engineering

Showing 76 posts tagged engineering

We want to learn how to make flying vehicles like this. Meet Luigi Prina, the 83-Year-Old Builder of Flying Model Ships, in this fascinating video profile: The Ships That Sail Through The Clouds

The flying ships are made from ultrathin paper and balsa wood. Everything is optimized for flight: from the weight (between 20 and 50 grams) to the aerodynamic shape. They fly like any propeller airplane. The only difference is that here the propeller is powered by an internal elastic band and not an engine.

Photo by Gianluca Giannone. Read more about Luigi Prina at Blinking City.

Related must-watch videos: a rubber-band-powered paper robotan RC Flapttera kite-like wind sculpture, a human-powered helicopter, and a great science class project: DIY walkalong gliders

via Colossal.

Cambridge’s Professor Simon Schaffer presents The Writer, a 240-year-old, 6000 piece machine that was created by Swiss-born watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz, his son Henri-Louis, and Jean-Frédéric Leschot around 1770-1772. The automaton can be programmed up to 40 letters or signs, and lives at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire in Switzerland with two other of Jaquet-Droz’s automata: the drawer and the musician.

The above clip, which you can also find on The Automata Blog in 2006, is from BBC Four’s Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams. Watch it here in its entirety (for now). Great stuff.

In the archives: more automata, including Jaquet-Droz & Leschot’s singing bird boxes.

h/t Boing Boing.

Kathryn DiMaria started rebuilding a Pontiac Fiero with her own money when she was 12 years old. At 14 years old (in 2012), she could be found all over the net — Makezine, Autoblog, CNN, and more — for her goal of finishing the car by her 16th birthday. DiMaria’s November 2013 status: her dad recently shared photos of her hard work here.

There are more car videos in the archives, including how the differential gear works, Google’s driverless car, the story of NASCAR engineer Richie Parker, a Tesla factory tour, and the world land speed record for lightweight electric vehicles.

In the year 2020, seven of the largest mirrors on Earth — 20 tons each — will come together in a 22-story, rotating building located in the southern Atacama Desert of Chile. They will form the Giant Magellan Telescope, a feat of science, technology, engineering and math that will have ten times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope.

In this video from July 2013, Dr. Wendy Freedman, Chairman GMT, and Dr. Pat McCarthy, Director GMT, explain the astounding challenge of creating this precise, powerful, and wondrous machine. Read more at Phys.org.

In the archives: more telescope-related vids.

Scott Weaver’s Rolling through the Bay, an homage to the city of San Francisco, is made of over 100,000 toothpicks and Elmer’s glue, and was built over 35 years time. This structure was temporarily featured and filmed in The Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium a few years ago. If you’re in or visiting San Francisco, put The Exploratorium at Pier 15 on your must-do list. It’s amazing.

You can see photos of Weaver’s structure at Where Cool Things Happen. And there are more cool structures in the archives, including K’nex Clockwork, some excellent wood marble machines, and DIY paper rollercoasters.

via @Sci_Phile.