2,100 Mechanical Mechanisms

[Nguyen Duc Thang]’s epic 2100 Animated Mechanical Mechanisms is one of the best YouTube channels we’ve ever seen. A retired mechanical engineer, [Nguyen Duc Thang] has taken on an immense challenge: building up 3D models of nearly every imaginable mechanism in Autodesk Inventor, and animating them for your amusement and enlightenment. And, no, we haven’t watched them all for you, but we’re confident that you’ll be able to waste at least a couple of hours without our help.

If you’re actually looking for something specific, with this many mechanisms demonstrated, YouTube is not the perfect lookup table. Thankfully, [Nguyen Duc Thang] has also produced a few hundred pages of documentation (PDFs, zipped) to go along with the series, with each mechanism classified, described, and linked to the video.

This is an amazing resource as it stands, and it’s probably a good thing that we don’t have access to the 3D files; between the filament cost and the time spent shepherding our 3D printer through 2,100 mechanisms, we’d be ruined. Good thing we don’t know about the Digital Mechanism and Gear Library or KMODDL.

Thanks [alnwlsn] for the tip!



29 thoughts on “2,100 Mechanical Mechanisms

  1. Great resource! Would love access to the DXF files to further iterate with and explore.

    Other great resources:

    Five Hundred and Seven Mechanical Movements by H. Brown (1871)
    Ingenious Mechanisms Vol.1 through 5 by Jones (1930)
    Illustrated Sourcebook of Mechanical Components by R.O.Parmley (2000)

  2. I’m pretty sure he did it for the “flow buzz” of creating alone, but I wish there was a way to meaningfully to thank Nguyen Duc Thang for the good he has done by sharing his work. Amazing stuff!

    Is there an award for individual contributions to “open knowledge” resources?

  3. That’s fabulous! I’ll trawl through it, I’m specifically hoping to find a mechanism to amplify sinusoidal motion. I’ve been trying to build a small XY plotter from LEGO Technic that can produce Lissajous figures, but I can’t sem to generate long sine motion on each axis across the plotting surface (say 6″ x 6″) without having huge unsightly looking crank arms. Maybe I’ll find something here.

  4. Does anybody have a reference for these Paternoster elevators? I’d like to build a cupboard and have not fully understood the mechanism yet:
    – there are some with ginormous cogwheels
    – and some with levers attached to a chain on smaller cogwheels on the side

    I am trying to find an explanation for the second mechanism…

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