This is a guide to all basic paths on a K'nex ball machine.
Step 1: 3-Railed Path
This path is made up of 3 rails. The ball sits between them as it rolls along. It is sturdy, reliable, and is easily placed where you need it. It is used (Like many other path types in this instructable) mainly to connect elements, but that's a whole different instructable.
Step 2: Yellow Connector Path
This path consists of 2 rails. They are made with yellow connectors held together with green rods. both rails are connected by horizontal blue rods.
Step 3: Tilted-rail Path
First introduced in the Trampoline Tower, this path is made of 4 slanted rails, joined by white rods and connectors. The pictures say it all. The path uses very many pieces, but is very sturdy. Great for long distances between towers.
Step 4: Expanded Yellow Connector Path
This essentially the same as path 2, but instead of green rods, there are yellow rods. This is not very strong, nor can it cover very long distances, but it is great as a low-piece-using short-distance element connector.
Step 5: Gold Connector Path
This path allows the ball to move very fast. Great for loops, swirls, and looks. It uses very few pieces and is capable of turns. If you use it for turns, you should put rails on either side of it (See path 7).
Step 6: Alternating-Connector Path
This almost the same as step 2, but every other connector is orange, rather than yellow. Pretty sturdy for short distances. The ball doesn't have to have any momentum as it enters this path (As long as it's on a tilt), as it is perfectly smooth.
Step 7: Railed Path
This path "accessory" is used when a ball has too much momentum (Particularly on curves) and flies off the path. On curves, flexi-rods are the best way to build your railing, as they contour to the curve of the path itself. Sturdy. works great on long distances.
Step 8: Solid-Walled Path
This path has solid walls on either side. It uses tons of pieces, so it is the most sturdy path in your arsenal. It's great for connecting multiple towers and keeping the ball in line. It's almost impossible for the ball to fall out, unless it is turned completely on it's side. Great for long distances, but you probably won't want to waste that many pieces.
Step 9: Yellow-Connector Path (2)
This is another one of those paths that uses way too many pieces. It's not very stable, not very useful, but it looks good. Not much to describe here. Just yellow connectors in between two rods, and tubing on the edges.
Step 10: Conclusion
There will be another instructable on ball machine elements soon. Hope you found this one helpful, inspirational, or helpful! **8chillpill**