Here is my latest ball machine, TurnPike. It has one track measuring over 32 feet, and features lots of winding, looping, banked-turn goodness that takes a single ball over 20 seconds to navigate (plus the lift). You will notice that it is very similar to my previous ball machine, "Loopy". However, apart from being much larger, TurnPike also has extra supports added, a new way of banking the turns and a slightly different lift, that allows the roller-coaster tubing to go up the lift and join the tubing at the top, making a continuous loop.
Step 1: Preliminary Notes...
Before we start, there are a few things I need to warn you of that will be coming up in the forthcoming steps.
#1, I label my photo numbers, and give specific instructions for each photo. It is very important. Also, if I label multiple photos, say example photos 12-15, it means that photos 12 through 15 are all following the same command, so if I say "Photo #2-4: Build part A" It means that photos 2, 3, and 4 are all different photos of one piece you should build, so don't build the same piece thrice.
#2, This instructable is divvied up into smaller parts that connect onto larger parts. Now, this ball machine is built on a Blue rod X Blue rod frame, and there are cross supports made up of an orange connector with two white rods on each end, being skewered in the middle by a yellow rod. This forms an X shaped support, as seen in photo #2 of this step. This will come up everywhere in this instructable. Now, if part A has just a yellow rod at one end, and it connects to part B, which has an orange-and-white assembey, there is a good chance that when they are connected that the yellow rod will go through the hole in the orange connector. See for example, photos 3-5.
Photo 3: Not that this piece has an orange connector with white rods sticking off the end there. First you will build this piece (not now, it comes up in step 12...)
Photo 4: Next you will build this part, which has a yellow rod sticking out.
Photo 5: Now the pieces from photos 2 and 3 are connected, and the orange connector with the white rods has a yellow rod going through it.
This kind connection also happens all over the place in this instructable, so be wary.
#3 Sort of an add-on to my last point... Concerning the yellow rod/orange-connector-and-white-rod cross supports... They are everywhere, and very often, not all of the four points will end up connecting to a connector. See for example photo #6. One end of that yellow rod isn't connected to anything, and that will often be the case, though it might be the orange connector/white rods that aren't connected.
#4 Lastly (and least important...), you may not be able to see them all, but on every tracking piece, there are four dark grey connectors. See Photo #7. Also, the dark grey connectors also point in the direction that the ball will roll over said tracking piece.
I think that's just about it! If you're all ready lets dive into this project!