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Steph

Where Do You Build Your Marble Runs?

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I found myself asking both Hoody and Jelle the same thing, so I'll start a thread on it.

Where do you guys set up your marble runs? I've seen some of the answer, but I'm really overwhelmed by this. Some are permanent and some are portable. Some are done at conventions and some are done at museums. And????

Basically, this is a new topic to me. Just how big are marble runs in your part of the world? By "big" I don't mean in size ... I mean more about interest and participation.

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Dear Steph, Thanks for your interest!

I'm setting up my marble runs in very different places, some (mostly the smaller) ones are standing in my home. The bigger ones are standing in public places like indoor playgrounds (the 11000 marbles one), museums, amusement parks, etc.

The 11,000 marbles project was viral on youtube, it gave me 2,5 MILLION views in just one week of time, boosting my youtube channel.

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Hi Steph and all you folks,

the location of my marble run normally is my hobby room. It resides on the table while I am tinkering and improving things while I am watching how it works. I put it to the public relatively seldomly so far. Currently I am lacking a concept for its transportation and the machine is far from working as perfect as I want it for the next show.

The interest of the audience is varying. I just put the contruction to 2 events dedicated to fischertechnik (ft) fans. Most of them like to watch the machine running and spend a while until they walk on. Mostly the younger ones: "Mom, Dad, can we stay a little bit longer?". Their reason seems to be the special construction of the tracks that take 5/8 balls and marbles. But there are also older people fascinated by it. I recently receive questions on how the tracks are made - even the Moms are asking while their kids are staring at the marbles rolling.

Asian people are crazy for marble runs, I think. Really no one of those spectators just pass the machines on the shows. They really took lots of time time to take lots of pictures, and then they ask questions like "how many parts", "how much construction effort", "are there building instructions", ...

Somewhere on the web I learned that in some big asian cities there are marble and ball run installations in shopping malls, airports and other public places. I have never seen such a thing in Germany so far.

My experience is that most people on the ft fan events like watching marble runs but are not considering to go beyond what the readily available ft sets provide. My next trial will be next year at the Hannover Maker Faire (Hannover - Germany). I am curious about the reactions there.

Regards

Hoody

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Dear Hoody,

Thanks for your post, do you have pictures from your marble runs?

You can use a marble lifter from another construction set like quercetti skyrail or something like.

I'm also trying to come to hannover maker faire next year.

My youtube channel attract lots of americans and europeans, but i'm trying to attract asian people as well.

In Seoul (south korea), there's a special rolling ball museum as well. But i cannot contact them.

Regards, jelle

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Hi Jelle,

all the pictures available so far are on the web in the ftcommunity photo gallery. I just started a thread on "A Tribute To Imperfection". Probably you already see it. Some more pictures are only showing building phases or details for technical discussions. One gallery is already out documenting a disappointing construction of mine. I think it is okay to start about this in a different thread after I added some english descriptions to the gallery.

Regards

Hoody

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Well, I hope you enjoyed the beast.

On the convention it ran the whole day. Some marbles escaped from the tracks but that was not too bad. But after I brought it back home and assembled the modules again on my table the machine refused to work immediately! It turned out that my estimations on friction variation were wrong. I have had so incredibly much luck on the convention. But that is history, the tracks have been rearranged anyway and from then friction variation is not an issue. The new technical issues of today I can solve, I think. The physics tell me that it is not impossible and so I will identify a way forward.

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Yes and no. After correcting the friction issue by lowering the tracks behind the looping this works reliably. This was done when extending the machine for this year. http://www.ftcommunity.de/details.php?image_id=41550 My marble lifter for the third track was failing. I managed to get something else that worked pretty good - the tower a little bit to the right of the center. It ran throughout the day although I assembled it from scratch in just a few hours and had no time for much testing and improving it. And so the event I can call a success too, finally.

But I am not really giving up getting the intended original idea to work. It is a pinciple that german mine workers used to get into and out of their mines at Harz mining area hundreds of years ago, calling it "Fahrkunst". Of course, for marble runs, there is an extremely complicated mechanism with tilting platforms that is also already available as a fischertechnik set. But there is a simpler way. Have a look at the second animation aside the second paragraph of the text: http://www.kugelbahn.info/deutsch/bergwerk/dusyma.html. Jürgen did a great job with the animation and it looks so simple and easy how marbles are lifted and gently pushed over to the other side climbing up the mechanism.

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But Jürgen is still alive. I had some eMail exchanged with him last year. I hope his site stays online until he has time again to maintain it further.

Might it be an idea to invite hin to join us here?

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