an optional roller allows for engraving cylindrical objects.

Mini Chain-Link Fence Machine

Mini Chain-Link Fence Machine

We’ve seen how factories make full-size chain-link fencing by bending and twisting stiff wire. Now watch how it’s done on a much smaller scale. W&M Levsha created this custom machine that bends copper wire into the proper angles to make a mini fence. The weaving still needs to be done by hand though.

Machining Linked Copper Rings

Machining Linked Copper Rings

Watch as a solid block of copper is magically transformed into a set of linking rings with the help of talented metalsmith Viktor Leontiev and his trusty milling machine. The finished piece looks great set onto its hand-turned wooden base.

How a Bowling Pinsetter Machine Works

How a Bowling Pinsetter Machine Works

We’ve previously taken a behind-the-scenes tour of a bowling alley. This video from 3D animator Jared Owen offers a more in-depth explanation of the engineering and mechanics that go into the machine that magically straightens and resets the pins between balls.

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LEGO Tamburo Meccanico

LEGO Tamburo Meccanico

Inspired by a mechanical drum-playing machine designed by Leonardo Da Vinci, this LEGO music maker by Giuseppe Acito uses a series of pegs placed onto a spinning wheel to trigger sound sequences as its “fingers” press keys connected to synthesizers.

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.

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.

4-Side LEGO Walker

4-Side LEGO Walker

2in1 Bricking loves to create LEGO machines that can walk or drive. This particular model is designed to amble along the ground no matter which edge it’s placed on. Can you imagine giant robots or vehicles getting around like this?

The Mini Mutoscope

The Mini Mutoscope
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Created by Tentacle Media Ltd., the Mini-Mutoscope is a 3D-printed replica of a 19th-century mechanical flipbook. The display works like an animation flipbook, only its movements are smoothly controlled by a crank. It holds up to 42 squares that you can load with your own animations, or one of the samples provided by Tentacle.

How Steel Chains are Made

How Steel Chains are Made

Think of how strong a steel chain can be. Then imagine the forces that must be necessary to shape and connect its links. In this video from Engineering and Architecture, we get an up-close look at a specialized machine that takes lengths of steel wire, then scores, cuts, bends, and presses the pieces together.

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