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All images I have from Akiyuki are posted earlier in this thread. There are only 2 sets.

Here are the images I took the other night.

https://bricksafe.com/pages/Ankoku/akiyuki-ball-factory-close-ups

Surgery went well, but keeping it elevated all the time is a nightmare.

I was thinking about the changes to the factory. The only bit which was pretty much correct was the wheel and wheel mover. Everything else required some fairly substantial changes.

For me, the bit that still needs improving is the bucket unloading tower and Bob. I made quite a few changes to Bob (The bit which holds the bucket), which differ from Akiyuki, but there is still room for improvement or complete redesign.

800x533.jpg

The rest I am happy with and are basically identical to the Akiyuki original.

I am actually really happy with the slight reworking over the ball dropper, certainly doesn't drop balls and with the corrections to the tower, it is a far more positive movement anyhow.

800x533.jpg

Fixing the tower made this part of the factory run super smoothly.

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I would seriously advise doing the shifter arms like this:
800x533.jpg

Which is how Akiyuki has done them. It makes them rigid. For those who can't get a hold of that piece, they can just use a 1x6 plate as a replacement. The method used in the instructions is wobbly and off-putting.

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This is the direction I'm heading in with my version of the Ball Factory. It's already very rigid.
The balls drop back in the spiral lift if for some reason the picker is not working.
It's a challenge to use more studless but the picker itself is studless, I hope I can continue this way thus avoiding that big brick tower.
This is a long term project, it will take a lot of time to connect the rest.

46593762805_5ca8b56ff8_c.jpg

47509130801_b929470052_c.jpg

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On ‎3‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 12:41 PM, RickBobbie5 said:

Very Nice!   Is this one that you will document instructions on?    Also since your version of the Akiyuki Ball Factory will be ridged and now portable it could be designed as an open loop module  to incorporate into a GBC circuit instead of a closed loop machine like the original. This might even reduce some cost/time as well.   I for one appreciate your work as I have very limited time lately to build.  From your second picture below on the 1x5 plate with cross hole in the middle I see you used a 2l axle for reinforcement.  I did the same on the invisible lift.  Also another improvement on the invisible lift I did was reinforce the 2 light bluish grey (3x3 Quarter Ellipse Thin)  cams with some pins because the outside one kept slipping off the axle.  I pinned the pairs together with some 1/2 pins (4274) and that stopped the problem.

18 hours ago, Berthil said:

This is the direction I'm heading in with my version of the Ball Factory. It's already very rigid.
The balls drop back in the spiral lift if for some reason the picker is not working.
It's a challenge to use more studless but the picker itself is studless, I hope I can continue this way thus avoiding that big brick tower.
This is a long term project, it will take a lot of time to connect the rest.

46593762805_5ca8b56ff8_c.jpg

47509130801_b929470052_c.jpg

 

 

On ‎3‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 11:20 AM, Berthil said:

I'm progressing well on first steps of placing it on the Akiyuki frame and convert to a more studless build. The ball picker and dropper tower I have almost studless but still must integrate with the spiral lift and ball picker feeder on the correct height with all dynamic connections. I hope to post some pictures soon. I feel confident in achieving the build, a lot is possible in combinations of studded and studless, I just need to find the right ones.

@Ankoku I hope surgery went well on your foot! Any original Akiyuki pictures are much appreciated, I already used the ones from the tower.

Sounds good. Any videos or your modules? My build will be different from the first build, I will use more studless. Although I will be using 16L DBG technic bricks as much as possible as I have many from a Lugbulk. Pictures soon as promised.

 

Those DBG 1x16 are really not to available in the USA without many trips to Bricklink.  I have a huge amount of technic models in another room and realized that the Bucket Wheel Excavator "42055" has about 75 of the 1x15 DBG studless beams so I may try to incorporate as much of that as possible to keep cost down.  I realize the bricks are stronger than beams so it may be a combination of both.  No videos yet but a small portion of what I have built has consumed my billiards table.

 

 

 

GBC pic.jpg

 

 

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, RickBobbie5 said:

Those DBG 1x16 are really not to available in the USA without many trips to Bricklink.  I have a huge amount of technic models in another room and realized that the Bucket Wheel Excavator "42055" has about 75 of the 1x15 DBG studless beams so I may try to incorporate as much of that as possible to keep cost down.  I realize the bricks are stronger than beams so it may be a combination of both.  No videos yet but a small portion of what I have built has consumed my billiards table.

You can order direct from Lego Bricks & Pieces for $0.88 a piece for 1x16 DBG beams, up to 200 per order.

-Brian

Edited by BrianGT

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On ‎4‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 9:41 AM, BrianGT said:

You can order direct from Lego Bricks & Pieces for $0.88 a piece for 1x16 DBG beams, up to 200 per order.

-Brian

Thanks,  I don't usually go directly to Lego since they seem to be out of stock on a lot of items.  I just did purchase them

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I like how the studless build is working out. I think it is more in keeping with a GBC and allows more of the "mechanisms" to show. Keep up the good work and keep the photos coming. I might consider trying to rebuild a module in studless, but I am almost afraid to touch the Ball Factory. We have a saying here in the US "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". I get nervous messing around with something as delicately timed as the Ball factory. But what the heck, this is the world of LEGO and I am loving it. Too bad it took me 73 years to really jump into it.

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In Box and ball picker ready. I'm using the room under the frame as you can see, instead of ging sideways with gears it goes down so spiral lift is powered with an axle below and ball picker slider also. Getting to this point has given me confidence to continue with the next steps, aligning the bucket wheel with rotator and bucket unloader and bob after that.

 

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20 hours ago, Berthil said:

In Box and ball picker ready. I'm using the room under the frame as you can see, instead of ging sideways with gears it goes down so spiral lift is powered with an axle below and ball picker slider also. Getting to this point has given me confidence to continue with the next steps, aligning the bucket wheel with rotator and bucket unloader and bob after that.

Amazing, almost didn't recognize it being the Ball Factory, partially looks like a complete new module! :classic: But looks great and so far everything seems to be working in a smooth way! For sure very stable and solid and easy to move around.

Glad to hear you'll continue working on it, looking forward to see the progress on the next steps! Thanks for sharing the update!

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I like how that module has been developed. The movement looks very precise and deliberate. The studless build looks more open and easier to see the internal workings. Of all the modules on the "therebricker" build, this one seems a bit complicated, but I must admit, it is probably the least problem prone module. I do have one axle that keeps slipping out of it's connector. I've been tempted to glue it in place, but will try a few different connectors to see if any have a tighter fit before I glue. If you ever do produce pdf instructions where it easily marries in with the original components, I will give it a try and report how well it works on this side of the pond. Still being a rather novice with very limited inventory, I find pdf instructions and parts lists the only way forward for me at this stage. 

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Posted (edited)

Some parts can be re-used but I already know this will be a total rebuild and not 'sticking' the separate functional components on the frame like on the baseplates. But I expect it to have a lot lower brick count than the current +4400. The (removable) wheel I've put higher for several reasons. How this will work with the other components I still have to see :). I plan to keep the structure as open as possible helped by the frame.

Edited by Berthil

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Posted (edited)

Quick shot of current progress, 90% done. The whole factory is up about 8L. I try to keep an open structure as possible by reinforcing everywhere with liftarms.
I had to make many modifications to fit everything. Every component I build first and then modify and fit into the structure. After fitting it gets tested extensively before continuing with the next component. The wheel can be removed easily and timing is also easier because of the open structure. I can lift it up at any corner without problems.

MANY hours already went into this. At the moment waiting for 40t gears. Next are the last conveyor belts.

40656117913_5ff671f81a_c.jpg

Edited by Berthil
Typos as always

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Is the grabber which takes the buckets off the wheel symmetrical now? It never was in the original.

I ended up buying 30x 40T Gears directly from LEGO, since they were cheaper there than on BrickLink.

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It's not symmetrical, not enough reach to get them off the wheel if symmetrical. I always forget to look in the LEGO Shop.

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The bit which surprised me, was the fact that the postage is pretty reasonable. From what I remember, from a fair while back, the postage used to be the killer part of ordering from Bricks & Pieces. I could be wrong, but I remember that being the reason I didn't order much from there. Now I see it as a realistic option for small amounts of pieces, especially when I object to the price on BrickLink on principle. I did the same with getting all the Black Technic, Axle and Pin Connector Triple required for the Invisible Lift.

From an OCD point of view, the nonsymmetrical nature of the grabber still bugs me. Just one of those things though.

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I recently ordered three M motors and three AA Battery Boxes directly from Lego. Their prices was very competitive and the shipping was the lowest I have seen. I too usually just go to Bricklink, but Lego should be a good source as well. Tat rebuild of the Ball Factory is looking great. I do like how open and accessible everything is. How are the modules synching up?

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I have finished it and am very happy with it! It runs reliable on a 9V train supply with power selector on setting 4, 5 and 6 where 5 is equivalent to 1 ball per second. I've done a lot of mods to get it reliable. Most noticeable ones to bob (component that places the baskets back on the wheel) to prevent it throwing the basket out at high speed. With the in and out box lined up and at the correct height, it is now a fully GBC compliant module. I plan to make a video and photos this Easter weekend.

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sounds great @Berthil

and that was quicker than U've expected, or not?

 

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I've spend A LOT of time on it last month. I have a very understanding and sweet wife :)

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It is a shame you can't @ link her on that comment! :P

Yeah, Bob was certainly the main contender for needing work in the original.

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Posted (edited)

So here it is, very pleased how it turned out and feeling confident to take it to events. Pictures will follow later.
It runs comfortably on train power supply settings 4, 5 and 6 where 5 matches 1 ball per second.

 

Edited by Berthil

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This is an awesome piece of art. Congratulations.

Akiyuki's module was impressive but yours takes it to a higher level.

And even with power outages this complex module can still run.

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