Building A Marble-Powered Tea Brewing Rube Goldberg Machine

With over 15 years of writing experience, Jonathan has had a passion for all things tech-related since watching Inspector Gadget as a child. He's disassembled countless appliances and managed to put a few back together, and one actually still works. When not writing, he can often be found playing video games or accidentally hurting himself tinkering in the garage.

Inspired by the work of mad inventor Colin Furze (specifically his tea-making Rube Goldberg machine), engineer James Bruton decided to construct his own tea-making machine, the TEA-800. His version is predominately 3D printed and operated by a large ball bearing as it goes down a track. After watching it in action, I’ve decided it’s the only way I’m making tea from now on.

The ball first activates a lever that pours hot water from a pitcher into a mug. Then, the mug moves to the next station, where a tea bag is dunked into the water to brew the drink. The ball is held in place thanks to a digital timer to allow proper time to brew. After this, the ball is released, and the mug is moved to its final station, where milk is added to the tea. TA-DA, now where are the tea biscuits?

I can’t see a Rube Goldberg machine without thinking of Doc Brown’s breakfast-making and dog-food dispensing machine at the beginning of Back To The Future. You’d think someone who can invent a functional time machine would have a more practical solution to making breakfast and feeding the dog, but who am I to argue with genius?