3D Printed Marble Roller

Marble Roller

This Term I will be using Tinkercad for my programming project. I am going to make a marble roller. It will include contraptions to raise the ball, ramps, contraptions to gain speed and motors to power everything. If the marble roller is successful it will be continue until it is turned of. To make this marble roller I will need to find out ways to raise the ball and ways for the ball to gain speed. I have already learnt about and made a design for an Archimedes Screw. sThis will be one way to raise the balls height. This picture is where I first got the idea and I can get some ideas for my marble roller. I think I will further improve my designing skills in Tinkercad and make my designs look better and work better.



24 oct

Today I have made a Archimedes Screw design in Tinkercad. This screw was most commonly used in history to move water uphill. The screw is simply a screw inside a tube that spins around forcing water or a ball upwards. I will be powering my screw with a motor and batterscrewy. The most important factors with this screw is the radius [angle] and the length of the tube. These factors can effect the cost and manufacturability of the screw and how well it works.  This screw will eventually become part of a marble roller project.

I have just further modified my design by having a section to lead the ball into the screw and adding a stand to set the screw at a angle.


24 Oct

To make my design for the Archimedes screw even better I made a design so the ball will be visible as it travels upwards. This design will also reduce the use of plastic and time it takes to print. To do this I made the ramps that the ball travels on at an angle and a made the ball a lot smaller so when the screw is on a angle the ball will not fall of the ramps, this means the screw will not need a case making the ball visible while traveling up. To make the ramps I used rectangles and set them at various angles then I placed them next to each other. This design will reduce plastic because there is no case for the screw and no stand. The potential problem with this design is the ramp being too rough and the ball not being able to travel upwards but it thinkscrew it will work because the bumps are quite small compared to the overall design.







24 Oct

I have now made the next piece to my course. This design is a funnel made to catch the ball once it completes the screw section, then it will lead the ball through the tube and onto the next section. funnelTo make this design I first cut a sphere in half then made it hollow by duplicating the half sphere. After I did that I made the duplicate 1 millimeter smaller then turned it into a hole and grouped the two. For the final step I chose a premade shape which was a bent tube then I placed it to the bottom of the funnel so the ball could continue to the next section.

Oct 27

Today I printed the Archimedes screw design that I have made. The improvements that I have made after printing this design is making another ball because the ball was very small and could not print properly.   screw 3


Because of this I need to make a case for the screw because the bigger ball will fall out when the screw spins. caseWhile I was making the case I realized that I only needed three quarters of the case because the ball would only fall at the bottom. So with the next design I can be sure that the doesn’t fall and I will be able to see the ball traveling up.



28 Oct

Recently I have printed my marble roller funnel design. Unfortunately I made the mistake of not turning on support in the settings of the printer, what support does is hold up the plastic while its drying. Support is only necessary if your design has parts that do not have anything beneath them. My design has a tube that is over hanging so while it was printing the tube snapped but to fix that I just glued the two parts back together. I am yet to test the funnel because the glue is still drying here is a picture of the printed part. I am sure the ball fits but I might have to stick some wire through the funnel to get rid of some WIN_20151028_193433left over plastic. The next part I plan to print is the Archimedes screw case.




Oct 29

The next design piece to my course that I have made is a flip ramp. This design is simply a inclined plane with a small jump at the end. This piece starts at the end of the funnel and will lead onto the next piece which I think will be a similar ramp. To make this I needed a ramp, walls for the ramp, something to connect to the funnel, a jump and walls for the jump. The hollow cylinder at the top of the ramp is the section to connect to funnel. The rectangle underneath the cylinder is the support to hold the ramp on an angle. The semi circle at the bottom is a ramp to continue to the next section. The shapes I used to make this section were squares and cylinders. The squares became rectangles and the cylinders became tube to guide the ball onto the ramp.




Nov 2

Today I decided to modify my screw design by making it fit a metal ball bearing. To do this I measured the ball bearing, the measurements where 1.5 centimeters each way. Then I dragged in a ring. After that I made the diameters of the ring 20 by 20 millimeters to give the marble some space to roll smoothly. Next I halved the ring then I grouped many of them setting them at various angles. The final step was to group the ramps I made with a cylinder11 making sure the hole on the side of the cylinder was less than 1.5 centimeters. The reason the hole on the outside of the cylinder needed to be less than the ball bearing is so the ball bearing will be un able to fall out eliminating the need for a case.





Nov 3

Today I modified my designs to fit a ball bearing. To do this I opened my funnel design and separated the shapes.Funnel Part 2 After that I selected the cylinder and changed the diameters to 20 by 20 millimeters that gives the ball bearing five millimeters to move smoothly through the tube. I also made sure that the funnel part was big enough to be able to catch the ball bearing. Finally I adjusted all the other shapes to fit the tube. The next design I chose to modify was the flip ramp.section 3 ramp All I had to change for this design was making the tube match the end the funnel so the ball bearing could transfer smoothly into this section. The last section I adjusted was the inclined plan.inclined plan section 3 I found out that this section did not need adjusting because the size of the ramp could already fit the ball bearing.

Nov 4

On top of the sections that I have already made in Tinkercad I plan to make a design of what else I will include tomorrow. The reason I will make a design is so I can be sure what elements I need and where they will be positioned in my marble roller. With the designs I have already made the order is, The Archimedes Screw [1], The Funnel [2], The Flip Ramp [3], The Inclined Plane [4]. After the inclined plane I will have to have another section to raise the ball bearing so it will gain speed. The final section I plan to make will be another funnel but instead of a straight tube it will turn right and feed the ball back into the screw.

Here is a design I have made.

Marble roller design


This Tinkercad session I designed another section to my marble roller. This section is the second section to raise the ball and gain speed. It is simply an arm with a small cup to collect the ball bearing and raise it. The design is made up of a long thin rectangle grouped with a hollow cylinder and a hole big enough for a motor at the end of the rectangle. My plan is for this section to  spin around sideways with the open side of cylinder facing sideways and retrieve the ball bearing, raise it and then drop it in the next section which will be a funnel. Here is a photo.PART 6

The final change I made this session was to duplicate my funnel so I will have one for the second section and the fifth section. Next session I plan to modify all of my designs so they will have built in support and stands to hold up all the sections in the right spot. I will also make a base to hold the supports securely in place.

Nov 6

This Big Thing and Tinkercad session I used Tinkercad because I have finished my Big Thing section. I have also finished my Tinkercad project so I designed an easy reset ten pin bowling game. The part of this design that took the longest was the shape of the bowling pins. I opened I picture of a bowling pin and identified the shapes. At first I thought the shapes were a cylinder and half a oval but that did not look at all like a bowling pin. The best version I ended up making was made up of two cylinders, two cones and a half sphere.

bowling pinFor the pins to set up easy I decided that there was be a piece of string attached to each pin, the string leading through a base at the bottom. I am hoping that if the pins fall when there is pressure applied on the string the pins will stand up. After that the next step was to make a base with ten holes for the string making sure the holes were smaller than the pins so they couldn’t fall. To finish it off I placed a small ramp at the start of the base so bowling setthe bowling ball could travel smoothly on.



Nov 13

Three Days ago I printed the modified design of the Archimedes screw. I loaded the design to find that is would take approximately 30 hours which is way too long. I soon discovered the resolution was 0.05 which means the amount each layer of plastic that comes out is 0.05 millimeters thick. The smaller the layer is the longer the time will be to print. After that I made the resolution 0.2 and begun the print. The print turned out perfectly the measurements were just right. The marble can only leave or enter the screw at the top and bottom and fits perfectly in the grooves on the side. 

Here is a photo


The only thing that is missing is the motor so I don’t have to operate it manually and will be able to work continually.

Nov 16

On Friday I printed the parts two and six for my marble roller. I printed both parts because they are the same. The design I made was a funnel with a tube to catch the ball then change the direction the ball is travelling. The first funnel will lead to a ramp and the second funnel will lead the ball in to the Archimedes screw. Straight of the printer the ball did not travel smoothly through the funnel I fixed this with a bit of sanding to make the tube smoother a wider. Now the balls fit every time and travels perfectly through the funnel. The next section I plan to print is the flip ramp. I have slightly modified this design by setting the hollow cylinder I talked about in my previous blog post about this section on a 90 degree angle so when I connect the funnel it will also be at 90 degrees and will be able to catch the ball.

Here is a picture of the two funnels.


Nov 17

Today I even further modified my flip ramp design by making the hollow cylinder at the top of the ramp just big enough for the previous funnel section to be held firmly inside. I made this modification so I don’t need glue making the marble roller more of a percentage of 3D printed parts and components. To make this modification I removed the old cylinder and dragged in a new one from the side bar then I dragged in one of my funnels and changed it to a hole. After that I placed the funnel tube in the center of the cylinder and grouped them. Doing this left a ring the size of the funnel in the cylinder. The final step was to remove the remaining object inside of the hollow ring and move the cylinder back in to place. The funnel tube needs to be inside the other cylinder so the ball can smoothly travel through funnel then drop out straight into the flip ramp. I also made another slight improvement by extending the length of the jump at the bottom of the ramp because I suspected that the ball would get stuck in the jump because of the height. By extending the jump it stretched making the height lessen and the jump more gradual.

flip rampThe measurments for this design are

184 millimeters long

26.61 millimeters wide

87.19 millimeters tall

When I do print this design I will turn on support. Support will print plastic scaffolding beneath the overhangs to prevent them from falling . When the print is done the scaffolding can be easily removed.

Nov 18

Today during this programming session I created circuits with little bits. Little bits are separate electronics like motors and buttons. Every section connects easily with magnets. When I begun at first I made a touch sensor LED here are the parts I used.

This is the touch sensor on the bottom side it need the battery section for power and on the top whatever section you want or need.

Little Bits touvh sensor

This is the battery this section always needs to be at the start of the circuit to supply power.

Little Bits batteryFinally the Led all this does is turn on when it receives power.

Little Bits LED

When all these sections are connected  the LED will stay off until the touch sensor is touched and then it will turn on.

Nov 19

This programing session I modified my easy reset bowling pins design and my fourth section of my marble roller. The first design I modified was the bowling pins. The modifications I made on this design was making the underside of the base hollow apart from the edges, bowling resetthen I made a small opening on one side. The strings connected to the bowling pins will be lead through the base and underneath it to the opening. Once the strings are through the opening the will all be lead through this.

bowling string connector

What this dose is keep all the strings in position and makes sure they don’t fall back through the opening.

The second design I modified was the fourth section of my marble roller. The modification I made on this design was to make a new part. When I revisited this design I relised there would be nothing to hold the marble in place and there would be no gain in height while the arm spun around to pick it up. So I made this new part.


The marbles enters on the left the arm spins then eventually it retrieves the marble and raises it around 8 centimeters. Another modification I made was changing the shape on the arms head. With the previous head I think the ball bearing would slip past.  Now there is no opportunity for the ball to slip out.

After making this design I think I will rearrange the order of the sections to, the Archimedes Screw, a funnel, the flip ramp, this raising mechanism, a ramp, and a funnel to lead back into the screw.

Nov 22

On Friday I made another design on Tinkercad. I wanted this design to be useful in every day life and something that would look cool. This is what I thought of.

arcade bag clips

These are bag clips, There job is to clip an open bag shut to keep the inside fresh and clean. But instead of them being plain I made arcade characters to place on top. To start the process of making the characters I found there pictures on the internet I decided to make pac-man first. The shapes I identified in this character where a big cylinder, a small cylinder and a triangle after that I dragged all these shapes on to the build plate. The triangle needed to be a hole then I dragged it in to position so it looked like the mouth of pac-man and grouped both shapes together. The next step was the clips. Each clip is five centimeters long and has a small bump at the bottom to secure the bag. The clips are made out of two long rectangles and a half cylinder. The two rectangles are positioned next two each other one of them with the bump. There is about a one millimeter space I between the second rectangle and the bump, I think that is enough for the bag to be secure.

The second character I made was a space invader. Because this character is made out of squares I also made this section of the design out of squares. To make the space invader I found a picture then distinguished the squares and placed them in position. After that I duplicated the clip and dragged it underneath the space invader.

The final character I made was the ghost from pac-man. The shapes I needed for this was a half cylinder and seven whole cylinders. First I made three of the cylinders holes and made them much smaller. After that I placed them evenly spaced on the bottom of the half cylinder and grouped the shapes, making the shape of a ghosts body. The other four cylinders I made smaller and place them in position for the eyes. finally I duplicated another clip and moved it in position. Next session I might add more video game characters but more challenging ones like donkey kong.




One thought on “3D Printed Marble Roller

  1. Love your enthusiasm and drive, Henry! No challenge is too big for you. I look forward to seeing your plan of what elements you hope to include in your marble roller.

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