DIY Pinball, the cheap way :)

A 3/4 sized pinball table running on 12v and cheap ebay bits

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I'm building a 3/4 scale pinball table. As parts arrive from china i thought i'd construct a test table so that i can test out each element and work out what engineering challenges i am yet to face. See it in action here test table is 27cm x 40cm on a 4 degree incline. Flippers where designed in Fusion360, thingiverse link

The orange PLA i used to print the flippers is quite old and produced some interesting patterns on the exterior but at 60% infill they are very strong.

I decided to use remote car door lock motors to power the flippers since 12v solenoids don't give enough push for a proper pinball experience.

There is much still left to do, this was a 1 day build using particle board, cardboard and hot melt glue. Pretty happy with the results so far :)


Just created some drop targets for this project. All files are here

JPEG Image - 730.48 kB - 10/21/2017 at 13:40


  • DIY Pinball - Drop targets with reset

    Chris Mitchell01/28/2018 at 04:24 0 comments

    Finally after many many iterations and bad ideas, i present the best bad idea yet :)

    And it works !

    A modular pinball drop target.
    As part of my DIY pinball project i needed to design some drop targets.
    This is a complete/final model that works just fine.

    I used a small piece of elastic band to put tension on the target, i tried using a spring but it was too much for the server. perhaps a softer spring could work.

    Servo motor: Tower pro (13mm*24mm)
    Micro switch with NC & NO contacts.

    The model was designed in Fusion360 and is included for download. It has been a long work in progress and some mistakes were made along the way.
    As for the reset mechanism, well this was just the best of the bad ideas i had and it seems to work fine in testing so long as the servo's had plenty of current yo work with.

    It is modular with a common bolt hole in the base so you can connect as many as you like.

    Fusion & STL files

  • DIY pinball - Flippers (complete)

    Chris Mitchell12/16/2017 at 15:00 5 comments

    DIY Pinball - Flipper

    This is the final version of my flipper design, uses an Allen key (hex wrench) as the shaft to make it easy to replicate using parts from your local hardware store.

    I have made a space in the flipper for a zip/cable tie so no glue is required.

    Fusion & STL files available here

    I will probably make a base plate for the bearings and motor mounts just to sure everything up in the final pinball design.

  • DIY pinball part 3 - Inserts

    Chris Mitchell11/12/2017 at 12:11 0 comments

    A pinball insert (table roll over switch) Using cheap SS49E hall effect sensors and neodymium magnets.

    Video about it here:

    STL's & Fusion360 project can be found here:

    All parts printed in PLA.
    The clear lens in PLA transparent.
    For testing i printed a large apron around the sensor so i could roll the ball across the sensor.
    I the final design i would only print the lens to fit within the sensor case.
    The single LED will probably be replaced with 3xAPA102 LED's...more info on the why later :)

    It's not the easiest way to make a switch but it won't alter the balls trajectory and it's completely reliable.

    I may or may not include this in the final design.

    Parts used...
    3x SS49E Hall effect sensor
    6x Neodymium magnet N35 5mmx2mm

    I connected the 3 hall effect sensors in parallel so that any increase in voltage from either of the 3 sensors would trigger a ball present. In the video i am using a arduino (Wemos D1) but in the final design it will be a simple resistor and transistor pair that will provide a signal much like any switch would.

  • DIY Pinball - Part 2 - Drop targets

    Chris Mitchell10/22/2017 at 13:28 0 comments

    The drop targets have been printed and tested, they work great :)

    Made in Fusion360

    All files are available here

    I'm yet to decide if i will use a solenoid or a motor/wheel to do the reset, will update the model when i do :)

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ernesto.villarreal wrote 10/28/2017 at 18:23 point

Thanks for the idea!

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