Project Micro - a Mini K'nex Ball Machine by Son




Introduction: Project Micro - a Mini K'nex Ball Machine by Son

(son's project from long ago) Project Micro is a small, desk-top ball machine that contains 2 trails; when adjusted correctly, the balls never fall off.

Unfortunately, I am way too lazy to sit there and count all the pieces. If you aren't, let me know. My guess is around 500 to 600.

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Step 1: The Main Tower

I'm going to apologize in advance for the size of this step. I didn't feel like taking apart the drive shaft, etc. Make sure you look at the annotations for the last couple pictures.

Step 2: The Secondary Tower

This supports the whirlpool.

Just build what is in the pictures.

Step 3: The Bridge

This holds both towers together and makes sure they don't fall over. Build what is in the first picture, then assemble what you've built so far (pictures 2 and 3).

Step 4: The Top Gear

This is the gear that supports the chain at the top.

Step 5: Untitled

Idk. Just build it and mount where shown.

Step 6: The "Pusher"

This pushes the balls off the lift. Make sure it is centered.

Step 7: These Things

I don't know what to call 'em. Just build them and attach.

Step 8: Not Named

This is additional support for the switch

Step 9: The Wall

This supports the switch itself and prevents the ball from falling off when switching

Step 10: The First Path

Give a General Description of the Step.

There is really nothing to write here.

Step 11: First Path Part II

Build what is in the first picture, then whats in the third picture, attach them, and mount.

Step 12: The Chain

Build the chain, then throw it on

Step 13: End of First Trail

Go for it.

Step 14: The Whirlpool

This is the flashiest part of the machine. Make it; make sure it totals 720 degrees (two times around) and mount. Once you get to testing this trail, make sure it is consistent. It might take a while

Step 15: The Catcher

This catches the balls after they come out of the whirlpool.

Step 16: It

Make this. Be sure you have the spacing right. LOOK AT THE ANNOTATIONS ON THE SECOND PICTURE!

Step 17: Collector Track

This feeds all the balls to the lift.

Step 18: Nameless

Build this and slide on where shown.

Step 19: Beginning of Second Trail

Build these two rails and connect where shown.

Step 20: The Switcher

Decides between the two paths.

Step 21: Guard Wall 1

Self explanatory.

Step 22: Guard Wall 2


Step 23: Guard Wall 3


Step 24: Red Rods

Put these on. This will stop the ball from falling off, and, as a bonus, the ball makes a very satisfying plunk when it falls in.

Step 25: Tension Adjustment

Build this, put it on, and leave it, for now.

Step 26: The Chain

Build this, then put it on.

Step 27: Done!

Add the balls, and you are done. Those crappy loopin' lizard balls work fine even though they are lighter and slightly bigger. You will probably have to adjust a couple things to make it work.
Enjoy your mini ball machine!

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    78 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I counted 472 pieces including the balls from your picture. My model is slightly modded so I couldn't count it from mine. I was unable to count the individual type of piece count because I counted them during my lunch break (which is only like 45 minutes)


    9 years ago on Step 14

    in centimeters, how long is 720 degrees of track?


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 14

    173 cm, give or take a few cuase measuring a spiral is difficult, even with string. By the way thats actually 1080 degrees of track, which is what is required to make the ball go twice around.


    9 years ago on Step 27

    i cant figure out how to adjust the collector ramp so that the ball can be picked up but other than that it works perfectly


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Hmmm. Go to step 16 and look at the second picture. make sure you have the spacing on these exactly right (there is a blue washer on the side you can't see). Also look at the fifth picture on step 1 to make sure your gear spacing is right. That should stop the lift from catching if that's your problem. If the ball just simply falls off the lift, check the little scoop things that pick up the balls; attached to the orange connectors should be the female end of a ball joint, as this is the perfect length. If it still doesn't work, I don't know what to tell you. . .


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    The part where the ball rides on the chain is 13 links, the lift is 38


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome! But would it work well without the spiral?


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I'll work on modifying it not to use tube for next week or something...


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Good, cause I don't have any extra tubing.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry I never got around to that. I have it built, but I'm not allowed to put any more pictures on this instructable.  All I did was replace the whirlpool with 270 degrees of classic spiral.  It works fine, but it's not as cool : )


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Nasty! You should get some, I saw 50' red tubing go on ebay for 8$


    10 years ago on Introduction

    can i use mini track pieces for the lift I've done it before other than that im fine