Jun 23, 2015 | By Alec

While 3D printers can be used for just about any manufacturing process imaginable, by far most FDM 3D printers are almost solely used for making toys. Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using them for fun, but if you’re going to 3D print toys, you might as well do it properly Something along those lines must have been going through Jazzmyn’s head when working on her amazing project. For this fourteen-year-old girl 3D printed a complex, modular, endlessly variable and very impressive marble machine. Remember those marble machines you used to play with as a kid? They’re nothing compared to this incredible creation.

As the young Jazzmyn explains on her Instrubtables page, just about any gravity-bound variety of this marble machine is possible. ‘I created a set of 3d printed parts that allow you to build the marble machine(s) of your dreams as big or small as you want. With crossovers, loops, switches, and curves its a bottle of Instant Roller Coaster Engineer! (Warning, side-effects may include: Increased Success in the future and swelling of Awesomeness in areas of STEM.),’ she writes. It was inspired by a machine she saw in the MakerBot Retail store, but then infinitely cooler.

And what’s more, she has made all the necessary parts available on Thingiverse here. So what are you waiting for? 3D print your own! Included parts are: Large and small curves, Half circles, Straights, Crossovers, Switches / Spliters, Angle and T connectors, A funnel to drop your marbles in, Stands and connectors for the upright rods, and finally three styles of clips to assemble everything. In short, everything you need to build the most impressive marble machine you’ve ever seen, as each part can be replicated as often as you can afford filament.

And assembly is also quite easy. ‘The individual track parts will need assembled. All you have to do is put one drop of super glue in each hole of the rings and slip in the track rails. For the curves I also used a small spacer block to help hold the shape until everything dried,’ Jazzmyn explains. Simply insert dowel rods into the stands, and secure them with screws, and use clips to attach all tracks to each other. To be sure however, a number of zip ties will be an excellent addition to this building project. Check out Jazzmyn’s other assembly tips on her Instructables page.

As she explains, the best thing about this project is that just about anything is possible. ‘Use your imagination to create the fastest or slowest coaster you can. Do you have enough momentum to create a loop? Will the marbles collide on the crossover? How many different tracks do you want to make? Just one long track or maybe multiple tracks and splits?’ she asks. What’s more, if there’s a part missing for the project you’re envisioning, Jazzmyn is happy to help you design it.

While this project is already very usable and very fun, Jazzmyn has big plans for it. Not only will she be displaying it at the 2015 Maker Faire Detroit in the Henry Ford museum (alongside some other projects), she is also planning to design an automatic ball lifter to keep the machine working autonomously. One thing is certain; this girl is going places.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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