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Amazing Wooden Marble Machine Answered

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This wooden marble machine is packed with cool ways of moving a metal marble up, up, and up. It's an amazing labor of love, that's for sure, and one I wish I could see in person.

Skip to 2:30 for the explanation of what happens. At 8:00 the runthrough begins.

Reddit via Gizmodo



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didgitalpunk (author)2010-09-11
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didgitalpunk (author)2010-06-24

this marble machine is simply amazingly incredibly awsome!!!!!!!!!!!! keep on the good job man and good luck!

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deadeye (author)2010-05-27

loved it  i`m a fan of rube goldberg machines.  one of the best i`ve seen. fantastic workmanship and detail.

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kcls (author)2010-03-05

At 8:24 in the vid, how did the marble travel up?!?

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kelseymh (author)kcls2010-03-16

See my reply to Ed, Mar 5, 2010 1:13 pm.

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Sycan (author)2010-03-12

Amazing! Remarkable piece of artgineering. I have to wonder if you conceptualized this whilst channelling DaVinci. Wooden machinery always brings the renaissance period to mind. Great job. Now, if you could only scale it up to bowling ball size....

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psbuckley (author)2010-03-04

Awesome machine!
How does the anti-gravity hill work?

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fungus amungus (author)psbuckley2010-03-04

Magic?

My guess is a bunch of magnets that are under the ramp. The piece on top moves the magnets back and forth, allowing the metal ball to move up.

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kelseymh (author)fungus amungus2010-03-05

I think you're right.  As the magnet gets near the top of that ramp, you can see a pendulum operating at the high end (see 8:24 to 8:26). Earlier, you see this subassembly by itself (3:30ff), and in one shot  (3:39ff) you see the marble walking up flat wood between fixed pins.  It goes it little jumps in time with the pendulum.  I suspect the latter is ratcheting a hidden magnet up a string.

The same thing should be possible using interleaved flippers, but perhaps not as reliably.

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Plasmana (author)2010-03-05

This is amazing and I am quite baffled as some points!

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scmorgan (author)2010-03-05

Fantastic! Thank you for sharing an inspirational work of art and engineering. I enjoyed watching it. I will be showing this to my sons (5 & 4). They will get a thrill out of this too. I do woodworking, but haven't attempted a marble machine. You've motivated me.

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wenpherd (author)2010-03-05
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The Jamalam (author)2010-03-05

I am using some of these components in my project quatro K'nex. I hope he doesn't mind.

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jeff-o (author)2010-03-05

Between this and the OK Go Rube Goldberg Machine, I must admit I'm feeling rather dazzled!

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fungus amungus (author)jeff-o2010-03-05

Seriously. Hard to believe two such machines showed up in the same week.

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diane58 (author)2010-03-04
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tiltmonkey (author)2010-03-04

That is an incredible piece of work! A truly beautiful machine. I can't even saw straight.

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