Introduction: Cataclysm Knex Ball Machine

Picture of Cataclysm Knex Ball Machine

After over a year of construction, Cataclysm is finally finished! It has 6 paths and 10 lifts. 8 of those lifts are new. It stands almost 8 feet high. I haven't counted the pieces yet, but I will soon. The 10 lifts are organized into 3 networks, each network having two paths. I had to buy many pieces while building, most of which were blue connectors, blue rods, and green rods. I completely ran out of yellow rods. A Lego train runs around the bottom of the ball machine. :-)

This used 16 AA and 3 C batteries to power the motors.

Construction was started on May 25, 2009, and I finished on September 25, 2010.

The grand total of pieces is 28,538!

Click here for the picture album, with higher quality pictures!

Here is the video!


Ethan1023 (author)2016-10-03

I love the green tunnels you utilized in this build and in the Citadel.

Shadowman39 (author)Ethan10232016-10-09

Thanks! I was planning on making a long curving one in my unfinished ball machine, so it was built into Citadel instead.

jwclittlebuddy (author)2014-12-16

How much K'nex do you have? And how did you get it all? Buying sets? Ebay? And did you buy them yourself, or did someone else buy them?

I have 40-50,000 pieces, and most were bought from Ebay. Recently I started buying them with my own money, but lots of the other pieces were for birthday/Christmas presents.

www139 (author)2014-04-06

have the balls ever hit each other on the race track?!

Shadowman39 (author)www1392014-04-06

No, one ball was always delayed so they wouldn't collide.

www139 (author)Shadowman392014-04-06

WOW!!!!!! that would never work for me!

hunter999 (author)2013-12-06

haha - just realized that you posted this on by birthday, I feel special!

Shadowman39 (author)hunter9992013-12-06

Ha, nice :-P

hunter999 (author)2013-10-09

Nice ball machine! Very innovative and ingenious! :-)

Do you have any idea where I can get some closer images or instructions on the element in 2:29 - 2:33 ?

Shadowman39 (author)hunter9992013-10-12

Alright, I found lots of pictures of it so I put them in an Ible right here.

hunter999 (author)Shadowman392013-10-13

Wow! Thanks for these! =D

Shadowman39 (author)hunter9992013-10-13

You're welcome. :-)

Shadowman39 (author)hunter9992013-10-10

Thanks! I don't have access to any pictures right now, but if I remember I'll make a Cataclysm album on Flickr this weekend.

Tazmjm69 (author)2013-10-01

You have built some insanely cool stuff!!

Shadowman39 (author)Tazmjm692013-10-01

Thanks! :-)

www139 (author)2012-10-08

wow!We have maybe 10,000-15,000 pieces.I'm a Christian too! How did you embed your video? Thats a photo of part of our ball machine a week ago.

Shadowman39 (author)www1392012-10-08

Cool! Do you build with someone else? (I noticed you said "we"). To embed the video there's an icon near the right side, and when you click it you can paste the embed code there. 

www139 (author)Shadowman392012-10-10

My brother (Weston) helps me he's a good helper!!

www139 (author)2012-10-07

we're new to this what grade are you in?How many pieces do you have?
are you in school if so what grade are you in?

Shadowman39 (author)www1392012-10-07

I'm a senior in high school and I have 30,000-40,000 pieces.

www139 (author)2012-10-07

I've known you for a while on you tube and on instructables so I decided to subscribe!!

Shadowman39 (author)www1392012-10-07


www139 (author)2012-10-06

thanks :D

www139 (author)2012-10-06


sandroknexmaster (author)2012-10-06

I like path 2 :)

Ah yes, the freefall. :-)

Haha :D

www139 (author)2012-10-04

could you show me how to make some good path deviders?

Shadowman39 (author)www1392012-10-06

Here is a picture of the most simple type:

knextank (author)2012-08-05

holy **** this is awesome

Shadowman39 (author)knextank2012-08-05


Knex1235 (author)2011-12-13

WOW do you ever run out of pieces!!!!!

Knex1235 (author)2011-11-28

WOW!!!!!! how do you come up with that??!! how long did that take you to build?!

PotatoCoffee (author)2011-11-27


jmiester (author)2011-07-08

i have the same exact lego train w/a lot of extra tracks. I'm thinking of making an NXT train soon, since I have mindstorms NXT 2.0

Shadowman39 (author)jmiester2011-07-09

I think that new light blue train is cool, even thought you have to buy motor and track separately. Do you use 9-volt or RC?

jmiester (author)Shadowman392011-07-10

9-volt, with a LOT of tracks including 4 switches and the dual crossover. There's a new one?!?! I haven't been on lately...

jmiester (author)jmiester2011-09-03

Whoops, I meant RC... :-/

Shadowman39 (author)jmiester2011-07-10

The new one is really cool. The 9-Volt system is best, but it's very expensive. Last time I checked on Bricklink straight rails were 20 dollars per piece!

jmiester (author)Shadowman392011-07-10

well there not that expensive as far as I know... that might be a freak pricing accident, but its NOT the normal price....

Shadowman39 (author)jmiester2011-07-12

Maybe it was an accident. It was used too. :-P

jmiester (author)Shadowman392011-07-12

That is why. Buy some from, its very cheap, thought they dont make that train or the dual crossover anymore :-(

Tornado96 (author)2011-07-09

MAN! OVer 400 comments! Your well on your way to internet fame Shadow! :-D

Shadowman39 (author)Tornado962011-07-09

My Ible with the highest comments is the lift guide, almost 1000! Our gaming channel will gain more recognition though. :-)

MegaMetal8 (author)Shadowman392011-07-12

Name Of It?

Shadowman39 (author)MegaMetal82011-07-12

The channel? We haven't made it yet, and are still thinking of a name.

MegaMetal8 (author)Shadowman392011-07-15


Then intro is likw shadow being torn?



Shadowman39 (author)MegaMetal82011-07-15

Tornado wants it to be Bedrock Bros. :-P I was thinking of something like ShadowTornado.

MegaMetal8 (author)Shadowman392011-07-16

Ok. Id do ShadowTornado

About This Instructable




Bio: On my page you'll find lots of different Knex projects, from ball machine lifts to useful items. I hope you enjoy!  _______________________ Current avatar ... More »
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