This guide will include all of the ball machine lifts that have been built. In each step is a short description of the lift, a credit to the builder, and links to instructions/videos. If a lift includes at least one picture it'll either be added into an existing step or made into a new step. If a lift includes no pictures, but only a video, it will be added to the second to last step, titled "Lifts Without Pictures". This is to make the guide official, instead of only including lifts with pictures.
If you want your lift added or know of another lift to be added, just post a comment below with links/pictures. Please have good quality pictures, not ones that are blurry, fuzzy, dark, etc. Every builder is credited to their lift, usually with a hyperlink to their profile, but if you don't want your lift on this guide due to copyright reasons, just tell me and I'll take it off of the guide.
Please tell me if you have any suggestions or feedback for this guide. I hope you find it useful!
This guide started out with only 10 steps, but now it has over 70! The search bar below allows you to search steps by title, just in case you can't find a lift within the huge mass of steps. Thanks to Sorunome for programming it. :-)
For building parts of ball machines other than lifts, here are some more official guides:
Building ball machines (by RNB, Tornado96, and Shadowman39)
Elements (by Knextreme)
Path separators (by mathsboy314)
Step 1: Chain Lift
If you're wondering what Disco Track is, it's my younger brother's ball machine (he's also a Knexer, his name on 'Ibles is Jag56).
Step 2: Micro Chain Lift
Step 3: Chain Path Lift
Most of the pictures below show it in Cataclysm during the construction.
Step 4: Alternative Chain Lift
This lift was invented and built by floris2burn. This is a lot like a vertical chain lift, except it can go diagonal or horizontal. It also has a different ball claw. The unique thing about it is that the gears can be connected to the tower differently, allowing the ball claw to pass through the middle of the gears (picture 6 shows this). He used it in his ball machine, Cyclo. Click here for the instructions!
Another version of this lift was built by www139 for his ball machine, Impossible (picture 7). His version went up diagonally but it can go other directions as well. The claw isn't made in such a way that it can change direction like the last version though. Here is the video, and here are the instructions!
Step 5: Semi-Circle Lift
Step 6: Chainsaw Lift
A similar lift was also in Loopy, built by I_am_Canadian (last picture).
Step 7: Inverted Chainsaw Lift
Step 8: Vertical Chainsaw Lift
Step 9: Ultimate Chainsaw Lift
Step 10: Stair Lift
If you want to build it, here's the Instructable.
Step 11: Stair-Arm Lift
Currently, this lift is in my ball machine Citadel, which is still under construction. Click here for the update video that shows this lift working. I am going to make instructions of this lift, but until then the pictures above are from Citadel's construction album.
Step 12: Double Helix Lift
Click here for the instructions!
Step 13: Single Helix Lift
KageKumo used a diagonal spiral lift in his ball machine, and the video is here.
Above are pictures of my double helix lift, changed into a single helix lift. Thanks to Sorunome for the pictures. Also included are pictures of a tilted helix lift, built by mathsboy314. His helix is basically a helix from Trampoline Tower. The last pictures 4-6 show it, and here is a video.
Tornado96 made a slightly different helix lift in his ball machine Uprising (picture 7). The helix part was built to be stronger.
Step 14: Inverted Helix Lift
This lift was featured in Cataclysm, and there are pictures of it above (pictures 5-10).
Also, it's possible to use twice as less tubing/orange-tabbed connectors if you only build the bottom strand of tubing and leave out the top strand. Pictures 11-12 below show this version. The one in picture 11 was built by Sorunome, and the one in picture 12 was built by Koolcoasterkid (this picture is only the top view). Click here for more information about this method, since there are a few things you'll have to modify.
Here is a video of this lift:
Step 15: Tower Helix Lift
Step 16: Shredder Lift
Step 17: Hopper Lift
Built by Mr. Muggle, this is a lift that can be extended. It uses arms that turn around, and a curved track that the ball rolls on. All of the arms are connected with chain, and they move in the same direction. Mr. Muggle's version is in pictures 1-3.
Another version of the hopper lift was built by www139, with the name of Spinning Push Lift (picture 4). His version is smaller and uses one arm. He used this lift in his ball machine Impossible. Here are the instructions, and here is the video.
Step 18: Singular Arm Lift
Step 19: Motorized Madness Circle Lift
Step 20: Rotating Arm Lift
There are many versions of rotating arm lifts that people have built. This step will go through many of the different versions.
The most basic rotating arm lifts use a carrier at the end of rotating arms to lift balls up. An example would be the version in Picture 1, built by sandroknexmaster. This version doesn't use track at the bottom; instead it picks balls up from the floor directly. Instructions of this lift are located here. Another example of a basic rotating arm lift is one made by collinjo12, what he calls a modified arm lift. The instructions are here, and his lift is Picture 2. Below is a video of Sandro's lift.
Another type of rotating arm lift was built by MechanicalCreationMaster (it's also called Freefall Wheel Lift) in Krypton. It uses a thin arm to lift balls up a curved track, and when the ball gets high enough it goes toward the center of the arm. Then some track makes it lift up higher. These arms have no carriers like the more basic versions, but it causes the movement of the arm to be choppy at times. Picture 3 shows this lift.
There is another version similar to MCM's lift, built by sandroknexmaster for his ball machine Paradox (4th picture). Below is the video of Sandro's lift, and here are the instructions!
The lift in picture 5 is another version by sandroknexmaster, a version that's larger and has 8 arms. The carriers are also different, which level out wherever they are on the wheel, hence the name that he called it, ferris wheel lift. This was first used in Elysium. Here are the instructions and the video!
Next we have another version by sandroknexmaster, a sliding arm lift (picture 6), first introduced in Elysium. This lift uses an arm that slides, so it only goes out the bottom until it reaches the top. After the ball is released the arm slides back down. This lift is useful if you need to save some space, as the arm doesn't take as much rotating space as a regular arm. Here is the video, and here are the instructions!
Picture 7 shows a version built by www139, which is very similar to the first lift in this step, the floor arm lift. It uses a gate at the beginning to make sure the balls don't fall out of the loading area. He built this lift for his ball machine Impossible. Here's the video and instructions.
Step 21: Large Rotating Arm Lift
I don't have much good pictures of this lift. The best place to see this lift is in Wipe Out's video.
smool also made a rotating arm lift in his ball machine, SmooL. Click here for the instructions on his lift! It's a lot like mine, with a similar gate system. It uses less pieces than mine and has a different way of dispensing the balls at the top.
Step 22: Quadruple Rotating Arm Lift
The earliest version of this lift type was built by I_am_Canadian. It has four arms that each pick up balls, and carriers similar to standard rotating arm lifts. You can stack them up to make the lift higher. This lift is one of the earliest custom lifts built.
Thanks to IaC for the instructions, pictures, and video. Pictures 1-3 show his lift.
A later version of this lift was built by Kairah, and featured in Metropolis. This is an example of several arm lifts stacked onto each other, and they use chain to connect them to one motor. Pictures 4-7 show his lift. Here are the instructions!
Step 23: Wheel Lift
Mr. Muggle built one in his ball machine, Shake (Picture 4). Instructions for that ball machine, including the lift, are here.
There's also one in KageKumo's ball machine. There aren't pictures, but the video is here. This is an example of many wheels stacked on top of each other.
Coaster105 used a rather large wheel lift in his ball machine. The video is here.
toeti built one (picture 5) in his ball machine Nemesis. The instructions are here.
Another example is shown in Picture 6, built by sandroknexmaster. Here are the instructions of his version.
Step 24: Small Wheel Lift
Picture 9 shows a lift built by Sorunome, which classifies as a small wheel lift. This was in his ball machine Dystopia, which was built after my first version of the small wheel lift. It's different than the original though, since it doesn't use tubing and the wheel is built differently. The instructions can be found here.
In Citadel, I rebuilt this lift and improved it, like making it not use tubing, and making the wheel look better. There are 3 stacked up, and they use flexi-rods covered in blue spacers (silver spacers would also work). I don't have a video of these yet, since the ball machine is still under construction. Pictures 1-6 above are from Citadel's construction album (pictures 4-6 show the lift section before it was added to the ball machine).
Step 25: Tiny Wheel Lift
Currently, this lift is in my ball machine Citadel, which is still under construction. Click here for the update video that shows this lift working. The picture above is from Citadel's construction album.
Step 26: Wheel Lift With Holes
This is another lift used in Wipe Out. It's a wheel where the balls load in holes in the side. As it turns, balls enter in one side and leave on the other side when they get to the top. The trick of the balls leaving at the top is that the wheel is tilted. The ball can also exit if the hole the ball is in has tilted track to make it leave at the top.
Again, I don't have much pictures of this lift, since it was taken with my old camera.
Another small wheel lift which uses a similar method is the one used in wanny's ball machine, Davinch. Watch the video here.
Sorunome built one of these also (picture 3), and made instructions. Here's the video.
Picture 4 shows sathothy's wheel lift, built with micro pieces. It was featured in his ball machine, Armageddon.
KneXtreme built a wheel lift that is thinner, and a piece at the top pushes the balls out, shown in picture 5. Here are instructions!
Shown in picture 6 is a version by NorthernF, which is tilted onto a platform. This version is small and simple if you'd like to quickly add a lift somewhere.
Step 27: Large Wheel Lift With Holes
Step 28: Ring Lift
Below are pictures of the ring lift used in Cataclysm. The ring is pretty thin, as you can see in the fifth picture. Picture 8 shows where the balls enter, and the picture after shows where they exit.
Sorunome recreated this lift from Cataclysm's video, and made instructions! The last picture shows it.
Step 29: Spiral Wheel Lift
There is another version of a spiral wheel lift, made by KneXtreme (starting at the 5th picture). It's smaller than bezempje's and uses regular tubing track instead of roller coaster track. Click here for the video and here for the instructions!
Step 30: Revolving Ball Machine Lift
Step 31: Mouse Wheel Lift
Step 32: Spinning Freefall Lift
Step 33: Large Arm Lift
See Cataclysm's video to see it finished! The video below shows it finished, but without the gate at the bottom.
Step 34: Quarter Arm Lift
There is a different version of a quarter arm lift made by Palslayers. Here is the video of his version.
Step 35: Parallel Arm Lift
Sorunome rebuilt it from the video and modified it to make instructions, shown in picture 6.
Step 36: Counter Parallel Arm Lift
Step 37: Connected Arm Lift
Step 38: Crossing Arm Lift
Step 39: Falling Arm Lift
Step 40: Shifting Arm Lift
The video is embedded below.
Sorunome built a shifting arm lift for his ball machine, Apocalypse, shown in picture 5. His version is 8 arms tall. Picture 6 shows one built by koolcoasterkid, which is 6 arms tall. These two versions had to be modified in different ways to make them work, more information on that can be found here.
Step 41: Multiple Arm Lift
Step 42: Right-Handed Arm Lift
Step 43: Small Returning Arm Lift
Step 44: Jigsaw Lift
This lift was originally invented by bezempje95, but he deleted his account and instructions; Sorunome decided to post his version, so now there are instruction again. With this lift there is a shaft, tilted diagonally, which has something in the middle that goes up and down in a circular motion. The part in the middle has "spikes" on it, that grip the balls and take them up a level. There is also a counterweight. Pictures 1-6 above show Sorunome's version (5 and 6 show the lift in Apocalypse), and pictures 7-9 show bezempje95's. Click here for the instructions!
Step 45: Vertical Jigsaw Lift
This lift was invented by Tornado96 as a prototype. I built upon his original idea and made the exit track and motor connection for my ball machine, Citadel. There is also a counterweight to assist the motor in moving the jigsaw part up. The 6th picture shows the original lift in Citadel. Click here for instructions and more info!
Below is the video.
Step 46: Double Jigsaw Lift
Step 47: Ladder Lift
Step 48: Mill Lift
Click here for instructions of floris2burn's mill lift!
The first 4 pictures were taken by foris2burn of his lift. You can find the video here.
Here's the video of Kairah's mill lift:
Here's Kairah's second version of his mill lift:
Step 49: Wheel/Mill Lift
Step 50: Twin Elevator Lift
Right now Citadel is in construction, so the pictures above are from the construction album. (Pictures 1-11)
In addition to my elevator lift, there is also a similar version built by dickheijboer. It uses the same concept of a twin elevator lift, but it is less refined than mine, so it isn't as smooth. The transmission box is at the top, and uses bits on the chain to switch direction. This is a nice lift to use as an alternative to mine if you don't have very many pieces, as this one uses less pieces. It also has a nice speed and runs pretty smoothly. Between choosing which twin elevator lift to build, the one I made has a more refined system, as well as taking 4 balls up at a time instead of 3. But, if you need to save pieces and build a simpler version, you can build this one, as it still works nicely. This lift was first featured in dickheijboer's ball machine Intertwined, and the instructions for the lift are here. The pictures of his lift begin at Pic. 12, and the video is below.
Step 51: Elevator Lift
Step 52: Elevator Free-fall Lift
Step 53: Wheeled Crankshaft Lift
Step 54: Pump Lift
Here are the instructions!
Step 55: Stacker Lift
Step 56: Big Air Ball Tower Lift
Step 57: Tube Claw Lift
This lift was built by sandroknexmaster, first used in his ball machine Elysium. This is a compact and complex lift that uses two alternating sets of claws that go up and down to transfer the ball to the next level. If you plan on building it, keep in mind that it lifts one ball at a time and it's quite a complicated build. Below is the video, and here are the instructions!
Step 58: Scissor Lift
Step 59: Door Lift
Step 60: Push Lift
Step 61: Stepper Lift
I haven't built this lift yet, so I don't have any of my own pictures. Thanks to I_am_Canadian for the pictures, which are of his ball machine, Twister.
Instructions are right here. This is a step within an Instructable for Retrograde (designed by MarsCrystalMan and instructions made by knexpert#10829476.
Step 62: Up and Down Lift
Step 63: Modified Stepper Lift
This was originally built in Unfinished Knex ball machine. You can see this in the 5th picture.
Here are the instructions! Below is the video.
There is a different version of this lift, made by Thibaultisthebest. collinjo12 made instructions here. His version uses less pieces than mine, but its movement is pretty choppy. The last picture shows his lift.
Step 64: Modified Chain Stepper Lift
Step 65: Alternating Arm Lift
Step 66: Alternator Lift
This lift is featured in Cataclysm. The last few pictures show it.
Click here for the instructions!
Here's the video:
Step 67: Slider Lift
Built by mathsboy314, this lift is similar to the alternator lift, except it's tilted and uses less pieces. A crank makes a sliding platform go up and down, and balls get stopped by small arms in the tower. It can be modified to go higher easily, but keep in mind that it gets more choppy under the load of a lot of balls. Here is the Instructable!
Step 68: Vertical Slider Lift
Built by NorthenF, this lift is similar to a slider lift except it goes vertically. The ball holders are also spaced closer together.
Step 69: Rollerball Lift
This was first used in RCManiac31's ball machine, Mission to Mars.
Mr. Muggle recreated the lift section (pictures below) and used it in his ball machine, Power Tower.
Step 70: Micro Rollerball Lift
Step 71: Car Lift
KneXtreme also made instructions of this lift in his ball machine, Lithium (pictures below). The lift in the instructions is slightly modified from the original.
Step 72: Hammer Lift
Step 73: Kick Lift
Step 74: Ball Launcher
I pictured earlier designs, and the newest ones. Picture 8 shows a track system that didn't work very well, but I improved it by making the track lead straight up (pictures 4-6). Picture 3 shows a close-up of the switch.
Step 75: Micro Ball Launcher
Step 76: Launching Arm Lift
Step 77: Ball Launcher/Shooter
Step 78: Jump Lift
Step 79: Jump Arm Lift
Step 80: Lifts Without Pictures
Wheel launching lift, by Floris Cockaerts
Counter-spin lift, by DymonLord
Crankavator, by ALocke
New knex ball machine lift, by 95martb
Cardan gear lift, by Austron
Car back-roll lift, by Thibault Art
Step 81: The End
Comment if you have any feedback or suggestions!
Thanks for viewing!