14 May 2022

Tripped Over Again and Again

In the previous blog about the marble run machine, I have written, "I have not yet jumped over the first hurdle. " After that, I jumped over the first hurdle!
Yes, I did, and I tripped over it and fell. Well, that happens all the time.

I fell because I could not figure out the difference between the virtual and the physical worlds. I always draw pictures using 3D software when I make something. Mine does not have a function of physics simulation, so I must imagine how it moves when I make it.
It is not difficult to see a collision detection. I can simply rotate or move an object I want to make sure. However, there is a more complicated phenomenon, like friction or gravity.

Do you think I should buy a more superior one?
Well, I agree, but you know, it is costly.

When making a marble run machine, I have one system that I do not want to remove. That is the most difficult mechanism.

Yesterday, I made some samples to make sure whether they moved the way I wanted. It was like a school physics class. I regret that I should have studied physics hard. It took time and effort, but it was worth experimenting. Now, I understand how they work and the effect of friction. I was going to make small parts, but now I have changed my mind. I am going to make bigger parts that would be more stable.

I know you cannot guess what I am talking about. I am afraid I cannot tell you the details until it is finished. I am going to create a unique marble run machine that will not disappoint you when you see it.

10 May 2022

The Fact I Didn't Want to Realize

The puzzle that my husband and I have been working on since July last year has finally been completed. I deeply realized it was easier to make linear objects, but it takes a long time to make things like animal shapes.

Since we have been busy, the backyard and roof of our house haven't been maintained well enough. So, we got things tidy last week. I was in charge of the garden beds. My husband did a cleanup of the roof gutters.

We knew one of the gutter ends always overflowed when it rained. Probably, it had got a lot of fallen leaves inside. Then, he took it apart from the gutters. He just pulled it, I saw one giant frog drop from the gutter end. It was a big Australian green tree frog.

He/she dropped to the ground and looked quite grumpy, making a noise. Then, we found ten more frogs in the gutter end. All of them were Australian green tree frogs. Maybe, they were going to hibernate there. The frogs all looked unhappy when they were suddenly thrown out.
Sorry, mate.

I don't have the opportunity to see so many frogs, and I took some photos. I think they are cute, don't you agree? There was an unexpected encounter, but eventually, we were happy that we could clean it.

However, I believe an easy, happy ending wouldn't make the story interesting, would it? I wouldn't betray your expectations. The story hasn't finished yet.

On the night of the cleaning up, we had dinner feeling well. The gutter end won't overflow anymore. It's a crisp feeling!
Just at that time, my husband suddenly said, "Didn't you notice?"
"Notice what?"
"There were frogs in the gutter end which means, you know?"
I finally realized an awful fact.

Rainwater runs into the gutters, and gutter ends. Then, water goes into the rainwater tank. Can you guess why we are keeping rainwater in the tank? It's for drinking!
Yes, we have been drinking the water after the frogs had bathed. I also noticed worse things. They don't go to the toilet like us, do they? That's disgusting!
What we recognized was quite awful, disgusting, foul, or whatever the vocabulary I have cannot express well enough.

Today's blog post has nothing to do with puzzles, yet it was a bit of a gobsmacked fact, so I have written about it.
Before I end today's blog post, I should say this.

We are in pretty good health status, thanks.


22 Apr 2022

Stumbled at The First Hurdle - The Marble Run

I have been thinking of ideas for a marble run. I have decided on a theme and am going to make the themed marble run.

There are two essential conditions that I want to keep as much as possible. It must be fun to watch. Marble runs are toys, so this condition is key. I want to make the work enjoyable for both adults and children who see it. The second one is related to being particular about the design. It is not only about the marble run; I do not like to make the same things that other people make. I love original ideas. It is not a matter of copyright; I just do not like that.

However, it is arduous to think of novel ideas. Probably, geniuses can think of cutting-edge ideas, not me. So, I mean that I want to make something as new as possible.

Even for me, I could sometimes think of something supposed to be a new idea. In such a case, I watch YouTube videos, search the information about marble runs, and make sure that nobody has made my idea yet.

I have heard that even though you come up with a new idea, a hundred people in the world have got the same idea. It may be correct. It is hard to make things from a picture. I believe the most important thing is to create an idea to happen in reality. In other words, there are two hurdles to clear. Thinking of ideas and actually making them.

I have not yet jumped over the first hurdle. I am struggling with one of the parts of the marble run. I think if I could not think of any new ideas, I would give up and make a marble run that has ordinary types of parts.
Let me think and worry about what to do for another month or so.

12 Apr 2022

Making The Marble Run Machine - 1

I had been struggling with the idea of the marble run. As I have written in the blog on January 2022, I was planning to add an optical illusion. I still have not given up on the idea. However, before I started making the optical illusion, I thought I should decide on the design of the first part of the marble run. It is a lifting structure of the starting point of the marble run.
I wanted to make a giant marble run, which meant I needed to make a structure that could lift tiny balls efficiently from the bottom to the top of the marble run. There are several common types of systems to raise the balls; a rotating disk with holes, two staircases moving up and down, a rotating spiral rod, a method of moving a rod with weights and making a ball fly. I wanted to use a new idea, but what I thought of was not good enough to lift the balls from the lower place to the top. Therefore, I have decided to use a chain. I believe a chain is one of the most efficient and easiest methods to lift the ball.

Having said that, I have never made a chain and knew nothing about chains. Luckily, I have an excellent person to ask. Juno used to make racing bikes at work long ago, so he knows about chains. I drew some pictures of chains that I believed could work, and he advised me. I drew gears to carry the chain too. I made sure whether those chains and gears worked well. Here is the picture that I drew.

What I was afraid of the most of was the chain coming off the gears. With the advice of Juno, I drew one of two parts of the chains wider. The light-coloured rectangular part should not have to have that width, but it is made wider to be secured.

The most time-consuming part of making a chain is making each link. It is a lot of work to make them by hand. So, I made data using 3D software and read the data with CamBam CNC software. For this kind of job, the CNC router is a perfect machine.

Juno showed me several off-cuts. I have chosen two timbers; one is Silver Ash, and the other was not certain, but probably Utile or Queensland Maple. If there was no use for the off-cuts, I thought I could have cut those links as much as I could. Maybe I could make use of them. Then, what I got were so many links! I was going to make one chain, but eventually, I could make two chains.

These pictures below show connecting each link. I glued cut bamboo barbecue skewers with glue. This work was quite fun. Looking at the chain that is getting longer is pleasant. 

Here they are. These are the chains I have made this time. They seem to work well.

This was only just the beginning of making the marble run. I am going to design the next step. I will write about the work as it progresses.
See you next time!

7 Jan 2022

An Optical Illusion and a Marble Machine

I made an optical illusion object yesterday and the next step is to make a marble machine.

I was planning to combine the marble machine with the optical illusion, but I found it very difficult to make. So, at this stage, I'm not sure whether I can make it.
Making an optical illusion object isn't easy. If you want to make it care about even small details, it's possible to make a good one, but it's very difficult. So, I gave up paying attention to the details early.

There is one more issue. If I added the optical illusion object to the marble machine, the existence of rails and balls might more easily reveal the illusion that isn't real. Of course, the illusion isn't a real object, but you know, as possible as I can, I want to make it as if it's a real object.

Anyway, I'm going to draw the picture of the marble machine together with the optical illusion object. Let's see what it will look like.