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Awesome Machines

How to Remove Corn from the Cob

How to Remove Corn from the Cob

Removing corn kernels from the cob can be an arduous and time-consuming task. But not so for Handy Geng, who built himself a ridiculously over-engineered machine that spews out corn kernels by the hundreds after loading up its magazine. He probably should invest in a bigger basket though.

Wainlux L3 Desktop Laser Cutter + Engraver

Wainlux L3 Desktop Laser Cutter + Engraver

This compact desktop laser can cut wood, acrylic, leather, and other textiles, and the 10-watt model can engrave just about anything, including glass and aluminum, and cut through 5mm wood in a single pass. Its bed is large enough for objects up to 8.26″ x 7.48″, and an optional roller allows for engraving cylindrical objects.

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Mini Chain-Link Fence Machine

Mini Chain-Link Fence Machine

We’ve seen how factories make full-size chain-link fencing by bending and twisting stiff wire. Now watch how it’s done on a much smaller scale. W&M Levsha created this custom machine that bends copper wire into the proper angles to make a mini fence. The weaving still needs to be done by hand though.

Machining Linked Copper Rings

Machining Linked 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.

How a Bowling Pinsetter Machine Works

How a Bowling Pinsetter Machine Works

We’ve previously taken a behind-the-scenes tour of a bowling alley. This video from 3D animator Jared Owen offers a more in-depth explanation of the engineering and mechanics that go into the machine that magically straightens and resets the pins between balls.

LEGO Tamburo Meccanico

LEGO Tamburo Meccanico

Inspired by a mechanical drum-playing machine designed by Leonardo Da Vinci, this LEGO music maker by Giuseppe Acito uses a series of pegs placed onto a spinning wheel to trigger sound sequences as its “fingers” press keys connected to synthesizers.

The Mini Mutoscope

The Mini Mutoscope
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Created by Tentacle Media Ltd., the Mini-Mutoscope is a 3D-printed replica of a 19th-century mechanical flipbook. The display works like an animation flipbook, only its movements are smoothly controlled by a crank. It holds up to 42 squares that you can load with your own animations, or one of the samples provided by Tentacle.

How Steel Chains are Made

How Steel Chains are Made

Think of how strong a steel chain can be. Then imagine the forces that must be necessary to shape and connect its links. In this video from Engineering and Architecture, we get an up-close look at a specialized machine that takes lengths of steel wire, then scores, cuts, bends, and presses the pieces together.

Eyecam Eyeball Webcam

Eyecam Eyeball Webcam

Saarland University researcher Marc Teyssier created the creepiest webcam we’ve ever seen. The Eyecam uses six servo motors to realistically replicate the movements of a human eyeball, eyelids, and eyebrow, staring down its subject and making sure they are paying attention during Zoom calls.

Self-erasing Sand Machine

Self-erasing Sand Machine

Using parts from a 3D printer, custom laser-cut components, and LED lighting RCLifeOn created this mechanical table that uses a magnet and a ball bearing to draw complex patterns in sand, only to erase everything it doodles. On the plus side, as soon as it wipes out an image, it gets to work on another.

Bowling Ball Balancing Machine

Bowling Ball Balancing Machine

Try to balance a bowling ball on a circular object, and you’ll almost certainly fail. But engineer Stepan Ozana shows how it’s possible to do just that with a machine. It uses a principle called LQR and REXYGEN control software to monitor the ball’s position and to rapidly move the wheel back and forth to keep the ball from falling.

Propeller Copying Machine

Propeller Copying Machine

Aviation enthusiast Viktor built a custom machine that can make identical copies of paramotor propellers. Area28 shared this video that shows how it works by the form of the original, much like one of those machines they use to copy keys. Skip to 6:10 for the money shot.

How Espresso Machines Are Made

How Espresso Machines Are Made

How It’s Made takes us inside the factory for WEGA, makers of high-end commercial espresso machines. There, industrial machines transform sheets of steel into parts, then skilled workers assemble dozens of components, including a large copper and brass boiler that sits at the center of each machine.

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Useless Machine Battle

Useless Machine Battle

A useless machine is a contraption that’s designed to automatically flip its own switch off as soon as you flip it on. Fornax built a pair of 8-switch useless machines, then linked them up to flip each other’s switches, resulting in a perpetual battle for switch-flipping supremacy.

Boston Dynamics Stretch Robot

Boston Dynamics Stretch Robot

Skynet, er Boston Dynamics reveals another of our future robotic overlords. Stretch is a wheeled robot that uses an articulated arm and suction grabber to pick up and carry objects, reducing repetitive and back-breaking work for humans. Watch it pick up a Spot robot, then set up and operate a box handling line.

LEGO 7-Segment Display

LEGO 7-Segment Display

A while back, expert LEGO engineer and mathematician Alexander Holroyd created a 7-segment display that uses LEGO Technic parts to change digits. Fello LEGO fan and GBC builder Fernando recreated the intriguing machine, and shared video footage of his version in action.

Wind-up Marble Machine

Wind-up Marble Machine

Most of the marble machines we’ve seen are either powered by gravity or motors. But builder Daniel de Bruin shows us how he made a mechanism that stores up energy using a spring, carrying marbles to the top of a tiny bent-wire maze using a Ferris wheel of sorts.

Self-Balancing Cube

Self-Balancing Cube

It’s pretty tricky to balance a cube on one of its corners or edges. But ReM-RC shows off a really cool machine they built that does just that automatically. The system uses an ESP32 controller, an MPU-6050 gyroscope-accelerometer chip, and a set of three servo motors that spin wheels to maintain its balance.

Mayku FormBox Vacuformer

Mayku FormBox Vacuformer

Mayku’s FormBox brings the power of vacu-forming to your desktop. It connects to an ordinary vacuum cleaner and heats thermoplastic sheets to create objects and molds. Its can mold objects up to 150mm x 150mm (~5.9″ x 5.9″) and can mold objects up to 130mm tall (~5.11″). It works with a various plastics in from 0.25 – 1.5mm thick.

Chain: The Secret Life of Components

Chain: The Secret Life of Components

Engineer and inventor Tim Hunkin is the man behind the beloved UK educational series The Secret Life of Machines. Each episode of his new YouTube series will dive deep with a specific component. Episode 1 teaches everything you’ve ever wanted to know about chains and belts, along with their history, physics, and varieties.

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The Egg Machine

The Egg Machine

There’s something immensely satisfying about this video of the SANOVO OptiBreaker, a specialized assembly line machine which ingests over 200,000 eggs hourly, gently cracks each one, then separates the whites from the yolks. It also can wash itself automatically.

The Productivity Booster Machine

The Productivity Booster Machine

It’s nice to be able to work from home, but it’s easy to get distracted too. Sprice Machines came up with a solution – a silly Rube Goldberg contraption that’s designed to keeps him focused on the task at hand. Or is it a Productivity Killer Machine?

Laser Fabricates a Drone

Laser Fabricates a Drone

Engineers from MIT CSAIL have developed LaserFactory, an innovative fabrication machine that uses a modified laser cutter to create entire devices. It can cut parts, pour silver circuit traces, and place electronic components all in one system. In this video, it makes a drone, which flies straight out of the machine.

How a Tank Works

How a Tank Works

Jared Owen always does a great job explaining how things work by creating 3D animations of their inner workings. This time, he walks us through the caterpillar-tracked M1A2 Abrams tank, which weighs in at an incredible 68 tons, and can cross just about any terrain. We had no idea these things were powered by jet fuel.

Drilling Hundreds of Holes

Drilling Hundreds of Holes

To prove how fast and durable the Kennametal HPR drill bit is, the guys from Titans of CNC: Academy programmed one of their machines to drill a perfect grid of 672 holes in a block of cast iron. The tool moves at an impressive 103 inches-per-minute, drilling 1.85″ deep holes over and over again without wearing down.

Shark with Hydraulic Jaws

Shark with Hydraulic Jaws

Stuck at home under quarantine, builder Colin Furze was feeling restless, so he decided to piece something together from items he had around his shop. The monstrosity you see here is a plastic shark head that Colin retrofitted with a 10-ton hydraulic jack and pointy metal teeth. Let the crushing begin!

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