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Awesome Mechanical

Restoring a Mechanical Horse Racing Game

Restoring a Mechanical Horse Racing Game

We’ve always been fascinated by mechanical arcade games. Old Things Never Die shows off a vintage game where players placed bets on horses racing around in circles. It required extensive restoration work to fix its mechanism and return it to its former glory. It’s wonderful to see how fast it spins now.

Tiny Working Escalator

Tiny Working Escalator

Artist Luke Towan specializes in building models and dioramas. He recently finished making a 1:87th scale escalator that actually works. It took him almost a year to finish, but the completed piece is a marvel of miniature engineering. The 3D printing and laser cutting templates are available for download on Tinkercad.

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The Infinite LEGO Domino Machine

The Infinite LEGO Domino Machine

Once you knock dominoes over, you generally have to set them back up by hand. But in the case of this LEGO Technic machine by Grant Davis, the dominoes stand themselves back upright. Running in an infinite loop of 10 dominoes at a time, it can knock down and stand up dominoes at a rate of 120,000 per day.

LEGO Flight Simulator

LEGO Flight Simulator

Brick Science host Riley Scott wanted to see if he could build a flight simulator out of LEGO bricks. With the help of his friends Christian and Marcel, they came up with a tabletop machine with a remote joystick and throttle which control the airplane’s propellor, pitch, and roll. Its motors are controlled by a Mindstorms EV3 module.

Insane LEGO Super Mario Build

Insane LEGO Super Mario Build

Inspired by the official LEGO Mario kits, builder Brandon Jones wanted to build a display that looked like a full level from the Nintendo game. At BrickCon 2022, Beyond the Brick’s Joshua Hanlon got an up-close look at the impressive 12,000-piece mechanical diorama, which uses 14 motors to bring the Mushroom Kingdom to life.

Eptora: A Unique Mechanical 7-Segment Clock

Eptora: A Unique Mechanical 7-Segment Clock

Engineer Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi came up with this unique mechanism which displays digits by flipping segments into place. Its cams push levers that lift the segments into the proper position based on signals sent from a controller circuit and a pair of stepper motors. You can read more about the project Hackaday.IO.

LEGO Crystal Fountain

LEGO Crystal Fountain

At Brickworld Chicago 2022, LEGO builder Jarren Harkema turned up with an amazing display – a castle with a blue-green water fountain that flows up and over its structure – except the water is LEGO diamonds moving on conveyor belts. Joshua Hanlon from Beyond the Brick’s gets us up close with this impressive creation.

100 Cuckoo Clocks in 100 Seconds

100 Cuckoo Clocks in 100 Seconds

Most of us rely on our phones or watches to tell us the time. But there’s something just so magical about using letting a mechanical bird announce the time instead. Clock Shop posted this video of a roomful of cuckoo clocks sounding off in sequence. We like to imagine they’re all saying “Here!” like an avian roll call.

LEGO Mangle Rack Clock

LEGO Mangle Rack Clock

A while back, LEGO expert Akiyuki showed off a series of mechanisms called mangle racks. Now they’re back with a much more complicated build based on the same principles. This fascinating clock uses a mangle rack to gradually spin its hands around the dial. A time-lapse at the end shows how remarkably accurate it is.

Adjustable Vortex Ring Cannon

Adjustable Vortex Ring Cannon

JBV Creative has been playing with designs for a vortex cannon that fires a puff of smoke and a blast of air to create smoke rings. He’s refined his creation into this handheld unit with a mechanical iris to adjust the size of its smoke rings and an LED ring light to illuminate them.

Air75 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard

Air75 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard
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NuPhy Studio’s compact 75% keyboard combines the benefits of mechanical keys with a slimline profile. It has an aluminum frame, hot-swappable keys, and RGB lighting. It connects wirelessly via 2.4 GHz RF or Bluetooth and has a wired USB-C port. The optional NuFolio V2 is a foldable case with a tablet and phone stand.

Battle of the Titans

Battle of the Titans

For more than 20 years, theater company La Machine has been building massive mechanical puppets that they march through the streets. During an April 2022 performance in Toulouse, France, their fire-breathing dragon-horse Long Ma Jing Shen teamed up with Asterion the minotaur to stare down a giant spider.

Nested Circle Clock

Nested Circle Clock

Thanks to his Swiss heritage, Alexandre Chappel felt obligated to build a timepiece of some sort. So he set about making a unique tabletop clock that tells time on a series of nested circles. He used a CNC machine to cut all of the wooden gears. He should probably add a pointer, so you know where to look for the time.

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Full-Size Cardboard Vending Machines

Full-Size Cardboard Vending Machines

DanCreator has made some pretty amazing cardboard objects over the years. Now he’s gone and built not one, but three full-size vending machines out of the corrugated brown paper. Not only do they look like the real thing, but the soda fountain, can dispenser, and instant ramen machine are fully functional.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra Watch

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra Watch

Priced at over $400,000, Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo claims the tile of the world’s thinnest mechanical watch. It measures just 1.8 mm thick, with its extremely flat mechanism set into a 40mm sandblasted titanium case. It features three subdials, a visible movement, and flat horizontal knobs for winding and setting the time.

Cloudnola Flipping Out Clock

Cloudnola Flipping Out Clock
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A more compact version of Cloudnola’s flip clock. Like the TextTime, it tells time using words instead of numbers. The battery-operated clock can sit on a tabletop or be wall-mounted. It’s available in white-on-black or black-on-white with a red base. Made from metal with PVC flip panels.

Rynx Mechanical Tube Display

Rynx Mechanical Tube Display

German company Rynx is working on an innovative kind of mechanical signage that display text or numbers on a series of turning rings. They can be used individually or stacked for multi-line displays, and come in white-on-black or black-on-white. They’re taking pre-orders in Europe now with deliveries starting in Q3 2022.

The 145-Gear Snowflake

The 145-Gear Snowflake

JBV Creative is always coming up with cleverly-engineered machines using 3D printed parts. This fun plaything is made up of interconnected gears arranged in a snowflake pattern, and all of its 145 gears turn smoothly with the turn of a knob on its back. You can purchase the STL files for printing here.

LEGO Orrery

LEGO Orrery

LEGO builder marian519 built this mechanical contraption inspired by a vintage mechanical clockwork. As its crank is turned, it demonstrates the rotational relationships between the Earth, Sun, and Moon. The instructions and parts list for the 2305-piece, 70-gear model are available for purchase on Rebrickable.

Phantasos Triclops Watch

Phantasos Triclops Watch

This unique watch has a three-armed wandering hour display. Each arm has a cylinder that can rotate to show the hour in the top position, while a pointer aims at the minutes along the top edge of the dial. It has a 42mm stainless steel case, a double-dome sapphire crystal, and bright SuperLuminova markings.

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Mechanical Man Kinetic Wall Art

Mechanical Man Kinetic Wall Art

Mechanical engineer Kiyoshi Adachi created this wonderful work of kinetic wall art which features a tiny metal man who turns a crank, setting into motion a ballet of spinning gears and dancing rods. Those elliptical gears are especially cool.

Rotar Revolving Watch

Rotar Revolving Watch

Most watches that ToykoFlash sells have digital displays, but the Rotar is pure analog goodness. It tells the time using a series of three revolving discs, which spin into view like the numbers on an old school car odometer. Choose from a black, bronze, gold, or silver face — limited time release price through 10.25.21.

Exploding Circle Machine

Exploding Circle Machine

JBV Creative loves to make unique machines using 3D printed parts. Inspired by a computer simulation of a similar contraption, he created a mechanism that splits a circle into four quadrants, flips them over, and reassembles them with a turn of its crank. You can purchase the STL files at the link.

Hidden Jigsaw Puzzle Table

Hidden Jigsaw Puzzle Table

Jigsaw puzzles can be loads of fun, but they also take up lots of table space. Simone Giertz came up with a solution by designing and building a an overly-complex dining table. Its tambour wood roll-top conceals a jigsaw puzzle compartment that rises like an elevator. That painter’s tape and glue clamp is a neat hack.

Mechanical Prosthetic Hand

Mechanical Prosthetic Hand

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 straight out of The Terminator. It’s capable of opening, closing, splaying its fingers, and makes satisfying sounds as it flexes.

Different But the Same: City in the Forest

Different But the Same: City in the Forest

NY firm Breakfast has carved out a niche, building interactive displays that use electromechanical flipping discs to display images. Among their installations is this ultrawide variant with woodgrain and mirrored surfaces that reflect people’s silhouettes as they walk by, revealing similarities in human behavior.

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