Design Your Own Cardboard Pinball Machine

Paper Crafts
Photo of Pinbox 3000
Photo of Pinbox 3000
The PinBox 3000 is an DIY desktop pinball kit made from cardboard.

If we’re being honest, there are only two classes of dioramas that get made in school: embarrassingly bad; and the too-perfect dioramas secretly made by parents. The great equalizer between these two types of dioramas is that they’re both equally boring.

Do you know what’s exciting? Pinball!

Combine the two and you have the PinBox 3000, a flat-packed cardboard kit that allows you to assemble and design your own desktop pinball machine. The system is geared towards pinball nerds like myself, but even more so, targeting students and educators looking for a way to add some excitement to school projects.

Multiple PinBox 3000 systems set up at National Maker Faire.
Multiple PinBox 3000 systems set up at National Maker Faire.

Make:’s founder and Executive Chairman Dale Dougherty had a chance to catch up with PinBox 3000 creator Ben T. Matchstick at the 2015 National Maker Faire in June. In their conversation (shown below) Ben describes the story behind the PinBox 3000 and future plans to sell custom playfields as accessories.

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But what I love most about the Pinbox is its use of everyday items: rubber bands, cardboard, marbles, to create any game design you can imagine. As a confessed pinhead, I can’t wait to get my hands on this thing and build my own little dream machine.

The PinBox 3000 is currently fundraising on Kickstarter. The core system sells for $50, a small price to pay for a kickass diorama.

Let's play!
Let’s play!
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I make stuff, play music, and sometimes make stuff that plays music. Fan of donuts, Arduino, BEAM robotics, skateboarding, Buckminster Fuller, and blinking lights.

View more articles by Donald Bell


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