Introduction: Mario Kart Vending Machine
We are going to make a Vending machine based off of Mariokart, because of two reasons. First off who doesn't like Mariokart, and second who doesn't want a vending machine in their house? Of course our version of it can only dispense small items like cereal, or small bags of chips, but you can definitely modify it to make it work the way you want it to. After your done you should expect a product that looks like the picture on top (Yours might be a little more professional).
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If you want to see an un-marionkartanized (i don't think that is a word) version of the machine click on the link below to check out the video that is on my youtube channel.
Step 1: Gather Your Main Materials
So for this project, I am going to be using legos. So grab a tub of lego's if you want to follow my steps. Of course you could always modify it to your personal liking. You could use jenga bricks, or to make it more professional, carve your own wood into a vending machine. For me, though, I will be using lego bricks. Once you got your tub of legos. grab a wii wheel. Also you are going to need some special lego parts. You are going to need gear pieces and rivet pieces. You will also need a brick with a hole in it, and a pin rod piece. You should probably get a baseboard too, just to keep all the lego's together (Of course if your not using legos you don't need these parts)
Step 2: Build the Base
Start off with a base plate. If you don't have one that is OK, but it provides much more stability with one. Once you have the base plate start layering lego pieces on top of each other. In this part just use regular 2x4, 2x2, or 2x3 pieces. If you don't have enough and you get desperate you can always use others like 1x2'x or 1x6's provided it looks like the base on top, and it holds your vending machine in place. If you are using a different material make 2 blocks similar to the ones on top. I stopped building when I was about 3 inches high, but you can change it based off of your liking.
Step 3: Make the Hole/The Platform
Now that you have the base down, lets get into the real vending machine. We are going to start off by making a hole. Through this hole is where all your stuff will drop through it should look something similar to the picture on top. After building the hole you also want to make the platform which is about 3 inches wide, and 3 inches in lenghth. This platform is where the box/pusher-thingamabober will be placed on. You will see what the box/pusher-thingamabober is later...As you can see the first picture is just a hole. The second is the hole with the platform attatched to it. You might have noticed 2 flat pieces. Those flat pieces make it easier for the box to slide on, also this is only if you are using legos because on legos there are many bumps in legos. If you are not, and are using wood or something it is probably already flat.
Step 4: Build a Box
So as I had been talking about in the previous step. We are going to want to build a box/pusher thingamabobber. You can call this whatever you like, I just call it that. So this part is probably the simplest, but at the same time the most important. First take 2 peices that are each 3 inches long, and 1 peice that is 2 3/4 inches long. Connect them together then on the left side attatch a pair of rivets on top. Once those are there make a wall in the back piece (the one that is 2 3/4 inches long) that is about 5 lego pieces high or 2 inches high. To get a better picture of what I am saying look at the picture on top. Once your done with this step keep the box to the side until it is needed.
Step 5: Start Building the Vending Machine Holder
Remember that base we built a couple steps ago. We added on to it, right? We put the hole and the platform on top of it. Well that is not all we are going to be doing to it. Now lets start stacking on to it till a good height. Since I used legos I stopped at around 4 lego piece hight or 2". Make sure you build around all sides of it. This step keeps everything together. It also makes the whole thing look nice. In fact to make it look nicer, use a color scheme or paint it anyway you want. Mine is sort of a mumbo jumbo of a bunch of things mixed together. The first picture shows the side view. The second shows the top view. The third picture shows where you should put the box that you built in the previous step. The last one shows how it looks when it is attached to the base
Step 6: Make the Mechanism
Now that we got most of the structure down, we have to start working on the mechanism. Here is where the magic happens. First get a long rod piece. Attach a gear to the rod. Got that down? Good. If you need help look at the gear and rod picture. Now, remember that box we made a couple steps ago? Well the idea here is that the Gear rotates on the rivets causing the box to move. The box goes above the hole area, and drops whatever needs to be dropped. Then you rotate the gear back to make the box go back to its original state. To make the rod move the box, we need a hole piece. Take a look at the picture above. Put your rod through this piece and make sure you can rotate it. Once you've got it down strategically place it such that it can move the box. I would suggest putting it around 2.5 inches away from the right side of your machine. If you need help look at the picture. Then download and check out the video too. If it works just like the video then you did it correctly. Good Job! We aren't done yet though...
Step 7: Continue Adding on the Holder
So now although we could say it is finished. We want to finish the holder. This not only makes it look better. It adds a shell so you can hold more things. It also allows your machine to be more sturdy. Just start layering more and more pieces until the top (sort of like we did in the 5th step. Go upwards until the height of the box's wall. You are basically done now, but it is still not any fun.
Step 8: Add the Mario Wii Wheel
As I said before in the previous, It isn't any fun yet. How do we make it fun? Obviously, by adding a mariokart wheel to it! Instead of rotating a simple stick to get your machine to work (which is extremely boring) You can spin the mariokart wheel to get your vending machine to work. So how do you do this? Take your boring old stick and add hot glue to the non gear side. After that add hot glue to the little screw hole in the wii wheel. Attach the rod into the little screw hole in the wheel. It is almost a perfect fit. Now that you have got it down give it a Spin. Heh, heh get it?? Ok moving on. We are almost at the finish line.
Step 9: Extras (ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ADD)!
On mine I didn't add much, but you could add much more. Let your imagination run wild on this step. You could leave it the way I have, and skip this step, or you could make it the vending machine of your dreams. As i said 2 sentences ago, I didn't add much, but that doesn't mean I didn't add anything. In fact on mine I added a lid with a roof on top so it is more convenient too add more stuff in the vending machine. I am thinking of figuring out a way to add a milk dispenser as well because milk goes really well with cereal.
Step 10: USE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now after you have finished all the (not so) tedious work, you get to use it. This is probably the best step considering I have put around (1,2,3...) a lot of exclamation points. I use it to dispense cereal. Of course you could use it to dispense anything you want as I said before. You can check out a video of me using it down below. For some reason I titled the video,"Can you hear me". Also sometimes your thing that you are dispensing may get stuck, like in the video. If that is the case just pull it out. Have fun with it.