Artist Daniel de Bruin is an expert at making metal tracks for marble machines. He’s taught us how to make our own, and even made a room-sized marble track. Now, he’s downsized his efforts, creating the tiniest marble course we’ve ever seen, using a custom drive mechanism, 0.6mm wire, and a 5mm wide ball bearing.
THE BEST Marbles
There are plenty of kits out there that let you build a tabletop marble run, but Daniel de Bruin shows you how you can build your own marble track using a spool of picture hanging wire, some solder, and a few household tools. Daniel previously built a room-size marble machine as a demonstration of how economies work.
Remix artist William Maranci did a great job combining the warm and inviting sounds of Wintergatan’s musical marble machine with Gorillaz’ track Feel Good Inc. As its musician and inventor cranks it up, Maranci has to fool with the BPM a bit, but that’s part of the fun.
Scott’s Marble Runs shows off a truly impressive build that start outside of his house, then winds its way inside through countless bends and turns. It takes a full 6 minutes for a marble to complete the entire course, which he built using Quercetti Skyrail marble tracks.
It may not play music like Wintergatan’s marble-powered musical instrument, but we still enjoyed listening to the soothing sounds and watching the hypnotic movements of this wooden marble machine, which serves as an example of the modules you can buy from its creator.
These fun-looking marble tracks mount on magnetic surfaces like some whiteboard and fridges, letting you create Line Rider-style courses that take full advantage of gravity. Available tricks will include a spinner, bell, launcher, catapult, a motorized lift and more. Launching soon on Kickstarter.
Puzzle maker Ravensburger’s kits are a blast for kids and kids at heart, letting you easily assemble fast-moving and complex marble runs. Modular components encourage experimentation, and include loops, magnetic cannons, and other tricks. The starter set comes with 122 pieces, while we’d go for the 240-piece XXL set.
Scott’s Marble Runs knows a thing or two about making really long tracks for his marbles to zoom down. This time, he created an epic, multi-story run that has dozens upon dozens of loops, and relies heavily on gravity to make it work. Nice catch there at the end too, Scott.
Australian artist David Morrell bends metal wire to form roller coaster style tracks, on which marbles spend their days rolling round and round in a perpetual loop. His kinetic sculptures are available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, and he accepts commission work.
Marble fanatic Jelle’s latest build is an impressively complicated marble run that was inspired by theme parks. It features 30 “attractions,” with lots of twists, turns, loops, tunnels, and more. Any given marble can take up to 3 minutes to work its way through all of the rides.
Sino Sales & Support presents a brief and wonderfully satisfying look at a factory in China where rows of machines crank out millions of glass marbles each year. The soothing sound of thousands of rolling marbles should be an option on white noise machines. Skip to 0:38.
Pocket83’s marble sorting machine uses two bars that get slightly wider apart, such that rolling marbles over them will cause smaller ones to fall earlier than the larger ones. Not only does it make a soothing sound, it also does a great job of visualizing the bell curve.
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