Why Machines That Bend Are Better



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    Compliant mechanisms have lots of advantages over traditional devices. SimpliSafe is awesome security. It's really effective, easy to use, and the price is great. Check out SimpliSafe here: simplisafe.com/veritasium
    I visited the Compliant Mechanisms Research group at Brigham Young University and spoke to Professor Larry Howell:
    At the above link, you can download 3D-print files to make some of the objects in the video, plus learn more about compliant mechanisms.
    What I learned about compliant mechanisms I summarize in the 8 P's of compliant mechanisms:
    1. Part count (reduced by having flexible parts instead of springs, hinges)
    2. Productions processes (many, new, different enabled by compliant designs)
    3. Price (reduced by fewer parts and different production processes)
    4. Precise Motion (no backlash, less wear, friction)
    5. Performance (no outgassing, doesn't require lubricant)
    6. Proportions (reduced through different production processes)
    7. Portability (lightweight due to simpler, reduced part count designs)
    8. Predictability (devices are reliable over a long period of time)
    Special thanks to Patreon supporters:
    Donal Botkin, James M Nicholson, Michael Krugman, Nathan Hansen, Ron Neal, Stan Presolski, Terrance Shepherd
    Animation by Alan Chamberlain

    Published on 9 days ago


    1. mysmileisfake

      That's so cool, definitely learn something new today.

    2. dan taylor

      more plastic to fill up our already clogged oceans..............................great stuff.

    3. Is Thuku

      You dont have to be in the shot man. Just film the guy

    4. Tom Arabia

      I can think of a better way to guarantee that nuclear weapons don't ever detonate.

    5. Spidey Parker

      *Reads Title* Me : You know why ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    6. Franco VF

      Fine youtube, i'll watch...

    7. Pepper Spray

      Seems like a way to make durable tools disposable.

    8. Cavare Envius

      So Bender was right all along. He is the coolest there is because he is a bending unit.

    9. Leonard Greenpaw

      I have trouble accepting that these are resilient and durable especially with metal, which becomes brittle when bent repeatedly

    10. Giryo_san

      i got the elephant thing right /0o0/

    11. Legenden27

      Phil swift is wayyyyyyyyy ahead of this guys, he got Flex Seal, Flex Shot, Flex Tape and Flex Glue products.

    12. JanniMurphy

      this guy is like Elon Musk's dad

    13. Dio Vidi Putra

      For once, thanks US-new....I'm just a curious student.

    14. Torgul

      Cool stuff thx :)

    15. Nathan

      Except that when these parts break, you're absolutely fucked. You have to replace the entire part, not just a single tiny part.

    16. Bradley Akulov

      No not belittle the beloved locking pliers. Never forget that your laboratories, facilities to produce these fancy-schmancy science stuff where built with that familiar click. US-newr khason01's top comment about the 8 p's describes this metallic marvel.

    17. Arthur Jackson

      Shut up and let the Prof. talk please.

    18. rollout the battle rapper

      9:24 making sure u get a good shot while others are having orgasm.

    19. rollout the battle rapper

      the trunk moves relative to the dang elephant... is it gonna go this way or that way??? IT DOESNT NOTHING>>> rhetorical scam.

    20. Jeet Thakwani

      can SimpliSafe bend?

    21. yongsaiX

      only one word: Witchcraft

    22. Marshall Kell

      This satisfied my brain fuzzies.

    23. Joseph Kreifels II

      I don't know why this was recommended, but it's extremely interesting.

    24. SanraS Uzumaki

      Wait, I'm too stupid to understand how that prevents arming anything, explain please.

    25. Handy Menagerie

      From the standpoint of somebody who likes to service and fix things if a hinge or other part on my vice grips goes bad, I can replace the pin, or even make a new one in my shop. If a hinge breaks on his model the whole thing is trash. I don’t know that I like that in emergency situations. You know, like Apollo 13.

    26. Audrey Norman

      awesome video.

    27. Roman Troshkin

      Nanomachines, son!

    28. Dercsenyi Laszlo

      NSFW content!

    29. Luka Radulović

      This is like saying "I'm gonna make my own US-new channel, with Blackjack and hookers."

    30. Lucas de Abreu

      so he makes integrated springs. wow.

    31. albird burger


    32. EngineerBaboo


    33. Scary T


    34. Ryan

      FINE youtube ill watch the video. christ.

    35. Mr. Valtiel

      6:06 he plays that sound everytime he sticks hid dick up her ass

    36. Tyler Hunt

      9:07 It's called a centrifugal clutch

    37. Ennar

      I'd like to print out that one switch Edit: Printed one in white PLA, and it came out really nice

    38. harrod harrod

      Wow, this is so cool. One question for the two titanium "hinges", especially the first one that's supposed to be used on solar panels. Since it's probably going to be in one of the compressed positions for extended periods of time, isn't there increased risk of the material weakening/failing in the point of greatest stress?

    39. JaysonSR

      I was able to figure out the elephant rather quickly. Unfortunately, my reverse engineering is as good as my creativity is bad. As for his work, this guy is absolutely amazing! I would've figured bendy stuff would just fail too quickly to ever be effective in the long run. Challenging preconceived notions like that are how humanity can keep advancing.

    40. boxoflostcauses

      This was so freaking cool man, I love this channel so much

    41. Ashwin Jain

      doesnt these bending parts undergo elastic fatigue over a period of usage time?

    42. jesus perez

      I just graduated and my lessons on mechanical engineering are worthless now, great

    43. Fallenangel 85

      I found a big P that's a disadvantage: PLASTIC!

    44. Lukas Hahn

      His first mechanism looks like the Aphex Twin logo :D

    45. Lucas Richard Stephens

      Great field! Many buildings have been using flexibility as a design positive for centuries, nice to see engineers working with these natural design complexities, hope they keep an eye on the big picture too.

    46. Benjamin Bennett

      Sorry this professor is not honestly comparing to other methods. 1 million cycles of car engine at highway speeds takes 6.6 hours of driving. Imagine if you engine failed every 6-7 hours.Elephant one was to easy to see it wasn't going to move in the x-y, Not impressed at all.

    47. Jeremy C Barnhart

      Can they be / Are they affected by temperatures?

    48. Jeremy C Barnhart

      LARRY!!!! OH MAN! Love this guy!

    49. Jeremiah Dauphinais

      You and your team are killin' it!

    50. danielthesantos

      Why the F*** is a top notch mechanical engineer saying "nucUlar"? WTF!? This is not an alternate pronunciation, it is a corruption, pure and simple! This, my friends, is the end of the world.

    51. Riot4Peace

      11:55 ? ... Police helicopters don't circle overhead for someone breaking into a house... The government is watching you.

    52. McAmber

      well this is interesting..

    53. zawa


    54. jonathanmellqvist2

      That Simplisafe.. Super safe, super simple and super no privacy at home at all. Perhaps a new kind of "home made tapes" is coming up too!

    55. Hajar Renate Midbrød

      Looks like two plastic spoons having missionary position sex LOL

    56. Dunc M

      Flexible machines from flexible minds. A most interesting video. Thanks for posting.

    57. linglingjr

      The way this guy presents himself during the first 21 seconds of this video is all by itself enough for me not to like him.

    58. Jason Bedillion

      Bender Bending Rodriguez approves of this video.

    59. Andrew Mooney

      Those damn Mormons are tricky

    60. Shashank Rajesh

      This is some of the coolest stuff I've ever seen.

    61. earth meme

      Bender "Bending" Rodrigez

    62. NeoRipshaft

      This is super neat and all, but you didn't address at all the one burning question - fatigue! How the heck do these applications interact with material fatigue!? I mean presumably we all know how to bend spoons, or failing that, coat hangars - I'm sure he has answers to all of our burning questions about the various applications - ahhhh now I'm going to have to check the literature on this, though I'm guessing more viewers don't have access to journals or know to look there - so cmon man don't leave us hanging!

    63. Ahmad Alqasimi

      I met him in person, amazing professor. My PhD is based on his book and he was my professor's professor. It was an honor

    64. StYxXx

      Uh this was more like a huge advertising. It didn't address any disadvantages. What about repairing something? You can't replace a screw. But more important: What about aging? Plastic can get recalcitrant (ist this the right word?) and get micro-cracks. Yes they said they did 1 mio cycles with one element but was this verified by a neutral third party? Also you can't just randomly scale an element since it's behavior will change. So this might be interesting for some cases but the video presented it as the best thing for every case and without any scientific scepticism. But as a scientist you shouldn't be fanboying something so easily. About the satellite thrusters: This whole element was superfluous. There were two motors. You can already archive the movement with just two motors, no need for flexible parts. Actually they just provide another potential point of failure. Especially in space you want to avoid that. That's why they prefer a second thruster (also this provides redundancy). Also space is pretty bad for plastics. So this example was pretty bizarre (to say it mildly).

      1. Wasabi Steak

        > Repairing You have to replace the entire part. Availability apparently not an issue because these things can be 3D-printed. The design for the flatter pieces can be easily printed without any extra cutting or filing done afterwards like you would normally with many 3D-printed designs or even for injection molds. Manufacturing at a large scale is also shown to be much simpler - since the pieces aren't made of smaller pieces. The thruster piece seems very complex though. > Aging Bending lasts longer than moving/sliding parts. Also, a single piece, glue, or a weld will always last longer than something that has nails/bolts/screws/rivets. You can't avoid non-moveable parts from actually moving - they will always bend, and they will slide at the seams. Also, it showed that the material doesn't have to be plastic. They showed a single piece of titanium bending with 90 degrees range of motion. > Testing by neutral third party I would suppose that the 3rd party would be review board, or their clients (e.g. NASA). I don't think it really matters at this point - a question was asked, and they answered that their stress tests showed promising results. It didn't sound like sales talk as you're suggesting. > Randomly scale What are you talking about? It showed that the items work the exact same way at a microscopic scale. > Satellite thrusters Again, the parts don't have to be made of plastic for this particular application. Using bendy parts and having redundant thrusters is not mutually exclusive, but I'd reckon that satellite designers would want to minimize the amount of parts as much as possible. Every extra gram you shoot up into space is luxurious. The 3D animation showed two motors, so it wasn't about the motors but rather the "hinge" where the thruster would float about. Normally, you're gonna have some sliding parts, like a wheel and axle. If you watch the video again, the design was meant to be accommodating for electrical lines and fuel lines, so on top of allowing to have less weight than a conventional design, it's also easier to design around it; it's not superfluous.

      2. Abelardo Mieres

        The prototypes are made of plastic, the actual final parts can be made of metal (they showed some made of titanium). Making the thrusters directionable actually adds a component of redundancy. The idea would be that if a thruster breaks down, the remaining can be redirected to compensate. He is excited about the technology and its potential why can''t he be? Like him, I find it fascinating and even beautiful.

    65. Ice cube Island

      The device that writes BYU definitely stands for Brigham Young University. (should be obvious)

    66. RARE ONLY

      Bender from futurama would be proud.

    67. Eliot Francis

      Thanks for posting this very educational video.

    68. =NolePtr

      Sponsored by Bender Bending Rodriguez

    69. jl smith

      So cool! That was mostly about the micro applications. What about the macro? Lift a bridge or a car?

    70. Oborowatabinost

      I would like to see a combustion engine rotor or piston made with this concept!

    71. 譚睿哲

      Weird flexible machine !

    72. Alex Sinclair

      Makes sense, many of our moving parts bend.

    73. An Anna

      I seriously doubt the police are going to deploy a helicopter costing $$$$ on the report of a home break in. They do next to nothing if you report goods stolen. More than likely, they were looking for marijuana grow light signatures. A prosecution for drug production is big bucks $$$ to them.

    74. Chris Ho

      SimpliSafe, you are telling me people are watching me for my safety ?

    75. gun wheat

      Flexible, efficient, and sturdy; wow, that' s new age mechanics. I wonder what if the professor is given charge of designing AI robotics, he may just transform the field. As usual thanks for marketing science and engineering, among other things ! Cheers!

    76. Michael Kennedy

      You know what else bends? A catapult, but it's inferior compared to the superior seige engine- the trebuchet which can launch a 90kg projectile 300m away.

    77. Dimitar Yotsov

      he looks like elon musk but downgraded

    78. Steven Wilkinson

      Haven't centrifugal clutches already been around for a while?

    79. S. McO

      Amazing stuff, but when they talked about the NASA thruster engines it blew my mind.

    80. Wendy Meng

      That’s sooooo cool

    81. Lettuce

      Dang that's so interesting, This could be revolutionary!

    82. BENRAO

      This is actually so fascinating

    83. Rowe Magnon

      What about deformations from heat?

    84. Darrin Lalla

      Wow! You and Physics Girl belong in a category with Neill De Grasse Tyson and Carl Segan! You keep it fun!

      1. Chef Janvier

        Sagan. Carl Sagan.

    85. Oliver. R Evans

      So good

    86. JasonVladimir

      Pretty cool!

    87. RagHelen

      Bringing gifts to the Physic's girl, ha?

    88. 13Omega37

      Super interesting to me as a Mechanical Engineer! How do they come up with the designs, though? That would be my biggest question.

    89. Okiki Ojo

      Is there a way I could get the stl file for the vice grips so that I could 3D print that? Or at least a drawing/dimensions so that I could make and test it out?

      1. J R

        I don't think 3D would work for those fine parts. Maybe plastic injection (done right. Not China style)

    90. rob kev

      11:48 Hey, Vsauce, Micheal here

    91. Jack Kraken

      Skynet: We'll keep you around. You seem useful.

    92. PhonyPhoner

      its an interesting video about this company. i would have liked tho, if they would have not worked on anything like nuclear weapons..

    93. Frank Fripp

      There youtube, I watched it

    94. gamerguy1221 AkA redstone genius

      *compliant guns*

    95. banescar

      I don't get how the machine on the table is related to the machine in the video. Also, how is the machine in the video powered. And are those hinges?

    96. Marc Smithsonian

      Brilliant! Can you use it to make mechanical watch outperforming swiss ones ? That would be big triumph of USA engineering.

    97. Ray Denius Jr

      reminiscent of that "smartereveryday" video guy just a bit different

    98. Mud-Lust

      I'm flexible

    99. PLEXER 13

      But what about the durability on the bendy spots? I assume some parts and places on parts need to be thinner, or smaller in order to make them bend easier

    100. Glenn Mrosek

      This title is misleading. I was expecting a Futurama special.