How a Torsen differential works

There are many of different ways of making a differential system, and one of the more ingenious ways is the “Torsen” differential. Where the old basic version of a differential has big problems with wheels slipping on oil spills, ice and other slippery surfaces, the Torsen differential solves this conundrum in a beautiful mechanical way. Learn Engineering has made this excellent video that explains how it works, but this is a bit advanced. If you aren’t comfortable with how a basic differential works, you should first watch these videos, just to get your head around the mechanics:

How a differential works

How limited slip differentials work

How differentials works old school!

Whenever a vehicle with parallel wheels turn, a problem arises. The outer wheel needs to turn more quickly than the inner wheel, and if they don’t, it can result in loss of efficiency, wear and tear and even skidding to such a degree that the vehicle goes out of control. To solve this problem, the differential was invented 1827 by watchmaker Onésiphore for use on a steam cart. Today it is in all cars, trucks and even some robots. It is so successful, even some Lego kits have them! But how do they work? The physics behind it can be difficult to understand, but thanks to USAutoIndustry there is a video that explains this genius device in ways a normal person can understand. So whether you are planning to build your own go-cart, car or even a battle robot, you should definitely watch this video and seriously consider adding a differential to you build!

We especially love this video because it’s old and prove that the best tutorials does not necessarily need to be made today. Some really old movies can still be the best and most easily understandable. Let’s hear it for old school!

Steampunk encounter

Today, as i was on my way home from a local mall, i noticed a very well dressed gentleman on the tram with a top hat and a pair of beautiful steampunk goggles. “Nice!” i remarked as i passed him by, and he nodded as to say “Thanks!”. Then, due to a failure of the tram, we got a chance to chit-chat, and i asked him about the goggles. It turned out that he had not just made them himself, he was also a member in a local steampunk society in my town! So i just had to ask him for a photo so i could show it to you all. His name is Peter Markusson, and he explained that the goggles were very easy to make, using nothing but a gear and the innards of an old watch. Sometimes the simple solutions are truly the best ones! If you want to ask him more about steampunk crafts, why not contact him on his Facebook page.

Peter Markusson

From CAD to laser cutter

Adam Savage from Mythbusters is interviewed in his private shop by Will from, and we get an excellent introduction to laser cutting and CAD. Adam also demonstrates how a simple gear can be designed and laser cut out of acrylic, from the use of a CAD program, to the final machining and finished gear.