Introduction: Magic Surfer Game

Magic Surfer Game

In order to an international project with a mixed group of students from Germany and Russia we developed a game called the magic surfer game. The main concept is based on two system which are connected over magnetism. The actual game consist of a small surfer figure including a steel ball in its body, who has to sidestep some waves, sharks and other obstacles which are placed on a box made out of plywood.

The Box is hiding a secret about the surfer movement. A cartesian X-Y-plotter is carrying a magnet which the surfer will follow. By using a joystick outside the box you are able to move the X-Y-Plotter.

The game can have different aims.

1. You have to follow a line and sidestep the obstacles.

2. A camera located over the box will recognize the obstacles and will move autonomous.

Step 1: Mechanics

The first step was to get an idea of our main concept. We decided to work with magnetism and build up a system that can move a magnet in every direction of a plane level. Then we used a small steel ball, attached it to our game figure so that it just has to follow the movement of the magnet because of magnetic attraction between them.

Next we had to find a system to make the magnet move. We designed a cartesian X-Y-plotter as you can see in the picture of the entry. With two motors we can now move the magnet in 2D.


1. Choose system dimensions: The box has a size of 450x350mm and a heigth of 100mm.

2. Develope the XY-Plotter in a CAD system.

3. 3D print parts for the system (all orange parts in the photo).

4. Laser cut the top plate of the box.

5. Start assembling the parts following the photos step by step (screw printed parts in the corners, install the rods, timing belts and so on...)

DON'T FORGET about the magnet as you assemble the system upside down!

You need: some shaft rods, two bearings, timing belts, two stepper motors, two pulleys, M3 screws with nuts and some more.

6. Laser cut plywood to manufacture the walls of the box.

7. When every electronical parts are placed inside, build up the whole box. Make sure, nothings stops the system's movement.

Step 2: Electronics and Software

As you can see in the photos, we developed a board for placing STM32 and a4988 stepper drivers.

1. We developed the board using Sprint-Layout

2. Painted piece of copper covered plate with acrilic paint.

3. Engraved traces on it, using laser cutter.

4. Cleaned it with 95% alcohol.

5. Puted it into FeCl3 to solve engraved copper.

6. Soldered all connectors and some wires to the board.

7. Incerted the STM32 and A4988 stepper drivers and connected steppers.

2. Cut some copper, lack and etch the surface

Step 3: Game Parts

When the whole box is assembled there is just one part missing: the game figure

We designed a surfer figure out of plywood and also 3D printed some waves and laser cutted triangles that are used as obstacles on the top plate.

For low friction we choosed caprolon as the main material to make sure that the ball is rolling inside.

All in all we spent about 8 days for making the project work.


plouc made it! (author)2016-04-11

Really nice!

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