Intro: This is a simple pinball machine we designed for an engineering class. You can use better/ other materials if available; we just had limited resources and time.
Step 1: Materials:
Materials: 1x4 wood, 2x2 wood, assorted LEGOS(can be replaced in not available), plywood, nails, wood screws, drill, 3/32 drill bit, phillips head bit, white board(can be replaced with thin wood), spring, marbles, PVC(big enough for your marble), hot glue, small dowel rods, rubber bands.
Step 2: Build the Frame
Cut two pieces of wood for the bottom, 12 1/2 inches long. Connect these with 18 inch long pieces for the sides. Cut two pieces 6 inches long, with a 10 degree angle on one end of both. Attach these to the bottom frame with the angle slanting downward toward the center. Cut two pieces 3 inches long, and attach these to the opposite end of the other boards. Use supports made of 2x2 wood whenever necessary. Using the same wood as the bottom frame, put a piece 16 3/4 inches long between the vertical pieces on the right side. Put a piece of the thin wood, 14 inches wide, 9 inches tall, onto the back of the base. This is used as the base for the hinges.
Step 3: Build the Board
We designed our board using legos and spare parts but you can definitely invest more than we did. We used 5 mm x 4' x 8' plywood using the dimensions 18.25" by 13.75". A rectangle at the bottom of about a bit longer of the width of the pinball you use is cut (and the length between the paddles) and this is the chamber that the pinball will fall out of when someone loses. Another hole is cut out to place a metal pipe piece that sounds very much like a pinball machine when it is hit by the ball is placed diagonally to the exit chamber. Long lego pieces are connected using a lego connector piece to create flaps to use during the game. A 3-D printed green paddle made of High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) was also created to use as a function of the machine and a hole was made to fit it into place using a dowel rod and a washer to prevent friction as it rotates to hit the ball. Lego pipes(?) were hot glued together in a stack to act as buffer regions on the top two corners of the board. Stacks of lego blocks 2 high and 6 wide create an arc over the two main paddle mechanisms. Two wooden dowel rods were holed and put in place and a rubber band was repeatedly wrapped around it to act as another obstacle in the game. A notch on the top right-hand corner is made to later act as a rest for the launch PVC pipe later.
Step 4: The Guts
The inside of the machine is basic and can be done many ways. We simply used a thin piece of wood, and attached 1x2 wood, angling toward the center for the slot for the ball. We had to hot glue LEGO's to the sides of the 1x2 in the front, because the board wasn't tall enough. You attach this to the inside of the back(leave enough room for the board on top), and the beginning of the front-bottom base board. If you choose to put on front paneling/tray for the ball, you will need to cut a hole in the panel the same width and length of where the ball comes out between the boards.
Step 5: Attach Board and Launcher
The launcher is just a piece of PVC that our marble fit in. You tie a string to the top of a spring, and pull it through the spring so when you hold the spring and pull down, the spring compresses. You put an angle piece on the opposite side of the pipe as the spring/string. Then, you attach a piece of wood with a hole in the center to the side of the base, to act as a base for the launcher. Feed the strings through the hole, then attach the pipe to the side of the base using hot glue/brackets. Use two hinges to attach the board to the back frame. Any other additions or improvements to our design can now be added, and enjoy!