Engineered Pinball Mini Machine



Hello! I'd like to show you how to make the "Engineered Pinball Machine". The picture above is where me and my partner Rosy came up with our idea. We googled this picture because originally we were going to make it entirely out of wood. This ISN'T the final product but this is where our idea popped into our heads. Basically, this project is a wooden pinball machine with fake gumballs, but you can definitely use real ones! This project includes 3D printed pieces. Most of the material we used was found laying around as scraps but you can buy if necessary at the store. We hope you enjoy this project!


Wood: 10x6 in. piece, 1x10 in. piece (2), 1x6 in. piece (5), 1x1 in. piece (6), 0.75x1 in.(1), 5.5x1 in. (1)

-Price range: $3 to $5 per square foot

3D printing material

Computer with inventor software

Laser cutter

Miter Saw

Wood glue

Prince range: About $3

Hot glue gun

Price Range: $5 to $10

Sandpaper 220

Price Range: About $4


Price Range: About $3-10

2 Screw eyes

1 Rubber Band

Step 1: Jar

The jar is the first piece we made. It was created on the Inventor CAD program.

The first sketch should start off as a 4x4 rectangle with ramps on the inside. Then make the ramps 1.4 inches on the inside.(So "gumballs" can pass through). After that you should fillet the edges to 0.3. Finally, shell the inside to 0.1, so that the printing time is quicker.

Step 2: Gumball Dispenser

This is the piece where the gumball will dispense into the base of our project. The reason why there are four holes is because the part with the extruded piece goes into the jar we made and the two holes on the side are for the handle to go through.

First, create a 1.5x1.5 in square and extrude it by 1.5 inches. Then put holes vertically and horizontally, and extrude the holes 1 inch inwards. Go to the top face and make a circle that is 1.01 inches and extrude outwards 0.3 inches. (Note: you will place the extruded circle will go inside the jar.)

Step 3: Handle

This part goes into the dispenser box and it fits just perfectly so where you can spin the handle and get a gumball without getting any more than one.

Create a 1 inch circle. Then extrude it 5 inches going backwards. Add a plane in the middle of the handle. Create a half circle on the plane. Make the circle go half and half. The full circle should have a diameter of one inch. Finally, extrude it to .50 inches inside so it cuts into the circle.

Step 4: Wooden Base

This is the 6x10 wood we found in our scrap wood. This is going to be used as the base of the pinball machine. We cut this by using the Miter Saw and the sides with a laser cutter.

First make the base a 6x10 wood using the Miter Saw. Use a buffer to sand down the wood. Then cut perfect inch squares on both top corners of the base. Grab another piece of scrap wood that has space for three other pieces that will be 1/4 in. thick. Make two pieces that are 7x1 and the other piece will be a 10x1. Cut these using a laser cutter like we did. After that use wood glue to add the sides to the sanded wooden base. Grab another piece of scrap wood that is also 1/4 in. thick. Make a box that is 6x4 in. that has an 1 in. circle in the middle of the piece using the laser cutter. Glue this piece to the top in the back corner that will open.

Step 5: Back Dispenser

This piece is a simple ramp dispenser that will be in the back of the machine. (Note the back should be the open so the "gumballs" can go down.) These pieces should be cut with a laser cutter and all have a thickness of 1/4 in.

First make a long 6x1 piece that will be glued to the bottom for the ramp. Then make two more 6x1 pieces that will be used to make the dispenser in the back. One piece should be glued on the top of the side not touching the base so the gumball does not fall. After that, make three 1x1 in squares to make a ramp box. The box should have one 1x1 square on the left underneath the 6x1 piece so that it stands next to the back. Grab another square and glue it to the top on the same side. The last square should be glue at the bottom of the right side so that it comes out the side. The last square should have balsa wood glue to its three sides so the gumball stays in place. The balsa wood should cover just enough of the squares edges to make a wall.

Step 6: Pinball Launcher: Sleeve

This is the first piece of a two part design. This was designed on the Inventor CAD program, that would be used to launch the gumballs into the back.

First make a circle that has a diameter of .50 inches. Extrude in to one full inch. Then make another circle inside the front face that is .45 in diameter. Extrude this inside circle throughout the whole piece.

Step 7: Pinball Launcher: Inside Launcher

This piece will be the inside launcher that will allow the gumball to be pushed up through the sleeve into the goal. We also designed this piece on the inventor program on the computer and later 3D printed it.

First make a circle with a diameter of .40 inches so that it fits right into the sleeve previously made. Then, extrude the circle to 1.50 inches.

Note: Do not shell this piece out because it will need to be solid to be able to drill a hole inside.

Step 8: Launcher Assembly

This is the final step that must be built into the actual base. We used two screw eyes and a rubber band that will launch the inside sleeve out. You must put ramps into the inside base to allow the gumballs to be led into the launcher.

First grab the two screw eyes and try to align it down with the hole made in the piece. (Note: This make require you to put the screw eyes in manually since they are small.) Drill a small hole into the inside sleeve made before and put the rubber band through it and tie it to the other screw eye end.

The rubber band should make a sling shot type effect.

Step 9: Final Assembly

The final assembly should just consist of gluing all the pieces together. This should lead to a great amount of fun.

First, glue the ramp to the back of wooden base. Then, glue the piece with screw eyes and pinball launcher onto the front face on the base. Grab the two 6x1 pieces and put them in a formation that will lead the gumballs into the pinball launcher area. Use a hot glue gun to glue the poly glass onto the wooden base as a lid. Use wood glue to glue the lid/base for the jar in the back side of the base. (Note: The base and Plexiglas should cover the entire base on top.) Finally, use a hot glue gun to glue the jar to the top of its base in the back. (Note: Make sure the two holes are lined up.)

Step 10: Review

Our project took us about a month to complete due to the fact that we had to make changes to our design and needed to be trained using the machinery. If you have everything that is needed with you, it should take about a week. We tried to make this simple as possible so that it would be a project anyone could make. We spent most of our time waiting for our 3D printed pieces to be finished and cleaned out. We could've made improvements to the design by making the game more complex, making it more enjoyable. Another improvement could've been simply making the machine look more appealing. We hope you liked this project even though it it a bit childish!



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    1 year ago

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