3M Built A Huge Rube Goldberg Machine, And It's Totally Awesome

Aug 26, 2015 By Archit Tripathi
A Rube Goldberg machine is a contraption designed to make a simple task incredibly complicated. You may remember these machines most prominently featured in old Looney Tunes cartoons. Basically, if it's something that takes 1-2 steps to complete, the Rube Goldberg machine will complete the task in about 20. Recently, 3M (best known as makers of Post-it Notes and various types of tape) constructed a Rube Goldberg machine by using a variety of products that they designed to make life easier.

According to 3M, the machine incorporates 25,000 Post-it Notes and 75 rolls of ScotchBlue Painter's Tape, along with slightly less recognizable but still incredibly common and useful products like "microprisms with cube-corner retro-reflectivity" (which is how street signs stay visible in low light). Although the machine is built to be complicated, it serves to illustrate that the things we take for granted every day (like that Post-it Note with a lovely message from your wife, stuck on your lunch) actually take a lot of scientific research and development.
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