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Marble Machine

by Linax May 30, 2015
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Can someone put instructions on how to put this thing together and what parts I need to print?

Can anyone explain where the oval spacer is supposed to go? I can't find it anywhere in the pictures.

It is between the lift wheel closest to the handcrank and the base. Cant remember why or if it is needed but if you lock in the sketchup file steps.skp you can see where it is. See attached image.

Thanks, I did find it in the skp file.

can i use 8mm ball bearings?

Comments deleted.

Should work with track 1. Not sure how it will work with track 2.

I'm confused by the filenames, which ones do I need to print build it as shown? sorry I'm a bit dense, but thank you a million times my daughter loves the marble machines and this one is best yet

Great Mechanical - I'm looking forward to printing/building it.

Anybody found a source for a suitable motor in the U.K?

Amazon search Minature Electric Motor - Type CNBTR 12mm GA12-N30 3vDC with 10 mm shaft.
Look at Made (6) to see how I used a battery holder, mine the blue one.
Hope this helps


Amazon UK for the motor and I used a AA battery holder for 2 AA with built in switch

Comments deleted.

Thanks for the modification to the lifts, they work fine. Regards

I have looked at the wall on both lifts, I am not sure this will work, I will print one now.
My suggestion and perhaps I did not explain very well, was to add an extra wall at the very end of the lift so the ball runs through the existing wall and the extra wall. (a channel) Sorry to trouble you and any misunderstanding. Thanks.

Parts to prevent the balls jumping of the top are Steps_1.01_Lift_Step_1 and Steps_1.02_Lift_Step_2
(Looking at the Machine from the front it's the Left Hand and Middle Lifts)
Hope this is clearer, thank you.

Check out stl files Steps 1.01 Lift_Step_1 test mod top.stl and Steps 1.01 Lift_Step_2 test mod top.stl. Is this ok or do you think the wall needs to be larger?

Nice design, hope you can add a wall at the top of the lifters to prevent the balls jumping of the top just before entering the track.
Thank you

Yes i can add a wall, but i am not 100% sure where you want it. Can you specify witch part it is: Steps_3.00_Track2_Coll_Base.stl, Steps_1.00_Lift_Base.stl or Steps_1.01_Lift_Step_1.stl?

So Can I Use A Small Marble On This? Thanks For Building This BTW Awesome but I Just Dont Wanna Waste my time And Filament on something that wont work for me

Should be 9,5mm

Just posting a link or two for those who would like a battery pack instead of a DC adapter.

Flexing battery holders with integrated spring
by enif
Flexing battery holders with 2- and 3-cell compartments
by enif

I love this, I wish there were more things like this with motors!

When I first saw this I was amazed, it went right to the top of my 'I want to make this' list.
What I hadn't noticed was that you have a bigger print bed than I do. Doh! :-)
Anyway, I managed to squeeze it on, though a small part of the Lift Base printed off the bed. Anyway, it printed.
However, in my case the thin walls between the Lift Steps were far too thin and broke off.

Anyway, I haven't given up. I will probably wait till I make/buy a bigger printer then give it another try.
In the meantime, if anyone can advise on how to get the dividers to print a little sturdier, I would appreciate it.
BTW, I use S3D.

Great design, and fairly easy to print. I had trouble getting the "T" boss and recess to fit together. I ended up filling the "T" off and using a dab or two of crazy glue. I am having a problem with the first track sliding when the ball bearings in the side chute press against it. I thought I had everything good to go as I operated the crank and watched the three track sliding up and down. Then I added the marbles. With the marbles pressing against the side of the first track it stops dropping down property. Any thoughts on how I how i can it it to slide better?

I am not sure what you mean with the "T" boss?

The steps should drop down without problem even with the weight of the marble towards it. I had some trouble with the steps becoming to tall in the Z direction when printing resulting in the steps catching on the base top. It might help to sand it down or use a knife if it is catching the same place for you? Also depending on your printer the first layer might be wider than the rest resulting in it catching in the lift base slots for the marbles. So check that the right side of the step 1 is straight and not uneaven. Please let me know what you find.

The lift base has the "T" boss and the track 2 has the "T" shaped recess to align the two parts. The "T" on the lift base came out quite a bit larger that the recess in the track 2 part. No big deal there. I did sand the the wide first layer and the rest of the tracks and lifts. The three parts move up and down just fine without any marbles loaded. It's when the marbles are pushing against the side of the first track that it stops dropping on its own. I'll have to play with it some more. I'm uploading a picture of my build. It's a pretty cool assemble you've designed :-)

I don't know how I missed this, excellent design!

I just saw this design today and this is so cool

This should be featured

Hey there, in my country is not possible to get the pololu 75:1, only the 100:1 and 50:1, Which is the best option?


Have not tested with faster than 75:1 so would not recomend going faster. Would try the 100:1 gearbox, this should reduce the speed in the youtube video about 25%. If that becomes to slow you can instead of 1.5V use 3V witch should give you about the same speed as the 50:1 on 1.5V.

I could be wrong, but i dont think so :D

Linax, love how your mind works, man. Keep up the good work.

How did you mount the shaft?
Mine is too loose so I need to glue it???


The Shaft is just press fitted in to the bearing/spacer, but i suspect that my printer is over exruding slightly making it a tighter. Is the shaft to loose on the wheels and handcrank as well if that is the case i can modify the shaft wider and taller, if it is only the spacer i can modify one that is tighter? How mutch clearance do you have? Gues glue will work to as long as you dont get any between the base and spacer. Have uploaded a test spacer with 6mm clearing instead of the old one with 6,5mm if you test it please let me know your result.