Mechanical

Self-Solving Rubik’s Cube Floats

Self-Solving Rubik’s Cube Floats

After wowing us with his self-solving Rubik’s Cube, maker Human Controller takes things to another level by making his miniature puzzle machine magnetically levitate while solving itself. We’ve been assured there are no visual tricks here.

Restoring a Parking Meter

Restoring a Parking Meter

With the advent of pay stations and mobile parking apps, meters are becoming a rare sight. But these coin-collecting dinosaurs still have some neat mechanical bits worth exploring inside of them, as Rescue & Restore shows when he tears down a 1960s Duncan meter and makes it like new again. That shiny red coat is a thing of beauty.

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Interactive Mirrors by Daniel Rozin

Interactive Mirrors by Daniel Rozin

We’ve seen various works by artist Daniel Rozin over the years, but this interview with WIRED is the first time we’ve heard from the artist himself, and not just what inspires him to make his mechanical “mirrors,” but the painstaking effort and technology that drives his works.

Analog Arcade Machine

Analog Arcade Machine

Check out this amazing bit of arcade history. This 1973 SEGA Moto Champ machine had no screens, buttons, or a joystick. The electro-mechanical racing game had a group of magnetically-attached motorcycles which rolled over a treadmill-style “road,” as a spinning cylinder cast images onto the moving mat.

PONG Coffee Table

PONG Coffee Table

Inspired by this earlier design, this coffee table lets you play a mechanical version of the classic Atari arcade game. It packs USB charging ports and a Bluetooth speaker as well. It’s available with matching ottomans, and in coin-op arcade table and cocktail styles.

Circle in Circle Illusion

Circle in Circle Illusion

Take a look at the video, and you’ll swear that these balls are spinning in a circular orbit. But look more closely, and you’ll see that each ball is moving along a perfectly straight path. The mechanical model is based on a design by 16th century Italian poymath Girolamo Cardano.

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Design collective onformative shows off a nifty mechanical sculpture they created, which uses a series of spinning black metal tubes which allow light from an array of fluorescent bulbs to pass through. The result is a binary pixel display with an alluring soundtrack. More here.

Wooden London Bus Model

Wooden London Bus Model

Up for a fun and challenging project with a satisfying result? Look no further than this wooden model of a London-style double decker bus. Once you assemble all 216 laser-cut parts, you’ll have a working vehicle that can actually move up to 12 feet on rubber band power.

LEGO Technic Metronome

LEGO Technic Metronome

While mechanical metronomes have gone the way of the dinosaur for most, we still find these old school rhythm keepers fascinating. Mr. Smith’s LEGO Models shows off a build which uses Technic parts to replicate the functionality, complete with an adjustable interval.

Cardboard “Stargate”

Cardboard “Stargate”

To prove just how versatile cardboard can be, Houston-based Victory Packaging turned up to a tradeshow with a 16-foot-tall gear-driven sculpture reminiscent of the space travel portals from Stargate. This isn’t the only time they built something awesome with cardboard.

UGEARS Mechanical Models

UGEARS Mechanical Models

Flat-pack wooden model maker UGEARS presents 11 awesome new creations, each of which features gear and rubber band mechanisms. The new models include a wind-up horse, windmill, stagecoach, flying aircraft contraption, big rig, steam train, and more.

Viking Puzzle Box

Viking Puzzle Box

A superbly challenging wood and acrylic puzzle box for storing away small keepsakes. It features a complicated locking mechanism which requires each of its parts to be moved in an exact sequence to access its contents. Solution at 1:46.

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.

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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.

FlipDot Mechanical Digital Displays

FlipDot Mechanical Digital Displays

Most digital displays are completely solid state, with no moving parts. But check out these nifty (and noisy) Alfa Zeta 7-segment displays from FlipDots, which look digital, but use magnetic fields to change states. Check out more cool FlipDot demonstrations here and here.

17x17x17 Rubik’s Cube Disassembled

17x17x17 Rubik’s Cube Disassembled

Cube puzzle guru Tony Fisher decided to see how the insane 17x17x17 Yuxin Huang Long puzzle is put together, so he cracked it open to reveal the thousands of pieces which go into its assembly. Now it’s a whole new kind of puzzle to try and put it back together.

A Mechanical Digital Watch

A Mechanical Digital Watch

Watchfinder & Co. provides an up close look at one of the cooler wristwatches out there, the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk, which features a numeric display, but uses a mechanical movement to flip its digits. Also, we’ve been using the word “digital” wrong all this time.

Bonbon Flip Sofa Bunk Bed

Bonbon Flip Sofa Bunk Bed

The cushions seem a bit on the tall side when used as a couch, but we’re still impressed with the engineering behind Bonbon’s convertible piece of furniture that goes from sofa to bunk beds in just seconds.

Gyroscopic Grill

Gyroscopic Grill

We’re not sure that spinning around your food on multiple axes like this helps it cook any faster or more efficiently, but you’ve got to hand it to whoever built this crazy grill has a creative mind and masterful build skills. Video via Weber Foods.

Insanely Complex Puzzle Box

Insanely Complex Puzzle Box

A demonstration of a ridiculously complicated wooden puzzle box, which requires numerous maneuvers such as rotating and sliding boxes in and out, and twisting keys and knobs to unlock its deepest compartment. We’d love to see a build video of this thing.

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Time 4 Machine Metal Models

Time 4 Machine Metal Models

We’ve seen metal miniature kits before, but never ones like these. Time 4 Machine’s big selling point is that their detailed models are mechanical. The wind-up cabrio and tank actually drive, the clock tells time (for an hour), and you can actually play the table hockey game.

Flop Good Inc.

Flop Good Inc.

There’s something about the high-pitched sound of the scannner stepper motor that suits itself so well to Gorillaz Feel Good Inc., it now takes its place as our favorite cover track from Paweł Zadrożniak’s electromechanical orchestram, beating out The Final Flopdown.

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.

LEGO Game of Thrones Red Keep

LEGO Game of Thrones Red Keep

Beyond the Brick shows off Claus-Marc Hahn’s astounding model of the Red Keep from Game of Thrones. He used over 125,000 bricks, and a multiple EV3 servo motors to mechanize the build, so the whole thing turns, its towers move up and down, and their cupolas spin.

Open/Closed Sign

Open/Closed Sign

A thorougly clever design for a sign which can transform from reading “open” to “closed” while fully concealing the letters which are currently not in use. You can download the designs to 3D print your own over on Thingiverse.

Working LEGO Piranha Plant

Working LEGO Piranha Plant

Fans of Super Mario Bros. will immediately recognize this obnoxious bit of vegetation as a Piranha Plant. Jason from JK Brickworks brought the creature to life in mechanized LEGO form, complete with a motor drive to pop the plant up and down from a pipe as it chomps its jaws.

Literal Rock Band

Literal Rock Band

Mechanical object designer and inventor Neil Mendoza created this machine, which uses a variety of mechanisms which make music using rocks. Some are fired at aluminum keys, others smack into marble, and yet others are slapped with leather to produce notes and rhythms.

Overhauling a Pentax

Overhauling a Pentax

Let’s observe Halifax, Nova Scotia shop Camera Repair Centre Ltd. delicately disassemble, clean, and reassemble the intricate mechanisms and delicate wires inside an old Pentax K1000 35mm camera. Isn’t everything better set to In the Hall of the Mountain King.

Marble Operated Door Knob

Marble Operated Door Knob

Paul Myers designed this replacement interior door knob which can only be opened by dropping a marble into its top. It’s made from 3D printed PLA, Airsoft and skate bearings. You can pick one up in his Etsy shop, Beta Things. We dig his business card embosser too.

Citadel K’NEX Ball Machine

Citadel K’NEX Ball Machine

Behold, Shadowman39’s mechanical masterpiece. The appropriately-named Citadel is an imposing K’NEX great ball contraption that splits into 17 different paths. Shadowman says it took him a total of 1 year to finish, mostly building on the fly. More here.

Mechanical PONG

Mechanical PONG

It took quite a bit of planning and engineering prowess, but the end result of Daniel Perdomo’s recreation of Atari’s arcade classic PONG as a game played with mechanical paddles and ball cube is quite impressive. (Thanks Philip!)

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