Instructables
This is my first Instructable. It shows how to build a ball machine. This one is relatively large--I think it has more pieces than any of the other ball machines on these forums. It is insanely difficult, and may require usage of certain pieces you may need multiples of.

But if you have 1,610 pieces, and want a challenge, then I give you...LITHIUM!

(sorry, I can't get the video up.)

Parts you will need:
146 green rods
116 white rods
303 blue rods
151 yellow rods
46 red rods
32 gray rods
1 black rod
7 flexi rods
4 tan connectors
94 dark gray connectors
1 blue hinge
2 green hinges
12 light gray connectors
37 orange connectors
72 red connectors
21 green connectors
118 yellow connectors
15 white connectors
162 purple 3D connectors
98 blue 3D connectors
38 orange track connectors
4 red gears
8 blue spacers
12 silver spacers
13 black Y connectors
1 square panel
94 chain links
1 motor
Total: 1,610

...and one ferret (Just kidding!)

 
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Step 1: Step 1: The Base

This may be the most boring part of the machine to build, but isn't too difficult. I have included pictures for you to see so you know where and what should be positioned.

Parts needed:
12 green rods
15 white rods
82 blue rods
32 yellow rods
2 red rods
1 black rod
4 tan locks
20 dark gray connectors
6 orange connectors
9 red connectors
2 green connectors
15 yellow connectors
3 white connectors
48 purple connectors
39 blue connectors
2 red gears
4 blue spacers
2 silver spacers
1 PowerPack motor
Total: 294

Step 2: Step 2: The support tower (middle section)

Lithium 012.jpg
Lithium 014.jpg
This is the rest of the tower (minus the top), for which I have also included images from all angles.

The order of pics--Front, Back, what you should have so far.

Notice some of the spots on each side!

What pieces you need:
4 green rods
1 white rod
84 blue rods
42 yellow rods
1 dark gray connector
1 red connector
2 yellow connectors
48 purple connectors
26 blue connectors
2 black Y connectors
Total: 211
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thekster144 years ago
For the yellow tracks... can i just use yellows seperates by green rods and for the loop can i use purple flexible rods?
The KNex Weasel (author)  thekster144 years ago
Yellow path: If you mean steps 13-16, then yes, that's primarily what I used. I should point out, though, that the way you support the rest of the path would have to be changed. Loop: It's very hard to make it without tubing, because: 1) Tubing is a lot smoother than just using yellow connectors 2) The connectors you attach to the rods are going to make the path rougher and the balls will lose speed a lot more quickly.
cupcake434 years ago
can u use rippen rocket tubing and rr crossties cuz i don't have dat yellow connetor with teh thing on teh top?
The KNex Weasel (author)  cupcake434 years ago
If you mean on the loop, you'd need to reconfigure the supports, but it's probably something that can be worked out (I have yet to try it myself, though).

You'd also need to cut the tubing into three pieces; the speed drops a lot when there's no middle rail.
did u find out dat u kan do dat yet
The KNex Weasel (author)  cupcake434 years ago
Not yet.  I probably never will either, since K'Nex is dying a slow death for me, and I'm only building on weekends when I'm not at college.

Again, try it out yourself.  I'm sure you can come up with a configuration that works just by using a bit of trial and error.
well ummmmmm u can make a loop with crossties but i kant do it cuz how da ball machine is shaped wrong oh well
The KNex Weasel (author)  cupcake434 years ago
Ah, well.  You could use a different path format instead.  It doesn't necessarily need to use a loop.
so ur sayin i need ta buy a strip of tubing. or else it will slow down.
The KNex Weasel (author)  cupcake434 years ago
If you don't already have RR tubing, yes.  If you do, just cut one of the strands into three pieces and string them over.

But yeah, the speed plummets when you don't have the middle rail there.
oh thx 4 teh tip man. i will tri it out after my latest coaster:)


p.s ur a great knex builder. also do u no where i can buy old knex sets???????????
The KNex Weasel (author)  cupcake434 years ago
Thanks, and you can find the older sets on eBay, Craigslist, Amazon, and sometimes garage sales if you're lucky.
~KGB~5 years ago
is the yellow tubing the same size as the big ball air tower red tubing?
Jesus. ~KGB~4 years ago
can you use screamin serpent tubing??
The KNex Weasel (author)  Jesus.4 years ago
You can, but you might need to cut it to fit the track (or so the added weight of extra tubing doesn't tip the thing over).
oh ok i was thinking of building it, and i dont have much yellow tubing.
~KGB~ Jesus.4 years ago
i dont have it, so i dont really know...
The KNex Weasel (author)  ~KGB~5 years ago
No, the BABT tubing isn't long enough. It needs to be 5 feet long. The BABT tubing is only 4.
thanks fur yur help
Im going to post my ball machine. Yay!
Can you make one like, micro-sized for me? Pleeeeez?
Try project box. Mine is.. About two feet high.
If is doesn't fit the following standards, then I won't be able to build it. 1. Uses no tabbed yellow connectors. 2. Uses no roller coaster track or tubing. 3. Either uses only one ball or uses marbles. 4. Uses a limited amount of 3d connectors. sorry.
That'll be hard. the 3d connectors are a main part in K'nex structures...
not knex guns, that's why they are my main build.
The KNex Weasel (author)  Oompa-Loompa6 years ago
I can tell. On average, from what I've seen and done with full-size ball towers, the main support rod takes up 15% of the number of pieces, followed by the secondary support rod (11.6%), purple or silver 3D connectors (9.8%), yellow connectors/green rods (each 9.2%), and then blue 3D connectors (8.7%). Of course, there are quite a few exceptions to this (this very ball machine being one), but this tends to be the generic method with full-size machines anyway. Alas, 3D connectors are a staple element with ball machines (which suits me well since I have about 1200 3D connectors (no offense)).
Yea, well I'm just searching for an unusual gun to convert to knex (not just another m16 or ak) and I was gonna do the Famas G2, but I had trouble getting the trigger system the way I wanted it, so it's back to scratch for me...
i had that thought at the begining('scuse my bad spelling) of the day i was looking up some semi autos and a golf ball shooter came up maybe you can use that
The KNex Weasel (author)  Oompa-Loompa6 years ago
I thought you were trying to build a ball machine.
i have ~800
The KNex Weasel (author)  Oompa-Loompa6 years ago
You could still try building your own, though. It's better to do that than to follow instructions all the time. I'm building a new one right now. It won't be posted here, though, because I'm betting it's going to be even bigger than Enigma (my last ball tower).
I've tried and failed at least like ten times. But I'll try just one more time...
The KNex Weasel (author)  Oompa-Loompa6 years ago
Smart plan. But my suggestion is that you take a lift idea you've already seen--you can use the one for this machine, for instance--and then just adjust it to your preferences.
OK, I've got half a marble machine that uses limited parts, so I could make it. It is about a foot high, but I don't know what I want the marbles to do. Any good track ideas for like, a 1ft. by 1ft. space.
The KNex Weasel (author)  Oompa-Loompa6 years ago
Most I can think of are these: -A "centipede": take a rod and clip a bunch of blue 3D connectors onto it opposite the 3D connection, all facing the same way. Put a white rod in each slot on both edges of it, and put it on the machine. But if you're trying not to use a lot of 3D connectors, that might not work so well for your purpose. -A "rail helix": take a bunch of yellow connectors and green, white, and blue rods, and string them around the machine in a spiral following the particular pattern you're after (see steps 13-16 of this machine to show you how to do this).
Ok, I've finally got a loading mech that actually worx with marbles. I just need to figure out what I want them to do.
Hmm... 1: I made it so that ut uses none of them. 2: No tubing whatsoever. 3: uses balls... one will work but more is better... 4: It does not use a ton, but it has a few.
1. That's great 2. Dose it have roller coaster rails? cuz I don't. 3. I only have one ball 4. I'd say no more than like 20 blue 3ds and 20 purples?
1: Yay. 2: No roller coaster rails either. 3: You can make that work. 4: Hmm. That might not cut it, but we will see. it uses no chain links, its a new lift system, thats the main reason Im posting.
Doesn't matter anyway. I'm working on my own, and I have the lift system finished, and have no idea how to make trax for it.
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