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Great Ball Contraptions

145791012

Comments

  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 393
    Someone should try my idea for slow reciprocating power transfer (see the buiding contest thread). It would only work in specific cases, but it would be quieter and less friction prone than gears. I'm not sure how big it would go, as I don't know how much force an axle coupler can hold onto an axle with (as these connections would bear the load).
  • gold682gold682 UKMember Posts: 201
    The whole thing should be turned into a "Creator Expert" set......Now that would be something !!

    Paperballpark said:
    Video of our layout at Bricktastic. There's me, Huw, and Mac.



    77ncaachampssimba42
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    It would be far far too expensive - I don't know how many pieces Huw and the other guy used, but I must have a good few thousand pieces in all my modules.
  • gold682gold682 UKMember Posts: 201
    @Paperballpark - it was tongue in cheek. However can you imagine the size of the box!

    Regarding expense, I think the latest UCS MF suggests there is never anything too expensive when it comes to Lego. "Build it and they will come"
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,439
    gold682 said:
    @Paperballpark - it was tongue in cheek. However can you imagine the size of the box!

    Regarding expense, I think the latest UCS MF suggests there is never anything too expensive when it comes to Lego. "Build it and they will come"
    That would be cool especially if bundled with motors and an adapter.

    I think it would be a hot Christmas item.
  • stevecook132stevecook132 Member Posts: 112
    Very nice GBP - I've got all of the parts on order at the moment for your WM01, just waiting for them to arrive from various vendors. I seemed to have accidentally got very keen on GBC - I started reading this thread on Friday and I'm up to three modules worth of bits on order already (Brickworld Ramp and Ball Pusher are the other two). Throw some balls, motors etc in and this thread should have come with a wallet warning!

    Looking forward to getting started.
    dmcc0LittleLoriHuwstluxSirBenricecake
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 84
    edited July 2018
    Hey @Huw or @Paperballpark I've been meaning to ask, where did you get your printed (engraved?) custom technic beams with your name on it?  I know of a place that will do regular bricks but I am interested in some Technic beams.  You can PM me if you don't want to advertise on the forums.

    @stevecook132 You're welcome, let me know if you have any issues with the instructions or the module.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,490
    edited July 2018
    http://www.fab-bricks.com/

    Apparently they've had a rush of orders for printed beams from people who have seen mine :)


    stluxgreatballpitdmcc0
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    Yeah I ordered 20 after seeing Huw's. They're easier to incorporate into GBCs than normal printed bricks.

    Plus Lego don't do 1x8 bricks in Orange :(
  • stevecook132stevecook132 Member Posts: 112
    ^^^ @greatballpit Thanks very much, I'll let you know how I get on.

    Some progress on other modules today:

    The BrickWorld Ramp nears completion, it just need a couple of tiles to complete the 'pretty' process, the original has a few unsightly gaps in it which I wanted to get rid of.



    I'm also having impure thoughts about the gap in the vertical face - I know the balls don't run over it and Lego don't produce a Beam 1 x 1 in Yellow yet, but would it be out of order to cut a yellow pin joiner in half to do the job in the meantime...

    One and half ball pots have been completed too, some missing bricks from one order prevented the green one being finished. Alas, as is evidenced in the above photos, I am still missing the most important part of all, the balls!

    A Miniloop Lifting Cup was this afternoons project, I was looking for other ideas and ended up raiding a couple of kits to get this built having found the instructions online.



    A couple of parts are on order to sort out some colour substitutions, then that one will do for an a desk ornament.

    Can I also ask how the 9v train Controller is connected to the current M Motor or polarity switches please? I have a 9v controller on order, but looking at the photos, I can't see how to use my current plugs / wires.

    Many Thanks
    Steve
    PaperballparkstluxAddicted2Oxygen
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 84
    @stevecook132 Love your color choice, seems very retro for some reason to me.  Looks like the old Vancouver Canucks (NHL) colors .

    How about using 2 x 2L Liftarms (part 43857) in yellow for the 4L you need?  or stack 2 half width 4L beams (part 32449)?
    stevecook132
  • stevecook132stevecook132 Member Posts: 112
    Good thinking @greatballpit - sticking a pair of yellow 32449's will do the job nicely (why didn't I think of that), cheers!
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,490

    Can I also ask how the 9v train Controller is connected to the current M Motor or polarity switches please? I have a 9v controller on order, but looking at the photos, I can't see how to use my current plugs / wires.


    PF extension wires have a female 9v connector on the bottom of one end which connects to the controller.
    stevecook132Paperballpark
  • stevecook132stevecook132 Member Posts: 112
    Thank you @Huw - appreciated.
    More shopping required!
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    edited July 2018
    Thank you @Huw - appreciated.
    More shopping required!
    Get the 50cm version rather than 20cm - it's only slightly more expensive, and the extra length is really useful.
    stevecook132greatballpit
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    @Paperballpark @Huw in the bricktastic video who made the forky one at 1.25 and are their instructions anywhere? Also hue had one a year ago that looked a bit like chopsticks. Are their instructions for that anywhere?
  • stevecook132stevecook132 Member Posts: 112
    First one looks like Fork to Fork by Akiyuki. There are a lot of instructions here, number 28 is the one you are after. You may end up wanting to build more than one...
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,490
    The 'chopsticks' one is the only Akiyuki one I've built. It's #7 in the list linked to above.
  • stevecook132stevecook132 Member Posts: 112
    The joy of Brick Owl means two more modules have reached completion, one the Brick World 2018 model (Ball Pusher) and the other belt driven one shown above by @greatballpit

    I'm pleased to say I finally own some balls too :-)



    The ball pusher was built as per the instructions, but I've played around with the belt module. I've added some bricks between the two front towers to impart some extra rigidity there with a view to long term robustness (black bricks).



    I started out modifying the geartrain in order to follow the standard that Huw had advocated, ie that the direction of the module would be correct when the polarity switch pointed towards the wire. Having added an extra 40 tooth gear, I then realised I could mount the motor under the module which would make for a neater appearance, but that required another gear to reverse the direction again.



    Its all gone together OK and I have possibly gone over the top in terms of bracing it all! Its running on a borrowed motor as I had to steal the one from the lifting ramp in order to test.

    The parts for a stepper module are slowly accumulating too, meaning I hope to have an example of ramp, ball pusher, belt and stepper shortly. They might even all fit onto a 32x32 baseplate, meaning extended running / testing is an option.
    greatballpitPaperballparkHuwstluxAddicted2Oxygenricecake
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,238
    edited July 2018
    LEGO shares this on Facebook

    https://www.facebook.com/LEGO/videos/10155888735173403/

    thought it might be of some interest here
    stevecook132Addicted2Oxygen
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 84
    Nice work @stevecook132 I like the internal motor as it allows you to use the module as a corner unit now.
    stevecook132
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 84
    Here is my Jade Dragon, based off my Workshop 01 module.  Instructions for the Workshop 01 module are available for free on my website.

    stluxShibstevecook132FowlerBricksAddicted2OxygenricecakeLittleLori
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,238
    ^my immature brain is hoping someone does something similar to that but the other way round so it looks like an animal is eating the balls then crapping them out. :-)


    stluxsid3windrgreatballpit
  • stevecook132stevecook132 Member Posts: 112
    edited July 2018
    ^^ Looks good Matt, nice to see a module dressed up.

    The stepper module has been completed over the last couple of days, its based on one by Maico Arts but with an extended reservoir a la Huw so that all four modules are of a very similar size.



    As it turns out, they do all fit on a 32 x 32 baseplate, but in plan view actually occupy 31 x 33 studs. The stepper is driven using a worm and 24 tooth gear to gear it down, as a result it runs ever so slightly slower than the other three modules. It is a very slight difference though, and as they all tend to keep pace with one another, its fine for testing. I think I will have to come up with an alternative arrangement to hit the 1 ball per second target design spec.

    Heres a quick video showing them all in action - a couple of extra red bricks were added to the ramp module to stop spillages - it is being fed at right angles to the normal direction which meant a 4 ball dump occasionally had one ball making a bid for freedom.



    Its been running for an hour now and the only thing giving me concern is the original power supply for the 9v train controller -thats getting rather warm to the touch so I think a replacement would be a good idea.
    FowlerBricksgreatballpitstluxricecakeLittleLori
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 84
    I love that it is self contained, has 4 different lifting mechanisms, and all fits on a 32x32 baseplate.... It's awesome!
    stevecook132
  • stevecook132stevecook132 Member Posts: 112
    Thanks Matt :-)

    I'm slowly accumulating parts for the next modules, the lure of Akiyuki designs proved too strong! I would very much like to build a single shot basket shooter too  - given most of you chaps been into GBC longer than I have and have a better overall appreciation, do you have any recommendations of example builds that I could look at?

    Thanks
    Steve
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 84
    @stevecook132 I haven't built a shooter yet, but sawyer just released a video of his latest module which is a shooter, you can see how it's built in the video.  I think he may have posted instructions for it as well.



    dbrougeAddicted2OxygenricecakeSwitchfoot55FowlerBricksDjblythe05
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,490
    edited August 2018
    I often browse through planet gbc, find some movements that I like, then build my own version of them.

    I've just done that for this one, http://www.planet-gbc.com/?p=2717, which is so simple but so cool to watch. I've built 2 and drive them side-by-side, 180 degrees phase difference.

    The Akiyuri ones are great, but so complex, and from what I've seen, some are not reliable enough to run all day. I think @Paperballpark would agree having witnessed issues at Bricktastic!

    Switchfoot55
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    edited August 2018
    Yeah, the problem with really complex modules is that at some point, you'll have problems with them, because it's likely that they won't be robust enough to run for 6 or 8 hours, two days in a row.

    The further problem with Akiyuki designs is that Akiyuki designed them, not you. Therefore, whereas Akiyuki may know why there's a problem, you probably won't, and you'll spend absolutely ages with the thing in bits, trying to fix it.

    As someone commented at Bricktastic: "The problem with building a module from instructions is that you don't understand how it works."


    As for building more myself, I simply haven't had time recently. I've made various fixes to the modules that caused issues at Bricktastic, but other than that I've done nothing. I should really fix that...
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,030
    Huw said:

    I've just done that for this one, http://www.planet-gbc.com/?p=2717, which is so simple but so cool to watch. I've built 2 and drive them side-by-side, 180 degrees phase difference.

    That one is brilliant - it looks like the balls are going to fall off the end, then just make it.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,490
    Yes -- I'll post a video of my two when it's cooled down a bit.
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 393
    Yeah, the problem with really complex modules is that at some point, you'll have problems with them, because it's likely that they won't be robust enough to run for 6 or 8 hours, two days in a row.

    The further problem with Akiyuki designs is that Akiyuki designed them, not you. Therefore, whereas Akiyuki may know why there's a problem, you probably won't, and you'll spend absolutely ages with the thing in bits, trying to fix it.

    As someone commented at Bricktastic: "The problem with building a module from instructions is that you don't understand how it works."


    As for building more myself, I simply haven't had time recently. I've made various fixes to the modules that caused issues at Bricktastic, but other than that I've done nothing. I should really fix that...
    Would Kragle (glue) be cheating?
  • benbacardibenbacardi EnglandMember Posts: 423
    Would Kragle (glue) be cheating?
    I don't think glue would be very useful for something that needs to move...
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    If you need to use glue, you've built it wrong.
    Mr_Cross
  • stevecook132stevecook132 Member Posts: 112
    @stevecook132 I haven't built a shooter yet, but sawyer just released a video of his latest module which is a shooter, you can see how it's built in the video.  I think he may have posted instructions for it as well.
    Thanks for that @greatballpit - useful and interesting. Also found one by a chap called Dustybricks, another compact layout with a few photos to give some idea of how it works. I think it will take a bit time and quite a lot of brick fiddling to work out how they do what they do.

    Thanks for the link @Huw - another interesting mechanism, I bet the side by side pairing looks great. Thanks also for the comments @Paperballpark concerning the Akiyuki modules - I hope I've sat at the simpler end of his spectrum by going for the Pinball and Cup to Cup modules. I like the zigzag stairs and spiral staircase too, and whilst I could happily watch some of the other modules like the ball factory, I'm not sure I want to actually build one.

    I'm keen on keeping everything durable on the off chance I get to use them properly - indeed the four module set up has run cleanly for another hour this evening giving me some hope they have all been built properly. Mind you, thats all down to decent designs I've followed rather than any real skill on my part :-)
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    One of the first modules I built was his zigzag stairs - it's also very reliable too. I did have to strengthen the axle holds though.
    stevecook132
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 393
    Would Kragle (glue) be cheating?
    I don't think glue would be very useful for something that needs to move...
    If it's wearing, as I keep explaining, you need lubricant. Especially for running a long time.
  • stevecook132stevecook132 Member Posts: 112
    Thanks for the info on the zigzag stairs @Paperballpark , I think I shall start adding suitable parts on the next Brick Owl orders.

    The final parts for Akiyuki's Pinball module arrived over the weekend so I've now got that built up and running. I've made some minor colour tweaks and put an arrow on the exit ramp as opposed to using plain tiles.



    Its currently set up to recirculate for testing purposes - I've had a jam where the exit ramp wasn't quite angled enough and I get some escapees now and then which I need to resolve. Guess that means more running then :-)

    Video footage to follow, nothing worse than a static photo of a GBC! Mind you, white balls on a white background doesn't work that well either...
    greatballpit77ncaachamps
  • stevecook132stevecook132 Member Posts: 112
    A quick video to show it in action.



    I've made a few small changes to improve reliability. The first job was to add an extra angled connector to the top guard rail at the front of the exit ramp - that caught the odd ball that had had a good run down the wall and was able to bounce clean over the bottom rail.



    The inlet side of the in-basket was then raised by a brick to stop balls falling out - to be fair I am feeding it in the wrong direction which it wasn't designed for.

    I noticed that every now and then two balls would get collected by the conveyor belt, then at some inopportune time, the upper ball would make a bid for freedom.



    The problem is the pins are too long, and with the ridge at the very end they have sufficient grip to hold a ball far enough out from the belt that another ball can sit comfortably in the space. Swapping to telescopes has sorted that issue out and prevents a dual pick-up.



    Its had a good half an hour now with all the changes and there have been no dropped balls. Time to order some black telescopes.
    greatballpitstluxPaperballparkGothamConstructionCoricecakeAddicted2OxygenHugeYellowBrick77ncaachamps
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,490
    Good job!
    stevecook132
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,325
    with boost or mindstorm could you play a sound or something each time a ball go through the hoop?
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 5,950
    Huw said:
    Here's my version
    did you post this from your bike? I really like this one. So minimal yet mesmerizing.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,490
    I've been out today for a 50Km ride but, alas, that was posted from home.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    That's really good!
  • stevecook132stevecook132 Member Posts: 112
    ^^^ very nice @Huw , never quite sure which one to look at :-)

    Took my modules down to my local engineering club this evening and plugged them in for a bit of a demo. Went down well with quite few blokes displaying the 'locked in look' when they were running. Still get the odd escaping ball on the Pinball module, say 1 in every 100, unfortunately I never seem to be watching when it happens.

    The small set of four ran nicely however and consequently I've been asked to prepare a couple of modules to go on our club stand at the engineering show in October...that's four days of running...gulp...
    Addicted2Oxygen
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,486
    ^ take lots of spare parts! And I mean a lot. Basically, assume that you may have to replace any part which moves, and you'll probably be ok. Try to run them for at least a day beforehand though, because things will act in ways you don't expect, after a day of running.

    Of course, if you'll home every night, you can take spare parts in the next day, should you need them...
    stevecook132Addicted2Oxygen
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 84
    I've recently updated my popular Tri-Sep module.

    Using my workshop conveyor as the input bin, and adding a recirculation function.  As well only one motor is used now instead of two.




    Switchfoot55Addicted2Oxygen77ncaachampsAstrobricksMr_Cross
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 84
    Anyone building anything lately?  What about attending a public layout, any soon?
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