Orange is our favorite color, so we’re having a hard time resisting this retro-style alarm clock inspired by the plastic-fantastic styling of the 1960s. Created by Penco and TWEMCO, the battery-powered clock features a mechanical flip display, and a shiny orange ABS plastic case with white-on-orange flip tiles.
THE BEST Mechanical
Real world astronauts are subjected to intensive training, including time in a centrifuge that creates intense G-forces. It’s no different for LEGO astronauts, as the Brick Experiment Channel attached the minifig Benny the Astronaut to a motorized rig, then spun him up to 5000+ RPM. A spinning camera monitored his condition.
Inspired by two previous Instructables projects, maker Wolspaw came up with the idea of building a truly unique calendar. Their machine uses a series of three rotating gears to display the current day and date, which appear as if by magic out of a bunch of seemingly random symbols.
Hop on the ultra-compact bandwagon with this minimal mechanical keyboard. The kit comes with an anodized aluminum case, brushed stainless steel top plate, a programmable PCB that fits Cherry MX or Matias/ALPS switches, and looks fantastic with the optional Acute keycap set ($30). Note: switches and keycaps not included.
Ian Davis needed a prosthetic to replace four fingers on his left hand. Rather than purchase a commercial model, he engineered an awesome metal hand that looks like something out of The Terminator. It’s capable of opening, closing, and the unique ability to splay its fingers, and makes satisfying sounds as it flexes.
Artist Roman Booteen is a master at modifying vintage coins, engraving intricate details and augmenting them with added depth. His most impressive design is this 1921 U.S. Dollar coin with a mechanical hand that grips a sword in its center when a hidden button is pushed. He also makes some amazing lighters.
The main difference between all of those irons you carry around in your golf bag is the loft angle of its metal wedge. Stuff Made Here managed to engineer a single, mechanical golf club that could replace of a whole bag of irons. The club can also automatically adjust based on desired distance in the middle of the swing.
Adam Savage plays around with an awesome new item for his collection. Designed by Gary Fay Creations, these articulated fingers elongate the wearer’s digits, while mimicking their movements. The effect is both amazing and creepy. We’re just glad they don’t have sharpened blades like Freddy Krueger’s.
LEGO artist TonyFlow76 shows off a playful scene featuring a man taking a bath. As he turns the crank, the guy scrubs his back, colorful “water” ripples and pours from the faucets. The design was inspired by this wooden automaton by Paul Spooner. If you’d love to see an official kit, show your support for the design on LEGO Ideas.
We’re surprised that LEGO machine expert JK Brickworks has never built a Great Ball Contraption module before, but his first one definitely lives up to his standards. Watch as four tiny LEGO robots work along an assembly line, each passing a ball to the next to move it down the line. It also appears to work as a hypnosis device.
If you’re an airplane mechanic, one of the last things you want to do is drop a screw into a turbine engine you’re working on. Due to their construction, it would be very difficult to get it back out if you did. But as this video from AgentJayZ shows, it would make quite a pleasant sound before it totally ruins your day.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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