THE BEST Machines

iPad LEGO Spirograph

iPad LEGO Spirograph

LEGO Technic expert Yoshihito ISOGAWA created a couple of neat little drawing machines, which spin around while holding an Apple Pencil, resulting in Spirograph-style drawings on an iPad screen. He also made a rig that does pointilist drawings.

Weaving a Carbon Fiber Rocket Tank

Weaving a Carbon Fiber Rocket Tank

Hypnotic video footage of a rocket propellant tank being made by wrapping and weaving layers of carbon composite filament around an aluminum form. The custom-built machine and software were engineered by the literal rocket scientists at Interorbital Systems.

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Incredible LEGO GBC

Incredible LEGO GBC

One of the more impressive LEGO Great Ball Contraptions we’ve seen turned up at Japan Brickfest 2018. Among its contributors was Akiyuky, whose modules wowed the crowd with all manner of hypnotically moving parts, while his LEGO Technic railway shuttled balls alongside.

LEGO Tower Climbing Machines

LEGO Tower Climbing Machines

Builder munimuni Bekkan first plays around with a spring-loaded LEGO machine that can climb a tower, then proceeds to evolve his design into a motorized contraption that carries, then stacks its own Duplo brick tower to climb.

Machining the Eiffel Tower

Machining the Eiffel Tower

German CNC machine maker Hermle shares footage of its C 42 U 5-axis milling machine cranking out an intricate model of the Eiffel Tower, carved from a single block of solid aluminum. Why can’t we have a machine like this in The Awesomer office?

LEGO Demolition Machine

LEGO Demolition Machine

Tearing down LEGO buildings usually requires plucking bricks off by hand. But Shadow Elenter’s approach is way cooler. He built a crane to do his demolition, using LEGO Technic parts and 18 motors. It can lift items, knock them down, and claw or break them apart.

Laser Etching a Bitcoin

Laser Etching a Bitcoin

Heads or Tales Coins & Collectibles presents a wonderfully satisfying video showing a laser etching machine making a cold storage coin – a physical manifestation of cryptocurrency. These coins feature a unique private key which can be used to unlock its bearer’s Bitcoins.

Pass the Salt

Pass the Salt

So you need to get salt from one end of the table to the other. You could just stand up and walk it down, or you could do what Joseph’s Machines did, and build a ridiculously complicated Rube Goldberg machine to perform the task for you.

Back Scratching Chair

Back Scratching Chair

After making a machine that can automatically pet his dog, woodworker Matt Thompson decided to make something nice for himself – an Adirondack chair that can scratch his back and massage his scalp automatically

LEGO Pixel Displays

LEGO Pixel Displays

LEGO builder D FB shows off an amazing contraption which uses LEGO bricks to flip pixels on a display. There’s a motorized scroller version, and a hand-cranked one. Learn about how it works on the Eurobricks forum.

How to Harvest Olives

How to Harvest Olives

While the traditional method of harvesting olives uses rakes to knock them off trees, we prefer this method from Afron Machinery, which involves surrounding the tree with tarps, then shaking the hell out of its trunk to release the fruit onto a sorting machine.

Machining a Giant Gear

Machining a Giant Gear

A look inside the P. van der Wegen Gear factory, where they make enormous gears for mining applications. While the process of milling these massive parts is truly fascinating, we can only imagine what they look like when in use in the machinery they’re destined for.

LEGO Catch and Spin Robots

LEGO Catch and Spin Robots

Mechanical LEGO master Akiyuky shows off a fun Great Ball Contraption module. This one features two tiny robots who clap their hands awaiting a ball delivery, then spin around and drop them into the next stage when they detect one in their grabby mitts.

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LEGO Ride of Blades

LEGO Ride of Blades

Take a trip on latest LEGO thrill ride from builder Shadow Elenter. Comprised of close calls with spinning saw blades, collapsing walls, and swinging swords, the ride plays out more like a level from God of War than an amusement park ride.

The Staircase Treadmill

The Staircase Treadmill

Inventor and maker of crazy stuff Colin Furze decided to build himself one of the most torturous pieces of home fitness equipment ever – a treadmill that runs up the staircase. Our knees hurt just watching this one. Coming downstairs looks like fun though.

Coil Wrapping Machine

Coil Wrapping Machine

A wonderfully satisfying bit of engineering wizardry. What you’re looking at is a specialized industrial machine which spins a roll of plastic wrap around a freshly-milled steel coil until it’s fully protected for shipment. Here’s a slightly more sleepy look at a similar machine.

Keaton Music Typewriter

Keaton Music Typewriter

A brief demonstration of a rare piece of office equipment c. 1953. The Keaton Music Typewriter made it relatively easy to create sheet music much in the same way you’d type a letter. If you made a mistake, however, you’d have to wait until 1956 for correction fluid to be invented.

Transforming LEGO Howitzer Tank

Transforming LEGO Howitzer Tank

LEGO master Shadow Elenter shows off another impressive Technic build. His latest creation is a Howitzer style tank that weighs in at 12 pounds. It has working treads, and some amazing weaponry, including a massive gun that plants itself to handle its recoil.

The Robot Juggler

The Robot Juggler

We have a hard enough time keeping two balls in the air at the same time, but this robotic contraption is able to deftly juggle five balls at once. It’s even smart enough to detect when a ball is intentionally dropped and resumes without skipping a beat.

Polar Drawing Machine

Polar Drawing Machine

ft Robotics shows off a nifty Arduino Mega and Fischertechnik based plotter. Unlike other drawing machines which are driven by cartesian coordinates, this one uses polar coordinates. It draws by moving a pen along one axis, while a turntable rotates beneath its retractable pen.

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Ink Oscillations / Drawing Machine

Ink Oscillations / Drawing Machine

French artist Parse/Error created a machine to produce his rhythmic and undulating line drawings. The designer conceives each image on a computer, while the machine acts as his hands and outputs his work. You can purchase original drawings in the Parse/Error shop.

11,000 Marble Run

11,000 Marble Run

Jelle’s Marble Runs shares a hypnotic look at a lengthy marble machine that sends 11,000 marbles cascading through ramps, tracks, teeter-totters, courses dotted with nails, and culminating with a tray that releases a flood of 10,000 marbles at once.

Golf Course Aerator Machine

Golf Course Aerator Machine

This brief demonstration of a machine designed to aerate lawns on golf courses is equal parts fascinating and terrifying, if you imagine how one might be used to gruesomely finish off a victim in a horror movie.

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 which takes small plastic tubes, heats them up, and then blows them into a mold to make water bottles. The same basic process is even used for big 5-gallon bottles.

Milling Copper Rings

Milling 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.

LEGO Halloween Candy Launcher

LEGO Halloween Candy Launcher

LEGO machine maker JK Brickworks follows up last year’s Halloween candy dispenser with an even better one. His latest machine spins round and round, and flings candy bars at the kids. Want one? Buy the LEGO 17101 BOOST Creative Toolbox, and follow the directions here.

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