THE BEST Machines

Gears in Motion

Gears in Motion

Do you like mechanical things? Then sit back and enjoy the next 2-1/2 minutes of engineering porn, as we get a gander at several amazing gizmos built by the late Pat Conkle, a machinist who built geared contraptions like these to demonstrate mechanical principles.

LEGO Plant Harvester

LEGO Plant Harvester

When The Brick Wall’s mom requested that he pick some fresh fruits and veggies from their backyard, he set about it the only way a LEGO fanatic knows how – by building a Technic machine to do the work for him. The harvester can pluck, pick, and cut stalks.

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The Nexus K’NEX Ball Machine

The Nexus K’NEX Ball Machine

If you thought The Citadel was complex, check out builder Samuel Hunt’s insanely complex K’NEX ball machine. It’s made from over 50,000 pieces, has 6 networks, 33 paths, and 13 lifts. It took him nearly 2 years to construct and film all of its paths and mechanisms.

Hand-cranked Drawing Machine

Hand-cranked Drawing Machine

3DSage got their hands on this nifty mechanical device from Japan – it’s a hand-operated gadget which follows the outlines of a stack of disks to move its arm, which in turn draws a corresponding image. A web-based conversion tool is used to design disk templates.

How Paper Clips Are Made

How Paper Clips Are Made

A look at the Rudolf Grauer BK-1500 – a machine designed to crank out up to 1500 paper clips per minute in a variety of shapes by bending stiff strands of wire. The voiceover is in German, but that just makes the engineering seem even more serious and impressive.

Heavy Duty LEGO Lifter

Heavy Duty LEGO Lifter

We always assumed that LEGO constructions were fairly delicate, and certainly not capable of lifting more weight than we can. But the Brick Experiment Channel shows off a contraption they built that can lift 102.2 kg, or about 224.8 lb, using only LEGO Technic parts and string.

LEGO Spinning Gimbals

LEGO Spinning Gimbals

Brick builder Sheo shows off a slick LEGO Technic build that uses three independent rings which allow each one to rotate on its own perpendicular axis. We’d love to see it running at a higher speed, but it’s still an amazing contraption. More build details here.

Miniature 16-cyl Stirling Engine

Miniature 16-cyl Stirling Engine

JohnnyQ90 shows off a sweet miniature gas-powered stirling engine. It’s powerful enough to spin a propellor to nearly 2,000 RPM, so keep your fingers away. While Johnny made the turbine fan, he’s quick to point out that you can buy the engine itself from Banggood.

Spherical Shrub Machine

Spherical Shrub Machine

We’re completely mesmerized by this little machine – the Orlandi RAP 10 trimmer – whose sole purpose in life is to take unkempt natural shrubberies, and trim them into perfectly groomed, spherical bushes. Skip to 3:20 for the Edward Scissorhands action.

Marbles, Magnets, and Music

Marbles, Magnets, and Music

Tinkerer of things DoodleChaos set up a maze of Jenga blocks, dominoes, sticks, magnets, and other bits and bobs, and precisely placed them such that a series of ball bearings dropped into the them syncs up perfectly with Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers.

Beerjet Machine

Beerjet Machine

This Austrian-developed machine is designed to pour up to six perfect glasses of beer in less than 10 seconds – making it ideal for sports, concerts, and other events where speed of serving is key. The Beerjet 6 can dispense up to 1000 16-ounce servings per hour.

Down to Earth

Down to Earth

Artist and experimental filmmaker Anna Vasof decided that shoes should serve more purpose than to just cover our feet, and added some new functionality to a variety of footwear in her strange but entertaining short film. The card-shuffler shoes are our favorite.

LEGO Mecanum Ring Vehicle

LEGO Mecanum Ring Vehicle

LEGO machine builder Yoshihito Isogawa’s latest motorized build is super slick. It uses roller-style Mecanum wheels to allow it to freely roam in any direction without a traditional steering mechanism.

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Ball-making Machine

Ball-making Machine

Footage of a machine that quickly makes wooden beads, using a lathe, hole saw and a drill. A square stick of wood is spun on one axis, and is gradually moved into the saw which spits out a finished ball. Here’s a similar machine that’s equally satisfying.

High-tech Knifemaking

High-tech Knifemaking

We’ve seen knives being made using classic blacksmithing techniques, but Gough Custom, shows off how they make their Resolute MkIII knives using modern materials and CNC technology. Machines or not, there’s still a ton of labor and craftsmanship in each knife.

4-Mation Zoetrope

4-Mation Zoetrope

A zoetrope machine that plays 3D-printed animations by spinning them on a disc in front of an array of LED strobe lights. The machine will offer interchangeable animation plates you can print like the fish-eating-fish and jumping frogs shown here. Coming to Kickstarter.

Stone Cutting Machine

Stone Cutting Machine

Footage of an amazing machine in a quarry in Malta, which makes quick work of cutting slabs of stone using a pair of deadly looking saw blades which slice through the hard material like a hot knife through butter. The guy walking alongside better watch his step.

Robot Convention Highlight Reel

Robot Convention Highlight Reel

Does machine automation give you a thrill? Then tune in now for 10 minutes of robot porn, recorded by HD1080ide at Hannover Messe 2017, where robots poured beer, wielded lightsabers, lifted cars, played air hockey, and secretly conspired to take over the world.

AxiDraw V3 XLX

AxiDraw V3 XLX

Evil Mad Scientist Labs‘ borderline magical AxiDraw now has a variant that reaches up to two sheets of US Letter or A4 in one go, making it faster and more efficient. Just like the V3, it can use normal pens and markers to make “handwritten” letters and drawings.

LEGO Halloween Machine

LEGO Halloween Machine

Too lazy to deal with trick-or-treaters this Halloween? Then you need to build a machine like the one that JK Brickworks made. This fun LEGO robot delivers individual candies with its skeleton hand, then gives kids a scare when they try to grab their treats.

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ZarPlotter Drawing Machine

ZarPlotter Drawing Machine

This cable-driven machine holds a pen in its grip and can not only draw intricate and detailed lettering, but can emulate the imperfections of handwriting. It can create calligraphy and draw images as well. Contact ZarPlotter if you’re interested in purchasing one.

Adrift Machine 9

Adrift Machine 9

This electromechanical sound maker uses moving turntable arms to select and play grooves carved into an enormous cylinder. The positions of the arms and sounds played correspond to the positions of 27,000 pieces of space junk drifting about over our heads.

The Crab Terminator

The Crab Terminator

If you think crabs are adorable little creatures not meant to be chopped up and eaten, look away. Otherwise, check out this fascinating bit of machine porn – a horrifying robot designed for separating the parts of the crustaceans so humans can enjoy the meat inside.

Manual Coin Sorting Machine

Manual Coin Sorting Machine

While banks and even grocery stores have fully automated coin sorting machines these days, there’s something appealing about the simplicity and elegance of Klopp Engineering’s crank-operated coin sorters, which can sift through up to 600 coins per minute.

DIY Wood Drink Dispenser

DIY Wood Drink Dispenser

Natural Nerd shows how to build a countertop machine which can dispense multiple beverages. It uses aquarium pumps to move liquids into your cup. It’s best for tea, juice, and other non-carbonated drinks. Full materials list and build details available on Instructables.

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