Picture of Knex Inverted Helix Lift
Hello everyone! This is a lift for ball machines, and it's an inverted helix lift. This lift was first featured in Cataclysm (last picture shows it). It's similar to a regular double helix lift, except the tower rotates in the middle, and the helix is on the outside! Of course, there's still a tower on the outside supporting the helix.

This lift is much better than the double helix lift, because you can make it very high, since the tower in the middle is much stronger than a double helix. It's more smooth, and more fun to watch, too. :-) It does use a lot of pieces though.

Note: You can also make this lift with one strand of tubing instead of two. This way you'll use less orange-tabbed connectors and tubing. Go to step 2 for details.

This is different than the original used in Cataclysm. It uses much less pieces. If you have enough, you can make it as big and piece-consuming as you want.

Here is a video of the inverted helix lift in action!

Note: This lift does not work with newer Knex balls (balls from Motorized Madness, Big Air Ball Tower, etc.) because they are too big.

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Step 1: Parts Count

Picture of Parts Count
Here's all the pieces that this lift uses.

Rods: 313
  • green-127
  • white-64
  • blue-59
  • yellow-34
  • red-11
  • gray-18
Connectors: 231
  • dark gray-20
  • light gray-3
  • red-22
  • green-7
  • yellow-58
  • orange-tabbed-32
  • white-9
  • orange-8
  • blue-29
  • purple-43
Other: 35
  • Y-clip-6
  • tan clip-3
  • blue spacer-16
  • silver spacer-7
  • battery-powered motor-1
  • strands of tubing-2: one 6 feet 3.5 inches long (191.77 cm), and the other 6 feet 4 inches long (193.04 cm). You don't have to cut the tubing, but it is recommended that you do. Go to Step 7 for details.
Total: 579

And you'll also need original Knex balls.

If you have enough pieces, then let's get building!
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poil87 made it!6 months ago

Just finished making this beast. It's awesome working way better then any other lift I have tried. I made it taller and did a little tweak it a little bit to help the balls enter and exit the lift. I will hopefully be building this lift into a ball machine if all works out and I find the time to build it.

Shadowman39 (author)  poil876 months ago

That looks great, thanks for building! I'm glad you got it to work well.

(removed by author or community request)
Sorunome1 year ago
I blame your cats
Shadowman39 (author)  Sorunome1 year ago
I'll tell them you said that. :-)
yay misty shadow and tony, right?
Shadowman39 (author)  Sorunome1 year ago
Toby. :-P
That's the same thing :P
Shadowman39 (author)  Sorunome1 year ago
Notice the "b" instead of the "n", lol.
they are right next to each other on the keyboard :P
cooljupjup2 years ago
i can`t build this i only have the newer balls :-(
they should work too
Shadowman39 (author)  Sorunome1 year ago
With mine they were too big. :-P
fail >.< remove the grey rod :P
Shadowman39 (author)  Sorunome1 year ago
Ah, I see now.
Shadowman39 (author)  cooljupjup2 years ago
OZKNEX222 years ago
Shadowman39 (author)  OZKNEX222 years ago
Gnmar27232 years ago
hey shadowman I'm having a bit of trouble with the tubing because the ball keeps slipping through the tubing when the balls are close but when the balls are more spaced they work fine. also it doesn't work when there are balls on both sides so i can only use one side. Do you suggest anything to try and fix it?
Shadowman39 (author)  Gnmar27232 years ago
Try tightening the tubing. When they slip through they fall down a level right? How tall have you made it?
Orange tubing is good ? :/
it probably wont work because the orange tubing is too thin and flimsy but you could try adding more supports.
Gnmar27232 years ago
could you just repeat this process to make the tower taller?
Shadowman39 (author)  Gnmar27232 years ago
Yeah, but don't forget the middle tower as well.
Ok thanks!
Lego Andrew3 years ago
I can't use the motor shown because it's SO SLOW!!! I'll just make one with an electric motor. But thanks for the instructions.
My mistake wrong motor
Lego Andrew3 years ago
Why are two 'passage ways' blocked?
Shadowman39 (author)  Lego Andrew3 years ago
You can unblock them, but you'll have to add gray rods to the middle like the other two passages. There's really no point in doing that though, because it lifts balls up pretty fast.
Coz they just are.
No, ok, probally because the motor doesn't have to pull so much up?
Lego Andrew3 years ago
I don't like to gather pieces, cause it takes a long time, cause I don't sort my pieces (I'm starting to though).
You really shoult sort your pieces, it speeds bilding up stuff A LOT
yeah, i am getting small boxes
good decission
MiniBr1t4 years ago
hey if u still have this built u should make it so at the top when they fall out the balls hav a ramp to go bak down to the bottom
Shadowman39 (author)  MiniBr1t4 years ago
It would be easy to do that, why don't you try? :-)
i had a look at the peice count and checked my peices and no that is right i had hardly any peices for this but another thing ur da best knexer i hav heard of keep buildin hectic stuff
Shadowman39 (author)  MiniBr1t4 years ago
Thanks! I never build tracks connecting the entrance and exit of the lift because I leave that part up to others who build it.
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