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  1. Update: Information regarding modules from 2018 onwards are represented after @Blakbird's original post. I want to keep BlakBird's section of the post as he left it, to honour the immense amount of work he put into it. ( @Ankoku ) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Original Post Start ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- G%$ #@&% it. Thanks to Akiyuki, The Rebricker, and the rest of you &%$*ers, I've now caught the GBC bug and it is going to cost me a lot of time and money. It all started with Akiyuki. Well, GBC didn't start with Akiyuki, but I was more or less "meh" on the whole concept until he came along. His ingenious mechanical solutions are mesmerizing, perplexing, and wonderful. Although I admired them from the start, I figured there was more or less no chance of me replicating them from the videos, especially since the one I was most interested in was also the most complicated: the ball factory. My involvement therefore remained stagnant (and non-existent) for a couple of years until The ReBricker showed up and proved that you really could reverse engineer the Ball Factory and then went one step further and posted video instructions for the whole thing. "Fine", I thought, "I'll just build that one." A few months of LDraw modeling, part collecting, building, testing, and display case building later I was hooked. It was one of the greatest building experiences I've ever had. This forum has repeatedly wished for a comprehensive set of instructions for the GBC modules of Akiyuki, and I've decided it is my responsibility to help make your dreams come true. With that in mind, I've compiled a list of all of Akiyuki's 28 non-Mindstorms modules with the goal of creating and/or finding complete PDF instructions for as many of them as possible and compiling the resources here. I've made a lot of progress already. Here is the list along with whatever I know about building material available. (currently 30 of 30 complete) Pinball PDF instructions available from Blakbird and Courbet 992 parts Presentation Topic Zigzag Stairs PDF instructions available from Courbet 481 parts Presentation Topic Cup to Cup - Type 1 v1 PDF instructions available from djm v2 PDF instructions available from Blakbird 1089 parts Presentation Topic Cup to Cup - Type 2 PDF instructions available from Courbet 1222 Parts Presentation topic Elevator Module PDF instructions available from Blakbird and Courbet 1621 parts Presentation Topic Marble Run PDF instructions available from Blakbird and legolijtje 1140 parts Presentation Topic Catch and Release PDF instructions available from Blakbird and jesuskyr 711 parts Presentation topic Ball Factory Video instructions available from The Rebricker PDF instructions available from Blakbird 4428 parts Detailed review by Blakbird Spiral Lift Short Version 876 parts PDF instructions available from Blakbird Presentation Topic Tall Version 1455 parts PDF instructions available from Blakbird and 9V System Presentation Topic Pneumatic Module PDF instructions available from Blakbird and jesuskyr 543 parts Presentation Topic Archimedes Screw - Type 1 PDF instructions available from Blakbird and Courbet 995 parts Presentation Topic Archimedes Screw - Type 2 PDF instructions available from Blakbird and Courbet 739 parts Presentation Topic Archimedes Screw - Type 3 PDF instructions available from Blakbird and Courbet 768 parts Presentation Topic Zig-Zag Lift PDF instructions available from Blakbird and jesuskyr 800 parts Presentation Topic Basket Shooter PDF instructions available from Blakbird and djm 2226 Parts Presentation Topic Train Module - Type 1 PDF instructions available from Blakbird and Courbet Motor (157 parts) Switch (167 parts) Unloader (324 parts) Siding (106 parts) Loader (603 parts) Crane (3046 parts) Complete Set (4569 parts) Presentation Topic Train Module - Type 2 PDF instructions available from Courbet Motor (160 parts) Unloader (751 parts) Siding (178 parts) Loader (835 parts) Presentation Topic Wheel and Steps PDF instructions available from Blakbird and Courbet 1198 parts Presentation Topic Step Module PDF instructions available from Blakbird and jesuskyr 1785 parts Presentation Topic Fork PDF instructions available from Blakbird 878 parts Presentation Topic Six Heads PDF instructions available from Blakbird 1696 parts Presentation Topic Bucket Wheel Tower PDF instructions available from Blakbird 1415 parts Presentation topic Lifter Triggered by a Stuck Ball Video instructions available from The Rebricker PDF instructions available from Blakbird 1068 parts Presentation topic Spiral Staircase PDF instructions available from Blakbird and jesuskyr 1923 parts Presentation topic Tilted Rotors PDF instructions available from Blakbird 1223 parts Presentation topic Invisible Lift Video instructions available from The Rebricker PDF instructions available from Blakbird 3203 parts Presentation topic Cycloidal Drive PDF instructions available from Blakbird and jesuskyr 2081 parts Presentation topic Fork to Fork PDF instructions available from Blakbird and jesuskyr 1743 parts Presentation topic Planets PDF instructions available from Blakbird and Courbet 1558 Parts Presentation topic Strain Wave Gearing PDF instructions available from Blakbird and Courbet 2789 Parts Presentation topic Here's a montage of some of the LDraw work I've done so far which also gives you an idea of the relative scale of the modules: I'm not going to post any actual instruction files until I (or someone else) has tested them by physically building the model and proving that it works. I'm a stickler for accuracy, so I'm trying to get as close to Akiyuki's originals as possible. I already have PDF instructions ready for 4 of them and just need to test them out. As I build each model, I'll post a mini review about what I've learned and then I'll post links to the instructions and parts lists so anyone else can build them too. (Update: See bulleted list above for which instruction files are currently available.) As always, help is welcome. If you have successfully built any of these modules and are willing to share your information, please let me know here. In particular, I need LDraw files to make instructions. In a pinch, I can make them myself if you have detailed photos. In an even tighter pinch, I'm making everything myself from the videos, but it is slow going. Enjoy! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Original Post End ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Going forward, this will be the area which will be updated to help people keep track of what is available, Akiyuki GBC module wise, both old and new, instructions, mods and reworks. For anyone looking to reproduce Akiyuki GBC modules, I would highly recommend building an Axle Tester before you start. Straight axles can be the difference between a module working and not. Instructions can be found here: Don't be afraid to make yours the size and shape you prefer / have the parts for. Akiyuki GBC modules with instructions available to buy from the man himself ( In 2018, Akiyuki started to create instructions for some of his modules. Some for free, some require payment. For anyone who has tried to reverse engineer one of his modules, the price he charges is more than worth it. ) Hockey Stick Lift (2018) Catch and Spin Robots (2019) Heart Chain (2019) Peanut (2019) Akiyuki GBC modules with free instructions Cars with adaptive cruise control (2019) Akiyuki GBC Train System v2 (2018) Full layout including links to all modules New modules which currently don't have instructions available 6-axis Robot (2020) Spiral Lift GBC module compact type (2020) Related threads Train System @Doug72 has created a dedicated thread for the Train System here: It contains many improvements, mods, additions etc. which anyone interested in the train system should check out! EV3 @9v system has created a dedicated thread for Akiyuki's EV3 modules: A thread dedicated to modules like the Ball Cleaner, Container Transporter and Fast Ball Sorter Robot.
  2. Great Ball Contraption (GBC) - General Discussion and Index This is a topic used for GBC general conversation, questions, hints, tips, etc. This first post will be used to maintain an Index of GBCs here on Eurobricks or other websites. Eurobricks topics LEGO GBC 8 + Building Instructions (5 modules - 2 motors) New Akiyuki GBC Instruction Index Other sources
  3. welcome to the mindstorm section of the Akiyuki project, this topic is for the modules of Akiyuki that have mindstorms in them or use mindstorms in any way. I will work with Blakbird to get instructions for these modules done, as always I would appreciate any information (pictures/videos) of these modules working or built here's what I know so far: Ball Cleaner EV3( in progress by @Juroen) program by Akiyuki (instructions not yet available) Container Transporter NXT instructions available here by @Courbet program by @9v system available here Fast Ball Sorter EV3 instructions by Courbet, built by Courbet and Mogwai, program also by Courbet and Mogwai, Render by Blakbird(instructions available) building instructions, program for the ev3 any help would be good to get these modules made into instructions (programs will also need to be made) 9v system
  4. Good day, I hope that this is not an inappropriate topic for this form. I have been asked to create an introductory course on how to use Legos and technic pieces to build great ball contraptions. I have learned through the school of hard knocks and how to do it. But I was wondering if anyone in this group can help me develop a syllabus or outline on topics to include in a brief course that would assist students and adult fans of Lego get a better comprehension of how to build one. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated? Or if you know of any good resources that I could use as a framework for a program if you could share it with me or provide me the URLs or documents that would also be very helpful and quite appreciated. If you want to send me something my email is - Thanks - Daniel
  5. All mechanical and 100% LEGO Ball Counter. Numbers do not always line up perfectly because of backlash in LEGO gears but it counts every ball. I tried to minimize amount of gears but as many of you know, backlash is almost unavoidable. The wheels can be taken out the GBC to set to zero. 1:10 ratio mechanism by Parax77.
  6. Ultrament

    My new GBC module

    Hello everyone! This is my first post, so comment on any questions and request for GBC modules. Just a few days ago, I was on Rebrickable for a little bit, and thought of finding GBC modules. Well, I wasn't very lucky, because the only one I could find was a back-forth style lift. It was made using the First Responder set. I did not even have that set, as my largest Technic set was Street Bike. I decided to get my Street Motorcycle set, and make this:
  7. astral brick

    Unexplored markets

    - Gbc: because Lego can't pretend it doesn't exist - Marble Run: because Lego can't leave it to competitors - Rube Goldberg Contraptions: because The Incredible Machine made of Lego parts would be a natural fit There is a life beyond forklifts and cranes.
  8. Finally finished another one ;) This lego GBC module uses a large Lego technic sprocket on it's side to and lift the balls. It is a reliable module and meets the standard, it can hold over 30 balls in the input bin and runs just over 1 ball per second. The mechanism runs a lot smoother in real life then it look in the video, it also runs a bit better slightly slower. You may notice in the video that sometimes it doesn't pick up the full 6 balls. This could be fixed by changing the agitator design or running it a bit slower so that the balls have more time to roll into the sprocket I did not change the design because it is very reliable like this and still meets the standard. Rebrickable. Flickr.
  9. This lego GBC module uses the lego Mindstorms EV3 to power the module. It uses a robot arm style mechanism to lift the balls from the previous GBC module to the next one. It is quite reliable and has had almost no issues while I have been testing it. It is quite simple and small for a mindstorms GBC module but it is the first thing that I have ever made and programmed with it. (Do you recommend using the EV3 programming app or Python? I know Python quite well but have not tried using it for mindstorms before) I think it turned out ok for my first MOC using mindstorms, hope to make the next one much more interesting :) Instructions. Photos on Flicker.
  10. I've designed the below GBC called Rainbow Wave. It has 38 Lego colors and about 1150 moving parts. It is powered by a single motor, with each of the colored pistons sitting on an 8-tooth gear. Each piston’s gear is exactly 1 tooth offset from its neighbors making one wave 8 colors. The GBC is level so the balls are moved by the waving surface. Free building instruction for version 2 and parts list is available on Rebrickable with a thank you @Courbet for the improvements and creating the digital model!
  11. Update from 2019 I have made a new and stable version of the GBC module for which there are building instructions: The new module has a latch and lifting counterweight mechanism to make the tipper function reliable. The building instructions can be found here: The tipper fills up: The counter weight lifts until the latch comes undone and the tipper tips: And empties: Closeup of the latch mechanism, which doubles as a stop mechanism for balls, so they do not fall onto the tipping tipper: The module can be placed in self-feeding mode, just like the old module from 2008: And circuit mode: In the back side there are skirts to catch potential escapees: Rendering of the model from the building instructions: See the brickshelf folder for "action shots" where series of pictures are taken in succession to show the functions: The initial content below this line ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It has been a long time since I have presented a new MOC in here. I have been busy preparing for Klodsfest 2008 in Taastrup. Here is my contribution to the GBC-layout. (Those space ships are made by Sir Bugge from Classic Space forum - the red Z-fighter is new and contains some superb building- and SNOT techniques. The white tower is also a GBC module and the builder brought enough extra modules to complete a circuit) The big ring lifts the balls up and it's random whether they fall through the first or last hole. The first leads directly to the glass tower while the last guides the balls into the deer scarer (Shishi odoshi in Japanese). I don't have a video camera, but I was able to make this little movie using my regular camera: The module has a self-feeding mechanism so it can work alone and is remarkably reliable. Anyone who has seen my previous modules would be surprised. If the wheel gets blocked, the big PF motor will try to budge it free. It drops a ball now and then - that is my trademark
  12. A new topic to attempt to centralize information, improvements and discussions about the most iconic Great Ball Contraption made by Kawaguchi Akiyuki, The Ball Factory GBC Version 0, July 2008 by Superbird28. Akiyuki stated himself he was inspired by Superbird28 when designing and building the Ball Factory. Why can be clearly seen in this video dating back to the pre-digital age. Thanks @Jonas for noticing. Version 1, June 2011: with color sorter as input: Version 2, november 2011: picker for 2 balls and optimized for higher speeds (1.3 balls/s) Februari 2016, @Blakbird and @TheRebricker reverse engineered the Ball Factory over a period of two years and posted the below: Video instructions by The Rebricker PDF instructions by Blakbird 4428 parts MOC Review by Blakbird LEGO Digital Designer file by @TheMagician The Akiyuki Project topic by Blakbird April 2019: Ball Factory New Style GBC compliant, reliable and easy to move: A big thank you to Blakbird and TheRebricker for all their hard work! This reverse engineered version adds the option to circle balls within the ball factory, here my build from December 2016 Many have build the Ball factory in various colors and versions. Below an overview of suggested and quoted improvements with pictures out of the 77 pages in The Akiyuki Project topic, up to you what changes you want to make. Feel free to add your builds, improvements or questions about The Ball Factory to this topic. ___________________________________________________ Spiral Lift platform improvement by Jonas: used a SNOT technique to get a stronger platform. It allowed me to remove the gap and to fix the superstructure to the studs. Moreover, I used the remaining stud of the 30414 brick to stabilize the tower column by a vertical 1x6 tile. Now, each column is fixed from 3 sides and the tower is really stable. It will survive even an accidental kick.  And, I added another (third) black pin to strengthen the vertical support (shown on page 186 in Blakbird's manual) ___________________________________________________ Ball picker improvement by Jonas: I have also made a small improvement of the ball picker - the part that picks a pair of balls and puts them into a bucket. It happened quite often that the right ball dropped before it reached the bucket. When I analyzed the construction of the picker, I noticed that the rightmost axle is significantly looser than the other ones. While the other two rear axles are attached to the rail construction, this one is not and cannot be attached. In my version, I fastened this axle to the rest of the assembly by replacing a 3L liftarm by an L-shape liftarm (not necessarily in yellow color). -> Since that time I have not observed any earlier drop. ___________________________________________________ Back pivot point by @Ankoku I have used the 5.5L Axel with Stop just like the original. You could probably get away with a 5L, but the connection may be hanging off slightly. The main piston rod has been changed from 20L to 19L in complete length. I used the "Technic, Plate 1 x 5 with Smooth Ends, 4 Studs and Center Axle Hole" which Akiyuki used, just because I did have them kicking around spare. A 6L Plate would be fine. I have gone with a 11L and 7L lift arm. Akiyuki went for a 15L and 3L, thus far, I haven't seen any reason for using those particular lengths. One bonus with using the plate to connect the two lift arms, is that the connection is rock solid, so you no longer have the wobble of the altered version. As you can see on the right, the connect on the end of the 8L axel is flipped. In the ReBricker instruction video, he has it this way round and then adds a later correction to show it the other way around. This way round is the way it is in the Akiyuki video and it is required to make this pivot point work. ___________________________________________________ Bucket shift timing mechanism by Ankoku Here is the piston itself. I have changed it to the original format. This is obviously the left one of the two in the video, as you can tell by the connector end, but other than that, the two pistons are identical. The crucial change is Technic Beam 1x3 Thin between the two year 1x5 Technic Beam Thick. The reverse engineered solution doesn't have that. That provided the extra travel I was looking for. As you can see, the connections for the yellow beam on the right aren't as pretty and you lose the symmetry. That said, the new motion is as smooth as butter, which is immensely pleasing in comparison to trying to make the other method work. ___________________________________________________ Bob improvements by Ankoku The initial changes to the height didn't do much to improve smoothness and I found that the paddle seemed to now be an issue. It was also the source of quite a bit of friction. As you can see in the image, the paddle is 3 deep in total. You can tell this from the light grey 3L axel. The bottom part of the paddle is a Technic Beam 3 x 3 L-Shape Thin. Using that piece makes a lot of sense and seems far better than using 3x Technic Beam 1 x 3 Thin, where the 1st of those completes the light grey 3L axel length and the other two are at 90° to create the L shape. Unsurprisingly, this approach is smoother as there is less friction. ___________________________________________________ Bucket unloader by Ankoku So I was playing with it and it didn't seem to work very well and certainly didn't reflect the motion I was seeing in the Akiyuki video. Having watched the video more times than I care to remember, I noticed that the lift motion seemed to be in a single motion, not two. I also noticed that the lift arm used seemed shorter than the one in the instructions. So in the end, I changed it from a Technic Beam 1 x 5 Thin with Axle Holes on Ends, to a Technic Beam 1 x 4 Thin with Axle Holes on Ends, using yellow ones to reflect those in the video. This seemed to work well and reflect the video. Then I checked on Bricklink and it seems that Technic Beam 1 x 5 Thin with Axle Holes on Ends don't come in Yellow. So yeah, that bit needs to be a 4L not a 5L. ___________________________________________________ Back slider by Ankoku, There is definitely these two beams there, length unknown. Below I am using 2x Technic Brick 1 x 15. You can see both in the Akiyuki video, although only 1 at any one time. This also explains why the bottom Technic Axle and Pin Connector Perpendicular is attached differently to the two above it. For the forward back motion you see in the video, this is not possible with the use of a pin instead of an axle. The axle you can see here, allows full motion in one direction, but slightly limited in the other, which is exactly what you see in the video. It is only possible to put the top Technic Brick 1 x 15 in there if you remove the plates from the bottom of the slider. If you look in the Akiyuki video, those plates are not there. I still don't know how either piston connects to the slider exactly. I am still hoping to hear back on that. That said, these two beams seem to be correct and answers a few questions. ___________________________________________________ Bucket slide by Ankoku The area that the buckets slide along for the shifter is actually offset by half a stud in the Akiyuki version. This is not reflected in the instructions. This answers why the shifter itself is half a stud over the sliding area at maximum backwards reach. I always thought the shifter didn't do full travel, but it does, it is just the sliding area which is misplaced. Here you can see how the sliding shelf is connected to the conveyor with a Technic Brick 1 x 2 [2 Holes]  Anyway, changed the length of the slider my one, so that is now correct. Removed the plate from the bucket stopper just before the slider, so that is now working correctly and is the same as the video. Bob now actually aligns correctly with the buckets at maximum reach. ___________________________________________________ Shifter changes by Ankoku This removes the need for any universal joints and thus removes the variable speed of the conveyor. ___________________________________________________ Shifter changes by Ankoku It seems Akiyuki has reworked the pivot mechanism and beam length. This new approach removes any potential bend in what would have been an 8L axle. The new approach requires a shorter piston beam, a longer beam under the shifter. The brace is 2x Technic Beam 1 x 6 Thin. Here, you can see the positioning of the pivot point, the indentation in the conveyor tower, which is 2 bricks deep to allow the pivot arm to travel that far. You can also see the black axle instead of the grey one, as it requires that extra 1L for the back and forth arm to pivot one. At the top, you can see where the slider platform connects and how it is moved 0.5L across. Shifter Changes in action: ___________________________________________________ Ball dumper by Ankoku It sits at the right height, the ball router works well and the axle housing is aligned correctly. As you can see above and below, I have added blockers to either side, which means that a renegade ball can't escape up hill. Balls can only pass when the router is in the correct position for that route. Inside is only 2 wide now and doesn't have any pins etc. ___________________________________________________ Ball unloader by @smdzucladoc After seeing Ankoku's mods as well as his detail photos of the bucket shifter, My ball factory has been much improved. I was still having a lot of friction in the ball loader until I add these mods. Now the ball loaders is very smooth. I add a 1x3 liftarm in between the two Axle and Pin Connector Perpendicular Triple and it seems that the loader doesn't bind to the axles anymore and it is very smooth. I also added some additional bracing to the back of the ball loader. I added two additional Technic, Brick 1 x 2 with Hole and a 1/2 bush to the bottom axle. I also change the axle 3L to 4L and added 2 Axle and Pin Connector Angled #1 and then a 6L axle perpendicular to try to brace the 12T and 40T gear as perpendicular as possible. ___________________________________________________ For inspiration, this extended version by @Jonas and black version by @Thunderthumbs And Steampunk version by @OneMoreRobot
  13. The Sun is a GBC module created by @PG52 The video of it in action is here: With his help, regarding additional images, I have created some PDF Instructions for it. The PDF file and Parts lists can be found here: If you want to link to the instructions etc., please just link to that page, as it contains mods, additional images, credits etc. The parts list isn't included in the PDF as Stud.IO isn't very flexible with that sort of thing. The digital file is not currently available. Known issues: I can jam and doesn't have a clutch system to deal with that. It is also a self feeding module. @dunes is currently working on a GBC circuit friendly version. In the instructions, there is a mod to replace the curve at the bottom of the top ramp. This is to remove the twist the flexible hoses cause which pushes the top ramp into the wheel. Notes: For the most part I have used commonly available pieces in regards to certain axle/pin colours. Where this isn't the case, it was done for specific aesthetic reasons and you can of course use the more commonly available colours. I think I mainly just did this for "The Sun" sign. Thanks to: @PG52 for creating the module in the first place and for the additional images. @Doug72 for helping to test the instructions. Additional: I have also added a mod for the Cardan Lift and will be doing instructions for Akiyuki's Cup-to-Cup v1.1, which is the version he is currently running, rather than the one which got reverse engineered close to the time he created the module. These are and will be available here: Enjoy.
  14. I am planning to create new GBC modules in the coming years. It will be a combination of Lego Mindstorms and Lego Technic. So not mindblowing mechanical constructions like Akiyuki, but constructions that can only work because they are controlled by the intelligent Mindstorms brick. My first module that I am trying to build (still unsure if I can make it work), is based on the Planar Parallel Mechanism that I saw on Youtube: I find it really cool how it moves. And I thought: let's build this, and use the grabber (visible from time frame 1:23) to pick up balls at the left side of the GBC module and bring them to the right side. Here is an LDD sketch from the first prototype: And a small movie of the first test. The green markers are there, to put the prototype in the start position. That's my major issue right now: how do I now where the four legs of the mechanism are? Working on that now, will keep you posted. Suggestions and compliments are welcome ;-). Regards, Hans aka Mindstorms GBC
  15. After my Rainbow Wave it was time for something different. Inspired by the Paternoster in the Wall-E movie I wanted to create something like that as a LEGO GBC. I kept the in box as low as possible for reasons I will reveal later. As a result of that the ball pickup after the ball release from the buckets is just 1 brick high. Hope you like it:
  16. i have been designing a module that splits the GBC stream into two straight lines. when i was playing with the cup to cup by akiyuki i came up with a good use for that spiral at the start of the module. the idea is the balls roll up then land on a tilting ramp which randomly distributes the balls left or right, but i also included a driving ring so the ramp can be permanently set left or right to use as a turning module. what do you think?
  17. After looking through the akiyuki project by Blakbird and seeing the success of it. It is time I steped up to the plate and create this thread so we can have a central place for all GBC instructions. so far here's what I have been able to find basic modules (great for beginners) simple conveyor module 2014 workshop module http://alittleslow.w...GBC Donahue.pdf brickworld 2015 wheel module http://alittleslow.w...GBC, rev 12.pdf slightly more complicated modules serpentine gbc module (under construction) http://www.moc-pages.../moc.php/407594 wheel gbc module http://alittleslow.w... Lift 12x12.pdf intermediate modules Akiyuki Lift triggered by stuck ball module If you find any gbc instructions post them here
  18. This is my latest version of my very first Great Ball Contraption module - the simple tipper. I have made a video showing the details and how it can be combined in a circuit of similar modules with bridges and common motors: HISTORY The first version was quickly made to a competition in my LUG back in 2007 The deadline was coming up and I did not have a video camera. The pictures (see them cut together in the video) were taking using one of those $20 'stick' digicams that were popular back in the early 2000's. The module was shined up for LEGO Fan Weekend in Skærbæk, 2007: The theme was Aquanauts, but this is unfortunately the best picture I have of it. I brought this and the green 'Logo Roco' module to the event. The other module had a tendency to tear itself apart due to being built using normal bricks and having a hammer to shoot the balls up - similar to the gameplay of the game Loco Roco. The next version of the module had the normal bricks replaced with Technic, the blue rails replaced with a tile and is much more open, making the balls easier to follow: Unfortunately lifting the ramp caused the motor to wear out prematurely, and the outbox was not easy to align with other modules. You can see it in action in the first video, and in this at 6:45: IMPROVEMENTS The latest module has a counterweight in the inbox to reduce wear on the motor The outbox is now to the side to avoid the moving outbox alignment issue: BUILDING INSTRUCTIONS For this reason there are also two building instructions: One for the outbox left and one for outbox right: Left: Right: MOTORIZATION The module can be powered by both an M or an L-motor The motor can be mounted both in the middle and at the sides (see the video for how) FUNCTIONS The inbox is 'antagonized' by moving back and forth: And the module is fairly open to make it easier to follow the balls move through: The holes in the ends can be used to connect other modules of the same kind using pins: You can use bridges to make things more interesting, and common rail motorization to reduce the amount of motors required: This will be my last 'simple' module for a while. My plans are to make a couple of really interesting ones for the upcoming LEGO event in Fürth. Take care, and remember if you follow the building instructions: Colors are not important in GBC!
  19. Finally got the instructions finished and you can find them here: ( The instructions PDF will take a few seconds before it starts downloading. Be patient, it will get there. No need to click it multiple times. ) There is a single set of instructions (PDF), but it comes in two versions. The main version, which uses less common pieces, which are more aesthetically pleasing. Then part lists for a version which uses more common pieces and colours. I have included BSX part lists for both versions and BSX part lists which only contain the pieces needed to upgrade the previous version to this one. The previous version, BSX part list etc. can be found here: The instructions will allow you to create the Cup-to-Cup Type 1 module which you see in Akiyuki event videos from 2013 onwards. I don't think I would have been able to do it without the additional photo provided by Akiyuki and obviously, it builds on the work done by @djm and @Blakbird It is not a faithful copy of Akiyuki's module. The differences are: I changed the hopper so balls won't get stuck behind the spiral lift. I left the support used to get the balls from the lift to the first cup unchanged from the very first version. It works fine, so didn't see the need for a change. The offramp has been redesigned to work with this version. Akiyuki dispensed with the offramp in 2013, using a separate module to do it. The original offramp doesn't work with this version. I tried to keep it similar. Feel free to rework it though. There are some minor changes to the spiral lift to make it work better. It has been good to get this done, as I never liked the motion of original design. Having the motor so far from the cup-to-cup mechanism meant that it wasn't as smooth as you might like. Which is why I think Akiyuki changed it. It is called v1.2 since I class the original grey version as being v1.0 and the yellow version as being v1.1. v1.2 denotes the change in drive mechanism. This has not been event tested. I would advise testing/modifying as required before using at an event over a prolonged period of time.
  20. 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.
  21. Hello all, I was checking the website from PV Productions for any new models, when I saw that they are now producing USB to Powerfunctions converter. Combined with any powerbank you have or simple usb-charges , this would give easy option to always have power for running GBC etc. Link = Has anybody already used this ? Or any experience with similar things ? Thank you for any advise you can give me.
  22. I have been working on my largest build ever and have hit a big issue. The 2 sets of frames keep flexing in a way that makes the decks be out of alignment. Any ideas how to fix this. Sadly I can not add a picture not sure why.
  23. These two lego great ball contraption modules are designed to be simple and reliable so that they can easily be built by new lego gbc builders but still be cool and interesting to watch. I designed these GBC modules to be able to share the power/motor from one module, this means that you can easily power up to about 5-6 great ball contraption modules from one motor. You can also easily use almost any modern lego motor, including Mindstorms and lego powered up motors to power the modules. One of the reasons I built these modules is because I wanted to build some simpler modules that are easy to build. I hope you like it, if you want to build them I have made the Bricklink Studio file, part list and PDF instructions available for free on Rebrickable here: Conveyor || Stepper
  24. The Ballkirk Wheel is a GBC based on the Falkirk Wheel ship lift near Falkirk, Scotland. If you want to see it in action, go straight to the video: Conception I love the concept of GBC and I wanted to build an original GBC module. Ten years ago I got the idea of using the Falkirk wheel. Its continuous mechanism should be just as good at lifting balls as it is at is at lifting ships. Unfortunately back then the inner hole of a large turntable was not large enough to accommodate a 14mm ball plus lane. The only alternative was to use Hailfire Droid wheels but since I was not quite ready to sell a kidney to support my hobby, I dropped the idea. Fast forward ten years and I revisited the idea. @jojoguy10 built a LEGO version of the Falkirk wheel, but noone had made a GBC module out of it yet. The new large studless turntables have no gears in the centre hole, which means that it's (just) large enough to fit through a lane with balls. So I ordered six of them from Bricklink and started building. Building Process When prototyping I tend to use a mix of colors. This limits search time and makes it easier to discern individual bricks. Once a module is finalised, I recreate it in so I know how to rebuild it when my BrickLink orders arrive. This is the first time I used a CAD program during the building process. I had no experience with MLCad or LDD and I started out with the newest kid on the block, There are still a few kinks to iron out but I think has a great balance of simplicity and power. Gondola orientation The orienting mechanism makes sure that both gondolas stay upright during the entire rotation. This prevents balls and boats from being spilled. The principle is demonstrated by this video: LEGO was actually used by the designers to demonstrate the mechanism for the Fallkirk Wheel. My implementation is very straightforward. The center turntable gear stays stationary. As the wheel revolves, the smaller gears between the center turntable and the outer turntables cancel out the rotation of the gondola, thus keeping it upright: Retarding Mechanism The most challenging part of the build was the intermittent rotation mechanism. The wheel needs to pause shortly to load and unload the balls. Initially, I wanted to use a mechanical solution for this. I have experimented with many different solutions, none of them satisfactory. I started out using a rotating cam that would temporarily block the rotation of the wheel. This did work but it was very imprecise and jerky: In movie projectors and watches something called a Geneva Drive is used, but I did not succeed in creating a version with sufficient angular precision to reliable loading of the balls. Another possibility involves a sliding mechanism on a piston driver, thus first converting rotating motion into intermittent linear motion and then back to intermittent rotating motion. Although motion was smoother than with the cam mechanism or the Geneva drive, it was even less precise and more bulky. Eventually I caved and just used a Mindstorms NXT to drive the wheel. The program is exceedingly simple: Rotate 900 degrees at 80% power Wait for 1500ms Repeat I'd be really interested if someone comes up with a mechanical mechanism, because using software to solve this issue feels like cheating to me. Loading Hopper Since the mechanism completes one cycle every three seconds, on average three balls should be lifted during each cycle to comply with the capacity of 1 ball per second which is required by the standard. For this, a pusher is located at the bottom of the hopper like in Akiyuki's Ball Cleaner. For the mechanism, I took my inspiration from @Lasse D's ball pump. A counterweight on the back of the hopper smooths pusher movement. I currently feel the pusher is the weak point in the contraption. Because it is driven by the same motor as the wheel, it spends half the time not loading any balls, thus limiting capacity. Since 5 balls fit on the piston simultaneously, theoretical maximum capacity is 1.66 balls per second. But when multiple balls are stacked in the hopper, the pusher loads less balls per cycle, limiting capacity. One solution would be to use a second motor to continuously drive the pusher but I prefer the contraption to be driven by a single motor. Controlling Ball Flow The balls move through the wheel because the entire assembly is tilted. The incline is 1 brick per 15 studs, or 1 plate per 5 studs. This corresponds to an angle of 8% or about 5°. The balls should only move when the wheel runs are oriented with the input and output runs. For this both the input run and the gondola runs are equipped with gates that are closed when the wheel is in transit: As usual, the simplest solution turned out to be the most reliable. A sliding gate is held town by gravity. The input gate is opened by two 42610c02 wheels [LINK] mounted at the end of the arms, which sadly are not available in Stud.IO. The output gates are opened by the gears of the orienting mechanism, as illustrated in the following image: Reliability The biggest challenge of a GBC is making it reliable. Those little balls have a mind of their own and tend to find every nook and cranny of your contraption to escape it, jam it or even break it altogether. I tested the contraption with beads with large holes which get stuck easier than the standard balls. The Ballkirk Wheel has gone through several revisions to improve reliability: Incread the incline to prevent balls from stopping in the middle of a run Like 7 versions of the input and output gates Enlarged the hopper and the pusher for greater capacity Several modifications to the pusher to reduce friction and increase reliability Addition of a counterweight to the pusher for smoother operation Added a shield to prevent ball spillage at the exit lane Added a bumper at the foot of the back support to push back balls that have missed the exit Together, these improvements have resulted in a fairly reliable GBC. I have tested the Ballkirk Wheel for an hour of continuous operation with no blockages and only one ball spilled. Maximum throughput is about 1.4 balls per second. Summary Thanks for reading this far, I hope you enjoyed it! Please let me know what you think! I haven't gotten around to creating instructions and I'm not sure I ever will. However, if you'd like to recreate this contraption, you can download the file: Ballkirk - file.
  25. Version 2 of my cup to cup GBC but actually third rebuild. I thought it already had a separate topic but apparently not, hope you don't mind I create this one. After running it at several events, where it was one of the favorites of the public, I updated the drive system to a more direct drive and better force distribution by driving the crank through a 36 teeth gear instead of directly on a single axle. Also added more steppers for better ball entry and exit with basket. Direct drive from the XL motor. According to the gear calculator from Sariel this setup has 46Nm compared to 16Nm for the previous one! This makes the whole GBC run smoother and more reliable resulting in no dropped balls during the half hour I tested. The turntables are mounted with neck brackets in the frame to get the correct gear distance. For reference, version 1 video here