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


veritasiumsciencecompliant mechanismsflexibledevicenuclear weaponssafing and armingmachinesave the worldcompliantbendswitchmechanismlarry howellbyucompliant mechanism researchprecise motion




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Comments 100
EpicEpidemic 2 hours ago
#9 "Private"
Yawg moth
Yawg moth 2 hours ago
Woah, dude has greys in his beard now. Where has the time gone?
For 3D printing, what plastic would be best? PLA is not very flexible I know
Jari Fuller
Jari Fuller 11 hours ago
very cool...thx
Fharish Ahmed Clips
Fharish Ahmed Clips 12 hours ago
Most Cringe moment 7:56
Ricky Downhill - RDH
This is all very cool, but that microscopic stuff is nuts!!
M 12 hours ago
Yea because we have not enough plastic on earth xD
Chris 12 hours ago
These guys at 1:37
crazyassailant 14 hours ago
At about 3:44, you ask the question about how long the switch piece lasts. He referenced fatigue testing which got over a million cycles before failure. Is there any kind of metric or estimation to what that equates to in terms of time in real-world use? How long would that be expected to last?
Jenn Hoff
Jenn Hoff 15 hours ago
Wow, this guy is amazing!!!
Kanishk Gang
Kanishk Gang 15 hours ago
The thumbnail is demonitized.
Teerin Varongchayakul
this is the coolest tech ever!
Dylan Dreisbach
Dylan Dreisbach 23 hours ago
Time to get my 3d printer set up again! They are quite cheap if you don't mind being on your own setting it up and troubleshooting and calibrating.
t guanni
t guanni Day ago
So damn cool...
fernando jaimes
my reaction to this is just... :O WoW, awesome
Victor Sebastian S.
just just.. instant subscribe
Charterf 7
Charterf 7 Day ago
Ipad 11 bend
ufewl Day ago
just a realty bad video a waste of time, wont be subscribing
ufewl Day ago
What the fukc is going on at 6.07 we cant see what is going on or what she does so for someone who explains science it is fukcing uselss
Abdel Hakim
Abdel Hakim Day ago
i can watch your videos all day long one of my favorite USvidrs
Luis Molina
Luis Molina Day ago
Bender likes this video.
Heaven Josiah
Man, if that can work with the electricity conducting paint, it will be crazy awesome
Delphin Outfits
complaint mechanism means soft transition, more flexible, viable
archisaurus Day ago
What an incredible video. Thank you
Post Cancel
Post Cancel Day ago
I want that Elephant rump!
Дмитрий Д
I should mention that you have compliant mechanism. It is buttons in your computer mouse. Quite old and proved design of buttons.
Charles Darwin
So that Atom bomb arming mechanism was another WATCHTIME-BAIT? Came after seeing HOW TO VIRAL video.
Schrödinger Day ago
This guy has the best job in the entire world I won't to be him
Runn Jeet
Runn Jeet Day ago
Your incredible research methods made me say this, Can I work under you as an assistant sometime?
MrFilipang Day ago
Why isn this industry standard??
keyman21 Day ago
TIL im better than straight people
Vinayak Halekoti
Backlash also can see in clearence between rack and pinion.
Ismael Castillo
Wuoo so many "WTF" moments!
Anton Chigurh
Bender? It’s Bender 😔.
Had to wait 90 days to change my name
Hear that ipad pro?
daniel I
daniel I Day ago
but i am straight though
ChafradorGaming 2 days ago
Bite my shiny metal ass.
hello there good guy!
dr banner?
KB 2 days ago
why the thumbnail look like two people having sex
jhkkjhk 2 days ago
Thumbnail looks like an Aphex Twin logo
SKMC69 2 days ago
I grew up in the 70s and 80s and knew sooooo many people who died in car crashes. I wonder how many lives Crumple Zones have saved in the modern era?
Mike Volume
Mike Volume 2 days ago
“Why Machines That Bend are Better” Robot Amon seethes.
D W 2 days ago
Absolutely AMAZING stuff! I could have watched this stuff for hours.
SkhairKro89 2 days ago
Samsung missed a major opportunity to sponsor this video with their Flagship Folding Phone!
Steve C
Steve C 2 days ago
I suspect such compliant mechanism could make a better artificial knee joint.
This was invented by an Indian professor
Enderwarrior X
Enderwarrior X 3 days ago
Remind me again what the purpose of the satisfying clicky thing is, why you’d need that hinge and how the last mechanism keeps nuclear arms safe from earthquakes?
haechi21 3 days ago
I want that elephant.
Lucas Carman
Lucas Carman 3 days ago
I want to see more of the steel clutch. That was the coolest thing to me
Nouche 3 days ago
Can we agree upon the ambiguity of the thumbnail, please?
Paddy 3 days ago
mind blown
James Andrew McNamara
So cool to learn about complaint mechanisms!
Michael Lopez
Michael Lopez 4 days ago
you should show some statics analysis for these mechanisms, and then compare them to traditional variants such as hinges and pulleys!
Coding Tunes
Coding Tunes 4 days ago
If you pause at 4:20 you realize these guys have no idea where their plastic comes from.
Analytical Reactor
At 9:06 you present a clutch which is OK, but you avoid saying "centrifugal clutch." AND, you present it to your "physics girl," who likewise does not use the word "centrifugal." WTF is going on here? Rather than pretending that this is a new invention (thus insulting everyone who had a go-cart when he was a kid), you could have been honest and discussed its advantages/disadvantages with typical in-use clutches.
ryan mundell
ryan mundell 4 days ago
this reminds me of a spring
Duderobi Patschie
yes bending is better this thought also Samsung
MrWolf 4 days ago
1 million repetition cycles, damn
Rei Mici
Rei Mici 4 days ago
Never witnessed such a genius yet simple idea
StobbyEnduroMX 4 days ago
I'm sad that you never explained exactly how it was that this engineers nuclear safety device worked.
4 days ago
*Machines that bend are better* ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Think i can agree on that
Harbinger 5 days ago
I went to BYU but I studied Philosophy...
Jacob Moorman
Jacob Moorman 5 days ago
How do they age?
Richard Parker
Richard Parker 5 days ago
About 54 seconds in you can see a Prusa 3D printer in the back to the Right. Very cool.
Stoney Lonsome
Stoney Lonsome 5 days ago
Why are bending machines better- because Bender said so "I said bending is better!"
Legion 5 days ago
Everybody knows that Bender is great.
Bob Dillahunty
Bob Dillahunty 5 days ago
How can I personally profit from this financially even though I did nothing whatsoever to contribute to it?
multiplexed 5 days ago
Springs and centrifugal clutches are not news... even if they're onesies.
John Smith
John Smith 5 days ago
Many Tupperware products have living hinges.
Serge Goncharov
Serge Goncharov 5 days ago
круче чем последний выпуск Дудя
Cestarian Inhabitant
This... This is revolutionary...
Jason Willows
Jason Willows 5 days ago
"This makes sure that no random vibration, like earthquakes, can arm nuclear weapons" Because god knows how many times the earthquakes keep on guessing passwords.
Bloginton Blakley
Glad I watched this.
The Cereal Guy
The Cereal Guy 5 days ago
That's honestly very interesting
Randy Bobandy
Randy Bobandy 5 days ago
iPhone 6 disagrees.
Роман Белоусов
О боже мой. У нас тут изобретение велосипеда.
오재화 5 days ago
See ipad is not bad Lolololololol
Jake Kang
Jake Kang 5 days ago
This video reminded me once again about the greatness of "Occam's Razor." Simple is the best always.
Leocat Bestcat
Leocat Bestcat 5 days ago
1:44 This thing looks like the Waterwraith run!!!
Thomas Neal
Thomas Neal 5 days ago
"Why Machines That Bend Are Better" written by Bender B Rodriguez
joseph dragojevich
+Brandon LaBianco idk maybe cause this isnt reddit lmao
Tit Cheese
Tit Cheese 5 days ago
+Brandon LaBianco ik same!!!!🙊
Brandon LaBianco
Brandon LaBianco 5 days ago
Why does this not have more upvotes. I browsed the comments just for this.
NovaMG 6 days ago
That elephant mechanism would be really good for earthquake protection for buildings
PIT PYG 5 days ago
That mechanism was good for force in one direction, the X direction. For an earthquake you would need to handle forces for Z and Y as well.
Wray Gamma & His Gamma Rays
I am bender please insert girder
Zapped Cannon
Zapped Cannon 6 days ago
Video: you know, tools that bend are better. Me: I know, I’ll make a bendy hammer! Video: um Me: holy mother-- my toe!!! Video: oops...
Zapped Cannon
Zapped Cannon 5 days ago
+haselni thanks, that is very interesting. It seems that they are more shock adsorbent, and although I don't think they are the definition of compliant, they are very close.
haselni 5 days ago
Dead blow hammers are compliant, I believe.
EatableGaming & More
1:37 look at the background
Ghost LY
Ghost LY 6 days ago
Aphex Twin?
Slykeren 6 days ago
could these devices not be used in folding phones instead of hinges?
Vlad Hardware
Vlad Hardware 6 days ago
Moral of the Story: At the extremities, science is art!
Kenneth Kustren
Kenneth Kustren 6 days ago
A nutcracker ... One piece, in polymers... crazy !!
Romnick Cabaltera
Meanwhile, Drake got the most number of music awards this year and defeated Taylor Swift.
Rebel Quadron FPV
How about the folding Galaxy?
MAN_ON_WHEELZ 6 days ago
I didn't realize how massively important this was. I knew of its existence... I've seen it in application on various devices for various reasons, just never knew to tag a name to it, and never thought of it as a such a revolutionary way of making moving parts. In fact I've always feared it breaking more easily like the lid on your toothpaste (a very simple compliant mechanism we've all grown accustomed to without knowing it)
Cafe Vampire
Cafe Vampire 6 days ago
I'm gonna say it... The thumbnail looks like 2 spoons having sex
Nox Dei
Nox Dei 6 days ago
Catapults bad. Trebuchets good.
Chris Dohr
Chris Dohr 6 days ago
Link to the Thingiverse page with the designs in the video for anyone who wants to print some of the designs: www.thingiverse.com/BYU_CMR/designs
Wietepietepatat 6 days ago
its like magic with bending flexible materials!
Joe Stevenson
Joe Stevenson 6 days ago
Can we not pretend that that plastic 'gripper' is in any regard better than a vice grip? That sort of stupid comparison makes it look like you;re full of shite when some of these advantages are very legitimate.
KingSlimjeezy 6 days ago
me papa's career revolves around this for jets. There becomes a point where no computer in the world can calculate those forces to a T but the principles remain the same - for practical purposes, even with an unlimited budget there are situations where knowledge of principle and experience of a lifetime of data an almost mystical intuition can be formed that can pick out flaws in computer models just by looking at them
Todd Howard
Todd Howard 6 days ago
1:38 left side of the screen
TallFungus 6 days ago
they sent u a fleshlight
TVOGaming 7 days ago
11:48 hey vsauce Michael here
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