K'NEX Pinball Machine!

About: Just your average K'Nexer/Programer/Nintendo DS fanatic. Any questions you would like to ask about any of the above? Send me a PM, I don't bite(much) ;-) If anyone wants to WIFI battle in pokemon, send me a...

It is a fully functional pinball machine, and easily one of my favorite knex builds. though it uses lots of pieces, it is worth it (unless you have to build a small one).

now be warned, i do not have step by step instructions since anyone who makes this will change it for there liking. the design is made so that you could make it as big or as small as you want it. because of this i only have clear pictures of everything already connected to the pinball machine(everything expect for part of the flippers and the track for the ball launcher are out in the open anyway, and easily seen). i have a description of each piece in the instructable and how it works so you can make it. everything is customizable so yours will most likely be different. but i still have a piece list to give you some idea of what yours will use.

_Kira_ made this using minimal white connecters, and made instructions here: www.instructables.com/id/Knex-Pinball-Machine-1/

Step 1: Step One: the Base

just a big thing of blue rods connected with 3-D connectors. this is where most people will have to back out.

this part also decides the length and width of the pinball machine. mine has a width of 7 blue rods and length of 6 blue rods. this ended up leaving a surprisingly small space for the ball track but was big enough to work. when i made it i forgot to take into account the fact that the guard rails and flippers would take up space. but it still works.

one more thing you need to do is make the back one blue rod longer then then the front to give the pinball machine a angle so the ball rolls to the bottom.

some blue rods have been replaced with yellow connectors with green rods on opposite sides to equal the length of a blue rod. these yellow connectors will connect parts(mostly the flippers) to the machine so they need to be there.

if you look you will see that the blue rods extend in two squares at opposite ends oft the machine. the bottom one is were the ball goes when the game is over. that is a needed part (unless you hate losing). the other one is for a extra ball release i made but that is in another step.

1. shows the blue rod connections(ignore the top white connectors.)
2. picture of the entire thing
3. picture of the end that gives the machine a angle.
4. bottom part that holds the ball when the game ends
5. different view showing the blue rod hook ups.

Step 2: Bottom White Connector Mesh.

it is what the ball will roll on. it is nothing to great, just a big thing of white connectors connected with green rods.

every blue rod length up and down is a 3-D connector that connects with a 3-D connector on the base you just made. then in every space in between put white connector with green rods on it.

i used 81 white connectors in the mesh alone, not including any of the other ones used in it. i also used around 130 green rods in it alone(i used more then that, but not sure how much more)

at the edges just put yellow connectors with green rods.

this is the most boring part of (about as boring as building the base) but it is worth it.

once you have this done you can move on to making the flippers in the next step.

1. a old picture of the pinball machine. as you can see all the white connectors are connected with green rods to the supports (the 3-D connectors). don't pay attention to the parts on it yet, just the mesh. don't for get to leave one blue rod length on the right alone for the ball launcher!
(there aren't many pictures because it is self explanatory)

Step 3: Flippers

pretty easy, but they still get a step.
unlike some of the other pinball machines i have seen, these flippers move in the same way the real ones do. this works because the "button" is connected to the flipper by a hinge, so pushing it forward turns the flippers.

rubber bands are used to make the flippers come back when they are pressed.

the flipper is connected to a red rod.(there is one blue spacer under the flipper), the red rod goes through one of the white connectors in the mesh and connects to a yellow connector that replaced a blue rod on the bottom supports.

the button is a 3-D connector connected to the hinge by a red rod. the red rod goes through a orange connector connected to a yellow connector that replaces a blue support. the orange connector is connected in a way that lets it pivot left and right, which is needed since the button does not travel perfectly straight.

the right connection is a replica of the left but with a longer rod connecting the button to the hinge. it is supported so it does not break.

1. picture of right flipper
2. picture of left flipper.
3. right flipper connection. you can see the hinge part in it.
4. connection support and rubber band.
5. button for right side.
6. left hinge and rubber band
7. left button.

Step 4: Sides/ Walls/ Ball Launcher

this is a good break from the other parts. it is easy. just adding walls every were and the ball launcher

there is a bunch of walls, and there easy to make, so there is not much to say for this part.

most of the walls have three lines of connectors on them that fit togeather with the other ones. the picture explains it best.

i would just make them exactly like mine (with a different length)

i also have the ball launcher and sides for that. the ball launcher is just a knex gun with one barrel connector that is reinforced. it is powered by rubberbands.

Step 5: The Fun Part, Add Stuff

this is the fun part. now we add stuff to the machine to make the ball do stuff.

i have 4 things on mine right now, a box thing in the corner, spinner, and extra ball release, and the back board with my initials(DS) on it.

the box thing is like it says a box. the ball goes into it when it is launched and some times durring play. on the exit of the box i have blue rods hanging from a blue rod(they are connected to it by yellow connectors with the blue rod through the hole in the connector). when the ball goes through it it lifts up the blue rods making a cool effect.

the spinner is just put right into the mesh. it is in the hole of one of the white connectors, and has rids sticking out of it . it spins when the ball hits it adding a cool effect.

the extra ball release was tricky. the design i have now has a button that the ball comes up and hits. when it is hit it flips the ball out of the blue rods that holds it and puts it in play with the other one.

the back board is simple.just another blue rod support system. the letters D and S are spelled on it.


try and make your own things, just about anything will work.

Step 6: I Hope You Like It! :-)

well, i hope you like it, if the instructions are not clear please tell me and i will try to improve them.


i found this in a search for a knex pinball machine. i borrowed some ideas from that.

please comment and rate!



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    170 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Hey guys! My bro made one too! You should look and vote on it!



    Reply 8 years ago on Step 3

    Basically it works like a hinge. One side of the hinge is mounted on a rod, which can turn(the flipper is also on this rod, though a ways above the hinge). When you push on one side of the hinge, it causes the rod to rotate.

    The second to last picture shows it well. The hinge is created by a white rod that is connected to the three orange connectors that are sticking out. When those three orange connectors are pushed in, it causes everything that the white rod is in to be pushed forward, rotating the flipper.

    Hey dsman195276, check out my pinball machine instructable:)



    6 years ago on Step 6

    i made it it's awesome! i still had to make some changes to the flippers the balls couldn't get through

    In about 3 weeks, I will post instructables on my double Decker pinball machine that is loaded with special mechanisms like automatic score system, wheel lift,duel flippers and underground ball plunger with auto ball dispenser. It has 5700 pieces and will take a little while to build. I hope all of you will enjoy building it:)

    I followed this instructable and modified it a little to make it have a second floor on the upper half with two sets of flippers controlled at once and a wheel lift in the back. I also added a automatic ball dispenser in the plunger with space for 3 balls. I might post the video of it in a little while. I give you most of the credit though!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    this is awesome! just made it,took me like 8hrs.lol much worth the time though!!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Just made this and its rather kool. Haven't got the ball pusher thing to work properly yet tho. Don't see why everyone is having a problem with the flippers - they were easy to make :)

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    That's really great to hear! which part of the ball pusher won't work? It might be you just need stronger rubber bands on it.



    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, that was my problem :P - i put one of the black knex rubber bands on it and it works a treat :). I added another rail bit to the underneath of the whole "machine", so that the ball that hits the ball release rolls down the underneath of the "machine" and stops under the "part that holds the ball when the game ends" :)


    9 years ago on Step 3


    i could never have thought of something like that


    9 years ago on Introduction

    this looks bloody awesome...
    gonna go make it now


    9 years ago on Introduction

    why do you have only 3.85 stars ??