How to Build a Time Machine (Vortex Distortion Space and Time Dilating Device)




About: I am a British Graphic Designer and Photographer, when I am not working, I spend my time making an array of projects. I used to make a lot of props, but now I spend most my time building crazy cameras and sh...

Well lets put it this way, ive always had this thing about traveling through time, and having a time machine. So i set about making one, i decided that instead of being a vessel to travel in, i would rather have something portable.

Many hours thinking i came to a conclusion. If im going to be traveling through time, the actual time machine would have to be timeless (not out of place in the past, present day, or the future)

So eventually i decided to make something that resembled a time piece, mixed with an old compass, and various other inspirations, some from various steam punk items.

However i did not want to make something that was steam punk, as i personally find alot of steam punk to be a bit over comic like, and a bit to fantastical.

So, heres how i did it.

Materials consist of -

Alot of scrap and junk
corrugated cardboard
Mount card
PVA glue
Super glue
Black paint
Spray paint
Some thicker mount card
A few Special oddments - for me this was the lenses.

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Step 1: Building a Base

Ok, now the base of my time machine was modeled around two ring type peices of metal, and as with the rest of the -ible, you kinda have to work things out for yourself too!
Firstly, i set about cutting out some ring shaped pieces of card, As you can see from the pics below.

Obviously, you could just create this thing from scratch using cardboard. But i think a good scavinge can always turn a good result - The metal sections in the first picture are off an old repromaster! bout 20,000 pounds worth of kit in there day ( we recently scraped ours)

I basically used these as a shape to trace onto the card.

Cut as many as you like to give it a good depth that your happy with.

I recommend corrugated card as it is easily to get a thick depth, its easy to cut, and great for gluing in later steps.

Step 2: Lots, and Lots of Glue!

Ok, firstly stack up your pieces, here i have about 4/5 layers of corrugated, and a layer of mount board either side.

picture 2 - Holding the inside cover the out side in PVA Glue, make sure you get it all in the gaps, soak it in the stuff. Then do the same for the inside.

Picture 3 - Glue your scavenged parts to the top and bottom - i found that PVA was strong enough to hold them in place.

Picture 4 - Finally just glue a strip of paper around the outside and inside to neaten it up

Leave to dry over night, or longer if you can wait.

Step 3: A Bit of Paint

Ok, so, you should have something looking like the picture below. Before we start filling the hole with various bits of stuff, i suggest painting it black.

Step 4: Filling in the Middle

Now, this is the section that will hopefully turn out a bit different for all of you, because we dont all want time machines that look the same do we?

Picture 1 - the main part of my time machine is a big lens that i got off the repromaster, i constructed a small tube for this, and added a little circular metal ring ontop also, again paint everything card like black.

Pictures 2 and 3 - Using various parts, i then played around to get a good fit, - most my inside were taken from the inside of hardrives, cd drive, and old floppy drives and a few other bits and bobs.

The key is to use your own creativity, and lots and lots of super glue! (bout 8 tubes for me)

Step 5: More Rubbish

Ok, keep adding the rubbish, a few additions here consist of a applying a piece of leather all around the out side, and various more bits.

As you mite notice there are some bits that have been broken off, again, all part of the creativity.

I added a few 'bolt' esque pieces poking out of one side.

Remeber to take your time, and play around, working out what looks best.

Step 6: Painting the Metal.

I suggest getting some special Metal spray paint - the stuff i used was Wickes direct to metal spray paint. Dont use any normal stuff, it will just rub and flake off. If all else fails, Car spray paint does the job!

Picture 1 - Carefully pic any sections you dont want to paint and mask them off - For me this was the lense and the leather, and a few other small bits.

Picture 2 - This is after painting, i removed the masking around the edge, but left the lens covered up to prevent damage later on.

Picture 3 - ok, no to take some of that paint off, i used a combo of power tools, sand paper, and a scapel - basically take off the edges to reveal some of the metal underneath. Take off a little, take off alot, its upto you!

Step 7: Finished, Wait a Minute, Whats That Cool Box?

Well, we cant have a time machine just sat on the side can we?
So we need a secure box to keep it locked up.

Im not going to tell you how to build a wooden box, just how to customize it, (plus i bort the bottom half of the box ready made)

Picture 2 - here we see the top of the box - which has like a sun/lens/thingy. Although i didnt take any pictures, i cut a hole clean out the top.

Step 8: Glue!

Picture 1 - Once you have cut your hole, mix in some of the sawdust with the pva to make a sawdusty glue mush.

Picture 2 - Mask off the lens it self

Picture 3 - Glue around the edge of the lens, and use the excess to hold it in place underneath

Picture 4 - Sand off the excess ontop.

The lens ive used here is again off the repromaster - For this section i printed off a picture of the sun, and taped it to the underneath.

Also for this bit you can use anything, a hunk of metal, a pebble, what ever you think looks cool.

Step 9: Decor

loosely following this instructable - i then continued to add card to the box -more pva glue here.

Then you stick tin foil over the card, and trim.

Paint, or colour the foil in with a permanent marker.

And than sand some of it away to give a distressed look.

Finally, i cobbled together some pieces into a make shift key, and then drilled a hole in the front to fit.

Step 10: DONE

There we go, you have your completed time machine.

Enjoy responsibly, and don't go killing your ancestors. (unless you happen to have built in a parrelex distorter)

Please let me know what you think, and i would love to see any adaptations you make yourselves.

Thanks for reading.

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951 Discussions


3 months ago

I went to the future and now I have an I phone 27


6 months ago

This is fake if you want to make a time machine you need more than speed of light


Question 6 months ago on Step 10

does this actually work???


7 months ago

To all of you gullible people who actually thought this thing worked, I am so sorry


Question 8 months ago on Step 4

Can I add bearing in the middle


Question 1 year ago

What materials do I need for the metal part and what and how much power do I need?

1 answer

Question 9 months ago on Step 10

I've got question after I built it would it allow me to travel back in time? Because, I want to start doing it when I'm 20.


1 year ago

I know I need to be creative but materials do I need for the metal part and kind of power do I need!


Question 1 year ago

Why bother building the time th future its already in the here and now all you need to build is the portal for the machine from the future to come back through...I did this using a pile of sticks in the ground so the future time machine is built with the capabilities to be able pass through the portal i built out of a pile of really is that simple


Reply 11 years ago on Step 2

yes it does work, it will take me galloping forwards in time at a rate of 60 seconds per minute


Reply 10 years ago on Step 2

how? you like press a button and set the time and place? can you go to the past?


Reply 9 years ago on Step 2

Technically, you can only GO to the future, not the past.  This is because time only flows forward, and you're simply removed from the time stream for whatever length of time.  You can LOOK at the past, but you can't change it.

Anyway, mine is way different; I built the prototype in a suitcase, and now it's inside an old laptop.


Reply 1 year ago

True, if you go back to the past to observe whatever you do no matter what you cannot change the time line because every thing that has already happened in the past is cemented to the time line if you change the smallest thing and go back to the present every thing would have changed
Ex. Before you were a rich inventor but when you changed that small thing you go back to the present and you could be a poor homeless guy.


Reply 1 year ago

hey gmjhowe don't say this you broke my heart by saying this.I had various expectations from this machine please reply Is it really fake


Reply 3 years ago

Can it take galloping into the future at a rate of 1 year per second ?