Convolution - K'nex Ball Machine





Introduction: Convolution - K'nex Ball Machine

Community Contest: Toy Rods and Connectors

First Prize in the
Community Contest: Toy Rods and Connectors

This is Convolution, my latest ball machine! It's been a long building process, enjoy!

Some stats:

-6 lifts

-6 motors

-15 balls

-24 tracks

-30 834 pieces

There are many new elements in this machine, such as the inverted top-hat, the giant helix and the quintuple interlocking loops.

Construction lasted from July 2013 to August 2014.

If you've always wondered how a room machine is built, here in the next few steps, I show never before seen pictures of the planning and construction of the machine.

Step 1: Make a Plan

I always make some plans before I start my new machines. First, I plan it out roughly in my head, then jot down some sketches, and sometimes make a digital blueprint (both seen above). These plans serve purpose to where I want to place my furniture, as well as the main support beams of the machine. The plans may change slightly over the course of the construction of the machine as well. The second picture is closer to the final product than the first one, but both were useful in the planning of the machine.

Step 2: Do Some Testing

Before I started this machine, I did some testing to see what beam would serve best for the supports of the machine. I took the 2 best designs and placed the same amount of weight on them, with equal spans until one broke. Here you can see the initial testing results. The beam that did not fail was indeed the beam design I used in the machine.

Step 3: Begin the Frame

These are images from the first day of construction of the machine. I always make the main structural supports first, to get a feel for the machine, then begin to make the tracks from there.

Step 4: Begin to Make Elements and Lifts

Once the supports are done, its time to get creative. From this point on, its just a matter of making the paths and connecting all of the lifts to each other. This is the most time intensive but fun part of making the machine. I've included a few pictures of my construction process, just to spark a few ideas. Now you know how I make my machine, go ahead and make one for yourself!

Hope you like my creation I've worked so hard on, and thanks for viewing!



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    i want to get a new set of parts around the same amount but im worried its gunna cost a fortune, and tips on most used parts so i can make a realistic list?

    Check above for a piece list. Sorry, for some reason it bugged and did not reply to your comment. If you have any other questions feel free to ask :)

    Here is the piece list:

    GRAND TOTAL (30834)
    Rods (16190)
    17 carbon red rod
    1949 red rods
    3335 white rods
    649 gold rods
    785 grey rods
    3757 blue rods
    2830 green rods
    2606 yellow rods
    103 flexible yellow rod
    147 flexi
    12 carbon grey rod

    Connectors (12978)
    277 tan lock clip
    40 small blue clip
    461 y clip
    932 ladder
    1807 gold tab connector
    2248 yellow connector
    268 two slot grey connector
    858 grey one way connector
    761 green connector
    508 snow flake
    1249 red connector
    2028 purple 3D
    1340 blue 3D
    2 orange angle connector
    199 orange track splice

    Gears/Motors (68)
    1 battery motor
    10 small gears
    33 medium red gears
    5 large yellow gears
    4 medium yellow gears
    5 worm gear
    5 electric motor
    5 power adaptor

    Pannels (82)
    10 square panel 9 hole
    3 triangle panel 15 hole
    6 triangle panel 36 hole
    3 square panel 1 hole
    37 triangle panel 3 hole
    23 triangle panel no hole

    Misc (1506)
    6 medium tire
    6 large tire
    12 large wheel hub
    6 small tire
    6 small wheel hub
    7 head top
    381 chain
    6 large ball joint ball
    6 large ball joint socket
    469 blue spacer
    370 grey spacer
    52 hinge half blue 0.09
    52 hinge half black
    64 ball joint ball
    67 ball joint socket
    5 flexi tubes
    5 clear tubes
    6 tube connectors

    Total estimated price is $4723.94

    Haha, well there are actually a few people on this site who have more than me for sure! :P

    Thanks. I have yet to take the machine down to get a better estimate of the amount of pieces, but I'm guessing around 25000.

    congrats on winning 1st prize... and for the feature! Nice job! :P

    you're welcome! :D