Blakbird

[GBC] The Akiyuki Project

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First post here, and first a big Thank you to Blackbird and all others contributors for the incredible work on Akiyuki's so brilliant modules. So far, I have built the Ball Factory (BF), Bucket Wheel Tower (BWT) and Pneumatic Module (PM) and I'd like to share some feedback for anyone interested.

PM was hard to make it work, the top part refused to turn full 180° whatever the settings were. I was thinking about taking the turntable apart for sanding but before that I tested the whole module with a regular manual Lego pump (2797c02) and amazingly it worked perfectly with it, so it was really only a matter of air pressure. I found out that switching the two gears from the motor to the pumps give enough added pressure to make the whole module work at last - no sanding necessary! Then I tested PM with a couple of 5,5L pumps (yellow ones) instead of 6L pumps and it worked just as well. I added 3 liftarms to Blackbird's design to create the necessary 0,5L offset.

I shall add that instructions for BWT and PM are flawless (except pins placement in step 3 of page 32 in PM, but correction is obvious).

Finally, I noticed in step 38 of Step Module instructions the same thing that didn't work for me when I built the BF using Blakbird's mpd file (an amazing experience) : 2x headlight bricks with the headlight stud against a regular 2x2 brick.On my BF, I used a 1x2 Technic brick with holes (32000) and a classic 1x2 brick instead of the 2x2 - still an illegal build I believe, but I could cover the bricks with plates without forcing them.

Back to building now. Next in line : Six Heads

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Basket Shooter Update

Earlier I has estimated that I'd be completing the Basket Shooter towards the end of January. There has been a delay or two and it is still work in progress. I thought I would at least show you a "grainy" photo of the actual build:

640x687.jpg

The photo illustrates the build to date using the "alpha" build instructions. The "alpha" build instructions are those which I work through and revise prior to getting the build instructions checked independently by a tester. Working my way through the "alpha" build instructions helps me to eliminate simple errors in my LDraw file (e.g. duplication of a part in exactly the same location) and trying to work out reasonable views to rotate the model to in the instructions.

Assuming that work doesn't get in the way, I'm perhaps two weeks away from having the "beta" build instructions ready for independent checking.

Regards,

David

Edited by djm

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Earlier I has estimated that I'd be completing the Basket Shooter towards the end of January. There has been a delay or two and it is still work in progress. I thought I would at least show you a "grainy" photo of the actual build:

Just going by your picture from what I can see it looks like you have it correct it looks identical to the one I reverse engineered.

The ball shooting mechanisms themselves are fairly easy to do it's the top deck that is hard to get right as we are never given a look at the underside structure.

Only issue I've had with mine is that I need to recalibrate the springs as it's no longer shooting correctly, doesn't seem to draw back far enough anymore.

I went to the trouble of getting each of the shooters completely colour coded as possible which was a probably more hassle than it was worth as Blue 1x15 liftarms were out of production at the time.

Edited by Blakbird

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PM was hard to make it work, the top part refused to turn full 180° whatever the settings were. I was thinking about taking the turntable apart for sanding but before that I tested the whole module with a regular manual Lego pump (2797c02) and amazingly it worked perfectly with it, so it was really only a matter of air pressure. I found out that switching the two gears from the motor to the pumps give enough added pressure to make the whole module work at last - no sanding necessary! Then I tested PM with a couple of 5,5L pumps (yellow ones) instead of 6L pumps and it worked just as well. I added 3 liftarms to Blackbird's design to create the necessary 0,5L offset.

Sounds like you might have a bad pump. If one of them is leaking a bit then you won't be able to achieve proper pressure. I'm glad you found a solution.

Finally, I noticed in step 38 of Step Module instructions the same thing that didn't work for me when I built the BF using Blakbird's mpd file (an amazing experience) : 2x headlight bricks with the headlight stud against a regular 2x2 brick.On my BF, I used a 1x2 Technic brick with holes (32000) and a classic 1x2 brick instead of the 2x2 - still an illegal build I believe, but I could cover the bricks with plates without forcing them.

Can you be specific about which page the problem is on? I can't find any headlights in Step 38.

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It was in page 118 of Step Module instructions (sorry I didn't pay attention numeration restart with each sub-module) but I tested the build again, and it works. Stresses parts a bit, clearly 'Illegal' but works. I don't know why I really struggle with that back then with the Ball Factory - different moulds for the parts I used ?

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On 2/1/2016 at 11:25 AM, Courbet said:

It was in page 118 of Step Module instructions (sorry I didn't pay attention numeration restart with each sub-module) but I tested the build again, and it works. Stresses parts a bit, clearly 'Illegal' but works. I don't know why I really struggle with that back then with the Ball Factory - different moulds for the parts I used ?

I never actually noticed this! You are right, there is a tiny amount of interference between the horizontal plates and the vertical studs underneath. It seems like the interference is actually just due to the height of the LEGO logo on the studs which is why it doesn't show up in the CAD software.

In other news, I finished my build of the Marble Run! It was a lot more work than you might think, but it is now working wonderfully.

800x598.jpg

800x598.jpg

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WOW! I am not into GBC, but the work that goes into them is simply amazing.

A year ago I wasn't into GBC either. Now look what happened. It's like crack.

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A year ago I wasn't into GBC either. Now look what happened. It's like crack.

When will the first GBC show being held at your place?

I suppose you have all the modules still built?

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Instructions for Akiyuki's Marble Run Module are now tested and complete and are available here along with a Brickstore parts list.

  • 59 pages
  • 1140 parts
640x480.jpg

Most of the credit for reverse engineering this module goes to legolijntje who did the work making the LDraw file based on Akiyuki's video and creating most of the instruction steps. A few things to note about this module:

  • No motor!
  • About 11 meters of rigid tubing in various lengths is needed which is not in the parts list. I used bright colors in the instructions to make them easy to see, but you can use any colors and lengths and connect them together with part 60470. I included 40 of these in the parts list, but you may need more or less depending on the lengths of tubing you use.
  • I used non-LEGO pneumatic tubing from McMaster-Carr. This worked and looks great and was really cheap. I was able to just use a long length of each color so I needed very few connectors.
  • At butt join locations of the tubing I inserted a round toothpick inside the ends of the tubes. This helped to keep them aligned and keep the direction continuous.
  • The hooks which support the rails need to be rotated toward the inside as far as they will go. If they are rotated further apart the balls will hit the teeth of the hooks. Likewise, any end-to-end connectors need to be rotated the same way.
  • The build is pretty monotonous.
  • It is a lot harder to get this working than you might think. The ball is moving very quickly at a couple of locations and the spacing of the rails needs to be just right. Once the rails are installed, it is not trivial to add a bit of extra length because it effects everything downstream in series. I spend all evening getting it to the point where it only drops about one ball in twenty. So far, I can't get it any more reliable than that.
  • I changed the primary color from dark bluish gray to black. This is purely a personal preference to help highlight the rails instead of the structure. If you decide to use DBG, a couple of Technic brick lengths don't exist in that color.
  • Strictly speaking this is not a GBC module because it doesn't have any way to get balls to the input. It is really just an output ramp and therefore needs to be connected to another module as input. I used the Bucket Wheel Tower extended by and extra two levels which works perfectly.
    640x478.jpg
  • Later versions of the module were build even higher and with more rails to better align with the bucket wheel tower. The design is very modular so it is pretty obvious how to add more height and rails if you so desire.

It is really mesmerizing to watch this when a steady stream of balls is being provided to it. Don't forget to shut off the motor and listen to the sound the balls make when they roll down.

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I totally agree that GBC is (very) addictive. I was bitten by the GBC bug in 2011 and since then I have built more than 20 GBC modules and have been part of several GBC loops at LEGO events ever since. My first Akiyuki module was in 2012, when I built the blue Archimedes screw, from watching the video. I also built the cup-to-cup from photos and the video. Then last year, I followed the Rebricker and built the Ball Factory (my favorite module) and this year the lift triggered by a stuck ball. I greatly appreciate all the effort by everyone who put everything together and for sharing Akiyuki's creations. This forum also adds fuel to the GBC fire

Edited by Technic Fan

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When will the first GBC show being held at your place? ������

I suppose you have all the modules still built?

Come over any time! Yes, I have them all built but I have not yet tried to connect a large number of them together. I will have to use my garage. :grin:

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Has anyone here ever made or seen a GBC module based on a real-world machine or location?

I have an idea, and last night, I was able to confirm one aspect will work. I have a long way to go, and a couple of VERY expensive parts to obtain before I can actually build it, though.

Edited by rollermonkey

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Has anyone here ever made or seen a GBC module based on a real-world machine or location?

I have an idea, and last night, I was able to confirm one aspect will work. I have a long way to go, and a couple of VERY expensive parts to obtain before I can actually build it, though.

The quite recent bucket wheel excavator would serve as an awesome GBC!

Edited by Nalyd997

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The quite recent bucket wheel excavator would serve as an awesome GBC!

What about Rohan's dumper truck at the Brickvention GBC? I also recall several truck based modules in some of the GBC displays in Europe. Particularly the concrete mixers and the garbage truck (the type that pick the bin from the front and flip over the top).

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There is a General GBC discussion topic that would be much better for this. This topic is about Akiyuki's modules.

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I've been spending a lot of time on the Zig-zag lift. Jesuskyr did a great job of reverse engineering it from the video, but the original version lacked an output ramp and also had a lot of reported jamming problems. Using only a 2013 video showing the module in a GBC circuit, I was able to implement an indexer to prevent jamming and a zig-zag output ramp which should be very close to Akiyuki's latest design. It increases the part count a lot, but I think this is a much stronger module now. What do you think?

800x600.jpg

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I was able to implement an indexer to prevent jamming and a zig-zag output ramp which should be very close to Akiyuki's latest design. It increases the part count a lot, but I think this is a much stronger module now. What do you think?

Great Job!! You made much stronger module^^

Edited by jesuskyr

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Looks great! How solid is it at the top? I'd think you'd want another pair of 9 stud beams at the top for strength although I can't imagine there is much stress on it at that point.

Want to bring ALL your modules to BrickCan? I don't think thye have indicated how much room there will be for a GBC yet though.

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Looks great! How solid is it at the top? I'd think you'd want another pair of 9 stud beams at the top for strength although I can't imagine there is much stress on it at that point.

I don't know how strong it is because I haven't built it yet, but I replicated the connections Akiyuki used in his video. I agree that it seems like should be more bracing at the top.

Want to bring ALL your modules to BrickCan? I don't think thye have indicated how much room there will be for a GBC yet though.

Sure, as long as you'd like to rent a box truck and drive across the border to pick up my stuff. They sure won't fit in my trunk.

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it's great... my ZigZag has sat on the backburner for a while - as it was always frustrating - it could run for 10mins without problems, then the next, it'd jam on every 2nd ball

And unlike other modules, when this one jammed, it's a pain to fix...

Hopefully I'll get a chance to modify yours, to at least include the indexer

Oh.. and I made this the other day - could be used as a nice output ramp:

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Alpha build done. Short shaky-cam of the first trial:

There are a couple of tweaks to the build instructions I need to make. I should be able to get those done over the weekend all going well. Then I'll pass the beta instructions to the tester.

Getting closer.

Regards,

David

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Oh.. and I made this the other day - could be used as a nice output ramp:

Nice! Finally a use for those brick seperators.

Alpha build done. Short shaky-cam of the first trial:

Eureka, it works!

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