Destroying stuff for the good of all mankind

NC state’s constructed facilities laboratory is a place where things get broken for science. We’ve shared several videos lately of things being sliced, diced, sheared, exploded, and smashed, purely for the fun of it, and now we feel like we should compensate a little bit. No, we’re not going to undergo physical punishment, instead, we’ll share some educational destruction.

In the video after the break, you can see a few things pushed to their absolute limits, then a bit further. The Constructed Facilities Laboratory is a research lab that tests the limits of some of the infrastructure that we rely on daily. Bridges, roads, walls, support beams. Someone needs to figure out what they can really handle. Even more interesting than the short video below, are all the different videos in the tour that explain how the facility is constructed an how they operate. Take a few minutes and enjoy the tour.

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Crazy slingshot guy at it again with a 220 lb steel ball cannon

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Good old [Jörg Sprave].

That guy just doesn’t quit building insane slingshots. If he’s not honing his machete slinging skills in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, he’s blowing out car windows with giant steel balls.

The huge cannon you see above is modeled off a small slingshot he made a while back, which fired 8mm steel bearings. In its larger form, the slingshot is said to be ten times the size of it’s smaller brother, firing 80mm steel balls with incredible force. In the video below, [Jörg] and his friends cart the slingshot out to a huge empty field where they run it through its paces on several different objects. Their first shot flies about 220 yards into a high tension tower, after which the boys aim their sights on an old car.

The power with which the slingshot fires is definitely impressive. With a few well-placed shots, the car is pretty much done for.

Now that we’ve seen [Jörg] fire off saw blades, machetes, and giant ball bearings, we can’t wait to see what comes next!

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Blowing up capacitors

[grenadier] wrote in to show us a video of some capacitors being blown up. Yup, that’s it. Just some capacitors being blown up. You might be wondering what there is to learn from this video. The answer is… nothing. It sure is fun to watch though. We’re all busy trying to find some nice hacks to share with you, so we figured you could watch some stuff getting destroyed while you waited.  Here’s someone using explosives to reveal art behind a thin layer of concrete on a wall. Here’s some high voltage destroying multimeters. How about a turkey being cooked with thermite? Thermite works on hard drives too.

Ok, enough of that. This was a gentle reminder to send us tips to your projects.

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Thermic lance made from spaghetti

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[Frogz] sent in a video he found of a thermic lance constructed from spaghetti. If you are not familiar, thermic lances are typically comprised of an iron tube filled with iron rods, which are then burned using highly pressurized oxygen. This lance however, was built by tightly wrapping a bundle of spaghetti in aluminum foil and attaching it to an oxygen tank. While thermic lances are commonly used in heavy construction where thick steel needs to be cut, [latexiron] and his friends use theirs to cut apart a chair. While we don’t necessarily condone drunken destruction of innocent patio furniture, we can’t help but watch this video again and again in amazement of the incredibly novel use of everyday pasta. You too can join in the drunken revelry after the jump. If food-based cutting torches are your thing, be sure to check out this bacon lance as well.

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Office warfare

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a Ruler, rubber band, and a pen make a bow and arrow? How about tape, a ping pong ball, and a lighter coming together to make a ‘Zooka. We didn’t think such destructive weapons could possibly be made from office supplies, but the famous [John Austin] is here to prove us wrong. He’s been miniaturizing toys and their munitions including Transformers, Star Wars, Jurassic Park for years. With the resent release of his new book, he’s left us the grace of a few teasers.

[Thanks Chris]

Drive Slagging


Maybe you wiped your iPhone by filling the hard drive with music, or maybe you used a more sophisticated method. In either case, your phone is clean, but the hard drive in your computer is still chock full of evidence of your misdeeds (or just personal emails to your mother). If you fear forensic analysis will expose your wheelings and dealings, then a full format is not enough; you’re going to have to obliterate the plates inside the hard drive.

To that end, [Eecue] posted this worklog of slagging a hard drive. Using a propane powered furnace, he melted most of the drive’s components by placing it in a steel crucible which was lowered into the furnace. After a few minutes everything but the steel casing and a few bits of woven fiberglass from the PCB were melted down completely. You can see the entire process in [Eecue]‘s drive slagging photo album.

With solid state drives becoming popular and their inherent difficulty of assured erasure, physical destruction is looking like a lot more reasonable option. As you readers have stated in the past: it’s certainly a lot more fun.