For no other reason than the fact that it’s awesome, a Polish man by the name of Szymon Klimek hand-makes some wonderfully intricate machines… inside wine glasses. It’s a little like those boats that people build right inside bottles, except Klimek’s machines are fully functional. Well, functional in the sense that they move, but they don’t actually do anything useful. The above is his latest, called Sponge.
Made from 0.1 millimeter sheets of brass and bronze, Klimek’s miniature machines dance effortlessly in wine-glass enclosures that measure little more than 4 inches across. Klimek’s latest creation, Sponge, is a steam engine-like machine named for the latticework of tiny, interconnected brass pieces that expands and contracts as the engine runs. Sitting in a wine glass about a foot tall, a small silicon solar cell powers a concealed electric motor, which drives the 3-inch flywheel. He doesn’t work to a specific scale, but customizes his designs for each glass: the opening of Sponge’s wine glass and the diameter of its flywheel differed by less than a millimetre
He started this hobby back in 2004 and since 2008 has created 9 “active devices”, which you can find on his website. Links to that plus a cool video of the Sponge in action after the break.