Introduction: K'nex Giant Ferris Wheel

Picture of K'nex Giant Ferris Wheel

This is my first Instructable. It's for a 234 cm(7,68 ft, 92,1 in) tall K'nex Ferris Wheel.

I often had problems with K'nex ferris wheels, because it's hard to keep the towers strong, when they are only connected with one black rod.

This ferris wheel has an open hub, so there is room to connect both towers by a strong bridge.

Step 1: Building the Base

Picture of Building the Base

First you have to build the base which holds both support towers, the 12V engine, and the first reduction gears. It also forms the boarding platform. It looks really small for the size of the wheel, but it did a good job on mine. When you take it outside, it might be an idea to add further support. For indoors, this is good enough.

Step 2: Building Support Tower 1

Picture of Building Support Tower 1

Next is support tower 1 It's a fairly simple red rod tower. It also has the drive shaft attached to it, which drives the wheel.

Step 3: Support Tower 2

Picture of Support Tower 2

Support tower 2 is built up of yellow rods. On the bottom end there is a red rod block, which is attached to the base. It's important to make the connection between the red block and the yellow tower quite strong, if you don't, the tower might break there.

It's important to put a gray connector on one of the vertical rods on the top block. This will be connected to the bridge between the towers.

Step 4: Top of Tower 1

Picture of Top of Tower 1

The top of tower 1 has the final drive on it, which makes the connection between the vertical drive shaft and the chain drive.
The bridge which runs through the hub, from tower 2 is also attached to this part.
It also supports one side of the drive/support shafts.

Step 5: Top of Tower 2

Picture of Top of Tower 2

The top of tower 2 is quite simple, it doesn't have any gears in it. It supports the drive/support shafts, and it has the bridge on it.

Step 6: Drive/support Shafts

Picture of Drive/support Shafts

These shafts hold the weight of the wheel itself, and also drive the wheel via 2 chain drives. It's important to fill the rods completely with rings, wheels and connectors. If not, there may be too much room at the bearings, so the shafts may fall out.

For the main shaft (right one, from top to bottom) the following parts go on the rod.

1 grey connector
1 ring
1 big wheel, with rubber bands around it, these add grip.
2 beige wheel holders
1 red wheel
2 beige wheel holders
1 red wheel
14 rings
1 beige wheel holder
1 big wheel
2 beige wheel holders
2 red wheels
1 beige wheel holder

The second shaft is the same, exept that it hasn't got the second set of red wheels. Fill up this space with rings and beige wheel holders.

Step 7: Tower Assembly

Picture of Tower Assembly

Quite simple really, build all the parts together, to form the towers, whith the drive mechanism.

Step 8: Wheel Construction

Picture of Wheel Construction

The wheel is built up out of 31 elements. The elements themselves have 3 parts, the drum part, the wheel part, and the car part.

Building the outer ring is a matter of fine tuning. I found the easiest way to do this was to attach the wheel to the tower, and testing a bit with blue and white rods.

The cars I've built are very simple, but it was all the K'nex I still had left, you can build whatever car you like.

Step 9: Final Assembly

Picture of Final Assembly

By building the wheel in two halves, they can be mounted around the bridge/drive/support shafts. Each halve will be HUGE by now. I've tied a rope around my ceiling lamp to keep the top halve up, while connecting the bottom halve. Another possibility is to keep the top halve balanced on top of the two drive/support shafts.

I found it easy to keep the car parts(everything outside the outer ring) of until the wheel was mounted on the tower.


Rudy3983 (author)2014-09-17

it is really good! where do you get all the pieces ?!?! : )

I_am_Canadian (author)2008-06-12

Cool! I can almost hear the carnival music now......

lol. in one ferris wheel set there is a lil' orange cylinder that plays carnival music. i have one. staring at it as i type.

=!snap!= (author)RMConstruction2009-08-14

I have one from a rolercoster thati think would qwork to, its motion activated to it makes the sounds of it turning and people screanming and chearing :)

tjdtjd1 (author)=!snap!=2009-10-23

i have one too. i got it from a fair ground set

jacksonhpeters (author)tjdtjd12011-10-31

me too, it is so annoying :D
rig it up to someones door for some laughs

tinker234 (author)2011-05-26

hey cool could i do it in wood

rybubbles (author)2009-08-30

do you need them???

cqdmgy (author)2009-08-18

I got those from the ball machine crane set.

Green482 (author)2009-08-18

could you please tell me what those blue and yellow platform things that you used are called? and maybe what set i can get them in?

knexsuperbuilderfreak (author)2009-06-22

wow a great new mech

floris2burn (author)2009-06-15

When I build ferris wheels I always get stuck at the part where a rod has to serve as axis and carry the whole weight of the wheel. You found a nice solution to that! grats.

Jesus. (author)2009-06-07

hey does it use more then 2 black rods??

cqdmgy (author)Jesus.2009-06-07

Yes, it already needs two for the wheel axles. Perhaps they are replacable by grey ones, but I didn't check that.

TwistedParadox (author)2009-05-27

How tall does this stand when completed?

cqdmgy (author)TwistedParadox2009-05-27

234 cm

ferdi09 (author)2009-03-07

wauw die heb ik ook een keer gebouwd maar dan anders maar het ziet er cool uit maar die ga ik niet bouwen dus later!

cqdmgy (author)ferdi092009-03-08

Lol, ik zit nou in een verhuizing, heb nog wel wat leuke K'nex plannetjes op stapel staan!

builder968 (author)2008-11-13

i wish i had enough pieces to build this...

J-Five (author)2008-11-09

Wow, I wonder how many pieces it takes.

Skreetsha (author)2008-10-19

Only word to decribe: Epic.... *Watches this thing like it's made in another world*

The KNex Weasel (author)2008-09-20

Can you by any chance please post a list of what pieces you need to make this? I'm sorry, but I'm too lazy to try and inventory them myself. Great Ferris wheel, though.

cqdmgy (author)The KNex Weasel2008-09-21

Well, as I've taken the whole thing apart again, I don't have a full list. I think you can build the towers the way you like, as long as they are strong enough. The wheel can be extended as you like, to make it as big as you like. Remember though, you need 31 pieces of everything, because the wheel has 31 sections.

Darth Trainman (author)2008-06-11

You realize what this means, right? I have to build a bigger wheel. But this is bad-ass...

put gun barrels on it. THE UBER VORTEX!!!!!!!!!

cqdmgy (author)pfdanielson2008-08-03

It would I guess. I've just never quite figured out how these K'nex gun barrels really work. It might also be a bit unpractical to load and aim. I might try it someday perhaps:P

The Jamalam (author)cqdmgy2008-08-23

the ones you would need use elastic bands to push a firing pin (long rod) into a round (another rod) and cause it to fly out of the barrel

jedff (author)2008-08-03

how long did it take to make

cqdmgy (author)jedff2008-08-03

About two days I think.

jedff (author)cqdmgy2008-08-03

that would take me a week probaly

sonic55575 (author)2008-07-05

haha, when i saw this, i thought of the carnival music on the spongebob movie when they blew bubbles! lol!

Mad Cat (author)2008-06-08

I built it and it is fricken HUGE! Although i did have a funny experience with it. My cat ripped the carpet in my room so i was chasing him. He hid behind the ferris wheel and i thre a shoe at him. I missed and the shoe destroyed one of the support towers. The whole thing toppled over, and what do i get? CARNAGE! And my cat got stuck under it and he couldn't get out, lol.

I_am_Canadian (author)Mad Cat2008-06-12

That must have been one mad cat.

Mad Cat (author)I_am_Canadian2008-06-12

Yeah he's insane. He jumped 3 stories to chase a bird at my grandmother's.

I_am_Canadian (author)Mad Cat2008-06-12

Is that him you have as your atavar?

Mad Cat (author)I_am_Canadian2008-06-13

Nah, that's some random cat on google images. I'll change the picture to my cat later.

I_am_Canadian (author)Mad Cat2008-06-13


GorillazMiko (author)2008-06-04

Outstanding job! Incredibly nicely done, extremely well made and everything, it's just so... so... awesome.. :-O I really hope to see some more, and maybe a video of it in action? Great job once again! +5/5 stars.

j-chode! (author)2008-06-04

the is certainly the most originalist thing i have seen on this entire site.
i love it

philipster (author)2008-06-04

love it and i could see my dog running into it and destroying it put lights on the tips and do it at night so it would look even cooler

mrbox (author)2008-06-03

Now thats an epic build!

Doctor Who (author)2008-06-03

Built but my motor sucks so I made a hand crank. (don't know how to connect my new camera to computer)

the_burrito_master (author)2008-06-03

nice but for the noobs wouldn't be able to go off this to well.

Kiteman (author)2008-06-03

Omigosh! That's a class piece of kit. It would be nice to see a video of it in action, though?

cqdmgy (author)Kiteman2008-06-03

Sorry, I don't have a vid. I've first built the whole thing, and as I had to break it down anyway, I thought I'd make an instructable of it!

jollex (author)2008-06-03

That... is... amazing! I really like how you have the ferris wheel going around on those wheels instead of having a motor just spin the wheel from the center.

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