K'nex Marble Machine Elements Official Guide




About: I like to build with K’NEX as you can find many things I’ve built here. I also love to watch YouTube videos, have played piano and drums for over 10 years, listen to music (not country), and play video games...

Hello everyone!!! Welcome to the first K'nex elements guide for MARBLES (at least on Instructables). That's right!!! It IS possible to make elements for marbles (specifically Magnetix marbles I used shown in pics 2 and 3). These can be just as great as elements made for regular K'nex balls. I created this guide in tributes to my unfinished marble machine Perplexity that was being constructed since it was demolished due to a horrible accident. Nevertheless, I managed to take the time to take pictures of elements planned for use in the machine. ALSO, remember to look closely at each picture to check on something that looks unknown. So without further ado, have fun building these elements!!!


Step 1: Basic Path

Starting out with what the title of this step suggests, this is the most basic tool needed for simple transportation of marbles moving throughout a machine.

Step 2: Red Connector Path

Basically the same type of path that works for regular K'nex balls but make sure the red connectors on the yellow rod touch each other so that the marbles can roll easily and not fall through. This can be useful for catching flying marbles.

Step 3: Basic Path #2

Another basic path with slight modification in fact that it uses black Y-connectors. This is taken right off of my own specially designed marble separator/bottom-of-lift shown in a later step.

Step 4: Freefall Tube

This element allows for marbles to have a perfect freefall onto a designated area like pathing. It also it used as a path to 100% guarantee the marble stays on the track. The marble drops down the middle.

Step 5: Red Connector Path #2

A path where marbles roll on top of red connectors and takes up less space.

Step 6: Four-Marble Dropper

Exactly as the title suggests, this arm will tip over when four (Magnetix) marbles land on it. The blue clip was added in between the yellow connectors to better separate the marbles as they roll off.

Step 7: Simple Alternators

When marbles land on these alternators, they will slightly tip over as marbles roll off usually onto other alternators which looks cool in rapid succession.

Step 8: Path Shuffleboard

This is key to building a marble machine with multiple different paths. Make sure this shuffleboard tilts accordingly to what is seen in the pictures. The last picture is a view of the bottom.

Step 9: Fall-Through Path

This element has marbles moving along a pathway that expands until marbles fall through, then land on another expanding path and so on. Warning: This element is extremely difficult to set up. Red rods that bend down are hard to get to stay in place. Blue flexi rods can be used in certain areas if it's easier to do.

Step 10: Chain Drop

This element involves a chain that has a claw with a counterweight that lowers marbles that land on it and rebounds completely on its own. 17 chain links will be needed for the chain drop shown in the pictures.

Step 11: Flipper

A marble will land on either side and will be flipped directly underneath the other side, it looks cool with multiple flippers in rapid succession.

Step 12: The Maze

This rather tall element can use multiple marbles at once. As the marbles fall down this chute, there are rods and connectors on the inside with failures in between for which the marbles can slip through and have a slower, more interesting descent.

Step 13: Panel Maze

This element is much more limited than the regular maze in the previous step but easier to build.

Step 14: Alternating Arms

This unique element has two arms attached by a chain and a gear that has the two arms move in opposing directions when marbles land on it.

Step 15: Down-Up Arm

When a marble lands on the part shown in picture 2, it goes down, then up, and rolls to and falls off the other side.

This element was created from the person who invented this element, sandroknexmaster.

Step 16: Spiral Bowl

What marble-related contraption would be complete without including at least one of these spiral bowls?! This classic element I was able to design simply sends marbles "spiraling" toward the middle.

Step 17: Pendulum

Another element made by sandroknexmaster which I redesigned for marbles. A marble will jump into the pop-out track, flip the arm upside down, and have it act like a pendulum until the marble falls out and rebounds back, hence the name of the element.

Step 18: Marble Separator/Bottom-of-Lift

This is only for if you intend on making a marble machine. This isn't really an element at all, but rather a mechanism for making sure marbles get properly lifted by a chain lift without falling off.

Instructions for manual/motor gearbox are here

Step 19: Chain for Lift

Same as before, this is only for if you want to make a chain for a lift in a marble machine. The chain doesn't have to be as big as mine, as it depends on how tall someone's certain lift will be.

Step 20: The Letter "P" (Bonus)

I made this since my machine was called "Perplexity" and started with the letter "P." Just thought I'd share this as a huge thanks for checking out my guide for marble machine elements used with Magnetix marbles. Hopefully this guide will inspire other's to build more marble machines so that there is more of them just like regular ball machines which would be great!! Thanks for viewing and have a wonderful day!!!



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    7 Discussions

    sonic broom

    3 years ago

    Great! I have a bunch of Magnetix marbles but just one knex ball so this would be great for me since I just got a motor and can build a marble machine now!

    Lucas The Boss

    3 years ago

    Wow, you did a very good job with this. Great job!


    3 years ago

    That's a very nice guide, you did a great job on all of these elements!


    3 years ago

    Very well done! How long did it take to write this instructable and take the pictures? It seems like you really worked hard on this, good job!


    3 years ago

    great idea! I was thinking of making a marble machine and exploring new elements for them :) A great guide and overall a great ible as usual


    3 years ago

    Awesome guide! This makes me want to make a marble machine. I have found that the only reason there aren't more marble machines out there is because of lack of guides like this. Thanks!