Marble Display

A marblemachine that displays a BW ( marble / no marble ) Pixelgraphic

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The MarbleDisplay is (will be) a marblemashine that lifts marbles on 7 paralel stairs. And theres a mechanism, controlled by a electric magnet on each row, that can put a new marble on the first stair, every time the marbles move one stair up. The e-magnets of the mechanisms will be controlled by an arduino. So I can write a programm that will line by line 'print' an image out of marbles onto the lift.
If you wonder why theres no backflow in the CAD-Construction: I'll built a backflow later on, when I tested everything.


All images and linked files are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  • cut the Parts

    sisam04/26/2015 at 16:29 0 comments

    heres a photo.

    I broke one af the stairs ( top left corner of the image ). So I cut 4 new ones to have some backups if I'll brake some more.

    Now I need to find small enougth electric magnets (max 8mm) and I can start assembling.

  • Finished the Construction

    sisam02/22/2015 at 16:59 0 comments

    the gears aren't in the 3D model because I generated them on a gear generating website and some how my CAD program doesn't wants to extrude them.

  • New Plan

    sisam02/09/2015 at 21:12 0 comments

    I tried out some stuff with the marbles and figured out that its really hard to get a stable speed and just a a bit angled ground would destroy the whole timing. So I'll make another lift and use the lift as the display. But it's a bit boring if the marbles just roll back to the start, so I have the idea to make music with the backrolling marbles and diffrent small drumms. I'll start constructing the lift and cut the parts next days.

  • Raw Constructionplan and Plan in general

    sisam02/02/2015 at 18:47 0 comments

    Yesterday I ordered 500 marbles with a diameter of 10 mm. I need to wait for them to make some tests to find out the right angle for the ramp ( maybe I even need to make the ramp a bit curved to get a constant speed ) before I can start constructing the whole thing.

    But heres already a raw construction plan for one column of the display.

    I'm planing to use 4 mm thick wood and cut out the pieces with a lasercutter.

    The fourth layer will be the first of the next column.

    The stick that's connected with the Marbleswitch will get pushed and pulled by a electromagnet.

    To control the electromagnets I'm going to use an arduino.

    You maybe already noticed that the middle part is floating in the air. My solution for that is to put metal tubes through the middle part of all columns and hold them left and right beside the whole Marble Display.

    The elevatorwheels will be connected with one thick metal tube that goes through the middle of all elevatorwheels. The tube will be connected with a motor.

    The idea of the lifting system comes from this video

    To get the timing write I'll do something like that:

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