Marble machines are fun contraptions that take marbles through crazy loops and turns. You can buy one from a toy store or you can make one yourself.
There are a lot of different ways to go about it, but I’m particularly impressed with what Jazzmyn Ellsworth, 14, did. She designed various 3D printed parts and assembled her own custom marble machine; she was inspired by a marble machine she saw for sale in the MakerBot retail store. Now, before you go any further, read Ellsworth’s warning and make sure you’re ready for what’s to come:
Warning, side-effects may include: Increased Success in the future and swelling of Awesomeness in areas of STEM.
Marbles have been around for hundreds of years, but their use has evolved over time. While at first they were used in kid’s games involving hitting other marbles out of a circle drawn on the ground, you can now find marbles interacting with various things. Some popular places you can find them is in pinball machines and marble machines, like this one!
On Instructables, Jazzmyn showed off the awesome marble machine she assembled from various parts she designed. Here’s a list of the parts she created and printed off to use in her machine (there was some assembly required):
- Large and small curves
- Half circles
- Switches / Spliters
- Angle and T connectors
- A funnel to drop your marbles in
- Stands and connectors for the upright rods
- Three styles of clips to connect the individual tracks
The files for these pieces can be found on Thingiverse for anyone who wants to print them off and set up their own series of twists and turns.
Watch the video below to hear more about the machine from Jazzmyn and to see what it looks like in action.
Ellsworth will be showing off her project at the Detroit Maker Faire. Make sure you stop by and check it out!
6 thoughts on “3D Print Your Own Marble Machine”
this is ingenious, especially for a 14 year old. It’d be nice if someone could make some molds it could be produced cheaper. wireforms (in metal) are a pain to make. Would also be nice if there were some 45 degree elbows to go along with the 90 degree ones (more freedom).
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This is very cool. I thought you might also be interested in http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:63210 , which is similar but uses filament for the marble runs. That’s a bit more complex to assemble, but gives fantastic flexibility.
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