Introduction: Desktop Skeeball

I love Skeeball, but it's not often I can get my fix. So instead of trying to get out to the local bar that has a machine, I decided to just make a small one with some cardboard, coffee cups, and hot glue.

It actually works pretty well and came together in about an hour. Check it out.


Step 1: Cutting Up the Cardboard

I made an EPS file for all the pieces I would need in Illustrator. I'm using 1/3" ball bearings as balls so I scaled everything around that, making this a 1:9 scale of the full size machine.

Thanks to the folks at this forum where I got the layout for the target area.

With the file handy, I cut all the pieces out on our Epilog laser cutter. I know, I know, you don't have one of your own, but with an X-acto you can cut everything up just fine. For the holes you can maybe use a drill.

Note: I attached eps and svg files so that they can be opened and edited in Illustrator or Inkscape. Since these files are not what I consider final, I am not providing a pdf.

Step 2: Assembling the Ramp

The base of the ramp is made by connecting the two cross pieces with the two side pieces and using some hot glue to keep it strong.

For the ramp piece itself, I used an X-acto to slice lines across the back so that the front would have a smoother curve to it. After this was done I used the body of the X-acto as a guide for the curvature of the ramp.

Step 3: Target

I did this a bit out of order. I should've added the rings before assembling this. Ah well, here's what I did.

I glued the two center pieces together first, keeping them at a right angle to each other. Then I glued the side pieces on one at a time. No real advice for this, just try and keep it even and you'll be fine.

Step 4: Cutting Out Ring Material

I needed some rings to guide the balls into the drops so I cut off the tops of a few coffee cups.

To make sure they were roughly the same size, I used one cup as a guide while I cut the other one.

Step 5: Attach Rings

Keep trimming off ring material until you get pieces that are the right size and glue them down. I was able to use a staple to hold the 20 point ring (the biggest circle), but for everything else it was mostly a matter of putting in a drop of hot glue, placing the ring, and holding it in place until it cooled and stuck.

And there you go! You have your own desktop skeeball set. Just place the cut off bottom of a coffee cup under the target to collect the balls and you're ready to rock.

Enjoy!

Step 6: Future Changes

My goal for this project was to see what I could make in an hour. The results are good for goofing off for a couple minutes at a time and I'm happy with it, but of course it could do with some changes. Here's a list of things that could be modified in the future.
  • Ball launcher.A spring-loaded plunger, like on a pinball table, would be great for shooting balls. It gives you ore control of the shot. I tried a few ways to user rubber bands, but it never worked very well. It's too easy for the band to snap under the ball.
  • Narrower ramp. The ramp doesn't need to be as wide as the target area and in fact this makes it easier to go off the side. Looking back at the pictures of the arcade machine, I found that the ramp is indeed narrower with one side used for the ball return.
  • Plastic walls. A clear acrylic side to the target area would be cool so you can see more of what's happening from more of an angle.
  • Score chutes. Make chutes so that the balls fall into them after going through the holes. These can lead to a collection area that holds them in different sections and lets you see what your score is.
  • Ball return. An alternative to the chutes, the ball return could simply be an angled piece of cardboard underneath the target area that rolls the balls back at you.

Comments

author
kittyisboss11 made it! (author)2016-12-23

this is really good i am most likely to make one of these :)

author
lilysmom21 made it! (author)2016-12-03

Please. I paid for the upgraded membership. Can someone please be kind enough to send me the eps file as a PDF so I can build this?

author
lilysmom21 made it! (author)2016-12-03

Can someone please send this to me in PDF? I am helping my son with a school project. I would be eternally grateful.

author
evilmadcow made it! (author)2013-11-16

betcha can't use an arudrino/atmega of some sort and some more cardboard to have a score system AND the ball-recycler (basicly EVERYTHING from most commercial verions)

author
Deadlocked2 made it! (author)Deadlocked22016-05-18

Actually, I did. I t was a success after 17 attemps.

author
sub893 made it! (author)2010-12-13

how long should the ramp be?

author
Deadlocked2 made it! (author)Deadlocked22016-05-18

my machine's ramp was about 3/4 of a regular piece of printing paper. To make the ramp smoother, just tape paper over it.

author
Deadlocked2 made it! (author)Deadlocked22016-05-18

Easy and fun. All I used was cardboard, tape, scissors, and paper.

author
kenzi50198 made it! (author)kenzi501982010-12-29

probably like half a foot, depends how much shooting range you want

author
where is waldo made it! (author)2011-06-12

great project! i used a McDonalds straw cut in half for a return ramp

author
Deadlocked2 made it! (author)Deadlocked22016-05-18

I never thought of that. That is a great idea!

author
jbryant jr.1 made it! (author)2011-06-22

thats kinda cool to just play when your bored.

author
Deadlocked2 made it! (author)Deadlocked22016-05-18

Yea, I always just play around with it when I have nothing to do...

author
Deadlocked2 made it! (author)2016-05-18

I made it. It was so good! It was so good I earned $23.45 at a school homemade carnival. I LOVE IT!

author
yapoyo made it! (author)2012-12-01

This is pimp, my friend. I will build one tomorrow morning.

author
cornonthecobert made it! (author)2011-09-05

I remember when i made a working mini bowling alley with a ball return, pin sorter, out of some carpet, a step stool, some small boxes, tape, hotwheel tracks, and a few other knick-knacks... It was pretty cool, this reminds me of it.

author
gamelvr5 made it! (author)2011-06-28

It would be nice if I could view the file...but I cant. Nor can I find a converter that can successfuly convert it without an error.

author
~•SMART•~ made it! (author)2011-06-22

This seems like an awesome project! I can't wait to build it! Thanks

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klercke made it! (author)2010-11-14

this website:
http://www.fileformat.info/convert/image/svg2pdf.htm
has a great svg to pdf converter.

author
uytksa made it! (author)uytksa2011-05-01

how do you use it

author
zap8004 made it! (author)zap80042011-02-25

how does that work

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klercke made it! (author)klercke2011-02-26

it is very simple to use. you just download the svg file attached and convert!

author
zap8004 made it! (author)zap80042011-03-29

yeah , but my computer downloads itas a VCR file

author
myakka made it! (author)2011-03-14

ill try and post some pictures

author
myakka made it! (author)2011-03-13


im working on another one now made completely from circuit boards!

author
fungus amungus made it! (author)fungus amungus2011-03-13

Cool, I'd love to see both!

author
myakka made it! (author)2011-03-13

i made mine completely out of 5 gallon paint bucket stirrers. :P
its 2 sticks wide(3 inches) and 13 1/2 inches long.

it was kinda hard to make because for one, the sticks were made in china. two, the sticks were made of scrap wood and as strait as Ellen Degeneres .

author
Air_Assassin made it! (author)2011-01-15

Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

author
thing 2 made it! (author)2010-05-06

 have you tried one of those toy car launchers or battle b daman?

author
fungus amungus made it! (author)fungus amungus2010-05-06

Don't have either of those. Never even heard of the second one until now.

author
gunman15 made it! (author)gunman152010-12-31

i remember those those are fun

author
chaoshawk made it! (author)2010-12-21

do u think u can make plans in pdf plz

author
TheKnexDude made it! (author)TheKnexDude2010-12-22

My computer turned them into PDF's instantly

author
sub893 made it! (author)2010-12-11

thats so cool!!!!

author
Quazzaazazazaazaza made it! (author)2010-10-10

Yesterday I made this, mostly out of hot glue and popsicle sticks with the ramp made out of card board. I also added a return ramp underneath the first. Thanks for the idea!

author
jukkum made it! (author)2010-09-24

it's just awesome, thanks man!!

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chaoshawk made it! (author)2010-09-19

do u think u could make a pdf version of the plans.

it wont open in the other formats

author
thesnoball13 made it! (author)2010-09-01

i didnt have small marbles so i sized everything up and used ping pong balls

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fungus amungus made it! (author)fungus amungus2010-09-01

Awesome. Post some pics here. I'd love to see it.

author
Mischy-Renee made it! (author)2010-08-08

I can't open this either a pdf would be very helpful

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wolf555hound made it! (author)2010-07-20

aha. I am making this very soon and adding the ball return. Might post pictures if I can find my bloody camera.

author
emotschwiller made it! (author)2010-07-16

love it, i'd love to make a mini floor version.. maybe 6 ft long instead of the 10 or 13 in arcades. you could try to use some sort of firing device similar to the crossfire game too thanks!

author
andrew242 made it! (author)2010-06-28

can you please make a pdf file instead because whenever i try to open it it says the document cant be opened so can oyu make a pdf file instead?

author
arudiver made it! (author)2010-06-13

Dear fungus amungus, i am 1 of the happy few to own a laser, and i would like to cut cardboard, but dont' know which setting to use on my 75W machine. Hope you can help me, i just have my machine for a month, so a lot to learn. thnx

author
fungus amungus made it! (author)fungus amungus2010-06-13

It depends on the cardboard a little. I think it was 100 power / 40 speed, but not sure. Just do some tests first. Cardboard's cheap and it'll only take you a couple minutes.

author
camelsamba made it! (author)2010-05-18

Fun! This also needs to be connected to some kind of flashing lights and a noise maker - but I suppose there are instructables for those if I look hard enough :^)

author
dkfa made it! (author)2010-05-13

This automatically calls for a Large Scale Version. With a ball return. Thanks for the idea's. Now I need to ask my mom where I can put the large scale version.

author
sfcsarah made it! (author)2010-05-12

This seems like an amazing instructable (props on the video), but does it last for long? It seems to me that all those collisions would rapidly bend yours out of shape.

author
ahmad5204 made it! (author)2010-05-11

 Next time please make it in pdf file thanxxx

author
fungus amungus made it! (author)fungus amungus2010-05-11

If I considered these files to be final I would. Since these files are still a little rough and still require some tweaking, I included files that can be edited a little more easily.

About This Instructable

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Bio: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at supamoto.co. You'll like it.
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