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Awesome Marble Machines

Notre Dame Marble Runs

Notre Dame Marble Runs

Masked Marble used thousands of GraviTrax parts to create this incredible 6.5-foot-tall, 9-foot-long model of Notre Dame that incorporates multiple marble runs. Before getting to the big build, he assembled a few off-the-shelf models of the iconic Parisian cathedral and built marble tracks through them.

Recirculating Gravity Well

Recirculating Gravity Well

A gravity well is a cone-shaped device that pulls marbles or other small balls into its center like a vortex. JBV Creative built a version of a gravity well connected to an elevator, so as spheres drop through its middle, they head back up to the top and start their journey all over again. It’s incredibly satisfying once he drops thousands of steel balls into it.

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Tea-Making Marble Machine

Tea-Making Marble Machine

Inspired by Colin Furze and his tea-making Rube Goldberg machine, engineer James Bruton wanted to make his own overly complicated contraption for fixing drinks. Bruton’s TEA-800 beverage dispenser is triggered by a large ball bearing that activates various parts of the machine. It gradually moves a mug into position and fills it with hot water, brews a tea bag, and adds milk.

Fixing the Marble Machine Clock

Fixing the Marble Machine Clock

A little while back, maker Ivan Miranda engineered a very cool clock that tells time using marbles. But his kinetic sculpture is too slow to tell the time accurately. He’s since made numerous refinements to the design of his clock, and it’s now faster and smoother, so it can properly update its digits once per minute. It’s totally awesome but ridiculously loud.

Building a Giant Marble Machine Clock

Building a Giant Marble Machine Clock

Maker Ivan Miranda wanted to build a mechanical clock that uses marbles to show the time. He created an elevator that lifts marbles and drops them into a track. He used light sensors to detect white marbles and solenoids to release the right ones to display dot-matrix digits. It’s a work in progress, but it’s already impressive. Watch part one of the build here.

Modular 3D Printed Marble Machine

Modular 3D Printed Marble Machine

Marble machines can be so much fun to watch in action. The 3D Printer Academy shows how they built a neat marble machine from modular components that hold together with 3D-printed thumbscrews. It took a little trial and error to get it all working smoothly and without jamming, but eventually, it worked perfectly.

Kinetic Sine Wave Machine

Kinetic Sine Wave Machine

Kinetic sculpture maker JBV Creative shows off one of his coolest builds yet, a machine that creates a sine wave motion as ball bearings roll along its horseshoe-shaped ribs. He sells an STL template for 3D printing your own, along with a detailed assembly video. He’s also made a version that’s twice as long.

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Marble Machine with an Escalator

Marble Machine with an Escalator

Wood Marble Machine builds exactly what their YouTube channel name says. This modular machine carries steel ball bearings up a double escalator and then rolls them back down through a series of ramps, bowls, and a spinning pachinko board before doing it all over again. The sounds it makes are wonderfully soothing.

Marble Night City Marble Run

Marble Night City Marble Run
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ROKR’s intricate marble run makes a great desktop plaything. The crank-driven elevator wheel keeps marbles flowing through the endless maze, which includes multiple ramps, a spiral funnel, and other fun obstacles along the way. You’ll have fun building the 294-piece laser-cut kit too.

Raiders of the Lost Marble

Raiders of the Lost Marble

After his tribute to Aladdin, CG artist David Scott of Enbiggen is back with another musical marble machine. Hit play and enjoy as Indiana Jones relives the mine cart chase from The Temple of Doom and the boulder scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. The soothing kalimba music was performed by BluntoMarx.

Chocolate Factory Marble Run

Chocolate Factory Marble Run
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Robotime’s latest ROKR wood model lets you build a tabletop marble run that looks like a tiny chocolate factory. Turn the crank, and colorful marbles roll through twists and turns of the maze. The 420-piece model takes about 7 hours to assemble and offers ample challenge for kit builders. We only wish it made real candy.

This Is Not a Perpetual Motion Machine

This Is Not a Perpetual Motion Machine

Drop a marble into the top of this tabletop sculpture, and it rolls down a ramp and back into itself endlessly. While it might appear to defy the laws of physics, the trick is that its base contains a hidden battery and electromagnet that accelerates the steel sphere as it comes down the ramp.

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Cardboard Marble Machines

Cardboard Marble Machines

There’s something so satisfying about watching marbles roll around in mazes. B-dama Friend’s YouTube channel is filled with dozens of fun marble machines made mostly out of cardboard. Each one is loaded with ramps, spirals, funnels, and more. Our current faves are number 37, number 24, and number 32.

Building a Mini Marble Music Machine

Building a Mini Marble Music Machine

Inspired by the machines of Wintergatan, Daniel de Bruin, and Matthias Wandel, fellow maker Ivan Miranda created his own musical marble machine. He designed and built it from scratch using 3D printed parts, a resin drum, and an aluminum frame. The ball bearings make notes by falling onto a MIDI controller keypad.

Wall-Mounted Marble Coaster

Wall-Mounted Marble Coaster

JBV Creative designed this interactive marble coaster that can be wall-mounted. To build the maze, he created 3D models in Solidworks, then rendered the components on a 3D printer. Once it’s loaded up with marbles, it continuously recirculates with the turn of its crank. You can buy the STL files to make your own on JBL’s website.

Infinity Trax Magnetic Marble Runs

Infinity Trax Magnetic Marble Runs
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DeepMake sells these modular marble runs that stick to metal surfaces like a refrigerator. The pieces are made from laser-cut wood, and include ramps, loops, spinners, and stairsteps which you can configure any way you’d like. They come in 12-, 24-, 48-, and 96-piece sets, and are also working on a archimedes screw lift.

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