Why Machines That Bend Are Better

Publisert 12. mars. 2019
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


  • Fine I give up youtube!!! Stop recommending me this... Oh.. that is fascinating.

  • geometry is better therefore tools that can shape shift is better every engineer knows that

  • This video was super fascinating.

  • Bite my shiny metal a**, meatbags! BENDER BENDER BENDER!

  • Wow, one of the most amazing things I've seen.

  • I learned sooooo much here.

  • While I do appreciate and understand the benefits of flex in some applications there are some others where it is a poor design choice. Living hinges as an example.

  • can you make a camera gyroscope like this?

  • Professor SOO cool helping make nuclear weapons. He is a looser. Also those vice grips are garbage.

  • Most Intriguing!! Are these student ideas?

  • I can definitely see the appeal of using these in spacecraft applications. High-precision movement with no need for lubrication.

  • Metal fatigue?

  • 9:44 centrifugal clutch. It already exist but not like this.


  • this is 100% cooler than I thought it would be

  • the first thing that came to my mind was the lauf gravel fork

  • i remember the old saying of japanese when they make a katana long long time ago, "bend is better than break". now i understand.

  • 11:47 Vsauce moment

  • Hah. I got the elephant one.

  • 3:08 1 pound force results in 30 pounds of force INFINITE ENERGYa

    • in practice y talkin aboooout.......?

  • Wrong. Trebuchet > catapult.

  • Well, I hope so. It'd be a lot better than 0000

  • Who else was NOT fooled by that elephant. =^-^=

  • So these are the kinds of mechanisms we'd want in a permanent data archive of the internet and multimedia culture.

  • These Aphex Twin videos just keep getting weirder.

  • Aphex Twin brought me here... by accident.

  • trippy

  • At first I was a little skeptical, but then I rememberd about the huge boost in both energy efficiency and durability that was brought to walking robots by simply adding elastic tendons to thier legs...

  • Great idea problem is that they will be made to fail so they will need to be replaced more often.

  • My phone works better when bent!

  • Brilliant! This is the height of what the internet is good for! 10/10

  • cool and all, but you showed nothing useful that would sell. i sure haven't seen those pliers at work yet. and nukes are safed with their neutron generators so ...not giving a free like on this one yet

  • How is the lifetime of compliant mechanisms vs conventional mechanisms?

  • cool! Time to try these on my 3d printer :)

  • Awesome thanks!!

  • "Im 40% wire"

  • Makes sense considering that most living things in the animal kingdom are basically a gestalt of compliant mechanisms.

  • Are you happy youtube??? I finally clicked it.

  • Is it possible to print out a titanium body suit?

  • Are you happy NO-tvs recommendations? I watched it


  • this is the future

  • THIS dude that invented it is a GENIUS!!

  • but are they recyclable?

  • ya but there's one big difference and that is the vise grips can stay closed

  • This is absolutely fascinating! Thank you!

  • 11:25 the moment when you realize your NO-tvs rabbit hole probably just showed the locking mechanism for nuclear weapon systems. Nothing to see here @Homeland Security...

  • I have SimpliSafe.

  • Nukes don't exist. Great video though.

  • EVERYONE Please go to movetoamend.org and sign the petition to have a constitutional amendment saying 1) corporations are NOT people and 2) money is NOT free speech. The video "Legalize Democracy" here on NO-tvs (30 min) does a good job of explaining why this is step ONE to solving ALL of the major issues confronting the average people struggling to get by and have their voices heard in a corrupt political system. Things look bad now, but we can FIX it all! Get behind the movement!

  • a new friction model can be used in cars

  • She is more of a friend isnt she?

  • Build an engine now

  • The 'compliant centrifugal clutch' old hat. Look at R/C model cars with i/c engines. These one-piece clutches are at least two decades old.

  • Great video, I was utterly enthralled whist watching.

  • that was awesome and all...but how do you 3d print titanium?

    • There are a couple of different ways, but any metal that can be powdered can be printed. One way is that a thin layer of powder is laid down and a binder is sprayed on it very precisely where you want to build the part. Then additional layers are put down, each with the binder where you are building the part. Essentially you glue the powder together and the loose powder falls away and you have a somewhat fragile powder part. Then you sinter the part and the powder fuses together to become solid. Another way is that instead of a binder you melt the powder with a laser in consecutive thin layers and each layer bonds to the layer before it, building up a part. It didn't need to be sintered because it's already been melted together with the laser. You can also get metal filament for a traditional consumer FDM 3D printer, print a part and then melt out the plastic to have an all metal part.


  • Why are you in my recommended?

  • Ok i'm scared now, knowing nuclear safety depends on something that fragile and prone to premature wear and tear :$

  • The educaishon in your country is going down, if those almost useless things can attract people.

  • Thank you. I am a subscriber and I am also an inventor. We were featured on Shark Tank and that opened doors to engineering and R&D experts that I never would have imagined. This episode has put me in the right direction for advancement in our Solar Connector. I love what you do. www.melni.org

  • Very good video! this is exactly the content i hope for in youtube channels like these!

  • 399 That’s a great price

  • 7:49 though this totally destroys theory of david guetta that he mentioned on his song when he says: Stone-hard as bulletproof glass i am titanium

  • but plastic is bad for the environment

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

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

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

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

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

  • Fine youtube, i'll watch...

  • Seems like a way to make durable tools disposable.

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

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

  • i got the elephant thing right /0o0/

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

  • this guy is like Elon Musk's dad

  • For once, thanks NO-tvs....I'm just a curious student.

  • Cool stuff thx :)

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

  • Shut up and let the Prof. talk please.

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

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

  • can SimpliSafe bend?

  • only one word: Witchcraft

  • This satisfied my brain fuzzies.

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

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

  • 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.

  • awesome video.

  • Nanomachines, son!

  • NSFW content!

  • This is like saying "I'm gonna make my own NO-tvs channel, with Blackjack and hookers."

  • so he makes integrated springs. wow.

  • Brilliant

  • 3:52


  • FINE youtube ill watch the video. christ.

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

  • 9:07 It's called a centrifugal clutch