Here are two fun LEGO machines to build – a paper crimper and a circle drawing device!
Challenge kids to build these designs or invent their own. This is a great project for a LEGO club! What other machines can you build to do something with paper? Maybe a folding machine?
We found the paper crimping machine on Pinterest, but there was only a photo and no instructions. Aidan was able to figure out how to build it, and it’s a very fun little machine! It’s very satisfying to run paper through it and watch it come out all crinkly.
Just feed strips of paper in between the gears. Then turn the handle and out comes the paper!
Here’s how to build a paper crimper:
We started with two 2 x 6 bricks, two 1 x 12 Technic bricks, and a 2 x 2 brick.
Slide two small gears onto a Technic axle. It doesn’t matter how long the axle is, as long as it’s long enough to go through both Technic bricks.
Then stick it into the holes in the Technic bricks. (You’ll have to take the Technic bricks off again to do this.) We used larger gears for the second set, but the size is not important.
Attach both sets of gears to the frame. For the handle, you just need something that has an x-shaped hole so that it fits snugly on the longer axle.
Add more bricks to the frame. We used two 2 x 6 bricks, two 2 x 4 bricks, and two 1 x 6 bricks.
Then you’re ready to go! Cut some paper strips to use with your crimping machine! We used construction paper and copy paper as well as card stock. The card stock looks the best, but you’ll need to turn the gears themselves instead of the handle because of the stiffness of the paper.
Now try building a circle drawing machine!
We used twist ties to attach a Sharpie to the machine. It’s pretty simple – just spin the arm and the machine draws a circle!
Make the circle smaller by moving the two long Technic bricks over in relation to the center.
Here are the pieces that we used to make the arm spin. The black piece is a turntable, free spinning. (The link goes to Brick Link, which is our favorite site for ordering individual LEGO bricks.)
Draw a bunch of circles, and then color in the spaces! Jonathan (4) was a little young to use the circle drawing machine by himself, but he had a blast coloring in the circles. Kept him busy for a long time, and it looks really cool too! (I colored in some of them myself – fun activity!)
Challenge your kids to invent more designs. What can you build with LEGO and paper? Have fun tinkering with LEGO machines!