D4E1 - Artmakers : Marble Painter 1.3




Introduction: D4E1 - Artmakers : Marble Painter 1.3

About: Student Industrial Product Design @ Howest Kortrijk

Hi Instructable users !

We are three students studying Industrial Product Design in Kortrijk, Belgium. For our subject Product Engineering we were assigned to build and develop an Art Maker for children of a local SNE school (Special Needs Education) to do handicrafts in a safe way and stimulate their creative self-development.

our Art Maker is called the Marble Painter. It is built to make patterns on textiles using various kinds of textile paint. The printing of the piece itself is done using marbles that are immersed in paint and then shaken back and forth. This way the paint gets openly coated.

To drive the system a bicycle was used. So when the child starts to pedal the mechanism gets initiated and the Marble Painter can do its work ! fun guaranteed with our "little" art machine!!

Off course some work to build but here we are to help you guys out and explain a bit clearer how we made our "machine". Every step is provided of a manual containing the assembly and needed pieces (2D Drawings).

Step 1: Materials & Tools


- Medium Density Fireboard ( thickness 18 mm)

- Fir wood

- Screws (length < 18 mm)

- Bolts M8

- Nuts M8

- Safety nuts M8

- 3 Threaded rods M8

- Annular blanks

- Single speed bike chain

- Bike frame

- An extra sprocket that fits the bike chain

- Steel U - profile (25 mm)

- 4 PVC tubes (4 mm inner diameter)

- 4 soap caps with dispenser system

- Plexiglass (600 x 450 x 3 mm)

- ABS (600 x 450 x 3 mm)

- Textile

- Paint (acrylic)

- Spray paint can

- Marbles


- Lasercutter

- Paint brush

- Panel saw

- Sanding belt

- Drilling machine

- Dril bitses

- Drill M4.5 / M8

- Counterbore M8.3

- Hole saw diameter 55 mm

- Electric welding equipment

- Metal docking saw

- Grinding wheel

- Pillar drill

- Chain wrench

- Wrenches (10-13-15-17)


- A full manual containing 2D drawings

- A manual containig only assembly steps

- A manual containing only 2D drawings

Step 2: First Preparations

- Saw the wood according to the dimensions of the given files.

- Make a fixture to clamp the mini bike on. This will be necessary to give the bike stability and fix it to the ground plate.(You can also buy a clamp for the bike)

- If desired you can also paint the parts (wood, steel , .....) in any color you want.

Step 3: Construction of the Steel Profile

A steel construction is needed to clamp the two ground plates. Therefore an U - profile can be made according to the file provided in the manual.

Step 4: Subassembly of the Bike

Attach the bike to the steel construction you have welded / bought. Make sure everything is clamped well by using bolts and annular blanks.

Step 5: Subassembly of the Wooden Frame

The wooden structure is needed as a base to attach the driving rod system. To make it as easy as possible to assemble everything we split the manual op in two parts : the right side of the frame and the left side. This wel keep a good oversight when working on the Marble Painter.

Sidenote : the first picture shows an overview of all the pieces needed to assemble the right side. the second picture shows the same for the left side.

Step 6: Subassembly of the Rod & Extension Table

Next thing to do is the subassembly of the rod and the extension table. The rod is needed to make a connection system between the bike and the circular stencil (which need to be fastened on the extension table).

The distance between the rod and the stencil is very important and needs to be accurate to have a good working Marble Painter. Make sure the extension table can slide until the end of the frame.

The places were two nuts are used replace in fact the safety nut due to the fact that a small clearance is needed to nurse the rod spins smoothly. Also provide some blanks as shown in the pictures.

If everything goes well this is the result you should get by now !

Step 7: Subassembly of the Circular Stencils

The circular stencils are serving as a base to put your piece of textile on. Attach these to the extension table.

Step 8: Assembly of the Rod to the Circular Stencils

The connection is made by a 3D - printed part which can be found in this step ( 3D - printable file). Make sure you use locknuts to clamp everthing as this is one of the most important steps to make a good working Marble Painter.

Sidenote : if you don't own a 3D - printer you can print the piece in a local 3D - hub using this link


Step 9: Subassembly of the Paint Rack

Attach the paint rack to the ground plate. Pay attention to the fact that you need to have enough space on the sides to attach the U - profile in a later step !

Step 10: Assembly U - Profiles + Rod System to the Ground Plate

Attach both profiles to the ground plates. Your base for the Marble Painter has now been made. The next thing to do is to fasten the rod system to this base.

Step 11: Assembly of the Bike to the Rod System

Assemble the bike chain as shown on the pictures. Pay attention to the fact that your chain needs to be fixed tightly and may not bend to deeply. If the chain bends to much it might fall of the sprocket while using the machine.

You can simple do this by moving the bike more to the front or the back of the ground plate. The bike should be centered with the sprocket to get a straight runnig chain.

Step 12: Assembly of the Bike Onto the Ground Plate

If your chain is set correctly you can attach the bike to the plate .

Step 13: Finish With Plexi Pieces

To finish of the machine some pieces of plexiglass are used for the circular stencils and the painting rack. The pieces can be lasercut easily using the file given in this step. Everything is set correctly so nothing needs to be changed anymore.

Step 14: Finishing Touch

The last puzzle piece : the Art Maker Logo !!

This is also made out of plexiglass (part of the lasercutfile) and a piece of ABS (100 x 100 mm). Attach the logo anywhere you want on the machine. This beast is now ready for a spin !!!

Step 15: Let the Fun Begin !

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    3 years ago on Introduction

    Fascinating contraption :-)

    You could have had the peddler face the marble action.. What say you ?


    Reply 3 years ago

    yeah would have been even better though indeedd


    3 years ago



    Reply 3 years ago

    haha nice pun ass well :p but thanks man !


    3 years ago

    nice thought...


    3 years ago on Step 15

    Very unique idea, not an overly complicated design. Slightly larger frame bike may make it a bit more comfortable for an adult rider, this one is a good kid size. Also a chain guard would be better. But it all comes down to the final product/Art piece....what I saw here was just a mess, no design could be seen. Just random splatters making no sense, which is something anyone could do with having to build an elaborate setup like this. When I first saw the idea my mind went to spinart from my childhood. Maybe there is a way to do that with this setup with modifications.


    Reply 3 years ago

    yeaah but we wanted to focus mainly on children but for an adult it would be nice to off course. And we also had some other ideas to make a pattern but we didn't have time enough to figure that out. But we were also thinking about things like these :)


    3 years ago

    A full chain guard would be a good idea. Small children will be drawn to the chain and they will wait for a moment when peoples attention is drawn away and get wrapped up on it.


    Reply 3 years ago

    yeah that's true but in fact the model would need some small redesigns as we tested it with the children :) we were also in a quite narrow time scheme for this as this was an assignment for school but it works really well and the kids LOVE it :) but indeed some small finishing jobs would be nice


    4 years ago



    3 years ago

    This would be awesome for all children(no matter their age) not just for SNE classes. Nicely done.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Yeaa true but we worked with children of that kind of school but indeed , our design is made for everyone though ;) even grown ups as you can see in thé video ;) !!
    Thanks !