Mar.18, 2013

Have you ever had a toy that you wanted to stay up and play with all night? In the 80's or earlier, kids built real things, such as train sets. Later we got Spacerail, kind of roller-coaster, built with small rails where steel balls rolled along the path. Nowadays train sets are replaced by computer games that you just need to stare at a screen and press on a joystick.

Marbleavator on Thingiverse, designed by user gzumwalt, finally brings us back to the old awesome days. Marble elevator (hence Marblevator) of composed of snap together sectional track and adjustable tressels. To build your own Marblevator, you need to get a 6VDC 45 RPM Pinky Finger Sized Gear Motor, a power supply, and print out all 3D printable parts, including tressels, track segments, staircase and stair steps. This is a "free form" design that you can assemble and adjust tracks as you wish, or add loop backs, circles, etc.

"For example, you may start with a rapid descent and end by slowing the descent via increasing the tressel height at the end of your track before returning to the Marblevator. Gravity is relatively constant (for the time being), so experiment with tressel heights to obtain the best combination between track slope and track length. The tracks I've assembled run for days without a marble jumping the track." notes gzumwalt.

gzumwalt provides ReplicatorG settings for his Replicator2 3D printer for your reference:

  • Infill: 100%
  • Layer Height: .15mm
  • Shells : 1
  • Feedrate: 80
  • Travel Feedrate: 150
  • Print temperature: 230

You can download all .stl files on Thingiverse here to build a roller-coaster at home. This is clearly a big boy's toy that is just as fun to put together as it is to see it work. You can also add more components to your set. A nice project. Just like in the old time, the construction of the track is just as important as getting the balls to roll.

Watch the video below the Marbleavator in action.

 

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Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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