A Little Halloween Engineering
Ian Wright posted on October 31, 2016 |
How to celebrate Halloween with a 60,000-psi waterjet, NASA and molten aluminum.
Happy Halloween!

You’ve probably already had your party, no doubt awash in Trump and Clinton masks along with the usual mix of zombies, superheroes and terrible, last-minute, pun-based costumes (Oh, you’re a cereal killer… Hilarious!).

Tonight, between swarms of trick-or-treaters hammering on your door for more high-fructose confections, why not pause Friday the 13th, The Thing (my favorite) or whatever your go-to Halloween flick is and check out these three examples of how engineers celebrate All Hallows’ Eve:


1) Pumpkin Carving with a 60,000-psi Waterjet

YouTube’s Waterjet Channel uploaded this video showing how to carve a pumpkin in under 30 seconds using nothing but an ordinary 60,000-psi waterjet. For a slightly spookier waterjet video, this one features the dissection of a preserved tarantula.


2) NASA Pumpkin Carving Contest

In just one minute, this video of the annual pumpkin carving contest at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) puts most home-brew Jack-o’-Lanterns to shame. You can see photos from the most recent contest here.


3) Pumpkin Casting

This video from the University of Michigan shows what happens when you bring together a pumpkin, molten aluminum and the mind of an engineer. Spoiler alert: the pumpkin doesn’t make it.

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