Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Rube Goldberg Machine Post 2

Loading machine with marble:

Loading catapult: Put the marble into the cup via a drop chute or similar which is easy enough.

Achieving correct tension:

Could be setup before the machine has started or we might have a cog that winds the arm back.  Best to arm it before hand unless we’re using multiple marbles that are going to be following each other.  In that case something that is able to reload itself is going to be a priority.

Trigger mechanism:

At it’s most simple a piece of string could restrain the arm of the catapult and, at the proper time the string is either snapped by a blade or burnt by a candle

Once the string has been broken the candle will need to be doused.  So ideally what we need is a conveyor belt that stops when it is time to burn the string and starts when the string is gone.   It will be a good look if we manage to douse the flame in a candle of water.

We could use the trigger string to act as a halter for the candle if it were to be attached to a toy car and thus achieve movement.  Once the string has gone then the car is free to travel upon it’s merry way and sink in a watery grave.


Image 1:
Ball enters piping and gathers speed which throws it into the cup.

Image 2:The cup is balanced on an axle and the weight of the marble dislodges the cup which moves it down and the counterweight up.

Image 3:When the cup reaches it tips over, allowing the marble to continue on its way


String attached to both ends of toy car.

The forward one is attached to a weigh while the rear one is just long enough to allow the car to tip over the edge of the track and once again allows the marble to roll free


Normal fold:
Rigidly folded with walls on each side
type fold:
Doesn’t really work for gentle slopes
U type fold:The paper here is barely folded at all.  If suspended it would be at the mercy of any errant breeze.  But if used as a tipping platform then it could work quite well.



Rear string is held at the ready

The string is severed though means unknown at this point.

The boot swings forwards, kicking off the next part of the machine.  If a swing like this is to be the final part of the machine then we might give it a very long swing but boots are not aerodynamic at the best of times and the bigger swing that we have the more chance of the boot twisting in midkick.

The boot might also be needed to weighted in order to provide some real power.

Rube Goldberg Machine Post 1


  1. Way cool, seems pretty straightforward. When are ya'll gonna be done with it and get to play with it? Or have ya'll gotten to play with it yet?

  2. Still very much in the design phase at the moment. We've got the end of it so we're trying to do something really big.