Every year (meaning this year and last year) RadioShack and Popular Mechanics hold a Hackerspace challenge. They get two hackerspaces from across the country to build something with the same idea in mind. This year that idea was old meets new and my Makerspace was lucky enough to get chosen.
We decided to build something we call the M6. It is a Rube Goldberg style machine that incorporates the different disciplines in the Makerspace by passing the ball from one areas section to the next. If you watch the video My friend Tom does a kind of walk-through but to summarize it goes from a laser cut Miulwaukee Makerspace logo that accepts the coins and then through the craft lab slides. From there it goes over to the over-engineered section (the only you can engineer anything at a Makerspace) which triggers a drop into the milling and CNC section. A switch gets triggered there which kicks off the Weld shop thing that is amazingly one of the most repeatable sections (it is the large metal thing in the middle) and that drops a gumball into a teeter-totter that was made in our forge. That arm throws it into a cup which funnels it into my section. A gumball roller coaster.
My section represents the 3D print area. I am the “area champion” of the print lab so when we came up with the plan for what to do I decided to take of on my favourite toys as a little kid and use something distinctly new to make it (well 3D printing is not new but the hobby market for it is). I printed out the clips and rings then used some spare 3mm filament we had lying around for the track. Several hours of straining my already strained relationship with super glue later and it was complete. A few track jumps, some caged track that works quite nicely, and a dish at the end for the gumball to swirl around and it makes a nice end to the chaos that is the M6.
Marble Run Pieces