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Ideas For Marble Runs?

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One shaped like a tree with metal leaves which shake as the marbles pass.

Or make one look like an actual mill. I know you have plenty of mill-like elements. But decorate it to make it look like a village mill.

Just brainstorming here. :)

If I ever start making runs, I'm going to make micro machines. Little tiny machines with little tiny marbles.

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Hi YellowMarble,

so first let's hope your competitors do not read here. Something that is large in size will probably be also large in count of marbles. The height could a get problem for safety reasons. Just consider a marble dropping down from several meters. It gains seriously high speed and might cause some injuries when visitors are hit.

This thought leads me to the question if you want to build it just for your own purpose and to make the video or if you want to place to an exhibition?

What I saw from your videos so far are wide tracks or single tracks, tipplers (is this the right word?) that hold thousands of marbles and then flip over when the last marble arrives, loops and some obstacles, bells and so on. Should the run be a single shot type (all mibs are put to the top manually and then released for descend) or employ a motorized lifter to run 'for ever'?

Anyway I think what Steph argues by her idea is to give your run a theme and then build it appropriately. Your "marble fun park" I really enjoyed for its decorations. A tree might be a nice idea. But I think its architecture and the statics of its construction (small at the base and wide at the top) will be a severe problem.

What just came into my mind is something that resembles the art of electricity in the early 19th century. A power plant where a generator works, an electrical transmission line and a light bulb. The electrons are imitated by the marbles and there is plenty of ideas for decorations also. Think of blue marbles that symbolize water in a river, running through a mill wheel (american's please correct my wording if I am wrong) driving the generator by a shaft. The generator might be symbolized by a big wheel lifting up red or yellow marbles. They run through transparent hoses along 2 or 3 power poles and then arrive at an oversized light bulb. This light bulb in fact is a series of 4 or even five loops where the marbles need to spiral through. When done they disappear below the floor and get back to the generator. Just an idea for brainstorming.

Another idea would be a scale model of a very impressive building with one or more integrated marble runs. I think of the Eiffel-Tower or the Lady Of Liberty or something like this.

Or you have an intense look on one of those giant roller coasters. Replace the waggons by marbles.

Ever thought of a marble run to be more the strange one? Try bowling balls to get a really big machine. But do not take to many of them, they contain lots of energy when in motion! Okay, my phantasy is galopping away but it is a nice idea to have thousands of small marbles lifting up a bowling ball on its own track. One lift to 30cm or so might take 5 minutes, who cares?

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Hee-hee! I like the idea of a micro-machine.

Reading further, I also like the idea of bowling balls. ( :

My brain is currently 'way out there', probably because of

a current practical need not to be 'under the influence' of anything.

But I'll tell you my wacko idea anyway.

I want to see marbles doing their normal high-speed run suddenly

get dropped into a large container of thick clear liquid. Not sure what

the proper thickness would be. Something between baby oil and Karo syrup.

It will take them a long time to slowly sink to the bottom.

Next, they need to somehow emerge from this container, literally 'take a shower'

to get clean, and possibly also get 'dried' before resuming their high speed run.

(I have no idea why my girlfriend's father doesn't 'approve' of me!) :D

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Thanks for your comments, i'm also thinking to do some theming. My idea is to make a Star Wars Marble Run, but the risk of getting copyright strikes is very high, a copyright strike will do heavy damage in the reputation of my channel causing a drop in views count and then the competitors will push me down. If succesful, a star wars marble run can attrack high numbers of views, then i need to contact the makers of Star Wars about copyright.

Another risk is that i'm spent hundreds of hours with building a themed marble run, and then getting a bad video only attracting several hundreds of views and lose the competition.

(sometimes youtube also sucks with this: I make a very complex marble run, i record it with a HD camcorder, but only some thousands of views. A competitor purchases a simple toy marble run in a budget store, makes a video with a cheap smartphone and gets millions of views, why does it happen???)

I also do some marble races to attract more viewers and hoping to push away that algodoo stuff.

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Quality is not the main aspect for selecting youtube clips. If the start is boring I stop viewing it or just try to find interesting scenes using the slider. So I think making a run is just half of the work. Making the video clip interesting is the other half.

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This is true!

I frequently make posts here which are 'pure genius', and they get totally ignored.

Often my less interesting ones get many responses.

(I hope you know I'm making fun of myself with the 'genius' thing!) :)

But seriously, I think Hoody has made an excellent point.

You seem to have a 'competitive nature'.

This is a wonderful quality which is responsible for much of

the 'modern progress' we all see around us and enjoy.

But 'The Tube' is not a good place to get accurate 'judging' of your obvious talent.

Don't take the responses (or lack of them) in a personal way!

Being 'successful' on youtube is "a roll of the dice", and not based on quality work.

If you actually are one of those people who enjoys seeing large numbers and wants

two billion 'friends' (which I don't personally understand, but is certainly okay!) then

I'd suggest starting a video with a marble getting slowly launched off a track. While

mid-air, it then gets 'bumped' onto the beginning of one of your terrific devices by

the 'butt' of an attractive woman wearing a bikini. B)

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Another thing:

Which things should i do (or not to do) to keep my channel going?

- 20,000 marbles project

(i need to arrange a large room and lots of money to purchase the marbles and material)

- Very long marble race

(i need only spent one day to travel to a steep sand hill on a dune)

- A simple track with some stunts

(i can stay home and won't need to spent any money)

- A Marble City like track with a large number of paths and some nice track elements

(i need lots of time to make a good track)

- A Star Wars themed marble run

(i need lots of time and searching star wars merchandise items, but also taking a risk being striked by youtube and damaging my channel.)

- More Modular Marble Run videos

(i need to make more elements using a CNC routing machine)

- Removing weak videos (i mean videos with less than 5000 views)

- Reuploading old videos

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Hoody! I was sure you were going to 'back me up' on my idea!

Don't you think seeing marbles descending slowly through thick liquid

would be an interesting diversion in an otherwise fast-moving marble run? ;)

P.S. I'm too old to know what 'hypes' means.

But in spite of my 'language barrier', I can tell that your comment was excellent advice!

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Hi kbobam, 'hype' we here in Germany use for something that gatheres great attention by broad publicity. For example the Star Wars movies generated such a hype so that everybody wants to buy respective merchandising (or at least some product managers think so). For me this got a little bit to much now having related toys and products advertised everywhere anytime.

Your idea to have a marble run through such a thick liquid is something I just did not see anywhere. On youtube there are a few "underwater" marble runs that end up in a swimming pool. I think that slowing down the motion by such a viscous liquid gets them run too slow for most spectators. One property to consider is the viscous drag that might need a very steep slope to have the marbles creeping down the track. Another property is that the lifter device needs to handle getting wet and also needs much more energy to lift a marble thanit needs in air (or water). Both properties could be considered, but there are some effects (e.g. loopings) ruled out 'cause of their velocity needs. Ping-pong balls in air already show some of those effects because they are relatively large comparing their weight.

Personally on some tracks I try to get my marbles running as slow as possible (1/2 foot per second currently runs stable) in air but this is quite demanding. Don't worry, I really do not have intends to "back you up" for the idea. Some ideas looking crazy at the first moment might evolve to really cool stuff (and some then ignite a hype ;)).


Just one thought creeped into my mind while writing the lines above - how about using ping-pong-balls for an underwater run? Their buoyancy (de opwaartse druk ??) requires making everything inverse so the lifter forces them down and they are running below the tracks upward! The driving motor for the lifter resides above the water in air, of course. This run does not need to get large, just the right incredients in a mid size aquarium tank and presented as what it is: a really fresh idea for marble (here more ball) runs. The video clip I would arrange so that nearly the whole time everything looks as usual but to the end zoom out so people see the arrangement and then roll over the camera and zoom in again to show for a few seconds how balls run inversely. Or you do it other way round, whole of the time the correct camera orientation and to the end the roll over and then leading out.

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I'm also thinking to do a underwater marble run, thanks for reminder it. But i haven't very much room now, so when i purchase a large fish tank, i get trouble to store it.

I'm also thinking to start a own museum, i try to find a manager or using crowdfunding to operate the museum and then i can make a large number of unique projects and promote it via youtube and real visitors.

Short videos gives me a large number of views but drains the average watchtime per view. If i have a longer video from 4 minutes with a good watcher loyalty of 2:30 minutes per view is better than a short one minute video with only 40 seconds per view.

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