The Hydraulic Press Channel Fosters Curiosity in STEM Fields

Notorious for posting entertaining videos of destroying things in their factory, Lauri Vuohensilta, and his wife, Anni, have successfully gained over 1.7M subscribers to their YouTube channel, The Hydraulic Press Channel.

The couple has dedicated their channel to destroying and crushing everyday items that many of us don’t have the resources to replicate in our everyday lives, and watching these videos feeds our unrecognized curiosity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Like Vuohensilta’s attempt to crush an age old myth, which went viral.

The video, “Can You Fold Paper More Than 7 Times with a Hydraulic Press”, (viewer discretion advised: explicit language) now has 12.6M views and was highlighted on the front page of the discussion website Reddit.

In the video Vuohensilta is shown folding a piece of letter size printing paper in half multiple times.  After five folds the paper becomes difficult to fold so he begins using the hydraulic press to flatten the creases to aid with the next fold.  After he disproves the myth by achieving the seventh fold, he places the piece of paper in the hydraulic press again to prepare for the eighth fold.  To everyone’s surprise, the paper essentially explodes and shatters as a result of the pressure applied in the press. The flattened paper crumples in his hands when he removes it from the press platen.

As they say, the rest is history.  The success of the paper folding video encouraged Vuohensilta to continue crushing a large variety of items and filming the carnage.  They have crushed books, bowling balls, a diamond, various electronics such as cell phones, a Play Station and computers, fireworks, many different foods, lava lamps, metal pipes, toys including a fidget spinner, Stretch Armstrong and Furbies, plus many other items.

Vuohensilta never expected such a fast and large following for his videos.  In an interview with The Washington Post he is quoted, “It’s been quite a surprise that it’s gotten so big so fast.”  While we all love watching things get crushed and implode under the weight of the press, Vuohensilta also credits his heavy Finnish accent to the popularity of his videos. Many viewers would also add that the couple’s laughter and reactions during the experiments make the videos funny and entertaining.

Connecting the dots between the widespread interest that makes these videos a success and the ability to execute experiments daily with a career in STEM fields is an opportunity that educators and manufacturers can seize through school partnerships or by participating in events like MFG Day.

We are surrounded by STEM in our everyday lives in multiple ways that many people don’t recognize.  Curious what happens if you crush a light bulb in a hydraulic press?  Consider working for a hydraulic press manufacturer, like us, and test that theory.  Constantly thinking of ideas how to make products better?  Study to become an engineer and execute those ideas through your designs or join a manufacturing product development team.  You’re a sports fan?  There is physics involved in the success of a baseball hit, the composition of the bat, the ball and where the ball comes off the bat.  Golf is your sport?  The inside of golf balls are made on our hydraulic presses giving our engineers, salesmen, purchasing agents, machinists, assemblers, etc., an opportunity to be involved in the manufacturing process of their favorite ball.

Want to know how you can get more involved with manufacturing or STEM fields?  Check out our employment opportunities, continuing education information from your local Career and Technical Education center or look into MFG Day events in your area.