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A Marble Run Enhanced with Innovative Elevator Mechanism Created Using 3D Printing

Watching marbles roll down a track can be a source of pure joy and relaxation. However, one challenge with such setups is how to bring the marbles back to the starting point once they reach the end. The Marblevator introduces a clever solution to this common issue.

The marble run itself is straightforward, comprising six 3D printed ramps that the marble swiftly travels down in a matter of seconds. The standout feature lies in the mechanism responsible for retrieving the marbles from the bottom of the track and transporting them back to the top.

A motor drives a gear that, in turn, rotates a crank connected to a complex linkage system in the shape of a rhombus. Positioned on one corner of the rhombus is a small extension with a magnet, which collects the marbles at the base of the run. As the system operates, the rhombus moves, bringing the arm carrying the marble back to the starting point of the track. There, another magnet seizes the marble briefly before releasing it to travel down the run once more.

Despite its simplicity, this project doubles as an engaging desk toy and serves as a valuable learning tool for understanding linkage mechanics and system design. For enthusiasts of marble runs, exploring the possibility of generating them through procedural methods could be a fascinating endeavor. Check out the video below for a demonstration.

Image Source: Hackaday

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