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Regular readers will be familiar with UK open source hardware kitmakers oomlout. We love their products and link out to them a lot. This post is not about what they sell, however; it’s about what they share. The folks at oomlout are fairly obsessive process engineers, and are constantly hacking, modding, and tweaking their in-house production equipment to make their assembly and packing operations smooth and efficient. Very often, their custom tools are made from laser-cut parts, and they are always generous about sharing the physibles and other design info for these machines.

Here, I’ve rounded up my top ten favorite oomlout small-factory hacks, in arbitrary Sean-thinks-it’s-awesome order. Where we’ve covered the build before, I’ve linked to our own pages. Where we haven’t, I’ve linked out. If, like me, you sometimes get process-engineer envy while watching How It’s Made, you are sure to enjoy it. Oomlout’s message to you is: You don’t have to own a multimillion dollar factory if you want to play along at home.


10 Top 10: Oomlout Factory Hacks

Simple Fume Extractor


09 dual monitor holder e1335282215860 Top 10: Oomlout Factory Hacks

Dual Monitor Holder


09 crimp tool holder Top 10: Oomlout Factory Hacks

Crimp Tool Holder


07 super simple automated lighting Top 10: Oomlout Factory Hacks

Servo Switch


06 wire spool holder Top 10: Oomlout Factory Hacks

Wire Spool Holder


05 ic pin squisher Top 10: Oomlout Factory Hacks

IC Pin Squisher


Resistor Cutting Robot


03 photo lazy susan Top 10: Oomlout Factory Hacks

Photo Lazy Susan


02 button shelves pick to light system Top 10: Oomlout Factory Hacks

Button Shelves (Pick-to-Light System)


Automatic Wire Cutter and Stripper

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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