9 Impressive Rube-Goldberg-Like Contraptions from an Engineer Artist

These edgy creations will have you questioning your eyes as well as society.
Loukia Papadopoulos

We love original and cutting edge creations, so we were delighted when we stumbled upon Daniel De Bruin's work. De Bruin makes prototypical machines, devices, and tools that are reminiscent of Rube-Goldberg's contraptions.

Implications about society

In an interview with IE, De Bruin talked about his projects and claimed that they have "implications about society and interpretations of real-life counterparts."


"I've always been fascinated by the ingenuity of products and machines, especially the inner workings. I love to take them apart and see what they were made of. I remember doing this since I was able to do so," said the creative artist.

De Bruin added that he sees his projects as art "but also engineering and sometimes product design." "It really depends on the project. In the end, I just like to make what comes up in my mind," he added.

He also revealed that he usually doesn't know what his projects will look like when he starts working on an idea. "So when it's finished I try to look back and surprise myself with what I came up with," he explained.  

Below we bring you nine of his projects along with the artist's personal commentary on them.

1. The mechanical 3D printer

Timelapse of my mechanical printer from r/3Dprinting

"This project started my career. It has a long history but it comes down to that I was fed up with CNC machines doing the making part for me, I wanted to make again! But I also wanted that autonomy of fabrication. So, I decided to make my own machine that is also powered by my own energy. In that way, I could reclaim ownership over the final product," said De Bruin.

2. The soda can opener

Made myself a pneumatic soda can opener. (Learning pneumatics) from r/EngineeringPorn

Have you ever wanted to open a can of soda in a totally unique way? Well, De Bruin offers the perfect automated version. It is fun to watch, but likely not very practical in real life. 

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3. The marble track

How to make a marble track! from r/howto

This marble track is mesmerizing to watch. It creates a loop where the marble keeps being lifted back up to continue its cycle of twist and turns.

4. The trendy shutter glasses

Horrified by the ‘trendy’ shutter sunglasses I designed version 2.0. It is also unpractical but has at least some kind of humor in it. from r/3Dprinting

These glasses were meant to be humorous and impractical according to De Bruin. No argument there, but as a work of art, they are also fun to take a look at.

5. The see-through pinball machine

This pinball machine has been made see-through so you can spot all the inside mechanisms. De Bruin also adds that the game "is powered by compressed air." Can it be more fun to play than it is to watch?

6. The camera is hidden behind a newspaper

This project was a collaboration by De Bruin on facial recognition. "They hide cameras in the strangest ways nowadays and gather data without you even knowing it," said De Bruin in his Instagram description.


De Bruin told IE this "biometrically controlled thrill ride" was quite a personal project. "I made a machine to look for the boundaries between me and my work and man and machine. Controlled by my own biometrically data it reacts to me and I to it," explained the engineering artist.

8. The Human Scanning Machine

De Bruin took a lighter approach to this work of art telling IE that "this project is mostly a fun project just to get people curious and to answer a livelong question of mine. What happens in those scanners?"

9.  The MONIAC

"This machine was Inspired by the Moniac (Monetary National Income Analogue Computer), built by Bill Philips in 1949. The MONIAC is my take on the economy. It's presented like a game where you need to earn money to buy candy. The entire machine is mechanical and analog.," De Bruin told IE.

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