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Found 35 results

  1. 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.
  2. This great ball contraption uses a series of gears and pins to grab the balls and lift them. The mechanism is quite reliable, especially for a module that I designed. Would like to have made it run a bit faster as it does not quite run at 1bps, but it should be able to run at that speed if it is run on 9v. (it was only running at 7.2v in the video as the batteries are rechargeable) Photos on Flickr.
  3. Built another module using a new mechanism, it has two arms that extend half way through the motion to pick up the ball before lifting it to the next module. It is quite reliable and runs better at slightly higher speeds. Would be cool to have two forks on each side, kind of like a "cup to cup" module, however I did not want to do it as it would be much less reliable. Instructions on Rebrickable. Flicker.
  4. Hi Everyone. I'd like to show you my GBC Module that I made called "To and Fro". Definition: to and fro /ˌto͞o ən ˈfrəo͝o/ adverb - in a constant movement backward and forward or from side to side. verb - move constantly backward and forward. noun - constant movement backward and forward. I wanted to design a GBC module that I hadn't seen done before. The main feature of this design uses a string and pulley system, with different levels of mechanical advantage implemented to get the timing of the mechanisms just right. This GBC module adheres to Type 1 of the GBC Standards, processing one ball per second on average ( The main focus of this module is the 'ladder' in the middle which raises and lowers using string and pulleys. You can see this in the video between 1:48 and 2:04, and I'll try to describe what is happening. First of all, the end of the string is attached to the frame, and goes down to the cranks. The exact length of the string can be adjusted, similar to how guitar strings are tightened. The cranks have pulleys on them, so the string actually moves twice as far as the diameter of the cranks as they rotate, but at the same time the force is halved. Next, the string goes up to a pulley fixed on the frame, then down and around another pulley, and back up again. The bottom pulley is attached to the moving part of the 'ladder'. This halves the distance that the 'ladder' moves compared to the string, but also decreases the force required to do so. The string goes over another static pulley at the top, and then back down to the outside edge of the moving part of the 'ladder'. To move the outside edge of the 'ladder' requires the full force of the string to move. Due to the mechanical advantage of the different parts of the pulley system, the 'ladder' wants to move up first since this takes less force, but once it hits a stop at it's upper limit, the string then provides force to the outside edge of the 'ladder' which causes that last little 'kick', which lets the balls roll to the other side. This module can also be broken down into four smaller sections for easier transportation: The motor which is part of my Automatic Motor Shutoff and Alarm System, The 'hopper' and 'ball diverter', The 'ladder', and The 'waterfall'. There is only one M-motor powering this module and that helps ensure the timing of each section is in sync with the next. The motor section is attached to the 'ladder' section with a universal joint, and the 'ladder' section is attached to the 'hopper' section with a CV joint. The 'waterfall' section doesn't need any motor input, so it is attached to the 'ladder' section with a single axle that allows it to be detached easily. Between the 'ladder' section and the 'hopper' section is differential (hidden away underneath), and I can manually adjust the rotation of this differential via a worm gear to get the timing between each section just right. Apart from this one worm gear used to make timing adjustments, I haven't used any other worm gears as I have seen the damage they can do to GBC modules if something gets jammed (although, in theory, my Automatic Motor Shutoff and Alarm System should stop this from happening anyway). There are quite a lot of gears within the drivetrain, but it runs quite smoothly. When I was creating it I thought the weight of the 'ladder' would cause a lot of strain on the motor, but when one side is going up gravity is making the other side go down which cancels out a lot of the strain. Jams sometimes occur in the 'hopper' and 'ball diverter' sections, and are typically caused by too many balls in the hopper, or the timing of 'ball diverter' not being adjusted correctly. I have had this running at a public expo that my LUG held, but I was too busy to baby-sit this module, so it was only running part of the time, but when it was running it ran without issue. This is the first GBC module that I have made, so I spent a lot of time trying to get it working consistently. I hope you like it. Any constructive feedback/comments/questions are welcome. UPDATE: I have created an LDraw/MLCad file of my GBC module. Read more here. Music:
  5. This great ball contraption module uses I mechanism that holds the balls until there are 13 in it, then the mechanism gets triggered and it started lifting the balls and dumps them into the next module. It is quite a complex mechanism, it works well, as long as it runs at the same speed you set it up for. As far as reliability, it is quite reliable when it is set up to get triggered by 13 balls, and even more reliable when you are ok with 12 or 13. (if you have not guessed by now, this was built for the Great Ball Pit challenge to build a module that only outputs 13 balls at a time) I don't know how log it can run, I have ran it for about 45 minutes and it has not had any problems, but I would not be surprised if it stopped working after a few hours. Hope you like it, there are more photos on flickr here.
  6. This lego GBC module uses a conveyor built out of technic engine block pieces to lift the balls. It is powered by a lego XL motor and fully meets the GBC standard, infarct it can actually run reliably at almost twice the required speed for the great ball contraption standard, although it runs more reliably at slower speeds. I originally made this module after chatting with some friends about how we all have so many of the engine block pieces that we almost never use any. This is basically a product of trying to use theme in some way. If you would like to build it I have the free instructions and 3D file on Rebrickable, created in BrickLink Studio. If you have any trouble feel free to contact me and I would be glad to help, hope you like the module! :) Photos on Flickr. Don't know what is happening with the Flickr and YouTube links but they are not working, here is the youtube video. Lets see if this works..... YES! Not sure what was happening before.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. This lego GBC module uses two gears for the main mechanism, one with 16 teeth and one with 15. This means that the inner gear meshing with the outer one will rotate slowly and in lean from side to side. The balls roll onto the "forks" at the bottom with the use of a timing mechanism which is attached to the main gear. It is a reliable module when it is on a flat table, but it does take some time to set the timing right. I have instructions on Rebrickable here. Hope you like it!
  13. A new topic to attempt to centralize information, improvements and discussions about the most iconic Great Ball Contraption made by Kawaguchi Akiyuki,GBC Ball Cleaning Machine The thread is also a centralized location for all variations as well as newer design concepts of Ball cleaning machines.
  14. This lego great ball contraption module uses a set of "forks" attached to technic lift arms to lit the GBC balls to the next module. The lift arms have to lift when they can't turn any farther. The mechanism is very reliable, but it can't be running to slow. The mechanism that loads the forks looks weird, but it does work well. I had a hard time getting the design right but it works well now. If you want the LDD or file you can get them here.
  15. This Lego great ball contraption module uses mechanism with the transparent food covering type pieces (I have no idea what they are actually called) It is a reliable module, even though it looks like it is flexing a lot in the video. The tightness of the mechanism that holds the balls is able to be adjusted very easily to make sure that they pick up the balls each time. I have (as you can see) finally got some proper GBC balls to run my modules with. This module can hold one layer of them in the input bin before they get stuck, I would guess that that is about 30 - 35 balls. Like most of my recent modules it is compatible with my power sharing standard. The LDD file is on bricksafe here.
  16. Hello, here is my latest module which will allow me to split the flow of balls into two separate outputs. I've wanted to do a path splitter for a while. So after seeing a module in a recent European GBC layout that used the Sports ramps in this manner, it inspired me to get started. This module has a recirculation function, massive input bin, and the ability to move balls out quite quickly. The biggest challenge when building this module was getting the sweeper motion to work as intended. If anyone here has a better solution for the sweeper linkage please leave a reply as it is something I'd like to improve.
  17. This lego GBC module uses three cardan gear mechanisms to rotate the platforms that the balls sit on. It is a reliable module when you have the timing between the loading and unloading mechanisms aligned right. The long technic axle you can see running through the front of the module is how it shares power between it and other modules. I am trying to make all my new modules able to share power in this way, as this way I only need one motor for every 4 to 5 modules. If you wan to build this module I have instructions on Rebrickable. More photos on Flickr. The mechanism to load the balls is quite simple, although it is not the most smooth. I would like to change the mechanism to something easier on the parts, maybe by making the main stepper tall enough to let the balls roll straight on. The unloading mechanism is inspired by Akiyuki's mechanism, although it is not exactly the same. This version uses the 2L rubber technic beams instead of rubber bands, and holds two balls instead on one.
  18. Ask me anything about my Lego Boost GBC Pachinko module. It has a jackpot payout when the ball goes into the jackpot area. The conveyor is run with the Boost external motor, and the onboard hub motors are controlling the aiming mechanism and the jackpot payout door. Video below
  19. This lego great ball contraption uses a shooter mechanism to shoot the marbles into a castle. The range of the shooter mechanism can be easily adjusted with a gear at the back, it uses a large linear actuator attached to a shock absorber to do so. Part of the back of the castle is made from lego 6L half beams to slow the balls down. I have the LDD file for this module here. Do you like this kind of decorated module or do you think it is better to just focus on the functions? I like this kind but it uses a lot more pieces and takes a lot longer to build.
  20. I'm back with another module and video. This time I've created a small, simple conveyor belt that is proving to be quite reliable. As well I've shown how you can modify it to make it your own creation. Instructions for this module are available on my website. Here is another version I've made. I'll be posting the video for this one next week. Here is the video for the Jade Dragon variant.
  21. So what do you build, when you have 4 Hailfire wheels? an oversized GBC module! I had an idea to build this a while ago, and finally finished it for Brickvention 2018, in January. However, it wasn't reliable enough, and ended up needing 2 motors to drive it. I recently rebuild the main geartain, using better parts, and working hard to get rid of all friction points. It now runs MUCH better, on a single L Motor. Front loader section is an Akiyuki design, from Cycloidal Drive. The rest, including the Brick Separator down-chute is my design. Due to the design, I was not able to use the inner teeth to drive the wheels... as the scoop would interfere.. so I had to drive it by the outer rim This has been done in the past, by other builders, using tyres. Somewhere along the line, I noticed that the old Samsonite gears from 1965 meshed perfectly! (The Expert Builder ones do not) I attempted to have the stepper/loader synchronised to the wheel, but unfortunately, I was not able to get any combination of Hailfire external teeth + Samsonsite to equal an even/repetitive interval. Turns out that it takes 7 revolutions of the Hailfire, before the same tooth on the Samsonite match up again! So.. that does mean, that occasionally, it'll feed in a ball at exactly the same time a scoop passes... and while most of the time, it bounces back into the main wheel.. sometimes, it bounces back, and spills. There is a small collection point for such spilt balls The Scoops are a simple build, and are held in place via friction the Hailfire wheels are supported by 1L liftarms on an axle, and there are 4 rubber wheels at N/S/E/W, that the Hailfire leans against, to run smoothly The drive-train feeds up and down each module - with the motor attached at Blue, since it's at the mid-point.. At the bottom of yellow, it connects to the front loader section. And since it's SO big, I needed to build it modularly! So it all comes apart easily! Looking forward to running this improved version at Canberra BrickExpo next month! Oh.. and apart from the depth.. it is actually GBC standard! :)
  22. This lego great ball contraption miniloop features a redesigned Cardan mechanism to lift the balls up. It is designed to be as reliable as possible while still being interesting. One of the parts that make it extra reliable is the loading mechanism having two technic pins to stop more than one ball rolling out at once. It can be powerd by a M motor or by hand but if you power it by hand you have to do it at the exact right speed, so it it better to use the motor. The mechanism uses two 12 tooth gears meshing together witch normally dosn't work to well but because they are slightly more than 2.5 studs apart it work well. If you want instructions I have the .lfx file here on Bricksafe or video instructions here. As you can see the differential gear is held in place by a 16 tooth gear, it works well but if it jams it separates you have to fix the timing of the whole miniloop. I am planning to reinforce it in the future with a 3L technic beam.
  23. GBC Carousel During the last few weeks lead up to Brickvention 2018, in January, I decided to have a quick attempt at building a module I have seen on other GBC videos I take no credit for it's general invention, and I actually can't remember where I saw it.... it's just one of those 'cool ideas' that sticks in your head, and you decide to sit down and recreate it from memory! If I find a video, I will link it.. or if anyone knows who built it first.. please post, so I can credit them! For my version, I decided to use the smaller Lego tracks, from the Indiana Jones minecart.. they are fairly cheap on BL, and work very well, and doesn't take up too much space on the table The main ring is made of fairly basic pieces... always a great chance to use those less popular colours! I was quite happy with the red and yellow - giving it a circus-like feel The inverted slopes are fairly new, and worked very well at helping balls slip down the holes I had a bit of fun with some mixel faces, and eyes on the outer ring, as you can see in the video! The track is supported by a nice sturdy frame.. I can pick the whole thing up in one hand, and it doesn't flex. It is driven by train wheels, at each quarter/axis. With the first prototype, it didn't drive very well, and I needed all 4 corners to be driven. But I was testing with bare track, which is very light. Once I added the bricks/plates, it became heavier, and I only needed 2 driving wheels to operate it.. This simplified the design I needed to make it GBC standard, so a simple input + conveyor was added. If balls happen to drop, as the holes are passing, the large tile/catcher underneath sends them straight through. If they land on the wheel, then they go for a ride, accumulating in a pile, before the holes come around again, and they drop down The input rate is just right, so that not too many balls accumulate to 'overflow', and spill..occasionally balls don't fall down the hole, and they just wait for the next loop. For a bit of fun, I decorated the 'engine' in the middle. Note that I have 2 Motor inputs. This lets me alternate between an XL, and M motor, without having to alter power. I wasn't sure at the time which motor would be best (or what I had spare to use) It turned out to be a very reliable module, and I'm quite proud of how it came out. It's nice that there's no major timings to work out, and I think it's reasonably interesting to watch aaaaand... here's the video! :)
  24. Hey guys, Here's my latest module. It's a simple conveyor in the Lego Star Wars theme, which depicts the famous trench run scene in Star Wars Episode 4. There is an X-Wing, Y-Wing, Tie Fighters and Vaders Tie Advanced. Mechanically the conveyor is very simple. Surprisingly, animating the Turbo Laser took quite a bit of time to get the movement and speed to something I was happy with. Images and Video below.
  25. Today I present you with my "G-Model" of the 42049 Mine Loader Set. It is a Layout ready GBC module created entirely out of parts that are found inside the 42049 Mine Loader set. By default it can be hand powered, and it has a recirculation function for stand-alone play. You can upgrade it with a motor and disable the re-circulation and run it with other GBC modules. Having said that, the inbox doesn't meet the GBC standard rule for accepting a batch of 30 balls. I had to rebuild the module 4 times before the final model was realized. The first 3 times were failed lift mechanisms, and the 4th was rebuilding the module mirrored because with the addition of the recirculation ramp, it was too hard to see the mechanism when it was running Left to Right. My favourite part of the module was the success of adding the engine and working piston after I had already completed the module.