[GBC] The Mine - an Interactive Ball Contraption!

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After 2 months of building, here is my latest, biggest, and most complex GBC yet!

The Mine


I've had an idea in my head for a couple of years now, to build a really solid, fun, and original Human Powered GBC, and this is what I came up with.

There are three modes:

  • Fully automatic - where the GBC 'runs itself'
  • Semi Automatic - Humans operate the Detonator, and the Conveyor/Stepper run automatic
  • Fully Manual - One or Two Humans operate both the Detonator, and the Hand Crank Generator.

It has a built in bypass lane, so if no one is operating it, balls will continue to flow through to the next module in the layout.

Video includes a Behind the Scenes section, as well as a photo diary and commentary of build progress


It's been a lot of fun to build (and play with!) and I'm super happy how it came out.

It will be shown in public for the first time at Brickvention 2020 in January - Melbourne Australia. 


Edited by RohanBeckett
fixed title

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That’s a massive module! Great work, well executed. I watched the video a couple of times, because I kept seeing new things. 
The generator function of those old 9v motors always fascinated me, but I never could think of a useful application. Glad you did. I hope it’s robust enough, my motors always broke (unlike the older box-like motors that all still work fine).

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Thanks for the comments.. I'm really confident this will run well at a show.. just under 2 months before BV.. so plenty of time to keep testing

The only change I wish I'd thought about, would be to have each section independant, which would allow a 'challenge' of automatic explosion, but manual conveyor (can you keep up with the explosions?! :)

Maybe a redesign after it's proven itself first!

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Just a small update:

Very proud and happy that The Mine performed flawlessly for 3 days..

this was the 2nd biggest Brickvention ever (nearly 20,000 people!).. and I would estimate several thousand kids and adults got a chance to operate my GBC

The Dynamite Detonator never failed, however the hand-crank generator could do with some improvements.

We discovered that small children - under age 8 just don't have the co-ordination to wind it fast, and smooth... children older, and adults 'got' it first try, usually, and easily operated it.

The quick release crank ended up coming out too easily, as small children's hands went sideways, while winding.. and ended up splitting the axle connector inside the unit. (quick fix)

But we were able to put it on Automatic, for the littlies, so they thought they were working it! ;)


Here's some video of it in action:




And... I won Exhibitors Choice, and People's Choice awards, for GBC.. so that was nice too! 42096 Porsche, and a box filled with new technic parts, as prizes!


It really was great to see people interact with it - the smiles on faces, both young and old - even some grandparents loved operating it - the Tactile Feedback on the detonator really surprised a lot of people

and also - very happy that I didn't need any instructions - people instinctively knew how to use both!

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Very nice and attractive module! Totally missed this topic until now but had noticed it in the Brickvention video and looked with great interest :) 

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