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Rube Goldberg Machines

April 25, 2017 by Joshua Whan   

For this session of design was put a piece of paper in the bin. Now that may sound very simple and easy but I haven’t finished explaining yet. The goal was to get a piece of paper in the bin by creating our own Rube Goldberg machines. A Rube Goldberg is a machine with lots of complicated parts to do a simple task such as getting a piece of paper in the bin. The machine had to have at least three parts to it to it to be a proper machine.

Everyone was put into groups of three we had to draw a design first of course the way ours went was we had dominos at the start witch would then lead down passing down the energy to push on a wooden train down the track then to push a tennis ball witch would then land on the ruler catapult to fire the piece of paper in the bin.

But of course that sounds to good to be true so we couldn’t actually get it to work in the end. Some of the things we could’ve changed was maybe having less dominos because every time we would to set them up again also the base of the catapult was made of lego so it would always break when the tennis ball fell on it.

We may not have succeeded but if we had more time we probably could’ve done it but our intensions were good and I think it was alright considering how much time we had and I can’t wait to learn more about Rube Goldberg machines this term.

Session 1

This session we finally got into designing our proper rube Goldberg machine project for the term. We decided that our rube Goldberg machine was going pop a balloon for the simple task. First we had to make a list of our matierials and what we will use them for and also the different kinds of simple machines that would in it had to have at least three simple machines to be a proper rube Goldberg machine.

We got time to finish that but we only had just started our proper design when it was time for the session to be over but next lesson we’ll get right into that and I can’t wait.

Session 2

Today me and my group got straight into designing our rube Goldberg machine. Like I said last time for rube Goldberg machine to proper had to have at least three different simple machines inside it that make it work. But me and my group thought that it should have at least four of them because we don’t want the machine to be too little nor too big either because it gets to complicated. The simple task for the rube Goldberg machine is simple popping a balloon with a pin.

So the way our machine work was that we had inclined plane that the marbles would roll down and then fall into a cup then that pulls up the pullie to lift up the see saw witch had a fulcrum in the middle then the matchbox car comes rolling down to push a marble that rolls down a funnel then down a tube to then push the pin at the end of the tube in to the balloon causing it to pop.

Now do you really understand why people call it a machine with lots of complicated steps just to do one simple task. The only thing is I’m not sure if the pullie will work because it seems like kind of hard to get it to work but there’s only one way to find out. I can’t wait to start building.

Session 3

Now that our designs are fine lined and approved it was finally time to start making our machine. So we started of by making the pullie just out of some string and a cotton reel to act as the wheel and spin every the sting and the cups go up and down when pulled.

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Here’s a video showing the pullie working.

 

Next me and my group tried to make seesaw that the pullie lifts of to let the match box car roll down if you don’t remember from last session. One of the group members decided that we could also use a cotton reel for the fulcrum in the centre of the seesaw that makes it move side to side. Because it’s round and could roll to one side when the weight is shifted onto the other side.

Here’s the video of our fulcrum.

 

The final component to our machine was our funnel and the tube and at the end of that tube was the pin and the balloon.

So for this final component to the machine it is pretty simple, the match box car from the previous component rolls and pushes a marble down the funnel into the tube and then finally pushes the pin into the balloon with a big bang.

And guess what we even got that on camera too.

 

 

Session 4

Today we were back at building our rube Goldberg machines again and now that we have gotten all of our components finished it was time to put them together to create our proper rube Goldberg machine. To start off the machine it had the inclined plane for the marbles to roll into the cup on the funnel so we decided to start on the wall by attaching it to it.

One of our challenges is to try and make it more interesting by not just sending it downhill in a straight line because it becomes very boring and not very uniqie. So I think that’s something we can work on next lesson to  improve our machine. Today  we didn’t get to test out the machine but we did  finish it so we will test it next lesson.

Session 5

In This session we were making our rube Goldberg machines again. But it got very annoying at stages where it just didn’t work especially because it was only one component that wouldn’t work witch was just that the marble couldn’t get enough momentum to push the pin into the balloon.

Here’s some of the failed attempts of our machine.

I think maybe we might have to rethink our last component if we want our machine to work but we’ll have to find out next lesson if we will.

session 6

This session in design we were back and making our rube Goldberg machines again so as soon as we started it straight onto fixing our last part of the machine because it just didn’t have the right amount of momentum to push the pin into the balloon causing it to pop. But it seemed it wasn’t much that we had to change because as the marble rolls down the tube it loses momentum really quickly because the pipe was way to long fore it. So all we did was shorten the pipe to about half it’s original length but not to short so it can still gather up some momentum on the way down. By changing one simple component it allowed our machine to finally work.

Now that we have finally got this to work we can start trying to make it more efficient and reliable so it works every time.

Here’s a video of our machine in action.

 

session 7

In design today we were trying to  make our rube Goldberg machine as good as possible by making it really efficient and having it work every time. So we tried testing it without the balloon lots of times to see how well it can be trusted to work and we found it to be quite efficient, it would at work at least 80% of the time while we were testing.

I think we have really finally got our machine to work quite well after all that hard work and I’m really glad that we actually got the machine to work properly. I think we’re quite ready to say that this project was a success for us.

Here’s some videos of our tests.

 

Session 8

In design today we were working on our rube Goldberg machines again but since we have finished our task was to make a reflection of this whole project by showing the whole journey all the failed attempts and why they went wrong, how we fixed them and got our machine to finally work, what we learnt and if we could do it again how would we use the knowledge that we have now to improve the machine even more.

So we made a video on movie maker to show our learning and our knowledge of this project.


1 Comment »

  1. Mrs Watson says:

    Your posts clearly explain your groups intentions and you use the specific names for simple machines.

    It would be helpful for the reader if you also included a scan of your plan as this would enhance your explanation.

    You referred to two videos of components that are yet to be uploaded. I look forward to seeing those soon.

    A tip for your next post:
    Describe a challenge that you or your team are confronted with. How might you overcome this? What adjustments will you need to make from your original plan?

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