K'nex Ball Machine Krypton




I love building. A mechanical engineering student, most of my instructables involve modeling proj...

     Hello, fellow instructables members! I finally took the time to post my latest ball machine (which I built in September...yeah, quite the delay). At any rate, it has eight paths, a new lift type, and several new elements, either modified or built from scratch! The name came from the 36th element on the Periodic Table of the Elements. (I'm sure you knew that. Also, the ball machine has eight paths, since Krypton the element has eight valence electrons. If you want to know what those are, take chemistry!) This is my most ambitious project so far. So without further ado...Krypton!

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Step 1: Freefall Wheel Lift

     Ok, so this is the new lift I designed. It was reworked from my old lift on Subduction. This lift is a wheel lift with a twist; when the wheel has lifted the ball halfway to the top, the ball rolls back down the ball arm! The arm then pushes the ball back up a slope to the top (see the video if you don't understand). The extra movement adds interest to the typical wheel lift!

Note: This particular lift design was extremely finicky. I strongly suggest someone improve this idea...please! (I am still a little frustrated that I could not make it work any better. Oh well.)

Step 2: Separators

Just the path separators I used...Knextreme's Horizontal Path Separator and Sorunome's Infinity Switch.

Step 3: Path 1

Path 1 is comprised of Knextreme's Ferris Wheel, and blocked at the top by my new "Mountain Mover" element. At the bottom, it opens out onto a "white floor" (per Sorunome's instructable).

Step 4: Path 2

Path 2, also blocked at the top by the "Mountain Mover", contains a ball stop and my own version of the wheel hill. It also deposits the ball onto the white floor. (Note: all paths do that)

Step 5: Path 3

     Path 3 contains the most interesting element that I personally designed. The "Mountain Mover" as I call it is a ball arm in essence. However, what makes it different is that I laid it across path 1 and 2. Therefore, the balls from the first two paths are stopped by the arm until a ball rolls onto the ball arm and tips it, allowing the other balls to pass. (Once again, see video if not clear.) I called it the Mountain Mover because one ball is moving the "mountain" out of the way of the other balls. If you make a Mountain Mover, remember to properly counterweight the arm; most of the arm's weight is on the side blocking the paths, and the ball will need help in order to tip the arm. Use it and you will have a very satisfying element!
     Also in Path 3 are Knextreme's panel stairs and a panel path I put together.

Step 6: Path 4

     Path 4 is nothing but a slightly modified version of sandroknexmaster's small ball arms.

Step 7: Path 5

     Path 5 has a loop made from my Green Flex Path. Perhaps it should have been made a tad higher, but I had no more height for the descent, so...
     Also, I went ahead and placed the pictures of the white floor and the exit in this step. I used Kariah's Ball Separator to act as a sort of "gate" for my lift.

Step 8: Path 6

     Path 6 has a length of Mr. Muggle's triangle path, which dumps the ball into martijnb95's flipper. Pictures are self-explanatory!

Step 9: Path 7

     Path 7 is a red ball dropper, which lowers the ball onto Mr. Muggle's jungle bridge. The ball then rolls off the jungle bridge (it bumps the ball dropper as it does this; kinda "bonus") onto the white floor below.
     I know the pictures are difficult to see, but this part of the machine was "internal", and hard to get at! :-D

Step 10: Path 8

     Path 8 has Knextreme's Spiral Panel Stairs, which lead into the jungle bridge in Path 7.

Step 11: That's All for Now, Folks!

     So there you have it...Krypton! I hope you enjoyed looking at my ball machine, and perhaps get some inspiration for yours! I would say that the most impressive thing about Krypton is the number of paths I squeezed in (considering the size and height...and my just-under 4,000 piece collection).
     Anyway, that's all for now...at least until my next project...

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    42 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Can you name any other machines off the top of your head that have a loop without using tubing or is this the only one?


    2 years ago

    that's amazing it has 8 paths! And it's only so small! I've seen ball machines that have more than 8,000 pieces but only manage 5 paths! How do u pull it off?

    1 reply

    Well, the paths are kinda short...so on the whole, it is still a lot smaller than many other machines with fewer, longer paths! I made Krypton before my collection really expanded, so it was a proof of concept sort of build at the time. Thanks for the positive feedback! :-) Stretch your pieces, and look for ways to integrate less used pieces to make your parts go farther on a smaller machine.

    I don't know for sure where all it comes from (I get most of my K'nex from ebay!), but the tubing mostly comes from the bigger roller coaster sets, like Screaming Serpent or Corkscrew Canyon. (The microscale coasters do not have the tubing though, as they use a different track type). You can buy it from the K'nex.com shop under "accessories", or you can buy it second-hand like I did. Hope this helps!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    dang it, the vid is blocked in germany :/
    You wanne email it me?
    mail [at] sorunome [dot] de
    That would be cool, thanks :D

    6 replies

    Ok, the files were too big to send regularly by email, but I tried another method. Check your inbox! :-) We'll see if this works; if not, I unfortunately don't know a way to help.

    Thanks a lot, I'm so glad you finally were able to see them as well! :-) I'm not sure what the problem with ball machines is; every once in a while one will get blocked in a random country. My only speculation so far is that from looking at Obligation (which is blocked here in the US), perhaps it's some issue with music copyrights?
    Anyway, in theory Krypton works with both types of balls...however, if you let the balls randomly choose paths, you might have some problems here or there. It was sorta an afterthought to put both types, and if I had revised a bit it probably would have helped, but I was ready to post and out of pieces, so... ;-)

    Yeah, the problem is music copywrites: in germany is this organization called GEMA to which youtube would have to pay money so that all those vids are available in germany but the prices are so high that youtube doesn't do it.
    It sucks :(