Traditional conveyor belts can move items along a single axis. But Cellumation’s unique system can shuffle items around in any direction. It uses a series of hexagonal modules, each of which has three sets of wheels. Its controller and software can then be programmed to shuffle and arrange a payload in any pattern.
Machines that fire tennis balls are as common. But we’ve never seen one that uses human power. Creative Machines’ ball cannon launches tennis balls up to 200 feet. Each time its handle is pushed, it raises a weight. When it reaches the top, it falls and becomes a piston, flinging balls into the sky using compressed air.
Shane at Stuff Made Here is the engineer behind creations like the haircutting robot and the unmissable basketball hoop. In his past videos, you may have noticed that he has quite the assortment of tools in his shop. To show off his collection, he used each of his machines to make a different kind of ball bearing catapult.
While it’s not as fancy as modern mining conveyors, this vintage ropeway transports shale from a quarry to a brickworks without using electricity or fuel. It uses the weight of materials coming downhill to pull empty buckets uphill. Tom Scott shows off the 100+ year-old system that moves 300 tons of shale per day.
Climbing a tall and curved object like a flagpole or a tree isn’t an easy task. Brick Experiment Channel tested out three designs for LEGO robots that perform the task and demonstrates the physics at play when creating a vehicle that can scale vertical and cylindrical objects. We were totally transfixed by the spinny third robot.
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.
Good airflow is important for keeping electronic components cool, so most computers use fans to circulate air. But we’ve never seen a computer that cools itself by breathing. DIY Perks shows off a gigantic machine he built that quietly pumps air in and out using bellows.
Microsoft asked Hacksmith Industries to help promote the addition of MLB The Show 21 to Xbox Game Pass. So they got to work building a shoulder-mounted pitching machine with the goal of firing balls at pro pitcher speeds. The sound it makes when it revs up is quite terrifying.
Woodworker John Heisz of I Build It recently added a CNC router to his shop. As he’s continued to build his CNC skills, he put the machine to the test by having it fabricate wooden parts to replace its own drag chain. The flexible, segmented cover is designed to keep the machine’s cables safe and tangle-free.
European construction equipment manufacturer Menzi Muck shows off its M545x excavator. This flexible machine has articulated hydraulic legs which can adapt and adjust to varying terrain and that can bend and flex in such a way that it can balance tripod style on three of its wheels or on its bucket and earth grippers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.