Introduction: The Official Guide to K'NEX Ball Machine Elements
Since I wanted to make details of new elements I might make in the future, and when I feel like adding other elements here for easier reference, I decided to make this guide to comply as many simple to astounding elements as possible to make reference easier for others as well as myself. This guide will use new elements I make and elements I modify from other ones REMINDER: Most of the elements that are posted on here are modified for the newer, larger balls.
EDIT: Since there were starting to be too many elements in this guide, I've have made a separate guide on just the regular "paths" which can be found here.
If you want a guide to lifts, check out 39Shadowman's guide to lifts here.
Step 1: Side Winder
Step 2: Obstacle Path
This is the larger version of Knextreme's design. The ball will go bonkers moving from left to right.
Step 3: Freefall
Possibly the dullest element ever. The ball simply falls down a chute which is mainly used for connecting elements.
Step 4: Swivel Freefall
A freefall that is actually interesting but still easy to build, not my idea.
Step 5: Path Separator
These path separators are found in any multiple-path ball machines in existence. These act as a shuffleboard for a path a ball will randomly roll on. Multiple ways are possible for building path separators. They can also be diagonal or horizontal (last pic).
Step 6: Ball Alternators
These are like very simple red ball drops except they receive and deposit balls, usually onto other Balll Alternators. The one with the red rods was the alternator used in my ball machine Configuration at 1:07.
Step 7: Red-Ball Dropper
This is an original element from the Stepper Lift building set which receives a ball, lowers its arm, and deposits the ball on the opposite side.
Step 8: Dropper
My alternate take on the red ball dropper first seen in my ball machine Evolution.
Step 9: Ball Arms
This is an element originally from the BBF (pic. 5) that cradles the ball, tips over, then deposits it at a lower level. It's reliable and it's any ball machine builder's friend. There are quite a few ways to build a ball arm.
Step 10: Ferris Wheels
These take a lot of pieces depending on how big you make yours. These spin when a ball lands on it which makes it very interesting to watch.
Step 11: Diagonal Ferris Wheel
A perfect successor to regular/vertical ferris wheels, this was invented by martijnb95.
Step 12: Flippers
The ball falls onto this and flips over directly underneath the other side. It looks cool in rapid sucession as well. There are many ways to make these flippers.
Step 13: Lowering Flipper
A flipper I made that lowers as it flips balls underneath the other side that was first seen in my ball machine Evolution.
Step 14: Flipper Path
This element was made by Thibault used in his ball machine the Exception. There is no resigning the uniqueness and simplicity of this element.
Step 15: 360 Ball Arm Path
This amazingly simple element first seen in my ball machine Evolution will land on the blue rods. Then, the whole structure will rotate 360 degrees before releasing the ball.
Step 16: Spirals
These are spiral stairs like in an actual house which will roll down for as long as you want it to.
Step 17: Stairs
These are all kinds of simple stairs you can use in ball machines. The first one shown is originally from the BBF.
Step 18: Zigzag Stairs
This is an element made by 95martb used in his ball machine Elevation. This is my completely redesigned version with a proper scaffold making it much more easier to install onto a machine. This version was first seen in my ball machine Evolution.
Step 19: Archimedes Screw
Step 20: The Loop
This is a classic element first seen in the BBF that was never posted and is easy to build. Remember when installing a loop, have the ball start rolling at least three red rods above the start of the loop.
Step 21: The Trampoline
This is an element that requires rubber bands which was introduced in the Trampoline Tower. A ball simply bounces off of these and into/onto a designated target (like a basket).
Step 22: Basket
These are used mostly to catch balls in groups or to catch flying balls.
Step 23: The Maze
This is one of those fascinating yet unpredictable elements that has failures that allow the ball slip through any given area.
Step 24: Spiral Bowl
An element that's sure to please any viewer, the balls enters anywhere and swirls its way down toward the hole.
Step 25: Vertical Spiral
This element is a lot of fun to watch. When it works correctly, balls spiral down the guiding tubing.
Step 26: The Maze
This is an element that was introduced from the Trampoline Tower set. It's a drop that can be vertical and/or diagonal with failures that allow balls to slip though. The first three pics are from MinnesotaRandomCrap's maze from his never-finished ball machine Exodus. You can make these as big as you want.
Step 27: Elastic Panel Maze
Just a maze with panels and rubber bands which make it bouncy on both sides.
Step 28: Mario Alternator
A new element (alternator) with just a few pieces and just one track piece!! When a ball lands on it, the outer side will tilt downward for the ball to exit just like a regular ball alternator.
Step 29: Mario's Randomized Dropper
You just don't know how many balls it'll release. This is a NEW element I made out of Mario Kart track that I made into a working ball dropper with the help of counterweights. This was used in my ball machine Protagonism at 0:54.
Step 30: Spinner Slide
This is an element made by The96jonse used in his ball machine obligation (video not available in the United States). Flexi rods will simply help the ball slide down to regular paths and so on downward for as long as you want it to. The two white rods will spin as the ball goes by.
Step 31: Spinning Circle
This is an element conceived by Knextreme. A ball will randomly roll into the bottom of the circle. Later, another ball will fall on the top and will force the circle to rotate causing the other ball to slip out a hole.
Step 32: Goomba Arm
An element I made out of goomba pieces from the mario kart sets. This acts exactly like any ball arm. And as the user TheUnfortunateHobbit said,"Goombas be like "Dammit! It got away again!""
Step 33: Quarterback Arm
Step 34: Panel Drop (motorized)
This panel drop (motorized) element was first seen in 39Shadowman's ball machine Wipeout and has been redesigned by mutiple Knex builders mutiple times ever since.
Step 35: Flat Panel Maze (motorized)
This reimagining of the panel maze first seen in Tyler Durden's ball machine Rapture uses a motorized axle to bring balls to the middle hole.
Step 36: Opposing Spinning Wheels
This is a complex element as shown in my ball machine Evolution. It borrows elements from sandroknexmaster's opposing Ferris wheel and motor switching mechanism from his Shadow separator also featured in Evolution. (video explains better)
Step 37: Ball Playground
Step 38: Inverted Spiral
Originally conceived by MechanicalCreationMaster in his ball machine Retrograde, it's an inverted spiral which painfully requires a ton of effort and perfection to make it work.
Step 39: Two-Ball Shuffle
Step 40: Tilters
This is a simple element invented by 84sharkattack, Something different than watching ball arms, red ball droppers, and flipper in rapid succession.
Step 41: Double Ball Arm
A new kind of ball arm conceived by knexpert#10829476 where a ball uses it twice.
Step 42: Two Ball Arms (TWO Different Ones Here)
First Pic: This is sandroknexmaster's ball arm I modified for when one ball enters the bottom side, a ball from above will make it act like a regular ball arm releasing both of them, seen in my ball machine Excalibur at 1:18.
Last 5 Pics: An inspiring two ball arm conceived by Sathothy. One ball will arrive on the short-hand side. When the second ball comes, it'll roll toward the long side and will "suffer for the other ball to rise while the other drops at a lower level." Watch it here in my ball machine Propulsion at 1:30 to make sense of it all.
Step 43: Tipping Path
Step 44: Chained Ball Arm
An element whose original design above belongs to sandronexmaster, this element has two arms moving at the exact instant thanks to a chain that moves the arms both in opposing directions.
Step 45: Cooperating Arms
Same concept as the Chained Ball Arm in the previous step, but this is where gears can allow arms to cooperate with each other. This element was originally conceived by Thibault in his ball machine The Millenium at 3:22. There's another version of this element that saves more height built by dickheijboer which can be seen here (step 1).
Step 46: Ball Lowerer
An element made by bezempje95 where a platform lowers a ball when it arrives and sets back with the help of a counterweight.
Step 47: "Ball-to-Ball Release"
This is a new element made by Tornado96 that was introduced in his ball machine Uprising at 2:22.
When a ball remains in the "mini basket", another ball will roll onto yellow rods from above that are connected to the "mini basket" releasing one ball after another with the help of regular pathing with transporting the balls. (I explained this as best as I could from the video, sorry if this doesn't click in)
Step 48: Gap Element
This element was made by 95martb. The ball rolls and drops again and again...
Step 49: Moving Platform
These are ball arms extended to foot long platforms that lean forward whenever balls are on them.
Step 50: U-Turn Arm
A very interesting element that's slightly horizontal that was conceived by 39Shadowman. When the ball enters, the arm will rotate to its exact former position over and over again.
Step 51: Lid Fall-Through
Just like a ball falling through the lids of a box if they're loose that was first introduced in my ball machine Protagonism at 1:19.
Step 52: Inverted Ball Dropper
Step 53: The Lowering Beam
Step 54: "Lowering Path Tilt"
Step 55: Basket Tilt Beam
This element was conceived by Netchman. This is similar to the Lowering Beam except when it falls backward, the ball will roll into a basket and NOT the regular skinny path.
Step 56: Clickers
Step 57: Unified Clickers
This element is a slight redesign of Zachary Keller's version with micro pieces where all the clicker move in unison.
Step 58: Panel Stairs
Step 59: Fall-Through
The ball will go through each row moving back and forth before falling through each one.
Step 60: Single-Rail Fall-Through
It's what the title says. It makes sense that the ball falls through a single-rail. A long version of this element can be found here at 0:25.
Step 61: Tipping Fall-Through
The ball will land on the two blue rods and will fall right through when its vertical.
Step 62: Spinning Yellow Gear (motorized)
This is an element conceived by Sorunome where a ball simply rides a spinning yellow gear that is motorized. Side walls that cut through are required so the ball can slip off.
Step 63: Ball in a Cart
Step 64: Ball Arm Cart
This element first seen in my ball machine Evolution moves forward when a ball lands on the arm to be lowered then moves back when the arm rises.
Step 65: The Clicker Slide
Step 66: Simple Alternators
The first one I built and the second element me and my brother constructed on our own. A ball will slide off a clicker and bounce off a rubber band on a 1-inch path and so on downward. This element can be seen in action in my ball machine Quadrivium at 0:49.This is like 95martb's Alternators but more simple. THIN RUBBER BANDS REQUIRED!!
Step 67: Two-Ball Dropper
These are made to drop two balls at the same time for a race to the bottom or to just help have more balls going on paths to help make a ball machine look cooler. The first two pics show my remake from Lucas Simpson's dropper that can be seen in my ball machine Skyscraper at 0:51. There are other ways to make these too.
Step 68: Double Dropper
This element was made by MinnesotaRandomCrap. The ball needs some speed to flip the first flipper. A ball will land on the second flipper (dropper) and then another ball makes them drop and continue the path on. I made this look different than he made it so I make it easier for those who want to construct this. To see this in action, see it here at 0:51.
Step 69: Three-Ball Dropper
This is an element I made that drops three balls at once which requires a basket and extra pathing. You can see this element in action in my ball machine Configuration at 1:24.
Step 70: Four-Ball Dropper
This element was made by Sorunome. This is a remake expect the balls are released to the left not right (from the path side view). Four balls will roll onto the rotating arms and when the fourth ball rolls on, it varies for everybody how every ball rolls off. You can see this in action here or in Sorunome's ball machine Catastropha at 5:22.
Step 71: Chain Drop
This is an element (not made by me) that when a ball lands on the claw, the chain will lower the ball down as far as possible with the help of a counterweight. A chain drop like this can be seen in my ball machine Botanism at 1:07.
Step 72: Vertical Spinning Basket
Step 73: Spinning Basket
This is an element originally conceived by Yardking. A ball will land into the basket, the whole thing will rotate 300 degrees, and the ball will land onto a designated target (safely, hopefully).
Step 74: Large Pinwheel
Step 75: Path Separator
This is bezempje95's path separator I modified to work with the black/white balls. I broke it down to four instead of five for those of you who can't fit five paths on a ball machine. Featured in my ball machine Botanism. Here's the video that shows the path separator.
Step 76: Halfpipe
Step 77: Modified Horizontal Arm Lift
This is 95martb's horizontal ball arm I modified that you can use if you put this close to the bottom of a ball machine you might build.
Step 78: Zigzag
Step 79: Well, That's It!
That's all I have for right now! Be sure to check back here soon for other elements I might be adding. If you have any feedback or suggestions, let me know!
Thanks for viewing this!