Engineering Heroes: 40+ People Who Channeled Their Inner MacGyverBy Aakash M
The universe has its ways of getting back at us, and one of the universe’s favorite ways to stick it to us is by throwing the most random of challenges our way. When that happens, the wisest thing to do would be to make the best out of the situation with what you have.
That’s not an easy thing to do, but it is no problem if you are an engineer (or have an engineering mindset). Your engineering and creative skills would be of great use in such scenarios.
Some of these MacGyver-esque solutions are more disastrous than genius, but most of them are pretty impressive! So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the works of these amateur engineers who came up with the most effective solutions and successfully made the best out of the worst scenarios.
Organizing and aligning your cables so that you can quickly identify them at a later point is a very satisfying thing for an IT professional. But, it’s gonna be very difficult if there are thousands of cables that need to be aligned and organized.
You’ll need tons of clamps, ties, and other little doo-dads. But, if you have plastic spoons, you don’t need the other materials. This guy used a plastic spoon to prevent the cord from becoming a tripping hazard—a simple solution and also an excuse to get takeout.
So many of us dream of building a farm and spending the second half of our lives with nature. But it’s always best to seek expert advice when you don’t know much about construction. In this case, the “expert advice” doesn’t come from big-time construction companies…
…it comes from the Amish. They are quite the handy bunch, especially when it comes to building barns and moving them to the side without having to use any heavy-duty machinery. This is ingenuity at its finest. Take notes, people!
Technological advancements are incredibly beneficial to us, but if there is one con, it is that the more advancement there is, the more delicate the technology becomes. A perfect example of that is smartphones and smartphone screens. One tiny fall could damage the entire screen.
But, this person came up with a creative approach to this problem. Instead of replacing it, he connected a micro USB to a USB converter and plugged in a Bluetooth mouse. It’s not so convenient, but he can still navigate through the phone with the mouse!
We’d recommend that you not try this unless burning the side of your pool and causing the water to gush out wouldn’t be that big of a deal for you. This person decided to use a barbeque pit to heat the water instead of using a heater, as any average person would do.
He’s using the BBQ pit to pass the water. It’s then shot into the pool after heating. It’s a loop that’s repeated until the pool is warm enough for you to swim in it comfortably. There are probably safer ways to heat up your pool.
Another heated pool
When we mentioned safer ways to heat up a pool, this is not what we meant. We’d say that this guy actually took two steps back in the pool heating game. The wheelbarrow was lifted and placed into the pool, and as you can see, the pool is being heated in a very unconventional way.
The guy says that it just looks unconventional, but it works well. Even if that’s the case, we can’t vouch for the safety of this workaround. Sure, it gets the job done, but using this system to heat your pool is just dangerous and silly.
We are a tech-savvy generation because we have been around devices since we were kids. The generation before us might know a thing or two, but they’re not as tech-savvy as we are because they weren’t born into the tech age.
In this situation, the grandparents of this person had a tough time switching from cable TV to Apple TV. Even young guys have a problem with that. But, the grandson decided to cover the unnecessary buttons and make things easier for the grandparents with some instructions!
Let us tell you about one of the most frustrating things for an engineer or a construction worker. It is when they’re at the worksite, but they do not have the proper tools with them. But, a real engineer would make the best even out of that situation.
This person made a screwdriver out of a flat piece of metal and a block of wood. Just by seeing this piece of work, you can tell that this guy has engineering blood flowing through his body. We can only imagine how he would’ve made other valuable tools out of simple equipment.
Build a pool for yourself.
Building a swimming pool in your backyard is not everybody’s cup of tea. However, if you want a pool, you should not let money get in the way of your happiness, just like this guy. As unbelievable as it sounds, this guy made a swimming pool from PVC pipes and a plastic bag.
If this guy calculated accurately (and we’re sure that he has), then the pool’s walls can withstand a lot of water pressure after it is filled up. All this DIY pool requires is a backyard, some basic equipment, and the mind of an engineer.
Technology has advanced so drastically that we have reached a point where the need for traditional household appliances has significantly reduced. For instance, the Nintendo Wii can be used as both an entertainment system and a body weight scale! Yeah, it’s the first we hear of this too.
It has a balance board where the player can stand. The board is used when playing a game called Wii Fit, which helps monitor the weight of the player. These people smartly placed a propane tank on the board to see how much gas was left!
Cannot pass through
Pet owners can’t keep an eye on their fur buddies 24/7. Sometimes doggos need some fresh air after chilling in the house all day. If you have a yard, then that is the perfect way to keep them within sight but still give them space.
Letting them into your yard is a good idea until they try to run out of your property. Don’t worry; there is always a way to keep them from escaping. This family attached a wooden spoon to the dog’s harness. The spoon crashes into the gate, preventing the puppy from leaving the property.
You never know about the plethora of problems one missing ceiling tile could cause. Worst of all, if there’s a rat infestation, they’ll crash down from your ceiling and land on your rugs. We can think of nothing worse than that.
So, if there’s a missing ceiling tile, it should be replaced instantly. We understand if you don’t have the time or the energy to do it, especially if the tile requires custom holes. This clever handyman used what he had lying around and created this masterpiece.
Thanks to this family, there’s now an entirely new definition of what hanging lights are supposed to be. Maybe they didn’t know how to use the exposed wires after their chandelier fell down, so they flexed their engineering muscles and came up with this.
They pulled the wires down, put the hanger on the hook, and connected the lightbulbs. That’s the steps for setting up a DIY chandelier! It’s a hazardous, cheap, but creative way to illuminate a room. It’s still a temporary fix, though.
While this next idea isn’t new, it is still pretty cool. Showerheads often get clogged, and if you can’t clean them up, then maybe this el cheapo solution would work for you. Just replace the showerhead with a soft drink bottle that has holes punched into it.
Look, it’s no replacement for a fancy rainwater showerhead, but it still does the same job. The water would gush from the pipe and exit through the bottle in a similar fashion to an actual showerhead, with no difference in the pressure of the streams. Genius, really.
Lag, latency issues, Internet speed problems, and high ping are a few of the many issues that are frustrating for a gamer. But, if there’s something that’s even more frustrating for them, it’s controller drift. That’s when your in-game character moves without your input.
Old or defective controllers often face this problem. The question is, how should one combat that? There’s a straightforward and cost-effective solution for this. Take a bunch of rubber bands and tie them as you see in this image. It’ll keep the joysticks in place.
Things misplaced are things lost.
Remote controls have been misplaced since time immemorial. They are tiny, and they somehow end up being found in the weirdest corners of your house. But you can make sure that you never face the dreaded remote control problem again.
You’ll need some spare lumber, plastic, and of course, the mindset of an engineer. That’s all it takes to increase the size of your remote control so that it would never get misplaced ever again, just as this person did.
We all have slept through the alarms that we set in the morning, and honestly, those ten minutes of sleep after snoozing an alarm are the most peaceful ten minutes. But we all know that this hasty habit needs to stop.
If you want to wake up on time, you have to modify your alarm clock with a creative approach, as was done here. This guy took the wires from the clock and connected them to his arm. So, the alarm basically shocks him when it goes off. It’s extreme, but we bet he’s the most punctual employee ever.
Many truck owners find it difficult to climb aboard their vehicles, especially if they are a bit long in the tooth or if they are, as they say, vertically challenged. This engineer developed a solution for that problem by welding a pipe wrench onto the vehicle as a step ladder.
No truck driver would fall down while climbing up or getting down the truck. This pretty much proves that engineering is all about finding practical solutions for the most unique and unconventional kinds of problems. This solution must be adopted by all truck drivers.
If you are like us and reverse parking is not your forte, then you have probably faced one too many anxiety-inducing moments in the grocery store parking lot. Thanks to engineers, though, there are sensors that prevent parking disasters from happening.
But, sensors are expensive, and they only serve one purpose. Instead of that, try using a cheap rubber chicken toy like you see in this image. Even though it’s not a very sophisticated solution, it is just as effective as an actual sensor.
When the lockdown was in full force, we never knew when the schools would reopen, and as time passed, many of us wondered if they would even reopen ever again. When you’re teaching or studying from home, you need to have your resources in place.
A laptop is a must, and even when you have that, specific problems do arise. Here, the student used a tape, pencil, and a CD with an aim to point the camera downwards to show the teacher the math equation that he was solving. The generation ahead of us is going to be way smarter!
Clamps for the win
In this scenario, the start button on this washing machine stopped working. The probable reasons could be anything from faulty inner electronic components to cracked buttons. No matter what it may be, it didn’t scare the owner from solving the problem.
Clamps are great tools, and they’re so versatile that they have a lot of functions other than being used for woodwork. So, this guy took a clamp to push the start button, and he kept it in place. Ever since then, the machine has been working correctly. What a fix!
If your child’s toy gets discharged or you run out of batteries, there’s a simple solution – head to the nearest store and get some batteries. But, you’d have to put on your pants and leave your house. It sounds like a task, doesn’t it? And your kid wants their toy now, so what do you do?
Here’s an option where you wouldn’t have to leave your house – use incorrectly sized batteries and some aluminum foil. It would be a temporary fix, but this DIY solution would give you some welcome reprieve from the tamper tantrums.
If you’ve ever moved a mobile home, you know how tough it is. You could always hire packing & moving experts, but that costs a lot of money, which was this guy’s concern as well. So, he decided to take the cheap route.
Instead of hiring the home moving guys, he rented a U-Haul truck, and guess what? That did the job just fine. It cost him $19.95, excluding taxes, and his mobile home was moved miles away from its earlier spot. Got to love U-Haul!
That’s all it takes
Mortar doesn’t last forever, but if you have the creativity and skill set of an engineer, you can easily prevent your home from disrepair. All it takes to fix cracked mortar is some good ol’ duct tape. It really is true that duct tape fixes everything.
Despite the magic that is duct tape, it, too, has limitations. We are not so sure that it could prevent your house from caving in. Guess this person thought that it couldn’t hurt to try. We would love to see how long this fix lasts. We have a feeling it won’t last very long.
Tailgaters are probably the worst kind of people out there, and this is a universal opinion. Not only are they seriously putting their lives at risk by tailgating, but they’re also frustrating the living hell out of other drivers who are ahead of them and behind them.
This vehicle owner has quite a passive-aggressive way of dealing with tailgaters, and we’re impressed with it. This guy welded a pipe wrench behind the bumper of the truck, which acts as a warning. It looks like the wrench would break their windshield if they get too close!
Not fixing anything
This is the worst way a person can find to fix a broken pillar. Pillars prevent buildings from breaking down, they support them, and they have many more essential functions. So, if a pillar is broken, there has to be a permanent fix for it.
Even Lego blocks might have been a better fix! The creative mind behind this fix needs to be a bit more creative. In simple words, it’s an accident that’s eagerly waiting to happen, and we hope nobody’s near the pillar when things go south.
Crocheted yarn replacement pads
Honestly, Swiffer Dusters have to be one of the best inventions in the history of humankind, after a gazillion other great inventions. If there’s one common complaint about these things, it is the cost of replacement for the dusting pads.
Going through an entire box doesn’t take much time, and we often find ourselves shopping for more. Instead of going that way, this guy just attached a homemade replacement pad on the Swiffer Duster that was made from crocheted yarn!
These days, everybody has flat TV screens, but there was a time when things were different. In the ’80s and ’90s, flat screens were just for the wealthy, but thanks to technological advancements, almost everybody can now afford one. But what if you don’t want to get a new TV?
In that case, the best thing to do would be to punch a hole and fit the TV’s back part through that area. It looks good from the front and not so good from the back. Honestly, this seems more expensive than just getting a new tv.
Lego Man himself
Doesn’t this picture remind you of the scene in the Spider-Man movie where Spider-Man holds two cables together to stop the train from getting derailed? The scenario here is a bit different because the Lego Man is holding two RCA connectors together.
Unlike Spider-Man, Lego man isn’t quite saving the world, but he’s indeed saving the person’s home from cable mismanagement, and that’s also a crucial task. Also, it’s crucial to note how the guy found the connectors that could perfectly fit into the hands of Lego Man.
When you don’t have a lock that’s wide enough to shut the latches on your shed, there’s no other way to keep your power tools secured. Still, that wasn’t a problem for this engineer. As we know by now, engineers always make a plan.
So, this person drilled a hole into a wrench and slipped it between the latches. Then, he used a lock to keep the wrench from moving. This creative approach does indeed help keep the intruders at bay. We just hope he doesn’t lose the keys…
Holding it upright
Here’s a question: what should be done if you happen to lose the screws of your TV’s foot stands? Most people would go to the store and get replacements, but that’s most people. Not this guy because he has an engineer’s mindset.
Instead of getting replacement screws, this guy used two soda cans to prop the TV in an upright position. We know that it’s a temporary solution, but it’s still brilliant. There will come the point when the cans aren’t able to hold the TV that way, but that’s a problem for another day.
Time of the day
We have all kinds of smartwatches these days, and we often look at our phones to tell the time. However, a wall clock is a pretty old-fashioned tool for telling time that will never go out of style. It’s not really the best tool for telling what day it is, though.
But it only takes the tiniest bit of clock-making skill to make a day-telling clock, as this guy did. It’s gonna be a bit confusing, but we’re sure that there must be some way to predict the time on this clock as well.
Lego to the rescue
People often think about Lego blocks as toys that are just meant for kids, but there’s more to them than just that. If a Lego figure can hold down RCA connectors, it certainly has a lot of purposes that we don’t know about.
Talking about purposes, you can use the Lego blocks to build a camera stand, as seen in this image. For the computers that don’t have a webcam at all or the ones that have a dysfunctional webcam, here’s your cheap and effective solution!
To be honest, that’s just like waiting for an accident to happen. Why would somebody turn down the heater during winter, especially when you’re living in a city where the temperature dips way below the freezing point every now and then?
This was a situation where a creative mind would thrive, as you can see. With the help of a fan and all the stove burners, this guy found a way to keep himself warm and cozy against harsh weather conditions. Stay cautious and creative, everyone!
As convenient as electronic appliances are, we always feel like there is something wrong with them. It could be related to their internal system, their design, or literally anything else. Sometimes, that assumption is valid, and over time, it could cost you a lot.
It’s better to fix the minor issues when they’re at a stage where they can be treated, like this faulty charging port. All it took was some velcro and glue. It doesn’t really seem to be the safest option, but it’s a temporary fix that could turn out to be helpful during an emergency.
There’s nothing more annoying than that moment when your kitchen appliance fails you. You immediately start to think about how much money you spent on the appliance and how you at least expected it to run for a certain period of time.
Fixing a dishwasher could be all the more frustrating, but you’d be surprised to know that it just takes a broom. When the button gives up, just place the broom with a large elastic band strategically, and sit back for a couple of hours.
When you’re about to purchase a sofa, you need to consider a lot of things. You want it to be affordable, aesthetically pleasing, long-lasting, and comfortable all at once. Nobody wants to spend a lot of time repairing their newly-brought sofa.
It’s pretty tricky to get a complete understanding of the scenario here because how could that happen to such a good sofa? Our best guess would be that somebody did this on purpose because there’s no way a sofa would just give out like that.
Many people are scared of flying. Whether it’s a rational or irrational fear is a debate for another day, but being in the air, thousands of feet above the ground, does have a scary vibe attached to it. Things become scarier when it feels like something is wrong with the aircraft.
We sincerely hope that this image isn’t serious and it’s all just a prank. Duct-taping a part of the airplane turbine sounds funny, but for the passengers, it could be very frightening. A team of repair experts would certainly be able to fix this situation.
If there’s something you should know about electronic appliances, it is that they’re delicate. If you don’t handle them with care, they could all fall apart. Therefore, it’s best to be creative and find solutions to prevent such disasters from taking place.
In this image, the TV owner was facing some problems with the ports. Now, instead of getting the TV repaired by the TV guys, the TV owner bent the fork tines, inserted it into the faulty port, and propped the fork with scissors. It works!
It took us a while to figure out what was going on here, but it seemed like there was something wrong with one of the supply vents of this building. So, instead of hiring an HVAC tech for a lot of money, the residents found another solution.
The residents decided to make use of a curved shovel to redirect the airflow to the intended place. They saved hundreds of dollars, and all it took was a shovel. So, if something needs to be fixed immediately, make use of what you have.
We wonder if this is the result of a DIY engineering tutorial or if it is just the outcome of a mindless construction worker’s efforts. No matter what it is, this staircase isn’t gonna last forever, and we would hate for it to come crashing down.
We have seen many fantastic DIY engineering hacks, so we thought it’d only be fair if we also added a DIY accident item to the list. Jokes aside, we hope this problem gets solved soon, or somebody’s gonna get hurt!
Tapered fork stand
Using a fork with bent tines to keep a tablet sturdy and at a viewable angle has to be one of the most innovative ideas we’ve ever seen, so this one is undoubtedly among the most creative solutions from this list. Only a genius engineer can come up with a fix like this one.
Because the handle of the fork is a bit tapered, it provides a little more stability and reduces the chances of it being wobbly. You should certainly give a fix like this a try in an emergency situation, but make sure that you don’t end up getting a scratch on your device in the process.
Unconventional but efficient
Ever since we were born, we have been used to doing some things a certain way. We become so used to one way of doing things that we forget that there is a myriad of other ways to achieve the same result.
Now, this tap makes us question how we have always done things. Come to think of it, using a showerhead as a tap is an excellent idea, but who would’ve ever thought of it until now? It might be a bit heavy, but it indeed does the job.
Some regions are colder, and some are warmer, which is why there are different kinds of needs that are specific to these places according to their respective temperatures. But that should not stop you from coming up with creative solutions.
This idea is a really smart and effective idea, but we’re not sure if that’s the safest option for having a warm night’s sleep. Installing what looks like underfloor heating into your bed sounds like a recipe for disaster. We hope they have the fire department on speed dial!
AC air everywhere
There’s not much that you can do when there’s only one AC but multiple rooms in the house. Well, you can purchase another air conditioner, but that’s going to cost a lot of money. Therefore, it’s best to do what this engineer did.
This guy took a plastic bag and redirected the cooled air from the AC to all parts of the home. How insanely smart is that? It’s not really a long-term solution, but it’s cheap, efficient, and, most of all, brilliant. This solution can be used till the guy saves and buys another AC.
10/10 for efforts
Anyone who works in front of a computer all day will know that a desk fan is the best option if your hands are heating up when you sit in front of your laptop or computer. Sometimes they can get slick from using your mouse too much.
But, this guy thought of taking the challenging route, as he decided not to get a simple desk fan. Instead, he thought of engineering a desk fan from scratch. It does look pretty cool, though we wonder how efficient it is.