Dec 13, 2015 | By Benedict

Here at 3Ders, we like to keep our eye on the ball in the 3D printing game, and today brings a particularly amusing additive activity. Ramy Mounir, a student maker currently enrolled in the MAKE course at the University of South Florida, has posted a clever design for a 3D printed balancing game on Instrucables. The object of the single- or two-player game, comprised of a swaying plate and ball, is to balance the ball atop the plate for as long as possible by quickly adjusting the orientation of the flat surface in reaction to the movement of the ball.

The impressive 3D printed device allows for both single- and two-player gaming. Using a mini joystick or flashlights, players can adjust the angle of the plate to stop the ball from rolling off. In single-player mode, the gamer gets his fingers on the joystick, whilst the two-player mode requires players to shine flashlights at a pair of photosensors to control the angle of the plate. Be prepared, however: Mounir warns of the extreme difficulty of the latter mode.

The enterprising student created the 3D printed game to fulfil a project requirement of his MAKE course. The electronic piece of kit, which makers can build themselves using Mounir’s handy Instructables guide, is powered by an Arduino Uno, which processes data from the joystick, photosensors and accelerometer to move a pair of servo motors connected to the plate.

The accelerometer of the nifty 3D printed gadget plays an important role in its operation. When the game is set to “0 players” mode, the accelerometer keeps the plate completely horizontal, regardless of the angle of the base. This means the game can double up as a handy table for uneven surfaces, and enables players to set the plate fully level before initiating gameplay.

The 3D printed components of the game, which include the plate, base and moving arms, were designed using SOLIDWORKS CAD software. Mounir recommends 3D printing in PLA, and using superglue to attach the servo mounts to the main base.

Although he has submitted the 3D printed project for his course, Mounir is still planning improvements. After an exchange with one Instructables commenter, the maker was inspired to begin work on a Nintendo Wii-style controller containing an accelerometer. This potential feature would give players an even more exciting and intuitive way of controlling the orientation of the 3D printed plate. The ball’s in your court, Ramy!



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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