Introduction: Knex Ball Machine - Loopy

Picture of Knex Ball Machine - Loopy
Hello folks,

This is a fun little ball machine I came up with a while ago. All one track. Its got an interesting lift, banked turns, and balls never fall off. I have left it on for over an hour without a single ball falling off or other malfunction.

So if you like it, go build it! I warn you though, its a long build, and the instructions are designed more for an experienced builder, so if you've just started with Knex, I'd suggest coming back to this one later.

Thanks, and enjoy!


Step 1: Parts List

Picture of Parts List

A big o'le parts list. You know the screwdriver.

Rods:

Green - 137
White - 48
Blue - 580
Yellow - 179
Red - 11
Flexi (yellow length) - 8

Connectors:
Dark Grey - 9
Light Grey - 9
Red - 114
Green - 19
Yellow - 38
White - 12
Blue (3d) - 96
Purple (3d) - 392
Orange (tracking pieces) - 93
Other:
Blue Spacers - 24
Silver Spacers - 6
Hinges - 1 (if you do use the optional mod, see step 16.)
Tan Clip - 14
Y Connector - 17
Chain links - 38
Some tubing. If you have a set that comes with tubing, you should have enough.
Some tube splicers - at least two, more if your tubing is in shorter lengths.

Grab a cup of coffee, some biccys, put on your favourite music and get rollin'!

Step 2: Lift Area

Picture of Lift Area

The part containing the lift and the gearing mechanism. Go!

1-3: Build this panel
4: Build this panel. Same top and bottom as the other one
5: Put them together. All connections are obvious

One down...

Step 3: Gears and Whatnot

Picture of Gears and Whatnot

The gears that will go into the frame you made in the last step.

1: Your gonna make these three gear bits
2: The one on the right,
3: The one in the middle...
4: The one on the left
5: Snap the middle one into the frame
6: Slide in the one on the right
7: And add the middle on in where shown
8-12: Build this motor gearing thingy. Should be easy. Just wrap the cord around the motor or whatever in a way that does not interfere with the gears.
13: Snap it into the frame there
14: Close up of the connection

Two down...

Step 4: Finishing the Lift

Picture of Finishing the Lift

Just a couple more bits and pieces needed to finish up the lift.

1: Make these two pieces
2-4: Make this thing
5: Slide "this thing" into the top of the lift like so
6-9: Add in the two long panel-ish things on either side
10: Make the chain
11-13: Put the chain on

:-D

Step 5: Tracking #1

Picture of Tracking #1

One of many tracking pieces. Get going.

1: Build this part. Remember the blue rods
2-5: Build this tracking piece
6-9: Build this chunk
10: Attach the top tracking to the base, and add on the odd end piece to the larger track portion
11-13: Connect to the lift system. All connections should be simple.

Three down!

Step 6: Track #2

Picture of Track #2

More track. Whoopee.

1-2: Build this bit
3: And this panel
4: Put thems together
5-8: Make this tracking piece
9-10: Add it on top of that chunk you just made

Getting there...

Step 7: Track #3

Picture of Track #3

Just the third track. Small, but more complex than the rest thus far.

1-2: Build this bit
3: And build this one too
4: Connect thems
5: Attach as shown to track piece #2 as shown

Getting there...

Step 8: Track #4

Picture of Track #4

A larger bit this time. Get going.

1: Build it
2-5: Also build
6: Build this warpy bit
7: Add this into the chunk you just made
8: And add the bottom. Should look like this now
9-12: Attach it up to the main lift part. All major connections shown

Woot!

Step 9: Track #5

Picture of Track #5

No comment.

1: Build this track piece
2: And this base piece
3: Put them together
4: MOD TIME. I made a mistake. Look at that piece I am pointing to.
5: Disconnect the purple with three blues off of the piece I was pointing to, and then rotate the circled purple like so.
6: Put that purple back in as shown. You will need to remove one blue rod from it. Should look like this.
7: Now attach this piece to the main body of the machine as shown

Sorry about that little blunder there folks. Moving on...

Step 10: Track #6

Picture of Track #6

Yup. Track piece 6.

1-5: Big-ole' track piece. Go for it
6-8: The base for that ole' track piece
9: Put them together
10-12: Connect it up to the main part we've been working on

:-)


Step 11: Track #7

Picture of Track #7

One long, twisty track section.

1-5: All photos of this one track piece. Do it.

Step 12: Track #8

Picture of Track #8

BORING

1: Build this turn
2-5: Build this guy
6: Connect the two
7: Close up
8: Slap on that long windey piece on top

STILL BORING

Step 13: Lets Make Some Connections

Picture of Lets Make Some Connections

Basically, just adding the one large piece to the main machine. Why the heck am I giving it its own step? If you know, tell me.

1: Line it up like so
2-7: Make some connections

:-D

Step 14: Yellow It Up

Picture of Yellow It Up

Basically, everywhere you could possibly put a yellow rod...Put a yellow rod. It looks cool and adds some strength to the structure. How you put them on does not matter. Just whatever looks cool. You can see what I did for mine, I think it is interesting. All up to you. Enough of this indecision.

Step 15: Lets Go Tubing

Picture of Lets Go Tubing

Not that kind of tubing...

So lets do this. Start at the top of the lift. Snap in the tubing so that the end is roughly lined up with the end of the first orange connector. Then go. Once you get to the bottom of the lift, push any excess tubing under the chain and wrap it up underneath however you want.

Once you are done, take care to push all the orange track pieces out on the blue rods - they tend to slide into the middle whilst you are putting the tracking on.

Step 16: An Optional Modification

Picture of An Optional Modification

If your balls are falling off the track at the turn after the drop at the top, you made want to modify the first track to be steeper like so. If the balls dont fall off, dont bother.

Step 17: All Done. Go Nuts.

Picture of All Done. Go Nuts.

Yay! You're all finished. Good work!

Just like to say thank you for viewing my instructable. And if you're looking at this page, you probably built it too, so thank you! If you built it, and/or have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask.

Happy K'nexing,

~I_am_Canadian

Comments

FanPlastic (author)2016-01-07

Nice ball machine check out mine

knex akbar (author)2014-08-17

I've tried to design a ballcoaster like this before but it didn't work that well..

Do you have any tips on designing a machine like this?

I_am_Canadian (author)knex akbar2014-09-06

Draw it out on paper first? These machines were really really fickle to design, its just a lot of trial and error I think. Make a lift, Find out how far you can get a ball to coast before you need to drop a level to pick up speed again and go from there.

knex akbar (author)I_am_Canadian2014-09-07

Thanks for replying, I'm going to attempt building one again after I take Turnpike apart.

www139 (author)2014-07-01

Which tubing do you think is best for ball machines?

dr. richtofen (author)2012-01-30

I soooo want to build this, to bad for me I don't have any rc tubing, maybe 3~4 orange tabbed connectors and I lost my only knex ball :(

D-:

Yes, Can you maybe replace those knex balls with lego balls?

Its possible, I dont have any Lego balls to compare to the K'nex ones though... Check on Knex.com and compare the diameters :-)

Ok, thanks for the help. I still think I'm not able to build this, as I don't have that many purple connectors. And none tubing. This machine is still epic!

Alrighty. Thanks!

No problem

knextremist (author)2010-07-07

im sorry for this peverted joke but read the first 6 words or the sentence at the top of this step..........if your balls are falling off!!!!!!!!!lolololololololololol!!!!!!!!!!!!! (_,_) (butt)

*Facepalm*

(Slap)

cool knex13 (author)2011-02-11

Nice

5/5

Cheers!

is the chain sappost to be so tight?
because mine keeps on snaping apart

Use another link :-) It should work even if its a bit baggy.

i fixed it when i finished
it wasn't on right but its still tight but it doesn't break

Well I'm glad its working now :-D

poncho531 (author)I_am_Canadian2011-12-27

Oh, and you can probably tell that I FINALLY was able to build it! I got the K'Nex for Christmas.

I_am_Canadian (author)poncho5312011-12-27

Woohoo! Do you like it?

poncho531 (author)I_am_Canadian2011-12-29

Oh yea! This is awesome! Also, the turn thing works. Chain still don't work. If more people have a problem with the turn after the second drop, I can post instructions on how to stop it.

I_am_Canadian (author)poncho5312011-12-30

Thanks! Bummer about the chain. If I get more complaints about that corner I'll take you up on your alternative :-D

poncho531 (author)I_am_Canadian2012-01-01

Happy New Year! As a present, we got the first big snowfall of the winter!

dr. richtofen (author)poncho5312012-01-30

Where do you live? Today is the first day in the entire winter in holland to give some snow (1-2 millimetre, not even covered everything =O )

poncho531 (author)I_am_Canadian2012-01-01

No, you've done enough with this whole instructable! It's probably more than I could do!

poncho531 (author)I_am_Canadian2011-12-27

Aw, dang. My chain lift doesn't work. Much. The balls are for some reason dropping to the side of the lift, so they get stuck in the big grooves. Also on the turn after the second big drop, my ball flies onto only the top rail, so it hits the 3d gray connectors above. Help?

poncho531 (author)I_am_Canadian2011-08-24

Are you currently in Canada? Or are you actually a Canadian?

I_am_Canadian (author)poncho5312011-09-01

Both.

Zeethesquirrel (author)2011-11-21

1: ye know the old screwdriver?
2:I don't think its that hard if you have been building knex for 2 months its easy (building like a lot in 2 months)

1: You know the drill*
2: Yes, its not all that hard, I just dont want people frustrating themselves :-)

Ok but I have a question
Do u think 20-28 ft will work for loopy?

I think that will do.

ok cool
im gonna start to build as soon as i take apart my big ball factory

Ok you should check out my latest ball machine I used ur ball lift and don't worry I credited u

cubesquaredtothe1 (author)2011-06-15

I would build it but out of my 5,000 pieces I only have 2 orange connectors. And not enough purple 3D. That is cool because all it takes is putting a roller coaster car on it. It's universal! :-D

i have a solution for u
a link:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/KNEX-Lot-100-ORANGE-ROLLER-COASTER-TRACK-CONNECTORS-/190540927692?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c5d1fd2cc

poncho531 (author)2011-11-18

Huh? I have about 30,000 K'nex and only 2 orange connectors as well!

Zeethesquirrel (author)poncho5312011-11-19

i only have like 10,000 but +3,000 more b/c I bought the big ball factory on ebay

I got mine on eBay too.

Lol I got more when I bought big ball factory

jamesmcip (author)2011-08-02

How many of the orange 1-way tracking pieces do you need?

I_am_Canadian (author)jamesmcip2011-08-08

I dont know! Not very many I think.

If you build it and count the orange connectors, I'd be mighty obliged and add it to the piece list :-)

poncho531 (author)I_am_Canadian2011-11-18

Found it! You need 8 flexible red rods and 6 track splices that you didn't add to the piece list.

(•‿•)

I_am_Canadian (author)poncho5312011-11-18

Flexi rods? I dont think I added any... Where did you see them?

poncho531 (author)I_am_Canadian2011-11-18

Take a closer look at Track #4, pic 6. There are some there, and at Track #2, pic 7.

I_am_Canadian (author)poncho5312011-11-18

BAZINGA!

I dont believe I forgot about those, I'll add them in. Thanks very kindly.

what kind of flexi rods the grey length, yellow length, blue length or white?

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Bio: K'nex is my thing!
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