Berthil

[GBC] Akiyuki Ball Factory

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20 minutes ago, rskamen said:

It runs extremely well and was fun to rebuild from the Version2. My neighbor has it so he can study how it works as he is contemplating building one as well. A very good version.

do you have any photos?

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On 5/8/2020 at 9:23 PM, 9v system said:

do you have any photos?

I will try to post some in the next few days.

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@Berthil thanks for doing the instructions for this amazing module,

i have had it built for nearly a year now, its still a really impressive module

i had the thought though, its quite big and bulky to transport, i had the idea of maybe make it so it can separate into two pieces?

Aron

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2 hours ago, 9v system said:

i had the thought though, it's quite big and bulky to transport, i had the idea of maybe make it so it can separate into two pieces?

Good idea  :)
Although I had no trouble moving it to events. I also can imagine timing could be off after separation or at least needs to be checked.

To write in the words of Jean Luc Picard: Make It So :)

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22 minutes ago, Berthil said:

Good idea  :)
Although I had no trouble moving it to events. I also can imagine timing could be off after separation or at least needs to be checked.

To write in the words of Jean Luc Picard: Make It So :)

i dont drive, so im just thinking from that perspective as it is to bit to fit in my containers at this stage

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Akiyuki used to split it along the lines of the plates. You can see the connector here:

640x152.jpg

You could do something similar with v3.

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@Ankoku i was thinking of doing something like that

also in the 2012 ball factory layout he is using a set of knob wheels to drive the bucket placer shaft

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Finally found some time to take down my (very dusty) Ball Factory v2 (built back in December 2015), clean all bricks, place a few small BL orders for missing parts and start building v3! :sweet:

All went okay until I reached the Bucker Shifter Timer. The 2nd part of the timer (moving the Bucket Shifter forwards/backwards) works fine, so no issues there, but the problem I have is with the 1st set of chains and connected push-pull rod, so the part that determines the left-and right end positions of the Bucket Shifter carrier (basically part 3, step 308 of the instructions).

I do feel I built everything according to the instructions, but for some reason the 5L yellow Technic liftarms don't give enough room for the wider link tread to pass freely. It doesn't run light and smoothly, but instead the two wider link treads need to put a lot of force and can't even remain in a straight position when pushing the 5L yellow liftarms to the right\left. I attached some pictures to show how it looks like. I rebuilt the timer, push-pull rod and all important/relevant parts that are directly connected twice, but without any results. I tried several manual adjustments, like changing the position of the yellow half bushings/yellow connectors (both ends of the push-pull rod), changing the positions of the 5L yellow liftarms, using longer axles, lengthen/shorten the push-pull rod,..... etc. Unfortunately nothing seems to have the desired effect :iamded_lol:

Did anyone else who already built the v3 Ball Factory experience the same issue? Anyone having any tips for me? Perhaps someone spots a construction error on one of the pictures below...

Bucket Shifter moved completely to the right:

1.%20DSC00268.JPG

2.%20DSC00260.JPG

Result when wider link tread tries to pass:

3.%20DSC00263.JPG

4.%20DSC00275.JPG

Same on the other end (Bucket Shifter moved completely to the left):

5.%20DSC00280.JPG

6.%20DSC00267.JPG

7.%20DSC00276.JPG

Push-pull rod:

8.%20DSC00270.JPG

9.%20DSC00272.JPG

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@Lego_GBC_NL i slid the yellow bushings out at bit so they was a gap between the yellow connectors and the bushes , slide the inside bushes closer to the chains abit and see what happens

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1 hour ago, 9v system said:

@Lego_GBC_NL i slid the yellow bushings out at bit so they was a gap between the yellow connectors and the bushes , slide the inside bushes closer to the chains abit and see what happens

I tried that already, but that will only solve the issue with one of the 5L yellow liftarms, the other one gets even worse. Also, when I slide the bushings more and more, at one point the bucket slider doesn't go far enough to the left and right anymore, so the amplitude becomes a new issue. Even adjusting the bushings at the other end of the push-pull rod cannot correct this. Like this I tried lots and lots of different combinations, but after some hours I was out of ideas...

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try sliding the yellow connector on the 9l axle on the L linkage inwards towards the yellow 6 connector as it think it might be to far out

 

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17 hours ago, 9v system said:

try sliding the yellow connector on the 9l axle on the L linkage inwards towards the yellow 6 connector as it think it might be to far out

 

That solves part of the problem (mainly with one 5L yellow liftarm), but again the other side gets even worse and also now a new issue arises looking at the amplitude of the shifter.

Overall, by adjusting the connector on the 9L axle a lot of extra force/friction is added to the whole bucket shifter/timer mechanism, so it doesn't run smoothly anymore (which is definitely a must when operating the BF).

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@Lego_GBC_NL I don't see anything wrong with the chains but make sure the bucket shifter runs very smooth otherwise forces are too high. May be you need to complete all of the rigid structure too. I updated the instructions some time ago when it comes to the bucket shifter amplitude so make sure you have the latest version.

Edited by Berthil

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56 minutes ago, Berthil said:

@Lego_GBC_NL I don't see anything wrong with the chains but make sure the bucket shifter runs very smooth otherwise forces are too high. May be you need to complete all of the rigid structure too. I updated the instructions some time ago when it comes to the bucket shifter amplitude so make sure you have the latest version.

I downloaded the instructions from Rebrickable in April 2020, so that should be the latest version (last updated in November 2019 according to the BI section on Rebrickable). I read all the additional text you added to the instructions and tried fixing the issue by adjusting all the usual elements as described (half-bushings, connectors, etc.), but so far without any luck.

The bucket shifter does run smoothly, even when operated manually with only one pinky, so that's not the issue. Problem is that, even when I move the bucket shifter completely to one side (manually) and then I have a look at the position of the 5L yellow liftarm and the wider tread link, there's simply no space for it to pass freely. 

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I see your problem, but I rebuilt my Ver2 using @Berthil Ver3 and it works perfectly. It almost looks like you might had a wrong sized axle somewhere in the linkage, thus not allowing the shifter arm to move front/back. That wider link it definitely too tight and it will keep snapping the chain.. The instructions do not list the axle sizes in each step, so it could be a bit of trying different sizes for a perfect fit and movement.

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12 hours ago, rskamen said:

I see your problem, but I rebuilt my Ver2 using @Berthil Ver3 and it works perfectly. It almost looks like you might had a wrong sized axle somewhere in the linkage, thus not allowing the shifter arm to move front/back. That wider link it definitely too tight and it will keep snapping the chain.. The instructions do not list the axle sizes in each step, so it could be a bit of trying different sizes for a perfect fit and movement.

Yeah I tried that already, but again without any luck. According to the instructions it should be one 8L axle and one 10L. Tried already to extend it by replacing the 8L with another 10L for example, but this didn't solve the problem unfortunately...

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10 hours ago, 9v system said:

@Lego_GBC_NLthose two 1x4 thin liftarms in black are moved forward one hole on mine so that only two holes are on the 1x9

That was also one of the things I tried changing, but also didn't work :sad: In fact, I didn't actually move the two 1x4 thin liftarms, but I tried shortening/extending the push-pull rod by moving other parts. In the instructions the push-pull rod seems to be 19 studs long and I tried adjusting it to both 18 studs and 20 studs, but that's making it even worse. The space that's lacking the wider tread link to freely/smoothly pass the 5L yellow liftarm is just a few millimeters I would say, so making a 1 stud adjustment (=8mm) seems too much.

By the way, thanks to everyone who provided comments/suggestions and thinking with me to find a solution! Much appreciated! :thumbup:

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Hi everyone, I am Bird! First, I would like to say thank you to you all especially, TheRebricker, Berthill, Blackbird, KrisBix, Quanix and the great Akiyuki for information and instructions posted here. It helps me learn tons of things and build many mechanisms more easily. After I did research on GBC for a month in this summer, I decided to make my own version by integrating LEGO Ball Factory, Invisible Lift by Akiyuki and Pneumatic Ball Factory (3D Module "4-Axis Palletizing Robot“ and 2D Linear Module "Pick-and-Place“) created by Quanix together. I did modified and adjusted several mechanisms so that all components can work together synchronously. I hope you guys like my version of Ball Factory. Enjoy!
 

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@Berthil i have had this idea for a while but wasnt sure how well it would work

would it be possible to change the spiral lift from the standard version to the stretched type 2 version?, this way the balls have a bigger input area and is a unique way of implementing this simple module into the ball factory, it can also act as a buffer, with a bigger ball capacity. i think it would fit in nicely with the existing parts of the v3 ball factory

 image.png.39799a5639f0ff14681384e8677c5773.png

thoughts?

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@Jonas i would love to see you do an XT version of the v3 ball factory, i really liked your version of the v2 and the xt plus version that came after it

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4 hours ago, 9v system said:

@Jonas i would love to see you do an XT version of the v3 ball factory, i really liked your version of the v2 and the xt plus version that came after it

You surprise me! My XT version was nothing special. That time I just felt that the empty place on the left baseplate needed to be filled. It might look well but in reality the whole assembly did not work as reliably as hoped, though the main troubles occurred always on the Akiyuki's original part - or better say on my implementation.

When Berthil's version occurred, I gave it a try (with high expectations and hopes), but my attempt failed again. Soon I realized that such a complicated machine with so many rather fragile and mutually interlinked mechanisms simply cannot reach a higher value of the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures). Being tired after frequent needs for reapeted fixes and re-tunings, I decided to gave up and dismantle it. Since that time I prefer to build less complex GBC modules and run them in a series if required.

I really wonder if some of you guys own a Ball factory that can be taken from the shelf, started and run at least 30 minutes without any critical failure.

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13 hours ago, 9v system said:

would it be possible to change the spiral lift from the standard version to the stretched type 2 version?, this way the balls have a bigger input area and is a unique way of implementing this simple module into the ball factory, it can also act as a buffer, with a bigger ball capacity. i think it would fit in nicely with the existing parts of the v3 ball factory,

thoughts?

I like the idea, it would certainly solve some problems the smaller original spiral lift has. But for optimal timing it needs to run on the same motor and that probably won't work.
Who has build the ball factory may have noticed that even timing on the spiral lift is important. If the ball is released right at the moment the gateway to the two lifters is open it can cause problems. 
The spiral lift in my version runs well after I made the last changes. I'm more inclined to try and build a color sorter based on PoweredUp.

22 minutes ago, Jonas said:

I really wonder if some of you guys own a Ball factory that can be taken from the shelf, started and run at least 30 minutes without any critical failure.

My last attempt at an event failed with my first build of the V3. After that I made some changes. Aron has run it for two days on an event and said it has run without big problems.
I can imagine some problems may occur but with the V3 it is unlikely the timing will go off and restoring timing is most time consuming.
If events are possible again I will try again. This time I will be better prepared and also will have a module in front that can bypass the Ball Factory if needed so I expect it to be less stressful.
The whole purpose of the redesign was to be able to run it at events and I'm not giving up yet :)

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6 hours ago, Berthil said:

I like the idea, it would certainly solve some problems the smaller original spiral lift has. But for optimal timing it needs to run on the same motor and that probably won't work.
Who has build the ball factory may have noticed that even timing on the spiral lift is important. If the ball is released right at the moment the gateway to the two lifters is open it can cause problems. 
The spiral lift in my version runs well after I made the last changes. I'm more inclined to try and build a color sorter based on PoweredUp.

My last attempt at an event failed with my first build of the V3. After that I made some changes. Aron has run it for two days on an event and said it has run without big problems.
I can imagine some problems may occur but with the V3 it is unlikely the timing will go off and restoring timing is most time consuming.
If events are possible again I will try again. This time I will be better prepared and also will have a module in front that can bypass the Ball Factory if needed so I expect it to be less stressful.
The whole purpose of the redesign was to be able to run it at events and I'm not giving up yet :)

yes it is more than possible to run at events but you need to make a timing change to one of the cams and then re time the bucket shifter and unloader, the bucket placer may also need changes, i want to try the new spiral lift for its larger input, also it is driven by a worm meshed to a 16 tooth gear so it should just be a matter of gearing it down for two turns of the worm to one turn of the ball lifter. @Berthil i have sent you a FB pm as well and will show you what i mean 

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