THE BEST Machines

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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