THE BEST Machines

Modular Marble Machine

Modular Marble Machine

Vietnamese shop Wood Marble Machine shows off one of their super cool kinetic toys, a modular machine which sends dozens of marbles rolling around in perpetuity. It looks like you can even order their machines, though we’re not sure if they ship internationally.

Tunnel Scrubbing Machine

Tunnel Scrubbing Machine

Most of the tunnels we’ve driven through are filthy, layered with exhaust from vehicles driving through. But in Switzerland, Colas Suisse keeps the tunnels spotless with this amazing contraption, which uses an array of spinning brushes to scrub off grime as it drives along.

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Making a Mega Blender

Making a Mega Blender

Maker and demolition man Giaco Whatever no longer has a lawn, so he decided to turn his mower’s motor and blade into a massive blender. Along the way, he chops up some ping pong balls and some cans of Coke with spectacular results. The carnage starts at 5:49.

Primer Origami Robots

Primer Origami Robots

Engineers from MIT’s CSAIL are showing off a fascinating new robot which can walk, roll, sail, and glide, by “wearing” tiny exoskeleton outfits which allow it to perform different tasks. Its skins can be shed by dissolving them in water when it wants to move on to a new activity.

Tree-trimming Robot

Tree-trimming Robot

Hand Tool Rescue shared this chainsaw-wielding, wheeled machine that can be placed around the trunk of a tree, then climbs its way towards the top, trimming off branches as it goes. We’re not sure how knows when to come back down. Original footage via Bidone1967.

LEGO Lawnmower Kinetic Sculpture

LEGO Lawnmower Kinetic Sculpture

Mechanical LEGO builder Josh DaVid shows off one of his coolest creations. When you turn the crank on this little automata, a lawnmower floats above a pair of treadmills, which make it appear as if the mower is cutting the grass.

The Bet-Losing Machine

The Bet-Losing Machine

As a result of losing a bet, jackofallspades98 ended up spending more than four months getting his two table contraption to work, a mesmerizing machine filled with balls making their way through a maze filled with teeter-totters, ramps, loops, and more.

Crazy Fast Laser Engraver

Crazy Fast Laser Engraver

Laser engravers are some of the coolest machines you can have in your workshop, and can produce designs with extreme precision. But we’ve never seen one work as fast as the Tykma Vereo, which manages to spit out an entire image on sheet metal in about a minute.

Marble Army vs. The Wall

Marble Army vs. The Wall

Marble enthusiast Murmiland posted this immensely satisfying video of a single marble which sets off an avalanche of over 2,600 others as they head downhill on a path towards a wall made from building blocks. Murmiland, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!

DIY Candy Vending Machine

DIY Candy Vending Machine

It’s not exactly the most mechanically complex build, but we still love the idea of YouTuber Goober’s (we made a rhyme!) spring-loaded cardboard and hot glue vending machine which can dispense up to five of your favorite candies with the push of a button.

Wooden Domino Machine

Wooden Domino Machine

Back in 2009, genius woodworker Matthias Wandel shared one of his childhood projects: a LEGO machine that laid out an evenly spaced row of dominoes. He recently upped the ante and remade the machine out of wood. Skip to 5:23 in the video for the finished machine.

DIY Cardboard Vending Machines

DIY Cardboard Vending Machines

As long as you don’t get it wet or put it near fire, cardboard is a strong and versatile building material. The guys at Mini Gear show us how to make a number of nifty desktop vending machines using cardboard, rubber bands, and hot glue as their primary materials.

Largest LEGO Ball Contraption

Largest LEGO Ball Contraption

Beyond the Brick met up with builder Tom Atkinson at Brickworld Chicago 2017 for an extensive tour of this seemingly endless LEGO machine built collaboratively by LEGO fans who each worked on their own modules which linked together. That ferris wheel was amazing.

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Marble-cutting Robot

Marble-cutting Robot

For their 2014 project Carrara Robotics, Jelle Feringa and Lucas Terhall demonstrated how an Odico architectural robot can be used to cut organic shapes out of marble, as it twists and turns a wet saw blade through a slab of stone like a hot knife through butter. Skip to 1:00.

Meccano Slot Machine

Meccano Slot Machine

Brian Leach shows off one of the coolest Meccano builds we’ve ever seen, a fully-functional slot machine built almost entirely from the 1970s metal building toys. More recently, he used the parts to build a Meccano pinball machine.

Tire Tripler Machine

Tire Tripler Machine

Full-size tires take up a whole lot of space when being transported or stored. This machine allows multiple tires to take up far less room by folding them up and storing them inside each other. Of course, you’ll need another machine to unpack them.

Mechanical LEGO Skull

Mechanical LEGO Skull

One of the creepier and more awesome mechanised LEGO builds we’ve seen comes from Darryl Friesen aka Baronworks, who created this chomping sugar skull inspired by the Day of the Dead. The noise its 100 spinning gears only add to the effect.

Shirt Folding Machine

Shirt Folding Machine

While this device is designed for folding and packaging shirts for sale, we’d love to have one in our laundry room. Simply place a shirt in the middle of the Speedy-T, and it takes care of neatly folding and stacking shirts like a champ.

Working LEGO Printer

Working LEGO Printer

JK Brickworks shows off another awesome mechanical build – a fully-functional printer/plotter that uses a pen to draw words and images on a sheet of paper that it feeds using the wheels from a LEGO vehicle, and a Mindstorms’ EV3 controller.

Jenga-playing Robot

Jenga-playing Robot

It may look a little bit like a sideways stargate, but this robot is designed to carefully position itself around a Jenga stack, methodically pluck out a wooden block, and move it to the top of the stack. We’d be curious to see if it could play an entire game, but we’re guessing not.

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The Astro-Skeleton Clock

The Astro-Skeleton Clock

This could be the most complicated clock ever built. We cannot imagine the engineering involved in getting all of its gears, pulleys, and pendulums to work together to tell time. Mark Frank and Buchanan’s masterpiece has been under construction for over a decade.

Tomato Sorting Machine

Tomato Sorting Machine

A brief and silent look at a high speed Tomra Sentinel II optical sorting machine, as it watches thousands of tomatoes whiz by, knocking the rejects off the line so they can be turned into ketchup and other products. The slow-mo bit at 1:14 shows the bad tomatoes getting kicked out.

Mini Golf Marble Machine

Mini Golf Marble Machine

After six months of work, builder Ben Tardif is close to putting the finishing touches on his latest marble machine – a miniature version of a miniature golf course. The video goes into quite some depth about the build, but if you just want to see it in action, you can skip to 15:20.

LEGO Spirograph

LEGO Spirograph

Similar, but larger than JK Brickworks’ drawing machine, VBs LEGO Technic Creations contraption draws by moving a pen in its arms, while rotating a turntable that holds the paper. It appears to be able to draw much more intricate patterns than the smaller machine.

Retro Tech: The Analog iPod

Retro Tech: The Analog iPod

Techmoan checks out an awesomely complex bit of 1970s tech. The Panasonic RS-296US used a mechanical carousel filled with 20 extra-long cassette tapes to allow for up to 2.5 days of continuous music. There was no way to select individual tracks, but you could choose tapes.

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