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.
After building himself an huge 3D printer from scratch, Ivan Miranda thought he could do even better. The new version features a more reliable, and lighter weight bed mechanism, and greater rigidity for the carriage and printer base. The goal is cleaner and more reliable oversize prints, and a machine that’s easier to work with.
Jason Allemann of JK Brickworks shows off another one of his impressive LEGO kinetic sculptures. This one features a duo of dolphins, each bobbing gracefully in and out of a deep blue ocean. You can grab the parts list and buy the build instructions on Rebrickable.
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.
“My heart is human, my blood is boiling, my brain IBM.” Styx’s 1983 track Mr. Roboto represented the pinnacle of overwrought concept rock. Yet there has yet to be a more appropriate song played by Paweł Zadrożniak’s electromechanical orchestra, the Floppotron and its servo-powered instrumentation.
Remix artist William Maranci did a great job combining the warm and inviting sounds of Wintergatan’s musical marble machine with Gorillaz’ track Feel Good Inc. As its musician and inventor cranks it up, Maranci has to fool with the BPM a bit, but that’s part of the fun.
Joseph’s Machines already got some salt, but he needs some pepper too. With social distancing measures in place, it’s important not to just hand it across the table, especially since it can make you sneeze. With some help from his friend JackofAllSpades98, they came up with a safer method of passing the shaker.
This highly-articulated LEGO Technic robot by Shadow Elenter uses 19 motors to move its wheels, arms, snippers and grippers to defuse, pick up, and dispose of a phony explosive payload. We’re not sure we’d use it for a real bomb threat, but we’re still impressed.
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.
Because he was hungry, Sprice Machines built a ridiculously complicated chain-reaction machine that’s designed solely for dunking a cookie in milk. It doesn’t even do a good job doing that, but it’s entertaining to watch it get there. Stick around for lots of trial and error footage.
With hoarding surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been quite the run on toilet paper here in the U.S. While add-on bidet toilet seats are always an option, Mike of Useless Duck Company thinks he’s got a more thorough solution – though his approach might be just a little more painful. Kids, don’t try this at home.
While it’s not as powerful or accurate as Mark Rober’s motorized playing card thrower, Brick Experiment Channel’s version is still pretty sweet, and was built entirely using LEGO components, giving it double the geek cred. Now we want him to build a version that fires cash… or minifigs.
RC model fan Bordin Luca shows off a massive LEGO Technic build based on Jeroen Ottens‘ design for a Liebherr LTM 11200 construction crane. The nearly 8000-piece model features motorized support legs, and a huge, extendable tower. It’s featured alongside several other large RC vehicles in the eBook Bigscale RC Model.
Electron Dust shows off a nifty machine that can bounce a ping pong ball, while keeping it balanced and centered on its moving platform. It uses combination of open-source image processing software and Arduino-controlled stepper motors to work its magic. More build details here.
LEGO Technic machine expert The Brick Wall created an amazing working sawmill that turns long logs into individual pieces of firewood. The wood is delivered on the back of a LEGO truck, then the factory cuts the wood into smaller logs, then splits them into quarters, ready for lighting.
There are professional card throwers out there who can land a playing card on its edge every time. But if you don’t possess those skills, you could always build a mechanical solution, like The Practical Engineer did. His motorized launcher can fire playing cards at speeds nearing 200km/h (or about 124 mph).
We’re surprised that LEGO machine expert JK Brickworks has never built a Great Ball Contraption module before, but his first one definitely lives up to his standards. Watch as four tiny LEGO robots work along an assembly line, each passing a ball to the next to move it down the line. It also appears to work as a hypnosis device.
While it’s not likely to be approved for use in an actual casino, Berthil van Beek’s motorized LEGO Technic roulette wheel is an impressive build. It’s designed to work as part of a larger great ball contraption, but is perfectly awesome all on its own. Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets!
It may not play music like Wintergatan’s marble-powered musical instrument, but we still enjoyed listening to the soothing sounds and watching the hypnotic movements of this wooden marble machine, which serves as an example of the modules you can buy from its creator.
Guinness World Records introduces us to animatronics and robotics expert Matt Denton, and his prize-winning walking robot, Mantis. This gigantic, diesel-powered hexapod weighs in at nearly 4200 pounds, and can stomp around while an operator rides in its mid-section. Matt also happens to be the co-creator of BB-8.
It might spill a little food along the way, but Joseph’s Machines‘ ridiculous Rube Goldberg contraption does ultimately perform the task it’s intended for, feeding him a tasty meal of peas, potatoes, asparagus, and chicken, along with a cupcake and a nice cup of coffee, all without getting up from his desk.
The Q takes a gamble with this build – a fully-functional slot machine built from cardboard, popsicle sticks, and hot glue. We love the detail he included on the reels to make it look like the real deal. Stick around for a few other fun DIY builds in this compilation video.
As far as we know, the longest home run hit ever was 582 feet by Joey Meyer – and that was with the help of Denver’s thin air. But pesky human ball players are no match for Smarter Every Day and Jeremy Fielding’s terrifying motorized batter built to hit a ball at speeds up to twice as fast as an pro player – if it doesn’t self destruct first.