Introduction: Ferris Wheel Lift, a Knex Ball Machine Lift

Picture of Ferris Wheel Lift, a Knex Ball Machine Lift


Here are the instructions for the first new lift used in my knex ball machine Elysium.

The Ferris Wheel Lift is quite a big lift. It works good, and a gate was added so balls enter one by one.

It is able to carry multiple balls at once, the motor is strong enough for that.

If you're going to build this lift, please read every image note, they are very useful!

When you encounter a problem or have a question, you can always send me a message.

Thanks for watching / building!


Step 1: Piece Count

Picture of Piece Count

If you want you can count the pieces before you start building.

Here is a list with all pieces included in this lift, named by their original colour:


Green: 80

White: 91

Blue: 384

Yellow: 178

Red: 166

Grey: 71

*Black: 1

Total rods: 971


Dark-grey: 73

Light-grey: 4

Orange: 71

Red: 24

Green: 24

Yellow: 238

White: 27

Purple: 176

Blue: 18

Total connectors: 655


Blue spacer: 67

Silver spacer: 94

Tan clip: 11

Blue clip: 16

Y-clip: 9

Blue hinge: 3

Black hinge: 3

**Small blue gear: 6

Big yellow gear: 3

Small hub: 16

Small tire: 16

Medium hub: 1

Medium tire: 1

Motor: 1

Total other: 247

Grand Total: 1873

*It's recommended to use a black rod for the axle, a grey rod might bend too much.

**In the 6th step, the axle, there are 4 small brown-gold gears. This is not their original colour, but they are included in the piece count under 'small blue gear'. Further explanation can be found in the 6th step.

Step 2: Entrance

Picture of Entrance

This is the entrance, here the balls wait to enter the lift.

Step 3: Gate

Picture of Gate

The gate keeps the balls on the entrance track, and lets them enter the lift one by one.

Step 4: Support Tower

Picture of Support Tower

This is a support tower. Yes, a support tower.

Step 5: Gears

Picture of Gears

This step covers the gears. They transfer the power from the motor to the axle.

Step 6: Axle

Picture of Axle

The axle is the center of the wheel. It is the most difficult part to build in this lift, so pay close attention to the pictures.

Step 7: Exit

Picture of Exit

Where the balls exit the arms.

Step 8: Arms

Picture of Arms

This are the arms, they carry the balls all the way up.

Step 9: Motor

Picture of Motor

Final step! Adding the motor.

Step 10: Finished!

Picture of Finished!

You just finished the Ferris Wheel Lift!

Always slide the switch of the motor to the right.

Thanks for watching / building!



NexusKnexMaster (author)2017-06-15

This lift is awesome :D I am using it in my new ball machine along with your sliding arm lift. It would be awesome if you check it out!

Great to hear, thanks for building! Send me a link and I definitely will.

just look at my account :) it is my only instructable so yo should be able to find it

KneXFAN200 (author)2017-02-25

Hi! I LOVE YOUR LIFT (I didn't make it though). I was wondering if there is anything I could do to replace some of the little wheels because I only have like 11 or 12. Thanks!

KneXFAN200 (author)KneXFAN2002017-07-02

Never mind, I bought some more and I'm alomost done with it! : )

KneXFAN200 (author)KneXFAN2002017-07-03



Thanks! Using some other weights could help, but I can't guarantee that.

rafaelalhi.ibanesvillalobos made it! (author)2016-01-19

yea, its finish

Nice! Thanks for building!

Lexi Knex (author)2015-09-11

wow nice lift i think i will have fun to build this lift

its my favourite lift from you (;

Thanks! :)

Linkin_J_Knex made it! (author)2015-09-02

Cool :D in new to instructables and have posted my first Instructable today, my first ball machine! please check it out :) Btw sorry for black picture I haven't figured how to comment without adding a picture (mobile)

Just figured out. sorry for wasting space in your comments area :-/ :-(

No problem :p


I'll take a look, thanks for the black picture!

Thibault Art (author)2015-09-01

Nice lift! It's really cool to look at. Can the green motor handle it when there are 4 balls on it at th e same time?


Yes it can, the arms are quite heavy so the weight of the balls doesn't affect it so much that the motor can't handle it.

LindaP5 made it! (author)2015-08-29

It's big!!!!!

sandroknexmaster (author)LindaP52015-08-29

Thank you very much for building! Does it work correctly?

LindaP5 (author)sandroknexmaster2015-08-31

No, it does not work properly. The ball switch on the base, does not seem the act correctly... :) I still not put on the motor...
I run it by hand.

sandroknexmaster (author)LindaP52015-08-31

Hm try it out with motor, and if it still doesn't work please let me know so I can help you! You can always send me a message.

Sorunome (author)2015-08-29

Looking nice!

Why do you have the yellow gear reverse turning directions, though? Only to strengthen the axle connection?


Yes, and also because it was difficult to reach the yellow gear attached to the wheel with a small blue gear. The red rods covering the teeth prevented this, and those rods were really necassary to make the axle strong enough. So using small gears at the side of the yellow gear was the best solution I could come up with.

Hm weird I already had circular stuff that size with only one rod and it worked fine, heehee

Yeah, just to be sure :)

LindaP5 (author)2015-08-29

It's big!!!!

LindaP5 (author)2015-08-29

It's big!!!!

LindaP5 (author)2015-08-29

It's big! :)

fredrayn (author)2015-08-21

hi great `fun to build

Thanks for building! Does it work well?

like a dream works well


fredrayn (author)2015-08-21

great fun to build

Does the ball just drop on the floor, or does it drop back where it started, to go in a loop?

Yes here it does, but you can make a path to the entrance, then it will make a loop. This is actually meant for other knex ball machine builders, they can build this lift if they want and then use it in their own ball machine.

Really cool! Lol if I had more knex then I'd try it out! Lol I'm better at Lego than knex though. XD

Everyone his skills :)

Great job! Another classy lift. I especially like how you made the little carriage arms dip down to pick up balls at the bottom. Super simple, but using the counterweight on a ramp was new to me!

Awesomesauce btw! ;)

knexinventions 49 (author)2015-08-19

Nice lift!! And... what did you use to animate your intro?

Thanks! It's the same one as I used in de video for Elysium, it's created with blender.

I KNEW IT WAS BLENDER!!! But.. how did you get the camera view to move so smoothly??

Just messed around a bit with keyframes untill I had this smooth looking movement :)

knex akbar (author)2015-08-19

This is my new favourite lift :D

Thank you :)

OfficialKNEXGUY (author)2015-08-19

OMG YES!!! FINALLY! Thanks Sandro!

With pleasure :)

About This Instructable




Bio: Hey! I'm Sandroknexmaster. I like building with knex, especially ball machines. I live in Belgium. I speak Dutch, but also English and French. I ... More »
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