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The Great Ball Contraption, a ultimate Lego challenge, has been perfected

Of all a things done with Lego, my favorites are invertibly a Great Ball Contraptions. GBCs, as they are know for short, are Rube Goldberg-style machines designed with a solitary purpose of relocating little balls by a circuit. The mechanisms that pierce a balls by a loop are generally as formidable as possible, regulating crafty actions that are suggestive of a workings of a bureau right out of How It’s Made.

This GBC is utterly special. It uses a shining pattern and has a combined reward of being featured in a high quality, good constructed video. The recognition of all too many Lego projects is hold behind by bad video work. That’s not a box here — YouTube user and creator Philip Verbeek did an implausible pursuit this time around, environment a new bar for GBCs and GBC videos.

Verbeek’s GBC 5 uses 6 dissimilar modules. Modules are elementary machines (like an Archimedes screw) that work together to emanate a whole circuit. The some-more modules, a some-more formidable a GBC. Module pattern is utterly varied from one builder to another, yet a indicate is that they would theoretically be means to work together, even yet a standards for GBC modules seems to be utterly loose.

Verbeek’s origination used about 2500 Lego pieces and dual motors, a Lego XL and one for a 9V pneumatic pump. The controlls are supposing by Lego’s NXT 1.0, that also handles a counting of a balls as they work their approach by a circuit.

Verbeek’s GBC modules don’t all have grave names, yet he was good adequate to report the mechanisms for us (you can see them all in a gallery):

  1. Push: Pushes balls from a left and right side to a center track.
  2. Accelerator: Shoots balls to a other side.
  3. Splitter: Makes balls go left and right in pairs. Two balls go left and afterwards dual balls go right.
  4. Stop-go #1: Stops balls and lets them go by during a right time.
  5. Stop-go #2: Same function, in another position.
  6. Stop-go #3: Same function, in a third position.
  7. Shoot: Shoots balls regulating a normal Lego spring.
  8. Cardan gear: Moves trolley behind and forth.
  9. Tilt trolley: Dumps balls to another track.
  10. Pneumatic scissor lift: Adjusts height.
  11. Pneumatic switch: Controls atmosphere flow.

So, yes, it’s a really formidable device, yet it does a pursuit intensely well. Verbeek’s usages of elementary machines — like a Cardan gear, that translates round suit into linear suit — competence seem elementary in concept, yet as we can see in a gallery images, a doing of these concepts is many pierce complex. And afterwards conceptualizing a appurtenance from blemish that uses all these mechanisms is positively a many considerable partial of a GBC. Even for a modernized adult fan of Lego (AFOL) a GBC is a outrageous plea and time-consuming undertaking.

Now read: Lego appliance is good during relocating balls

[Image credit: Philip Verbeek]


  • GBC – Accelerator 002

  • GBC – Stop-go mechanism

  • GBC – Splitter 01

  • GBC – Splitter 02

  • GBC – Accelerator module

  • GBC – Push Mechanism, underside

  • GBC – overview

  • GBC – overview 002

  • GBC – overview 003

  • GBC – round on rail

  • GBC -basin

  • GBC – controller

  • GBC round stack

  • GBC – Pneumatic switch

  • GBC – Pneumatic scissor lift

  • GBC – Stop-go 3 – 001

  • GBC – Stop-go 3

  • GBC – Tilt trolley 02

  • GBC – Tilt trolley

  • GBC – Cardan rigging 03

  • GBC – Cardan rigging 02

  • GBC – Cardan gear

  • GBC – Stop-go 2

  • GBC – open mechanism

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