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Building towers with k'nex is cool, but hard when you are low on pieces.
With this instructable I'll try to show an alternative way of building a k'nex tower then the well known square shape.

This guide consists of the next parts:
Building the basic shape (steps 1-3)
Building the base of the tower (steps 4-5)
Strengthening the structure (steps 7-9)
"Getting it up" (step 10)
my towers (steps 11-13)

This is my first instructable so it isn't enything overly special but yet I found it something interesting to share, I add or change certain sections at times if i come up with extra information or if i find errors.
Most of the images are a bit cutted at the sides (that's why the odd shapes) and are reduced in file size (less sharp).

Step 1: Building the The Basic Shape I

We will be using a triangle shape, this gives us corners of 60 degrees.
To start off, use a connector like the (old colors:) yellow or white one.
Take one type of rods as the length of the 'tower' and the bigger rod as diagonal.

To make a first shape of the tower, make three of these.

Step 2: Building the Basic Shape II

In this step we will build the first part of the tower that realy stands

put a connector at the bottom/top side (place where they are not yet connected) and connect the diagonals with it to get the shape as shown in the image.

Step 3: Buidling the Basic Shape III

Now repeat the first 2 steps but only one row of connectors is needed, the other side of the rods are attached to the shaped you finished in step 2. This should give you the structure as shown in the image below.
Repeat this step multiple times and you'll get some nice tower. (While the size also depends on what length of rods you chose in step one)

Step 4: Building the Base of the Tower I

When replacing the connectors at one (or multiple) edges of the triangular structure, you can attach a second structure.
Doing this at all 3 edges will give some stability.

Step 5: Building the Base of the Tower II

From here on there are multiple ways to make a bigger base.
I optioned for putting another triangle at each of the corners and connect the parts where possible.

when working with increased hights to the centre, you'll get something like the image shows.

Step 6: Information

Now, with all this you can build a tower with some hight.
But the bad side of the story is that the structure is a bit fragile. (Hence the pickture.)

This is due to the connectors are always supported in 2 dimensions instead of 3. This way they are fragile to high pressure or slightly horizontal forces. The area will bend and make the whole structure collaps. Which is very troublesome when building realy high towers or when there's wind mettling.

That's why we'll add some extra strength in the following steps.
And as some might have noticed, this strengthening has been applied at the lower part of the tower in the image. And where did it start breaking? Right above that point ofcourse. (You see the difference in angle of the tower changing behind the wooden bar.)

Step 7: Strengthening the Structure I

For this step we need to make something that both replaces the diagonal rod and supports the vertical rod.
So we use connectors of either the blue or white type (I tend to use the blue ones as those haven't been used yet) and attach 2 rods (yellow) at both sides that, together, have the same length of the diagonal rod (grey).
To this, attach a rod (blue) that's half the vertical rod (red). At this end is a grey connector.

I bet the image is a lot easier to understand...

When replacing the diagonals with this at more then one place, you can connect them with an extra rod like the second image shows.

Step 8: Strengthening the Structure II

Now implement these parts in the structure. I think the best way is to let the blue rods pointll go clockwise at one level and anticlockwise at the next and so on.

This way your tower structure should be capable of going even higher.

Good luck.

Step 9: Strengthening the Structure III

To add even more strength to structure, it can be done by making these small connections trough a blue rod with one-clip connectors (grey ones).

Attach these at the middle line formed by the previous strengthenings and to the corner. I hope the image is good enough to make things clear.

Step 10: Getting It Up

I hadn't thought about it to put section in the instructions aswell, but it seems rather important in the end.

So i got a tower from over 7 meters up, but never said how to assemble this tall thing.

As meny may have noticed, it's standing very close to the house and this has a reason.
I build the ground section about as tall as me when standing on the table. Don't put chairs or eny other constructions on top of each other in order to stand higher! After that I assemble the 2 or 3 other man-high pieces an let them lean against the house. To put this top section on the bottom section, I lift it up and let it slide over the roof gutter.
This part is tricky caus you also have to slide it sideways and put it over the bottom section, I've failed this part meny times resulting in a scattered tower.
Both sections aim with one side to the house (and not a corner) when both pieces are over each other, i attach the 2 connectors to the rods that are at the house's side. Finally i pull the tower straight and attach the last connector to the rods.

WARNING;
Doing these things are dangerous, only stand at stable grounds so you can't fall over. If something happens, leave the tower be and get yourself safe. The knex tower might break, but only somethimes one of the connectors actually loses one of the pins.
I almost dropped the camera once when trying to catch the falling tower, luckely the camera survived.

Also, to the house is this wooden structure to help the trees grow in a certain way, This can either give an extra support to the tower or keep myself a bit safe when it's falling over. K'nex is safe to play with if you keep yourself into a safe position.

Step 11: My Tower

In this image you see how high I managed to build my tower.

The images are taken from bottom to top with a yellow plate at each 10 red rods high and blue ones in between.
as each combination of red rod and connector is 15 cm, there are 5 plates (each image should overlap the other with one plate, except the last one overlaps both yellow plates) and 2 or 3 more rods attop.

This result is (50+2)*0.15cm = 7.8 meters (7.95m if you count the flags) [=22.3 (22.8) ft.]

I also got 2 video's at youtube
Tower i made before the one in the picktures: (it doesn't have the flags on top of it)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1x3NuPZDlc
This tower while trying to record it and it falls down caus of the wind straining it too much:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ17OBW5ABQ

Step 12: My Tower - V2

After buying some more knex on a flea market, building it thicker and trying a few different ways of building it, I ended up the tower shown in the pickture.

It's about 9,388 m (or 30.8 ft) and stood for a minute. It fell down caus i couldn't find a better place in the grass where the ground was more horizontal and caus of sudden winds.

The top section (the bending beams and flags) were always calculated as 2 x 15 cm. I measured it now and i got at 39.3 cm. While the bottom section rests on smaller pieces, it gets down with 0,525 cm.
So I got it's length with: 59 (complete sections) * 15cm + 14,5 cm + 39,3 cm = 938,8 cm

The end:
ofcourse, it crashed again. This time I blame the grass ground i used (i needed more space in case it fell over). It wasn't flat and completely horizontal so it stood a bit tilted already. At times the wind blew and....
it stood alone for about a minute.

And I thank my mom for helping me with connecting the last section caus it was impossible to do it alone.

Step 13: My Tower - V2

Today I changed the supports a bit (got the tallest one lower and shortest one taller) and had a bit more luck with the wind.

The first time the tower stood for quite a while and i got some video material worked into a youtube video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiVouQOwJ64
I should try some day....after my next ball machine maybe :D
How? How is that even possible? You have an amazing talent my friend.
its actually really easy
Did you make one than?
How? How is that even possible? You have an amazing talent my friend.
You could build some sort of tripod eiffel tower like base.
I'll try posting something on youtube, though the camera didn't realy do as i wanted so i only got the first 3 pieces put together (out of 6 pieces aprox 1.5m tall) I'd retry recording but the weather is bad and i'm getting tired of this tower XD
Cool! I hope I have enough parts!!!
 Holy cow that is tall!!! 5stars btw!
I inserted it in 2 ways, caus most people that use meters also use the decimal comma while people using feet mostly use the decimal point.<br /> <br /> let's say it's 9m 38cm&nbsp;or &nbsp;30ft 9in tall
I always stick grey rods into the ground on the bottom section, It helps keeping the tower straight up<br />
That's a good idea, I'll keep it in mind.<br /> though, i think the rods would need to be a bit sharpened in order to be easilly sticked in the ground. Not sure if i'll mess with the pieces that much..<br />
in one of the last photos there was a trampoline, pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaase build a tower on it. youull be a legend forever if you do!!!!
Could the top support a video camera?
they're not that heavy, but imagine it falling 8 meters down. Not going to risk that one :p
It's called a suicide camera.
if i could somehow protect the camera, i'd record how the camera goes up to the top and then crash down :p eny instructables about bouncy camera?
Make a plastic box, but use a cheap camera just in case.
Get a box ~3 times the size of the camera. Then hold the camera in the middle of the box with surgical tubing. The cover the out side with 1-2 inches of closed cell foam. Then 1-2 inches of open cell foam. It's heavy but protects the camera really well.
Tell that to floris2burn, it's not my instructable, but that sounds good anyway.
I played soccer with it.
Now I have to make my own mega tower! Looks great. Nice work!
YES! Make the tallest tower ever! Then turn it into a ball machine. Imagine, a lift that goes 30 ft, then a ball free falls into a funnel....
I was going to try, then I learned that I have to beat 106 feet...
So? You could cream that! go for 106 metres!!!
You kidding? Do you have any idea how many pieces that would take?!
You might have.
I made 10 feet, and I realised that there was no way.
Use a helicopter.
I failed at making a system using wires (caus i don't have enough chain pieces) but couldn't realy make it flip the ball away so i focused on the tower instead.
Wow, those are really tall. How long have they been outdoors?
these 4 picktures are the same tower, just going up :p it's been standing till.. it crashed from the wind or for some minutes till i took it down again after taking picktures and small video recording. i've made several, going higher each try to find weak spots and such (i also tried putting this uhm wind-directioner atop, but it's pretty heavy so it was a smaller tower (see the intro page)
You should try to come up with a mechanism that will counter the force of the wind.
unless it involves using supportive wires (which won't make the tower that cool enymore) i think there's pretty much nothing to do. I was thinking of building some support beam from out of my window, but as I said, I want it to be single standing without eny supports or such. using a mechanism involving a weight would be to counter a swinging movement which isn't happening here. The tower just bends over to one side and then crumbles at that corner. That's why i put those extra strengthening diagonal rods at the bottom (going to attach more of those soon)
You could try using taught string within the tower to support it by hooking it straight from the top into the ground.
maybe, but that would result in a lot more strain on the bottom pieces, as if you put a lot more weight on it. Again, the tower would get a lot more fragile. The sole reason the tower needs to be stronger is to survive the extra strain the wind causes, if i find some other ways to make the pieces at the bottom of the tower stronger, I could either go a lot higher or make it immune to the wind. And i think i got an idea or 2. Oh, and building this large base higher would take a huge ammount of pieces as it's sort of 9 times the tower attached by the corners. so one level at the bottom would require 9 levels from the available length. I'll keep you all posted when i manage to build the tower again, I need some time, daylight and good weather (which isn't exactly now).
I have an idea that I am working on in a drawing to counter the wind using weights.
i tried building a 9 metre tower. though when i was bringing it up (like i said, i let the top rest against the drainage) the top section was getting so tall that the slight angle already caused to much pressure at the point supporting at the drainage, it made it collaps there leaving 2-3 metre section at the roof that i barely got off (after one hour of different approaches). and now it started to rain, yay -_-
Very excellent! 5*
Looks good. After I get done with my crossbow I’ll make one.
Nice tower, I like the use of triangles. 5*
I made a tower once....It was about a story less than this. The physical design of this tower isn't a remarkable achievement but is still good. I am also astounded at how tall it is. 5*
well, I used to make some towers with a square pattern (with those purple connectors) but that requires more pieces, though it's stronger. This is more of a challenge to build and I'll try to get it higher soon (attaching more supports at the diagonals) Also, keep in mind this is a single tower and not 2 or more connected towers as meny ppl build for their kingda ka coasters. I'm just trying to find a way to build realy high towers with less knex :)

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