Builder Ben Tardif created this impressive motorized marble machine which carries hundreds of ball bearings up an elevator, then rolls them down a miniature ski jump, where they make their way back to the bottom to repeat the feat. You can check out the build process if you’re interested in seeing it come together.
THE BEST Marbles
LittleBall Creations makes beautiful marble mazes from bent and soldered copper wire. Here, they show off one of their self-contained mazes that sits inside of a cube. The marble rolls from one end of the track to the other when the cube is flipped over. If you’re interested in buying this piece, contact them on Facebook.
Inspired by the incredible manmade feat known as the Great Wall of China, the guys at Murmiland built a marble run that looks like a miniature version of the world wonder. The only difference is their version measures just 15 meters long, less than a millionth of the length of the real deal. Oh, and nobody died building this one.
Gravitrax marble tracks look like fun, but you’d need to invest a lot of money to build something as impressive as the course that Jelle’s Marble Runs put together. They divided the track into four distinct areas, from soothing single-marble action to a cacophonous 1000-marble avalanche. It must have taken days to set this all up.
We’ve seen lots of videos where virtual objects have been synced up to perfectly match with music. But 5MadMovieMakers managed to do it in real life by building an elongated marble track and perfectly timing the speed of the ball rolling so it lines up with song lyrics. The track is “Take Your Time” by EmCee.
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 every white noise machine. Skip to 0:38.
Material Immaterial Studio presents a unique piece of interactive tabletop art. Cast from concrete, the diminutive Factory features design elements of Brutalist industrial architecture and incorporates a rolling ball maze. Just roll the tiny steel bearings from its tower, and enjoy the show! Measures 8.07″ W x 4.33″ D x 6.29″ H.
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.
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.
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