Introduction: K'NEX Pinball Machine!

Picture of K'NEX Pinball Machine!

It is a fully functional pinball machine, and easily one of my favorite knex builds. though it uses lots of pieces, it is worth it (unless you have to build a small one).

now be warned, i do not have step by step instructions since anyone who makes this will change it for there liking. the design is made so that you could make it as big or as small as you want it. because of this i only have clear pictures of everything already connected to the pinball machine(everything expect for part of the flippers and the track for the ball launcher are out in the open anyway, and easily seen). i have a description of each piece in the instructable and how it works so you can make it. everything is customizable so yours will most likely be different. but i still have a piece list to give you some idea of what yours will use.

_Kira_ made this using minimal white connecters, and made instructions here:

Step 1: Step One: the Base

Picture of Step One: the Base

just a big thing of blue rods connected with 3-D connectors. this is where most people will have to back out.

this part also decides the length and width of the pinball machine. mine has a width of 7 blue rods and length of 6 blue rods. this ended up leaving a surprisingly small space for the ball track but was big enough to work. when i made it i forgot to take into account the fact that the guard rails and flippers would take up space. but it still works.

one more thing you need to do is make the back one blue rod longer then then the front to give the pinball machine a angle so the ball rolls to the bottom.

some blue rods have been replaced with yellow connectors with green rods on opposite sides to equal the length of a blue rod. these yellow connectors will connect parts(mostly the flippers) to the machine so they need to be there.

if you look you will see that the blue rods extend in two squares at opposite ends oft the machine. the bottom one is were the ball goes when the game is over. that is a needed part (unless you hate losing). the other one is for a extra ball release i made but that is in another step.

1. shows the blue rod connections(ignore the top white connectors.)
2. picture of the entire thing
3. picture of the end that gives the machine a angle.
4. bottom part that holds the ball when the game ends
5. different view showing the blue rod hook ups.

Step 2: Bottom White Connector Mesh.

Picture of Bottom White Connector Mesh.

it is what the ball will roll on. it is nothing to great, just a big thing of white connectors connected with green rods.

every blue rod length up and down is a 3-D connector that connects with a 3-D connector on the base you just made. then in every space in between put white connector with green rods on it.

i used 81 white connectors in the mesh alone, not including any of the other ones used in it. i also used around 130 green rods in it alone(i used more then that, but not sure how much more)

at the edges just put yellow connectors with green rods.

this is the most boring part of (about as boring as building the base) but it is worth it.

once you have this done you can move on to making the flippers in the next step.

1. a old picture of the pinball machine. as you can see all the white connectors are connected with green rods to the supports (the 3-D connectors). don't pay attention to the parts on it yet, just the mesh. don't for get to leave one blue rod length on the right alone for the ball launcher!
(there aren't many pictures because it is self explanatory)

Step 3: Flippers

Picture of Flippers

pretty easy, but they still get a step.
unlike some of the other pinball machines i have seen, these flippers move in the same way the real ones do. this works because the "button" is connected to the flipper by a hinge, so pushing it forward turns the flippers.

rubber bands are used to make the flippers come back when they are pressed.

the flipper is connected to a red rod.(there is one blue spacer under the flipper), the red rod goes through one of the white connectors in the mesh and connects to a yellow connector that replaced a blue rod on the bottom supports.

the button is a 3-D connector connected to the hinge by a red rod. the red rod goes through a orange connector connected to a yellow connector that replaces a blue support. the orange connector is connected in a way that lets it pivot left and right, which is needed since the button does not travel perfectly straight.

the right connection is a replica of the left but with a longer rod connecting the button to the hinge. it is supported so it does not break.

1. picture of right flipper
2. picture of left flipper.
3. right flipper connection. you can see the hinge part in it.
4. connection support and rubber band.
5. button for right side.
6. left hinge and rubber band
7. left button.

Step 4: Sides/ Walls/ Ball Launcher

Picture of Sides/ Walls/ Ball Launcher

this is a good break from the other parts. it is easy. just adding walls every were and the ball launcher

there is a bunch of walls, and there easy to make, so there is not much to say for this part.

most of the walls have three lines of connectors on them that fit togeather with the other ones. the picture explains it best.

i would just make them exactly like mine (with a different length)

i also have the ball launcher and sides for that. the ball launcher is just a knex gun with one barrel connector that is reinforced. it is powered by rubberbands.

Step 5: The Fun Part, Add Stuff

Picture of The Fun Part, Add Stuff

this is the fun part. now we add stuff to the machine to make the ball do stuff.

i have 4 things on mine right now, a box thing in the corner, spinner, and extra ball release, and the back board with my initials(DS) on it.

the box thing is like it says a box. the ball goes into it when it is launched and some times durring play. on the exit of the box i have blue rods hanging from a blue rod(they are connected to it by yellow connectors with the blue rod through the hole in the connector). when the ball goes through it it lifts up the blue rods making a cool effect.

the spinner is just put right into the mesh. it is in the hole of one of the white connectors, and has rids sticking out of it . it spins when the ball hits it adding a cool effect.

the extra ball release was tricky. the design i have now has a button that the ball comes up and hits. when it is hit it flips the ball out of the blue rods that holds it and puts it in play with the other one.

the back board is simple.just another blue rod support system. the letters D and S are spelled on it.


try and make your own things, just about anything will work.

Step 6: I Hope You Like It! :-)

Picture of I Hope You Like It! :-)

well, i hope you like it, if the instructions are not clear please tell me and i will try to improve them.


i found this in a search for a knex pinball machine. i borrowed some ideas from that.

please comment and rate!


MorajMooper (author)2014-08-14

Hey guys! My bro made one too! You should look and vote on it!

Villobuilder (author)2012-09-30

that is a cool pinball machine

kevkillerke (author)2010-10-09

it's hard to see how the flippers work, but thanks trying explaine it

dsman195276 (author)kevkillerke2010-10-09

Basically it works like a hinge. One side of the hinge is mounted on a rod, which can turn(the flipper is also on this rod, though a ways above the hinge). When you push on one side of the hinge, it causes the rod to rotate.

The second to last picture shows it well. The hinge is created by a white rod that is connected to the three orange connectors that are sticking out. When those three orange connectors are pushed in, it causes everything that the white rod is in to be pushed forward, rotating the flipper.

kevkillerke (author)dsman1952762010-10-12

i have it now!
thanks a lot

dsman195276 (author)kevkillerke2010-10-12

I'm glad to be of help :D

Hey dsman195276, check out my pinball machine instructable:)

How2MakeThat (author)2012-08-06

very cool!

onrust (author)2012-08-06

not even a knex fan and this is AWESOME. great work!

iproberry1 (author)onrust2012-08-06


guitarshredder123 (author)2012-08-03

i made it it's awesome! i still had to make some changes to the flippers the balls couldn't get through

knexpert#10829476 (author)2012-07-10

In about 3 weeks, I will post instructables on my double Decker pinball machine that is loaded with special mechanisms like automatic score system, wheel lift,duel flippers and underground ball plunger with auto ball dispenser. It has 5700 pieces and will take a little while to build. I hope all of you will enjoy building it:)

knexpert#10829476 (author)2012-03-29

I followed this instructable and modified it a little to make it have a second floor on the upper half with two sets of flippers controlled at once and a wheel lift in the back. I also added a automatic ball dispenser in the plunger with space for 3 balls. I might post the video of it in a little while. I give you most of the credit though!

dirt661 (author)2010-12-11

this is awesome! just made it,took me like much worth the time though!!

mulletman6 (author)2010-11-16

Just made this and its rather kool. Haven't got the ball pusher thing to work properly yet tho. Don't see why everyone is having a problem with the flippers - they were easy to make :)

dsman195276 (author)mulletman62010-11-17

That's really great to hear! which part of the ball pusher won't work? It might be you just need stronger rubber bands on it.


mulletman6 (author)dsman1952762010-11-18

Yeah, that was my problem :P - i put one of the black knex rubber bands on it and it works a treat :). I added another rail bit to the underneath of the whole "machine", so that the ball that hits the ball release rolls down the underneath of the "machine" and stops under the "part that holds the ball when the game ends" :)

tjdtjd1 (author)2010-04-08


i could never have thought of something like that

tjdtjd1 (author)2010-04-08

this looks bloody awesome...
gonna go make it now

Dirtyboyy (author)2010-03-09

why do you have only 3.85 stars ?? 


dsman195276 (author)Dirtyboyy2010-03-09

 Thanks, that means a lot. 

As for you question, I don't know. I don't really worry about my ratings as most are biased from preconceptions people already have before looking at the instructable. The fact is, most people have a idea on what rating the instructable will get the second they see it on the list. And most who rate it 5 stars still haven't read the entire thing, which makes there rating not completly truthful.

From what the rating system says, a 5 star would mean best ever, and I really don't believe this is the best ever. Everything has it's problems, such as the flippers on this might break if you slam on them to hard. 

And thats probably why i just stay away from the rating system altogether...

KnexFreek (author)2009-12-14

 wtf why isnt this one page 1?

(ps dont ask me if i rated, i gave it 5 stars about a month ago lol)

dsman195276 (author)KnexFreek2009-12-15
I just checked, and it turns out this is the first instructable on page 2. It ties the last instructable on the page before.
KnexFreek (author)dsman1952762009-12-15

oh, well do you wnt to know how to get on page one? without doing anything bad !!!! i will tell u in a pm if ya want

dsman195276 (author)KnexFreek2009-12-15
Nah, i don't care about ratings.
KnexFreek (author)dsman1952762009-12-15

 no, it doesnt change the rating!!!! listen, just do this:
go to edit
click publish 
then in the space where it says to choose a category, choose knex for both!

dsman195276 (author)KnexFreek2009-12-15
Ok, i'll ask.
Why the heck did that work?
KnexFreek (author)dsman1952762009-12-15

 I DONT KNOW !!!!!! LOL BUT IT DOES!!!!! Did you do it? ill go check :)

mattiscool114 (author)2009-03-13

can you show how to build it like step by step instructions

sorry, but step by step would be way to hard and long. really, in essence the thing is pretty simple. just look at it and you see how it is all made. the other parts that are needed(like flippers and ball launcher) are pretty easy and should be easy to make from the pictures. after that, all you have to do is add the sides, and all the fun parts.

lukeD (author)dsman1952762009-12-02

Please I like it very much if you make a step by step instructable 4 us.!!


cooldude246810 (author)2009-07-03

hi I like your idea and all but could you possibly put up some step-by-step instructions.:)

willeep (author)cooldude2468102009-11-29

please post instructions for the base myeyes arnt the best

thanks, but please read the paragraph in the intro.

gerrits13 (author)2009-11-11

built is awesome but the left flipper the rubber band made it harder to move so i increased the left side one blue rod more and changed pieces so it is a mirrored image of the right flipper

dsman195276 (author)gerrits132009-11-12

Sounds good. I can't personally remember a problem with the left flipper, but I do remember I had to balance the flipper rubberbands.

Any pictures?

_kira_ (author)2009-10-18

I thought that the flippers were gonna be hard! Hah they were the easiest part so far.

grevious (author)2008-10-09

why dont u try a mesh of elastic bands that when the ball hits it it bounces off lol? id make this and do it but i dont have enough pieces =[

dsman195276 (author)grevious2008-10-09

in real pinball machines the rubber bands are just for show, there is a piston under the rubberbands that pushes them out. on this, it just makes the ball bounce a little.

grevious (author)dsman1952762008-10-09

yeah but can you make a piston out of knex? this is the next best thing

dsman195276 (author)grevious2008-10-10

well, it won't help is what i am saying. the rubberbands can't put out more power then the ball can use to hit it. when i tried it the ball did not really do a bounce, but just role away.

grevious (author)dsman1952762008-10-10

is there anyway to make the piston work at all? if so how? maybe a loose lever that when the ball rolls over it triggers the piston? but im guessing that would be way to hard and not very good lol.

dsman195276 (author)grevious2008-10-10

no, at least in mine there is no space for it. and you would have to figure out something to pull it back(it would work like a knex gun, and would need to be cocked after each "shot")

_kira_ (author)dsman1952762009-10-18

hmm i with you its hard but you dont want it to be killerk's pistol, for a piston if we use extreme builders truely semi auto gun as a piston, simplified it could work. just we would need somthing to push the trigger hard enough

Soopah Steve (author)dsman1952762008-10-17

hey. what itf the piston was a block trigger and when the rubbers got hit, they pulled on the block and released the piston rod thingy?

grevious (author)Soopah Steve2008-10-17

well i basically said that in the comment below me, ill quote it "is there anyway to make the piston work at all? if so how? maybe a loose lever that when the ball rolls over it triggers the piston? but im guessing that would be way to hard and not very good lol."

dsman195276 (author)grevious2008-10-10

and yes you can make a piston type thing. a piston is just a rod inside a hole that move out and in(i know it's more complicated then that but thats the basic idea)

smilee (author)2009-08-23

What whould you say if i made your version, posted it and gave you 99%?

dsman195276 (author)smilee2009-08-23

well, go for it, the only thing is that making step by step instructions would be very hard and time consuming to do.

_kira_ (author)dsman1952762009-10-18

so your saying that i can post my version and step by step and say its all yours?

About This Instructable




Bio: Just your average K'Nexer/Programer/Nintendo DS fanatic. Any questions you would like to ask about any of the above? Send me a PM ... More »
More by dsman195276:K'NEX Pinball Machine!K'NEX Rail Car and TrackNERF Sniper Pistol!
Add instructable to: