teflon

A sad story about failed project - Roller Coaster

Recommended Posts

From my young age I wanted to built some contraption that would allow me to run down cars, marbles etc. Along the way I get familiar with Lego 7 mm ribbed hoses, however they slow down the cart quite a lot and were not useful for the purpose. Then a few years later I've seen Zerobricks with his idea for the track (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SydmBuTPnKo). A few years later guys from Brickride (http://www.brickride.com/) created their fully functional Roller Coaster so I gave it a try. I started about two year ago and in a couple of months I had some ideas:

https://www.bricksafe.com/files/teflon/roller-coaster/Roller Coaster 01.mp4

... and the majority of track ready to go:

450x800.jpg

The idea was to have a gigantic tower on one side so track would go up on one side, then do slow 180°turn an fall into the abyss with complete loop at the bottom. However the tower was not very stable so I had to change to an A configuration

450x800.jpg

The new tower was about 170 cm high and reasonable stable. After some testing I had a fully functional track with one looping,  a 270° + 180° horizontal turns and even track going tough the opening of the looping (sorry for lousy picture, I have no other:-/)

800x534.jpg

Then I started with motorized lift. I used Brickride's idea - chain in a ditch:

800x533.jpg

The propulsion at the curve at the bottom was served with side wheels with synchronized drive (matching the curve of the track with the curve of the drive was a hard task):

800x533.jpg

Here is the detail, where side wheels are pushing the cart to the chain:

800x533.jpg

Ant the top part also needed some clever chain tricks:

800x533.jpg

At least two L motors were needed to power the thing due to its size and some friction.

800x533.jpg

However, all this effort just produced very good lift but managed to mess-up my track. Like Heisenberg principle - either track was working or the lift but not both at the same time. At the time a lot of my pins started to brake and replacing them cause almost a chain reaction, since some force is needed to dismantle the track. Due to that, I even shorten the track to have as little problem with pins as possible. After months of more or less serious attacks on the issue, I realized it's just to big to work properly (with a motor). I guess my support is just not up to the task and I just have to admire Brickride's.

In the mean time, we have seen the Lego answer and it's nice enough.

Some more pictures of my failed project:

Looping:

800x533.jpg

Through the support:

800x533.jpg

And panoramic view:

800x644.jpg

Please note massive girder to support the track. That was my last idea out of desperation to make this track stabilized. I have failed miserably.

Well, the lessons learned:

  • Bricks are stubborn, technic ones even more so.
  • More engineering is usually not a solution
  • Building with bricks is not all fun and games
  • There is no such thing as too much pins

More pictures here: https://www.bricksafe.com/pages/teflon/roller-coaster

 

Edited by teflon
Repairing some mistakes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To bad you gave up on this one.  :cry_sad: I think you were really close! The second video shows that really well.

Edited by MajklSpajkl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sadly lego as a material has its limitations, even regular sets like the chiron already show this clearly (as it has quite a lot of chassis sag), and indeed, engineering can only solve so much, even if you triangulate the hell out of a structure, eventually enough force is going to concentrate in one place to overcome the limitations of ABS parts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is already torn down so this probably wont be much help, at least not for this project.  But, bar elements through black pics really strengthen connections and are a 100% Lego solution.  If building something like this in the future you may want to consider that. 

Yes, it would be a lot of bar elements, but if you are really determined, it is at least something to try. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is super cool!!!  I wish you would have come here asking questions now how to fix parts before quitting the project :sceptic:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, nerdsforprez said:

I think this is already torn down so this probably wont be much help

Maybe it is not.

Your suggestion may really be key to this >fantastic< build!!!

@teflon, do not give up. Please. What you have created is way too cool. Let it sit for a while, then go over it again. But do not abandon ship!!!

All the best - and (as my grad students keep telling me) rock on dude.

Thorsten 

 

 

6 minutes ago, aminnich said:

I wish you would have come here asking questions now how to fix parts before quitting the project :sceptic:

Maybe @teflon hasn't? What are good approaches to get this going?

Best
Thorsten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, aminnich said:

If it is still together, having a compiled list of issues would be nice to help come up with solutions 

 

@teflon, is it still together or at least sort of? If so: As @aminnich suggested: A list of issues may be of help.

To make one thing absolutely sure: I have NO clue what to do about your issues, but I know for SURE that folks in this forum do.

This place is incredible.

All the best
Thorsten

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys.

Thanks for the support. The roller coaster is in the way of transforming into bricks once again, since I could not repair the thing. Perhaps I was not clear regarding my faults - I started building this with a lot of improvisation in mind and not enough bricks. As MajklSpajkl realized, we had a working track but without lift. Unfortunately I left the project stay on my shelf for to long and then pins started to crack. Perhaps you are not aware but Lego plastic, especially the technic sort is very prone to cracking while under stress (Pins in a curved track for sure qualify for these). At the time I was hoping that I just replaced some faulty pins and away we go. I was wrong. The rate of pins (and later other parts breaking was accelerating fast). Among 2 and 3-length pins the culprits are also Axle and Pin Connector Perpendicular (https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=6536#T=S&amp;O={"iconly":0}), with high tendency to break when near another technic part. 

I was fighting breaking deamons but I just figured out it's a race to the bottom. Even if I could do something useful, I could not present it on any shows due to sensibility. That's why understand why Lego used another solution - yet another track.

If you would like my advice - build something like this quickly, before pins realize that they are under pressure;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at your pictures, I can see why your pins were failing.  You had all this track, but not much structure supporting it.  Looks like on lift of the roller coaster, the center beam had arms coming out that supported the lift and the initial drop.  Instead, you could have had more legs to transfer the load to the ground, instead of through the arms and to one leg.  

For example, take a look at this model roller coaster.  It not only has a lot of structure to it, but also a lot of legs to hold up the track.  

imagejpeg_0.jpg

You have me interested in building a roller coaster now, I was going to build one for the amusement park contest not too long ago, but with school and work I had no time.  Also from looking at your pictures, I may have to look for more LEGO Technic lots for sale.  A coaster needs lots of beams and pins.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree Teflon, this is not a sad story. What you learned will not go to waste. You will use that know how again. I had a project that got on and off the shelf many times before I came up with the idea that finally worked. Then the final design come flowing out of my brain so quickly I could hardly build fast enough. Have yourself a "lego dream".  While you are sleeping it happens sometimes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think you are to be admired for the work that you put into the roller coaster.  Not everyone is as honest to confess a failure, and then to post it on this forum.  Yes the help is here, and it will only take a comment that could trigger a thought which will generate the solution for a future roller coaster build.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As my own focus regarding Technic is mainly to build themepark rides I absolutely adore projects like this. Have you considered to try something smaller without the loop?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sad to see this not working out...
I get the struggles since I'm currently also building a massive rollercoaster-ish contraption.
The build looks really complicated, And interesting so thank you for sharing this information anyway!

More luck on the next project!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The design looks amazing! Very cool. It is a shame it is not working.

For what it's worth. Way back in the day when I was still working at TLC I also made a rollercoaster with a looping using the 7mm ribbed hoses. I used a massive amount of black 16L beams (this was still the studded era) to build a supporting structure (a bit like the wooden roller coasters). I even managed to empty the local warehouse of 16L beams :tongue:. Anyway, the tower needed to be ~2 m high before I could get a cart looping in a 30-40 cm loop because of the friction of the ribbed hoses. I never experienced the issues you report, but as others have also pointed out, you have very few supporting legs in your structure. Adding more (sturdy) legs, preferably interconnected as well, will help a lot in making the whole structure more stiff. There is a surprising amount of force needed to run a cart through a looping. so not only the sideways bracing is needed, but also bracing in the direction of the track.

 

Edited by Jeroen Ottens

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sad that the project is no longer, we all have these struggles :( 

You could try downloading one of the many Rollercoaster type games, personal favorite is RCT 2 (Free Download) and just have a look at the way some of the coaster are constructed, especially the wooden ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/19/2019 at 1:55 PM, teflon said:

 

Please note massive girder to support the track. That was my last idea out of desperation to make this track stabilized. I have failed miserably.

Well, the lessons learned:

  • Bricks are stubborn, technic ones even more so.
  • More engineering is usually not a solution
  • Building with bricks is not all fun and games
  • There is no such thing as too much pins

I love your lessons learned.

The way I look at it; you didn't fail. You learned one way to not do it :wink: 

Entertaining read! I hope you will succeed some day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.