Rube Goldberg Machines

Did you ever play the Mousetrap game? It’s based on the idea of making a convoluted contraption to catch a mouse. The part of the game I most remember is watching all the parts of the machine work one after the other (like all those rows of dominoes people construct) to end up catching the mouse. In the game all the parts were plastic and fit together well, there wasn’t so much engineering and rebuilding involved. But, building a Rube Goldberg machine is a lot of engineering, planning and rebuilding because things don’t all work out just right the first time around. No matter how well planned.

mousetrap game

There is a Rube Goldberg Machine category at the Curlie web directory. I found it today after my sister told me she and her children are building a Rube Goldberg Machine. I didn’t know what it is. If I had ever heard of the name I had forgotten it. So I looked it up and found sites and a lot of videos. I posted most of them to the Curlie category so people can find them there.

The best links I found were the site about contests for people who build the machines, Rube Goldberg. Also, a kinetic artist who builds them as art and fun, Joseph Herscher and his site, Joseph’s Machines. He has video posts of his machines on YouTube.

Ethan shows how to make the machines, ideas for steps and parts along the way. He also shows how the best plans don’t always work out. Which not everyone does and I think it is really important to know. Anyone building these contraptions will need a lot of patience and rebuilding. Ethan’s video was my favourite.

Sprice Machines also makes them, house wide and going outside even. Extreme patience, creativity and engineering. Fun to watch.

Leave a comment