Penny Crusher Machine

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penny crushed

I’m sure you’ve all seen these penny crusher machines.  They are pretty ubiquitous on vacations and are a great cheap souvenir.  Well, besides the common question of is this legal, which it is, so stop asking, the other question is how do they work?

In actuality, it’s a pretty simple process, a penny is pushed through a space slightly smaller then the penny’s thickness made by two hardened steel dies.  One the die has a design carved into it’s face, and due to the process of stress and the deformity of metal, this image is transferred to the penny.  It’s pretty basic science and math.  If you want to get alittle more advanced, take a look at the Instructable mblem has made.  He is making his own Penny Crusher machine.

Penny design die

You would think that this is not a  simple process, and you’d be right.  There is quite alot involved, and he’s still not fully finished.  The design phase went through some tweaking after he used a laser cutter for a dry run on plywood.  He used a water jet to cut parts out of steel, (which he included a video of, which is super boring, don’t bother watching it).

water jet cutting gears

He still has a ways to go apparently, but he wanted to show his progress.  It’s also probably easier to break this up into different sections because each one requires different skills.  Next up is building the cabinet that will hold everything, that requires woodworking skills, and design skills, things that are very different from the engineering skills necessary to come up with the design and tolerances needed for guts of the machine.

I look forward to seeing him finish the project, and hopefully he posts some final cost values associated with this project.  It’s not something that a normal person would buy, or want to make, but it’s totally something I could see some places buying.  Support local artists, and people, I’d be for that.

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