Tag Archive: How It's Made series


Some people can get excited about science simply by watching an episode of Discovery’s How It’s Made But it often takes only one personal discovery, some object in motion, a curious force of nature, or unthinkable technological improvement, and suddenly a wider world opens up.  UGEARS is the Ukrainian company that creates spectacularly engineered models, reflecting the history of science and technology in plywood gears and rods.  They also make steampunk and fantasy creations.  With the current war, the company reports its employees in the country are safe–so far.  UGEARS has just announced it is donating 1 million euros to Ziedot.lv, a fund of humanitarian aid to Ukrainian families, children, and the elderly, and will earmark 5 euros (which is currently about US$5.50) from each model purchased on its official global website to be spent on food, medications, and shelter for the people suffering from Russian aggression in Ukraine.  Last year I reviewed several STEM kits provided by UGEARS (check out my reviews here) and today I’m reviewing their magnificent mechanical winged dragon model, the UGEARS Windstorm Dragon (available here)–to give you an idea of the ease of construction and quality of UGEARS’ products, and provide a way to support artisans, engineers, and craftspeople in Ukraine.  Don’t miss our videos below of the dragon in action.

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Variator sep

Some people can get excited about science simply by watching an episode of Discovery’s How It’s Made But it often takes only one personal discovery, some object in motion, a curious force of nature, or unthinkable technological improvement, and suddenly a wider world opens up.  For me it was my dad making a simple telegraph machine, and later it was marveling on my first flight on an airplane, at last realizing visually how clouds cast shadows on the earth.  Today we’re featuring the final build in our trials of model maker UGEARS′ Stem Kit series of 3D engineering models (check out our other builds if you missed them: the 2-in-1 Arithmetic Kit (reviewed here), the Gearbox (reviewed here), the Random Generator (reviewed here) and the Tachometer reviewed here).  Today’s build is a fully operational, sturdy plywood 3D study model of inventor Milton Othello Reeves’ 1879 continuously variable transmission (CVT), or Variator, first used in sawmills, woolen mills and other Industrial Revolution mechanics, as part of car engines and any machine requiring a smooth changing of gear ratios.

Variator 11

No glue needed, no sanding required, with everything contained in the box, the Variator is part of UGEARS’ STEM Lab series, educational tools and fun models that aren’t just for kids, a way any family can spark an interest in science, and specifically understanding basic engineering assembly and design.

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