Introduction: Ruben Goldberg Project

Picture of Ruben Goldberg Project

This is Chase Krough, Carson McCoy, Noah Boone, Luke Walker, and josh Fink's Ruben Goldberg Project for Physics class final.

Step 1: Tennis Ball Launcher

Picture of Tennis Ball Launcher

The Tennis Ball Launcher, also known as "The Alaskan Fire-Breathing Dragon," was a former project of the group used to create a sort-of catapult that would launch a tennis ball projectile a relatively large distance while also surmounting a required height. For the purpose of the Rube Goldberg project we turned the cannon on its side so that it would fire on a horizontal plane. We also lowered the firing potential of the cannon so that would easily act as a trigger mechanisms for the row dominoes of the next step.

Topic Covered: Projectiles

Step 2: Dominoes

Picture of Dominoes

Dominoes were a gift to makers of Rube Goldberg machines. Because of this we chose to use dominoes in several steps throughout the machine as trigger mechanisms or connections between mechanisms rather. This first set of dominoes is used to transfer the energy from the tennis ball launch into a series of dominoes that ends with the final domino falling off the plane of the project which is further explained as a part of the next step in the project. This row consists of 16 dominoes.

Topic Covered: Action/Reaction Pair

Step 3: The Pulley

Picture of The Pulley

The pulley mechanism within Rube Goldberg machine is used directly after the first row of dominoes. It is triggered through the last domino of the first row falling of the table and using its weight to pull down the string of the pulley and therefore causing the other portion of string to pull upward allowing the marble contraption to be activated. The pulley consists of a simple white yarn string approximately 6 feet in length placed within the pulley that connects the domino with the "basket" of the marble contraption. The pulley is held at its height by another string that ties the pulley itself to the ceiling tiles of the room.

Topic Covered: Action/Reaction Pair

Step 4: Paper Marble Roller Coaster

Picture of Paper Marble Roller Coaster

The marble contraption, also known as "The Tokyo Sandblaster," was a former project of the group in which we were tasked to create a marble contraption that used several different types of parts through acceleration and the inertia of the marble. Originally the contraption used two marbles that would go down two different paths of the contraption. For the purpose of the Rube Goldberg we constricted the design to a single pathway for consistency of design. The contraption ends with a ramp that allows the marble to trigger another row of dominoes for the next step.

Topic Covered: Inertia

Step 5: Electric Saw

Picture of Electric Saw

WE MADE A SAW, yes it okay to be jealous. Our first goal was to utilize an engine-battery circuit that would power something such as a lame fan or maybe a lame car. But then Carson had the idea to use the engine to cut a strung. Luke then shaped a can-lid into makeshift saw-blade which we used in junction with quite a bit of hot glue and a battery wired circuit to make a working saw. The circuit is completed when the final domino in the second row of dominoes lands on the open circuit. It closes and completes the circuit because the top half of the domino is covered in conductive aluminum foil. The electric saw is then activated to later cut a string that crosses zz

Topic Covered: Electricity

Step 6: Metal Bar Falling

Picture of Metal Bar Falling

The electric saw does not work alone. She requires a metal bar falling on the string to cut it. When the second domino row split off into a row which contains a domino that suspends this metal bar it allows the bar to fall. Through the use of gravity effecting the metal bar we are able to increase the tension of the string and lower its height just enough so that the saw cuts through the strung which acts as the trigger for the next step in the Rube Goldberg machine.

Topic Covered: Force/Acceleration (Gravity)

Step 7: String Cutting

Picture of String Cutting

The energy within the string is stored as tension. As the saw cuts through the string it allows that energy to transfer into the environment as the string falls. When the string falls it allows the "Mau Mudslide" step to continue the Rube Goldberg machine. As it holds up the two whells of the "Mau Mudslide" preventing them from falling.

Topic Covered: Action/Reaction Pair

Step 8: The Bridge

Picture of The Bridge

Our bridge, cleverly named the "Maui Mudslide," is held in place by the string that is cut by the electric saw. Once the string is cut it allows the wheels to roll down the bridge causing the third domino row to activate which contributes to the next step.

Topic Covered: Inertia

Step 9: The Weight

Picture of The Weight

As previously described, the dominoes of the third row then fall, the last of which falling off of the table which then pulls the weight itself down to result in the final action of the Rube Goldberg machine. The domino and the weight are tied to one another so that when the domino goes down the the force of gravity brings down the weight as well.

Topic Covered: Force/Acceleration (Gravity)

Step 10: The Balloon

Picture of The Balloon

The force of the weight falling on the balloon then completes the final action of the Rube Goldberg machine. To ensure the balloon is popped we improvised a piece of cardboard fashioned with several paperclips pointed downward, toward the balloon to ensure it would pop every time.

Topic Covered: Force/Acceleration


tomatoskins (author)2016-05-23

I've always loved Rube Goldberg Machines! Very fun!

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