The Q DIY: Amazing WORKING technical devices made of cardboard


Staff member
Aug 1, 2009
Hello fans,

today I found a very interesting Youtube channel called "The Q". The makers showcase and illustrate how you can make various technical devices from cardboard.

A hydraulic powered robotic arm:

A safe:

A crane:

There are many many more useful things which are presented. Unfortunately there are no plans to DL but from what I've seen so far it should not be too difficult to replicate what is shown using ordinary and cheap household materials. Nevertheless, watching the clips is fun and very informative.

I was struggling with myself a bit which category would be best for posting this thread. I chose this one because I think it fits more into the Tutorial line-up than into the traditional papercrafting area. It is very interesting an often mind-boggling how (relatively) easy things work. You can learn a lot about the general construction principles of a crane and hydraulics even by just watching the clips.

Have fun and enjoy, be amazed - and get smarter every day! ;) :)


Staff member
Apr 5, 2013
Not hard at all. The Hobby syringes can be found at any good Craft's store, like Micheal's. I have a huge one of those, 2.5 inches in diameter and around 10 inches long. I use it for creating vacuum when working on brake lines or checking out air valves in cars. The maximum vacuum you create is not very high with normal available equipment, (forget about gaseous outsourcing on a quantum level, Hydrogen particles, gravitation, etc. Let's be practical).

This guy is smart in using liquids, which cannot be compressed, though they can expand and contract, and if heated turned into steam. This could allow for more pressure than the cardboard itself can take. When you consider how thin in diameter the brake lines are in your car, and the car (or truck) making a very fast stop, the power of hydraulics is amazing. I think it's really neat. Those are the size syringes, with a rubber hose attached, and some very warm water, you use to clean printer head nozzles (from the top down, where the nozzle pierces the ink cartridge)