Lego isn’t just for kids. Its versatility has been exploited by innovating programmers to create more advanced models and machines. Combining average plastic Lego bricks with other forms of Lego, such as Lego Pneumatic, Lego Technic and the programmable robotics construction set that is Lego Mindstorms, the simplest building blocks have been utilized for some amazing advanced Lego Machines.
Even though we see them everywhere, clocks are actually incredibly complicated. There are numerous mechanisms, functions and styles of clocks that you probably weren’t aware of but some of which have been amazingly modeled using Lego. Here are some more familiar clocks you may recognize: an analog clock.
A Cuckoo clock.
And a digital clock.
And functionality varies. This clock uses a rolling wheel to refresh the time approximately every 10 seconds.
And what about this?
This ball clock displays the time in another format. From left to right you can read the time according to how many balls are present in each chamber. For instance, in the above image, the time is 11:59 and the addition of an extra ball clears the chambers, representing 12 o’clock. Here’s another version!
9. Lego Printer
Printers using ink have been made using Lego, but the device I’ll explain is not an average printer. Imagine printing designs in Lego – actual, physical Lego bricks. Well, now you can, using this Lego machine.
This printer first scans an image and then recreates it as a Lego mosaic. In true Lego fashion, the canvas is a Lego plate and the mosaic tiles are just 1by1 plates which are fed through a tunnel and placed by a printer head. Feed-in a design and hey presto, it’s Lego art. Its creator has also made a tastier machine – a cookie icing machine, for when imperfect cookies just don’t cut it.
Checkout JK brickworks to learn more about how these printers function and instructions to make your own.
8. Milling Machine
Milling machines use rotary cutters to remove and carve material. They are an essential piece of kit to any workshop or manufacturing process and milling is one of the most common processes for machining parts to precise sizes and shapes. Although it’s less interesting than the other Lego machines, its functionality and importance certainly deserve recognition.
Well, these Lego guns won’t exactly kill you… In fact, your life is more likely to flash before your eyes if you step on a brick… but they’re still pretty cool. There are plenty of amazing contraptions but this one has to be one of the coolest.
It’s a Motorised Lego Minigun that can shoot at a rate of 11 bands per second! Its mechanism is pretty interesting to understand, with an advanced trigger system. But, if you were expecting something a little more realistic, then check out this replica.
Its functionality is also pretty amazing… How about medieval weaponry? Then check out this trebuchet!
6. Loom Machine
This is the machine grandmas around the world dream about. A machine capable of creating top-notch clothing. A loom machine weaves cloth and industrial versions look exceptionally complicated, but that hasn’t stopped people from creating amazing Lego adaptations. This braiding machine is pretty amazing too.
5. Vending Machines
These machines would make dollar if they were actually secure. Why? Not just because they are awesomely modeled from Lego, but because they do more than just sell candy. McDonald’s may be fast food, but this McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets machine really epitomizes the statement.
It’s probably not a good idea to gift this to your obese friend. There are other awesome vending machines too. For instance a Popcorn or cereal machine, each with really intelligent mechanisms.
There’s even more, such as a cake machine, a tic tac machine, a Doritos machine, a jelly bean machine – and many more diabetes-friendly devices!
4. Arcade Machines
Most people can’t afford them, but at least you can make them out of Lego. A common addition to arcades is a skeeball machine; this Lego version offers sweets for each time you win.
But probably the most iconic and popular game has to be the pinball machine. Famous for their brightness and artwork, they came in many varieties – even in Lego.
Or what about those machines that eat up all your loose change? Well, there’s a cool Lego version of that too!
And an arcade wouldn’t be complete without a claw machine.
3. Kinetic Sculptures
Let’s call this one kinetic sculptures. By that I mean functioning, moving machines that look awesome. For instance, marble runs are cool enough, but there are other, more pointlessly complicated ways to move an object, as demonstrated by this elaborate great ball contraption.
A labyrinth of conveyor systems and modules create a machine that is annoyingly addictive to watch.
What about this spaceship?
Well, that was designed and built by four hardcore Lego fans in 21.5 hours, and it’s a 5000 piece work of art, time-lapse. And with art, it’s always a matter of perspective. Another Youtuber built this piece. To wrap this one up, take a look at this Strandbeest.
It is a wind-powered mechanical creature that was developed by the Dutch artist Theo Jansen. Of course, here’s the Lego version.
2. Vehicles (RC)
I know what you’re thinking – Radio Controlled vehicles, really? Well, I’m actually talking about driveable vehicles – a Lego hotrod in fact – although there are some super cool Lego RC vehicles that are worth mentioning. Like the following Mad Max inspired vehicles. Here’s the war rig.
This is the ripsaw which can be controlled by your smartphone.
And this is something you may have never heard of – a feller-buncher – used to chop and harvest trees, although this miniature version is more equipped for twigs.
Now back to human-sized vehicles – how would a real vehicle made completely from Lego have enough power to move? By taking a look at this clever Pneumatic tractor it is easy to visualize the way that air pressure is used to drive a series of cams, cogs, and chains that enable the wheels to spin.
A real-life car uses a similar mechanism, albeit with a lot more pumps – 256 to be exact! With approximately half a million pieces this air-powered car has a top speed of 20-30 kilometers per hour.
Let’s just hope the airbags aren’t made of Lego.
1. Super Smart Robots
The Lego Mindstorms unit is the brains behind these machines, but these aren’t any ordinary robots that you can build from a kit. These robots have been programmed to do incredibly smart tasks. What quintessential activities do smart things do? Obviously they play chess and solve the Rubik’s cube. But these machines really take it to the next level. Try beating this robotic chess opponent.
It is a 4th-year university project that can even tell if you’re cheating. And this Rubik’s Cube solver crunches complex algorithms to solve the Rubik’s cube faster than anything or anyone ever has.
The ARM-Powered CUBESTORMER 3 robot has smashed the Guinness World Record for solving a Rubik’s cube, recording a time of 3.253 seconds at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, UK.
What Lego machine would you make if you were a genius programmer and Lego enthusiast? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading.