The Pinbox to the left is my very first. I started by building the left ramp and slowly added and modified from there. The ramp in the back is for the beginning launch, the marble will go out of the box and back in and onto the play board if it has enough momentum. Each ramp has thumb tacks throughout it to slow the marble down and to help make multi balls more manageable. The inner loop ramp holds multiple balls on one side, the other is open so knocked balls can fall out of the loop and onto the play board. The other larger middle loop houses a draw bridge type door under the left loop which isn't in the photo; simply hit the cardboard door. This helps slow the ball, which usually hits this loop with a lot of speed, and also makes a small noise so the player knows which loop they hit. This loop drains under the right side ramp. Lastly the middle lane houses a ball lock under the middle/left ramp which can release and hold a single marble. Hitting the secret lane is a very fun and difficult shot because its a smaller lane than the others (most are an inch wide, this lane is about 3/4 an inch). The middle is a part of Pinbox3000's GameChanger series! Swamp Quest is super fun, it has a ton of ball locks: one on each triangular bumper, the witches book lock on the large quarter pipe ramp, and the weight triggered three ball lock left ramp; that are easily released. This Pinbox has great ball movement overall and the upper ramp that goes out of the box and back onto the play board is awesome and super difficult to hit. The only issues I've had with this pre-made design is if you launch the ball with a lot of force, it will sometimes fly out of the Pinbox instead of going all the way up the large ramp, which I believe is what's intended. The Pinbox3000 guys did a really good job with this one, I can only imagine the other two GameChangers are just as fun. The Pinbox to the right side is my current project which is almost completed. When creating it I wanted to have all of my ramps interconnect which is something I think I really succeeded on, the ramps all connect to each other and are all satisfying shots to hit. This play board is very fast and very difficult. The launch sends the ball in two ways (sometimes it hits the crease of the folded paper and doesn't hit the target), mostly the marble gets sent around the outer orbit of the Pinbox with great momentum, sometimes the marble will launch into a small loop around the base of the back left ramp. Every ramps base has a loop around it to make for a fast moving play board, and every ramp you hit feeds into another ramp which propels the marble downward making it gain momentum when traveling to the players flippers. I'm considering what to do with the middle section of the play board right now... I'm thinking another ramp that curves to the right and feeds into the upper back orbit ramp. But what I'm really trying to figure out is how to integrate multi-ball opportunities onto this play board; as of right now it is a single marble game. Thank you if you read this far! I love gushing about my designs and how awesome this product is. Designing a pinball machine has always been a dream of mine; and the Pinbox3000 scratches that pinball creation itch. If anyone would like to talk more about designs, experiments, ideas, play board layouts, etc... please feel free to reply or follow me on my instagram, I post my Pinbox creations and videos on there quite often. I'm @CyborgHighfive -Cheers!
For this project, I decided to integrate springs instead of using rubber bands to propel my buttons back into their original positions after being pressed. To do this, I thought of putting a single spring between both buttons. In theory, this idea seems very easy, but when I first tried it, problems immediately began coming up. First of all, what would hold the spring in place, secondly, how will I keep the spring from bending the wrong direction. Imagine holding a spring between your two thumbs and trying push it together. What would happen is the spring would bend in every direction except together. To combat this, I have to either enclose the spring in some sort of tube (which I tried and failed at), or to feed some sort of rod through the spring. The second idea is the one that worked. I found a wooden rod that fit perfectly through the spring. I than 3D printed two buttons that were hollow, but had an open side and a closed side, and laser cutted two pieces of acrylic with holes in them. I measured those holes so that the wooden rod could fit through them, but the spring would not. The next problem I realized was, how will the spring stay up? While spending time thinking about this, I realized another problem; What happens if you press just one of the buttons instead of both of them? This idea hadn’t come up yet. If you pressed just one of the buttons, than both buttons would move towards the direction you were pushing in. Basically, the spring would work only if you pressed the buttons at the same time. To fix this, I realized that I had to find a way to turn this single spring into two seperate springs. Instead of literally cutting it, I just decided I would drill a hole through the center of the wooden rod and put a nail through that hole. The nail would go through the center of the spring as well as the wooden rod, meaning that if you pressed one end of the spring, only that half of the spring would compress. This also fixed my problem of how the rod would stay up. I realized I could just drill through the play-board and used that screw to bisect the spring and the wooden rod. With a couple of nuts which I used as washers, I was able to put the nail through the cardboard play-board and into the rod and the spring. After this I realized that the cardboard was too flimsy to hold this spring-button contraption, so I thought of making the play-board out of a different, harder material. This was much harder than I had expected and it took me by far the longest to create. I designed the playboard on a program used for laser cutting called “Corel Draw”, and had to make every hole exactly right, and over time I got it. I finally, after a lot of trial and error, I was able to laser cut the play-board out of acrylic and it printed almost perfectly.
I made this pinball machine and I would like to start out by talking about my improvements to the box. I started with replacing springs for the rubber bands on the flippers to add durability. one of the finishing touches to my machine was a new ball storage container which I made out of 1/8th in wood. It works as a drawer and can hold quite a few more balls than the original catch. For shots I made two ramps that lead to two tubes that went out the back of the machine and fed the ball to different places on the board. The design of my play board was inspired by a early on, poorly executed vinyl wrap That formed wrinkles that reminded me of a volcano and an island. I have two bumpers printed out of a rubbery plastic to bounce the ball off of. The bumpers also serve as an obstacle to the tube shots. This machine will live at berwick academy to be played by people of all ages.