Guide to Different K'nex Ball Machine Types




About: I am an artist in many forms of media. I create graphic design on the computer, draw on paper, build with K'nex, and film/edit videos.

This guide is all about the different ball machine structures. Any ball machine type that I have not built has a computer-generated, home-made, 3D model of the basic structure. Use this guide to classify your ball machine, and to help determine which elements may work best for you. To see many different structure types, go to and watch my videos! Enjoy!

Step 1: All-Around

This ball machine type is tall, yet wide enough to support its own weight. The best size is 3x4 Red rods. No support towers needed. Any elements listed in my previous guide to ball machine elements work on this type

Step 2: Suspended

This ball machine type is mainly support towers with a large "Table" on top. These take many pieces to make, so low-piece-using elements fit here. 

Step 3: Towering Machine

This is a ball machine type which a thin, tall tower (Usually 1x2 Red) extends upward. Cross-supports are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. This tower will probably fall if it doesn't have perfect balance, so support towers are put in place. The support towers should be shorter than the main tower, then connected in at least two different places. Elements recommended for this type are ball arm, ball flipper, and essentially any element that moves the ball down at a fast pace.

Step 4: Widened Machine

This type of machine is wider than it is tall. It is probably the least common type, as it must be compact. Long elements that carry the ball horizontally fit here. They can be put close together, can fill up the machine nicely, and are still just as fun to watch as the normal, upright ball machine elements.

Step 5: Conclusion

This instructable is mainly for helping you get an idea of how to make each type of structure. My next instructable will be how to actually BUILD a ball machine based on what my instructables have showed you. To see the ball machines shown, go to ENJOY!



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    7 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    It looks like you are using a knex software (to get those digital photos) .I've been looking for a k'nex software.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice! :) But there are more clasifications: the ones that go around the hole room and the ones that are made out of tower but NOT have a table at the top, just some connections! :)

    2 replies

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I dont think noobs would understand it lol