Enjoy Daniel de Bruin's wonderfully-produced video of a miniature marble machine being made from a) exactingly precise stuff from the workshop parts drawer, b) a Pruser Mini 3D printer, and c) a lot of patient work with soldering irons, glues and fiddly lengths of wire.
In this video I'm using a ball bearing of only 5mm wide. The track is made of 0.6mm wire. It took me waaaay longer to construct than anticipated, because a small mistake and the ball wouldn't stay on the track. It took me 5 days to shoot, make and edit.
Below, de Bruin offers a more general look at this incredible hobby. You don't need fancy equipment to get started, but you do need a wee soldering iron (I like the TS100 [Amazon] a lot), a variable-speed power drill for the wire-coiling magic, and precision calipers.
Read the rest
Above, a visit to a building in Liuyang, China where stacks of roman candle tubes and pop-its cover the floor. This is a fireworks machine trade show, where companies purchase contraptions for cranking out explosions of all kinds. Liuyang is commonly known as the fireworks capital of China. Here are some of the captivating machines that make (or break) July 4th and New Years Eve in the US.
(Props to Tasick Media on YouTube)
And as a bonus, here's a video of another machine that was used for manufacturing M-80s before they were outlawed in the US in 1966 (unless you have a license):
(Credit goes to displayfireworks1 on YouTube) Read the rest
"Humans have massage chairs so why shouldn’t our pets have petting machines. I gave it a Rube Goldberg style flare to make it interesting to watch."
Read the rest
There it goes, making little cans of adorable fizzy beverages! Read the rest
According to the Encyclopedia of Pasta, there are hundreds of pasta shapes. At Smithsonian, Elizabeth Chu and D. Lawrence Tarazano of the US Patent Office look at relatively recent machinery to crank out the floury forms. From Smithsonian:
Read the rest
The various shapes can be categorized based on the means by which they are formed: by hand, rolled into sheets, or extruded. For each pasta making method, there have been a number of inventions to ease and mechanize the process.
Pastas formed by hand have been the most difficult to replicate by machine because of the complexity of the actions done by hand. Cavatelli, gnocchi and orecchiette, for example, are made by rolling pasta dough by hand into a long snake shape, cutting it into equal sized dough pieces, and dragging the dough to form a cup like shape. With cavatelli and gnocchi, the dough is dragged against a fork or grooved surface with a thumb to form a curled dough piece in the shape of a hot dog bun; the only real difference between the two is the dough. Gnocchi is made from a dough containing eggs, flour and cooked potatoes, whereas cavatelli are typically made from an eggless semolina wheat dough. Orecchiette, Italian for “little ear,” are made by dragging the dough pieces against a flat surface using a small spatula or knife, followed by a little hand shaping to round it out.
Italian inventors Franco Annicchiarico and Adima Pilari, who received U.S. patent no. 4,822,271 on April 18, 1989 for “an improved machine for manufacturing short cut varieties of Italian pasta (orecchiette, etc.),”
When this curious contraption is switched on, an inner circle of white balls appears to be rolling inside the outer circle, but that's actually not the case at all. Below is a video explaining this circular motion illusion. Learn more about the mathematics behind it, specifically Copernicus’ Theorem, and the ingenious hypocycloid mechanical gear design by Girolamo Cardano (1501-1576) over at The Kid Should See This.
Read the rest
Why install doors at the bottom of each coal cart when you can simply tip the entire train upside-down? Read the rest
Limited to two motors and $600, mechanical engineering students from the University of California, Davis designed and built this shoe-tying machine. I particularly appreciate how the robot uses the same technique as I do: the bunny ears method.
Read the rest
Given the crushing strength of this machine and the way large chunks of concrete balance atop distressed rebar, this worker might want to consider goggles and not turning his back on the machine. Read the rest
Ever drive over a manhole that was not flush with the pavement? This is how they fix them.
Via Mr. Manhole:
In 2002, we recognized that there had to be a better way to remove manhole frames from the road, and came up with the Mr. Manhole system, a state-of-the-art set of tools, and a repair method that makes manhole removal and repair easier and safer for your crew.
It looked like it was starting to snow a bit at one point. Let's hope Mr. Manhole has the number for Mr. Plow.
• Mr. Manhole Full Process - How it works (YouTube / Mr Manhole) Read the rest
Husqvarna's remote-controlled demolition robots remind me of the machine art performances that Survival Research Laboratories has staged since 1977.
Husqvarna bills its machines as "remote workmates ready to tackle your heaviest, most challenging jobs."
Compare that to what Survival Research Laboratories founder Mark Pauline told me in a 1993 interview:
"The real message of machines isn't that they're helpful workmates," Pauline said. "Like any extension of the human psyche, machines are scary things," he says. When you take the scary human psyche and magnify it hundreds or thousands of times with technology, it's really nightmarish."
(via Uncrate) Read the rest
Behold the wire-bending machine—a video I though would be curiously satisfying to watch, right up there in the "robots making things" pantheon of satisfying videos depicting repetitive movements, but which isn't satisfying at all, really, even if it is briefly hypnotic when it makes the loops. It's too staccato, too arrhythmic, too angry. You get the feeling the wire-bending machine hates its job. Read the rest
Static shelves with bins holding small parts take up a lot of space. It's interesting to see this case study of how a traditional warehouse was able to use wasted air space to reduce storage area by 94%. Read the rest
If you thought you might live out your days without seeing an industrial hedge clipper form shrubs into perfect spheres while accompanied by Wagner, everything changes today. Read the rest
The gold standard of egg machine videos is back with some lovely footage of some new devices: Polish egg processor OVO-TECH demonstrates the Egg Splitter Rz3. Read the rest
This appears to be surveilling AI chatboxes set up to debate the fine points of constitutional law. It's presumably based on a transcript of an interaction between a sovereign citizen and a cop, but I'm not sure which one as all such interactions are nearly identical (sovcit patter is extremely rigid, and the cops adopt the firm-but-polite bemusement reserved for angry white people).
In other surveilling AI chatbox news, Google admitted yesterday that their newest surveilling AI chatboxes, including those sent to journalists to review, have a "bug" whereby they record audio 24/7. Read the rest
Some YouTube rabbit holes are worth the trip, like a foray into the genre of tunnel-cleaning trucks. It's next-level powerwashing porn. Read the rest