Hacked Gadgets Forum

April 14, 2007

Marble Machine

at 5:06 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Crazy Hacks, Insane Equipment

This marble machine that Matthias made is a great example of a nice complex wood working project. I love the hard drive platter that is used as a bell. 🙂

“I started experimenting by cutting a circular piece of plywood, and drilling 4 holes into it at a slight angle. This I temporarily jigged up with some blocks of wood, and started turning it to see how well it would pick up marbles. The whole thing turned out to work very well.

The wheel I had cut only had a 25 cm diameter, which would not provide enough head (elevation change) to allow the marbles to do much on the way back down. Rather than make a much bigger wheel, I figured I should use a second wheel to elevate the marbles even further. This would be more visually appealing than one big wheel. The challenge with two wheels was how to somehow couple their rotation together.

At first I wanted to just cut a groove in the circumference of the wheels and use an O-ring style belt to drive them both, but I couldn’t figure out where to find that kind of belt. The next idea was to just cut gear teeth into the wheels. This is a lot of work, but more visually appealing than a belt. Visual appeal is very important, as the marble machine, after all, has no real purpose. If its not fun to look at, its no fun at all.”