Szymon Klimek’s Miniature Mechanical Creations

Craft & Design Workshop
Szymon Klimek’s Miniature Mechanical Creations

By Craig Couden

Photo by Szymon Klimek

Without an everyday reference for a sense of scale, Szymon Klimek’s intricate mechanical creations could easily be mistaken for twice their true size. Made from 0.1 millimeter sheets of brass and bronze, Klimek’s miniature machines dance effortlessly in wine-glass enclosures that measure little more than 4 inches across.

Klimek’s latest creation, Sponge, is a steam engine-like machine named for the latticework of tiny, interconnected brass pieces that expands and contracts as the engine runs. Sitting in a wine glass about a foot tall, a small silicon solar cell powers a concealed electric motor, which drives the 3-inch flywheel. He doesn’t work to a specific scale, but customizes his designs for each glass: the opening of Sponge’s wine glass and the diameter of its flywheel differed by less than a millimeter. CAD programs assist with design, and Klimek, 57, assembles most of the machinery outside of the enclosures, cutting and shaping the pieces by hand. He says the wine glasses lend a bit of elegance to the display, and the spherical shape allows viewers to see the work from any angle. Sealing the top and gluing the machines down with clear resin also protects the delicate pieces from dust and curious fingers.

Living in Poznan, Poland, Klimek entered into the world of small-scale making in 2004 with a miniature steam locomotive and coal wagon, measuring about 3 inches. He’s built close to a hundred handcrafted brass and bronze miniatures, including ornate carriages, early 20th-century roadsters, and yes, even a ship with billowing sails that fits in a wine glass. Since 2008 he’s created nine “active devices.”

Next, Klimek wants to tackle a more challenging material: steel.

Above is an excerpt from MAKE Volume 30.

YouTube player

From the pages of MAKE Volume 30:

MAKE Volume 30Until recently, home automation was gimmicky, finicky, and user-hostile. But today, thanks to a new crop of devices and technology standards, home automation is useful, fun, and maker-friendly. In the special section of MAKE Volume 30, we’ll show you: how to flip any switch in your home with a smartphone, home automation without programming, controlling your HVAC with an Arduino, a webcam security system, and a wall-mounted Notification Alert Generator (NAG) that plays timely reminders as you walk by. Plus, you’ll build a Yakitori Grill, a robust R/C flying-wing airplane, sturdy furnishings from PVC, and more!


8 thoughts on “Szymon Klimek’s Miniature Mechanical Creations

  1. Beady Eyed Craftster: Fish, Fowl & 3D | UnRuley Articles says:

    […] Over on Make, Polish artist Szymon Klimek makes intric­ate mech­an­ical machines that fit inside wine glasses. It’s worth watch­ing the video to see it in […]

  2. BOSS GIF – A Beauty In Motion, Edition! | Anguished Repose says:

    […]  Without an everyday reference for a sense of scale, Szymon Klimek’s intricate mechanical creations could easily be […]

  3. Máquinas en copas » No Puedo Creer says:

    […] de la parte superior con resina transparente, protegiendo las delicadas piezas del polvo.Visto en Makezine. if (origMeneame==1) { document.write('Visita nuestra tienda de regalos originalesNo Puedo Creer… […]


    […] Makezine. Share this:FacebookTwitter Esta entrada fue publicada en Uncategorized. Guarda el enlace […]

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

"To oppose something is to maintain it." –Ursula Le Guin

Currently: NEO.LIFE Alum: Instructables and MAKE

View more articles by Laura Cochrane
Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).