I decided to make my own physics game. All I needed was a platform, since the world I live in comes with its own physics. I decided to create a modular system that would allow variety and could be approached from many different ways.
WARNING: This project includes the use of power tools. Do not use them if you are not an adult. If you use them be careful. A saw cannot tell the difference between wood and your flesh. It will cut both with the same speed and power. WARNING
Step 1: Materials and Tools
2ft x 2ft x 1/4 in Birch wood
1in x 2in x 6ft wood
Pegs - I used magnets scavenged from a mechanix set, but I think anything, dowels, screws, or carved stones, would work here.
¼ in. Drill bit
1/16 in. drill bit
Step 2: Drawing the Grid
I used a square and ruler to measure each line. I have an adjustable square and I would measure to where I wanted the line. I would slide the square along the edge of the board to make my line. See the pictures for this to make more sense.
Be sure to make multiple measurements before making your line, and even after making it be sure to check it. There is a carpenter’s rule: measure twice, cut once. Follow it. If the line is off at any point just erase it and begin again.
This is the most difficult and time consuming part, but if you do not take your time the board will not work. Once you have 22 lines horizontally you will need to make 22 lines vertically. This will create a grid. You will drill your holes where the lines cross.
Step 3: Drilling
Now you will need to drill some guide holes. Take your smallest bit, the larger ones tend to skip about and this ruins all that time you spent making this nice grid. Using the smaller bit drill a hole at every point where the grid lines intersect. Then using the larger bit drill them out slowly. If you go too fast the wood will splinter and mess up your board surface. To keep the back of the board from splintering lay it on a piece of wood that you do not mind drilling holes into. If you do not have that you will just have to live with the splintering on the back of the board.
You will drill 284 holes. Take a break or fatigue will make you slip much as I did once or twice.
Step 4: Sanding
Step 5: Border
Then using a table saw I cut a 1/4 inch wide notch 1/4 an inch into the inside of each border so the border would slide onto the board. The notch was 1/2 from the bottom of the border. You will need to make multiple passed to get the right width and be sure to use a test piece so you don't mess up one of your good pieces.
Once all the pieces are cut you can slide them into position on board. Place a little glue on the corners. I also put a finishing nail into each corner to hold them in place. I used a finishing nail in my drill to prime the hole so I did not split the wood.
Step 6: Modular Platforms
I cut a 2.5 inch piece of the 2x2x6 plank. Then I measured about 3/4 an inch in and cut notches out of the wood with my jigsaw. I then broke off the notches and sanded it smooth. Then I measured a shim off and cut it to go on the outside of the catcher. Once it was cut I nailed the shim to the outside of the catcher with four finishing nails.
2. Long Angle Platform
Using a ruler I measured off about 9 inches from a piece of the 2x2x6 plank.
3. Short Angle Platform
Using a ruler I measured off about 3 inches from a piece of the 2x2x6 plank.
4. Long Horizontal Platform
Using a ruler I measured off about 5.5 inches from a piece of the 2x2x6 plank.
5. Short Horizontal Platform
Using a ruler I measured off about 2.5 inches from a piece of the 2x2x6 plank.
6. Adjustable Platform
Using a ruler I measured off about 2.5 inches from a piece of the 2x2x6 plank. Then I drilled a hole in the middle using the 1/4th inch bit. I took a roofing nail and cut off the sharp end so that only 1/16th protruded from the hole of the platform. The magnet is attached to the end of the nail.
7. Rubber Band Platform
Using a ruler I measured off about two pieces half an inch each from a piece of the 2x2x6 plank.
8. Swoop Platform
I used a bowl to measure out a curve on a piece of the 2x2x6. Then I used my jigsaw to cut out the curve. Then I used the miter saw to cut off the ends.
Step 7: Attach Legs
I put two legs at the top. I laid them in the closed position and using a finishing nail as a bit drilled through the border and into the leg. You may have to remove the head of the nail if you do this. Then sand down the leg so that it rotates out from the resting position.
If I did the legs again I would use hinges instead of nails.
Step 8: Play the Game
<iframe width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/D4lsfCAgjGI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
From there you can add rules or limitations. You can see who can get the marble in with the fewest pieces, with the most pieces, in the shortest amount of time, or using only a limited number of pieces. You could spend all day coming up with different games.
If I win the makerbot challenge I plan to use it to fabricate more platforms for my game or even use it to make a modified version of this game.