26 Aug 2022

My Challenge to Make a Marble Run Machine – Think, Think

A new idea always comes to mind in the middle of the night. I don't know why. 

Two days ago, I woke up in the dark and suddenly an image of a new idea popped into my mind. I got up, grabbed a pen, and drew a rough sketch. I thought the idea was brilliant. However, I knew I tend to overrate my ideas, especially an idea I think of in the middle of the night.
It's because I've been thinking about the mechanism of the marble run machine for a long time and couldn't find a good one at all. Therefore, I have a tendency to pin my hopes on the new idea I had just thought of. The idea I had thought of was my light of hope, but it was too early to rejoice.

The following day, I reconsidered the idea of my light of hope. I thought of various issues that could possibly come up. After consideration, my light of hope, which was supposed to be a giant light bulb, shrank to a small bulb placed 10 m away. Things like this have always happened.

Having said that, I may find a function I can use if I devise this idea. It's the most likely idea I've ever had. All right, I won't give it up yet.

Today is my birthday. I want to give myself the best gift, a mechanism that works perfectly. If I could solve this issue, it means I solved the most difficult part of the mechanism of my marble run machine. I want to change a small bulb into a bright big bulb.

Every time I cannot solve an issue, I recall one of the movies I saw a long time ago. It was the movie in which comedian John Candy acted. I don't remember the title of the movie. In the movie, he was in a critical situation, hanging from a rope and said, "Think, think."
Now is the time for me to think.

Let me start by drawing a picture of the mechanism on 3D software and make sure whether it works or not. I hope it works well.

19 Aug 2022

Where Is a Good Idea?

I'm making a marble run machine. This is a big project for me. Actually, it's a big one. The longest side is 120 cm (47.2 in).

I had been having an issue at the point of the most challenging structure, and recently I solved it. Therefore, I assumed I could proceed with my work, but things couldn't go as I wanted. I've got an unexpected issue again.

It's the mechanism of placing a ball in a particular position. It must put one ball at the suitable timing. I've designed the mechanism, but it was a bit complicated. I prefer a simple design. Simple is the best because a complicated design is difficult to make and easy to be broken.

Something complicated, seemingly difficult to think of. However, to accomplish the same target, thinking out the simplest mechanism is more arduous, and it's the best idea.

Therefore, I didn't like the design I had thought of. At that time, my husband suggested the other idea I had never thought of. It was elementary and seemed to work correctly.

Wow, that's a great idea!

However, I have a policy. I don't want to use someone's idea.
The idea was excellent, but once I heard it, one of my options was gone. If I didn't listen, I might have thought of a similar idea, but it's too late. Do you think I'm stubborn? Yes, I am. This is an important rule for me. Even if I could make something perfect by borrowing someone's idea, I don't think I could be happy because it hasn't been made with 100 per cent of my idea.

Inconveniently, a simple design doesn't exist a lot. This means it's getting more difficult than I could think of an idea.

Have any ideas fallen somewhere?

I sometimes think, why have I started making this? It should have been easier if I had decided to make a typical marble run machine. Make several rails and one mechanism to raise balls from the bottom to the top. That's it. Although I know I wouldn't be satisfied with an ordinary marble run machine. I have a particular one that I want to make.

Since I hit the wall, I've been thinking of a new idea. I don't know when I could think of it or maybe I couldn't. There's an option that I give up and use my husband's idea. 

I wonder when I could complete the marble run machine.

12 Aug 2022

My Challenge to Make a Marble Run Machine - A Tiny Step Forward

I made a little progress on a marble run machine yesterday. Although, it is still the beginning of the process.
The base board of the marble run machine is 600 mm x 1200 mm and quite big. Therefore, it was not easy to handle it. I bought the board at the local hardware shop. The board is not an accurate rectangle. Well, never mind.

I want to make a marble run machine that can change some parts. It is also convenient that I can replace a part partially in case it is broken. Therefore, I marked 2mm tiny depth holes on the board's surface using the CNC router. Those little holes will be indicators when I set each part.
I asked for help from Juno when I used the CNC router. It was because the board is big and cannot mark holes at once. This means I had to set the board twice. It was risky to move the board; I might have set the wrong position and made a mistake. Juno and I very carefully measured the position of the board. Thanks for being careful. We somehow managed to drill correctly. Now, the base is ready. However, this is just the beginning.

I have not decided on the whole design of the machine.
I have two chains. The longest one is 785 mm long, and the small one is 534 mm long. They occupy the space quite a lot. It is a bit difficult to think of the layout of the machine in the rest of the space.

I am going to display it on a wall, so it is good for making it as flat as possible. However, thinking of what I want to make, it would be thick by all means. The plan I had before I started making it is getting changed. I do not hesitate to take lots of time. Most importantly is making a fun marble run machine.

I want to make the marble run machine that friends who visit my house will enjoy seeing.