Hello everyone! This is a small and simple wheel lift that I decided to post for those who may be new to building ball machine lifts. It's a simple concept, but has some advanced features not seen in previous wheel lifts. The first version of this lift, used in Citadel, used far too many blue spacers and the balls could get stuck, and this lift fixes those issues. This version was built into Citadel V2 (pictures above). In addition to being simple, it can be modified in any way you choose, such as running multiple wheels from one motor in many different arrangements, larger wheels (though that would change the name of "small wheel lift"), and different speeds.
Here's a video of the lift in motion (direct link):
So, if you want to build it, let's get rolling!
Step 1: Get Your Pieces
This lift is so small you may not need to count pieces, but just in case here's the parts count.
rigid tan (not required, but recommended)- 1
flexi-rod (grey rod length)- 2
dark grey- 16
light grey- 4
blue spacer- 14
silver spacer- 14
tan clip- 7
blue hinge- 1
black hinge- 1
small blue/brown gear- 1
medium red gear- 1
newer-style battery-powered motor (black)*-1
*You can use a different motor if you wish, but you'll have to modify the motor section. Go to step 6 for more info on the motor color.
Step 2: The Wheel
To begin the small wheel lift, we'll build the wheel, which is a pretty important part if you ask me. But even before that, you'll need one side of the frame that holds the wheel in place so it doesn't roll away. It may look complex at first, but there are many close-ups of the more piece-intensive sections. Make sure to read the image notes, as there are warnings that shouldn't be ignored.
Step 3: Side Tower
Okay, it isn't really a tower, but you get the idea. This part of the frame will fully enclose the wheel. After that, you can spin the wheel to your heart's desire. But don't spin it too fast, it might fly away and put a hole in the ceiling.
Step 4: Flexi-rods
A whole step devoted entirely to flexi-rods? Well, not quite. This step involves the various doo-dads that the balls will slide on on their way to the top (a massive distance of one red rod!) Make sure the flexi-rods are in between the tan clips near the bottom. These keep the rods from becoming too wide, which also prevents the need to use blue spacers all the way up the rods (yes, it sounds painful, but the first version of this lift was like that).
Step 5: Entrance and Exit Tracks
The step title sums it up pretty well. If you've built lifts before, you know what these tracks are all about. If you haven't built a lift before, then you probably know anyhow.
Step 6: Gears and Motor
Now you'll give the wheel its spin (unless you want to use a crank). You don't need to use a black motor. There are many other colors that all go different speeds, but the black one gave it a speed that I like the most. Here are some links to videos that show the different speeds, so you can decide for yourself:
Green motor (faster)
Blue motor (intermediate)
Black motor (slower)
Once you decide on a motor (or use the only one you have), you can move on to the gearing.
Step 7: The End.
You have reached the end of the Instructable! Great job. Now just press the switch in the right direction (you'll quickly find out), load the balls in, and watch it go! Again, this lift can be modified in different ways, and you can add multiple small wheel lifts together. Just make sure the motor is strong enough to power all the wheels. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
Thanks for building!
ThatSwitchDog made it!