Introduction: Citadel Knex Ball Machine

Hello everyone! After 3 years, my ball machine Citadel is finally finished! This machine features around 50 new elements, 5 different lifts, and 2 new path separators that separate into 17 paths. It's also themed, with Knex men all over the place working on it, giving it a factory-type feel with catwalks and stairs. There are 3 total motors, one of which powers all 3 floor lifts. The actual time it took to build is one year, there was just a long break in between. All of the paths (except one) were built in 6 months, starting in December 2015. I hope you enjoy!

Here are the element instructions!

Click here for more pictures!

Here's the video:

Here's the construction album.

Stats

Started building: Jan. 21, 2013

Finished building: June 20, 2016

Height: 8 feet

Width: 5 feet 3 inches

Depth: 4 feet 2 inches

Pieces: 50,000 - 60,000

Thanks for viewing!

Comments

author
random_builder (author)2017-02-21

Can you get me instructions for the elements at 1:25, 2:17, and 3:28? I know you are busy, but it would be much appreciated if you could get instructions or lots of pictures for them. I am going to make a medium sized ball machine and would love to have these in it. Thanks!

author

Are you making a knex ball machine out of those?

author

I won't make it with those, but yes, I am making a ball machine. The reason I won't use those is there wasn't very good pictures.

author

Ya. I got some too. They aern't very detailed but I still made them.

author

Alright, I sent you a PM with the links.

author
ManMister (author)2017-02-18

How are the instructions for the elements/lifts coming along? Do you have an idea on when they would be posted? I've been trying to re-build the jigsaw lift with the pictures given on your Flickr page. I was able to figure out the design and of the lift, but I'm now struggling with motorizing it.

author
Shadowman39 (author)ManMister2017-02-19

They're going well, school takes up most of my time so it might be a while. I still have to get pictures for 14 elements and organize the instructions. For motorizing the jigsaw, you have to connect the top crank and bottom crank with a shaft, and attach the motor to that shaft (this part can be seen in the video).

author
random_builder (author)2017-02-14

I think this is one of the best knex ball machines. I love all the lifts especially the 4 ball one.

author

Thanks! I plan on making instructions of the vertical jigsaw and stair-arm lift.

author
blackmage1988 (author)2017-01-14

Hi. Is it possible for you to do an instrucatable for the path separator and also for your lifts? especially the 4 ball lift shown at 0.50 seconds? looking at tackling my first custom ball machine and would love that lift at the heart of mine :) Understand your likely busy but would very much appreciate it if you can :) many thanks

author

I wasn't really thinking of doing instructions for those, as they use up a lot of pieces. Furthermore, someone made instructions of a twin elevator lift before I had the chance to post mine. I think it would be possible to rebuild the elevators and path separator from pictures though, since the concepts are simple. I will be eventually posting the other lifts, after the elements which I'm working on now.

author
KneXFAN200 (author)2016-12-20

When do you think you will be done with the new elements instructable? Thanks, KneXFAN200

author
Shadowman39 (author)KneXFAN2002016-12-20

Sometime near the beginning of next year. I'm not sure how long it will take but hopefully I can get most of it done before school starts.

author
KneXFAN200 (author)Shadowman392017-01-08

Sorry to bug you again, but are you almost done with the element instructable? About how many more days till you finish it? The reason why I asked again is because I'm in the process of making a ball machine and want some of those elements on there, but I can't put them on because they don't have instructions. I really wan't some of the elements on it! No rush though! Thanks, KneXFAN200

author
Shadowman39 (author)KneXFAN2002017-01-11

The full guide might take a while longer since I'm starting school soon. But, if you want to build any element in particular I could make the instructions of those elements first and send you a link to the pictures.

author
KneXFAN200 (author)Shadowman392017-01-12

The element at 3:26 of the video, 4:13, 6:45, and 9:05. THANKS!!!

author
Shadowman39 (author)KneXFAN2002017-01-14

Alright, I sent you the links in a PM.

author
KneXFAN200 (author)Shadowman392016-12-20

Awesome!!! I can't wait!!!! I loved ciradel sooooo much and really wanted to build the elements! Thank You!

author
KneXFAN200 (author)KneXFAN2002016-12-20

Citadel, not Ciradel : )

author
Proassault (author)2016-12-18

Amazing it's incredible the time that you passed on it!

Great job, like everytime ;)

-Pro

author
Shadowman39 (author)Proassault2016-12-18

Thanks!

author
OfficialKNEXGUY (author)2016-10-24

Shadowman... Still waiting on those elements/lifts! (not in a negative way)

Good work by the way

-OfficialKNEXGUY

author

Sorry for taking so long, it just takes a while as I have to rebuild all of them for the instructions. Thanks though!

author
Ethan1023 (author)2016-10-03

You know quite how many pieces there are yet?

author
Shadowman39 (author)Ethan10232016-10-09

No, the machine is still up.

author
Ethan1023 (author)2016-10-03

You should totally post instructions to those elements.

author
Shadowman39 (author)Ethan10232016-10-09

I will, I've been busy with school lately.

author
Ethan1023 (author)2016-09-29

Oh. My. Word. That's MASSIVE!

author
Shadowman39 (author)Ethan10232016-09-30

Thanks!

author
Quidditch33 (author)2016-09-27

My jaw literally hit the floor upon looking at this. Truly ingenious and inspiring.

author
Shadowman39 (author)Quidditch332016-09-28

Thank you!

author
Quidditch33 (author)Shadowman392016-09-28

...and I felt my jaw breaking the wood flooring when I witnessed that green 'sector' at the bottom. This really has inspired me, Shadow.

author
Shadowman39 (author)Quidditch332016-09-29

Haha, I'm glad you like it, that part took a while to build.

author
Quidditch33 (author)Shadowman392016-09-29

Love the creativity, never seen anything like it!

author
koolcoasterkid (author)2016-09-14

OGM DIS IS DA BEST EXPLINATION OF PERPETUAL MOTION ON JUPITER!!!


No but seriously, outstanding job buddy! It's going to be hard for me to top this one haha Hope to see more :D

author

Haha, thanks Koolcoaster!

author
Borisv9 (author)2016-08-31

It's so beautiful. I almost got tears in my eyes. this looks SO cool!

author
Shadowman39 (author)Borisv92016-08-31

Haha, thanks!

author
Borisv9 (author)Shadowman392016-09-01

seriously, no joke, I really LOVE this one. The lifts, elements and everything just looks good together! I also like the Portal reference and the little guys everywhere :)

author
sandroknexmaster (author)2016-08-26

Great machine, worth the wait! Its overall look is just amazing, I don't know why but it touches my knex heart that, though a bit inactive the past months, still exists :)

author

Thanks Sandro!

author
myOmy (author)2016-08-19

Wow, I'm speechless, great work!

author
Shadowman39 (author)myOmy2016-08-20

Thanks!

author
Knex Lego Maniac (author)2016-08-10

Amazing!

author

Thanks!

author

Excellent work, I knew you would finish it! It is more than worth the wait: with all the brand new element ideas and the theming, I am left speechless. (Beautiful use of hinges in this machine!) Citadel is a new pinnacle for ball machines. Thanks for going out of your way to make this machine almost completely new material, as it is a rarer treat these days. Glad to see you still have "The Shadowman Touch" as you continue to lead the Instructables community in ball machine innovation. :-)

author

Thanks MCM! I didn't know you were still around, how have you been?

author

Good! I've been around, though I haven't posted any new ball machines due to my first year of college keeping me occupied. I look around Instructables gleaning ideas for projects and seeing all the new gadgets. I intend to get more creations out there at some point, just taking it easy like you did for awhile. I'm just glad to see big time ball machiners still active.

author

Ah, I see, what are you studying in college?

About This Instructable

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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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