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Magical marble sorting machine

by alexpikkert

Published on April 13, 2015

A nifty machine, sorting marbles based on their color.
This is really magical !

Credits: Materials bought from The Dondersteen, Hengelo the Netherlands

How To Make It

STEP 1 :

Get an idea.
My idea: Sort marbles in a mysterious way. with the help of a lot of Littlebits. Real fun !

STEP 2 :

Start making the basic elements, used later on to assemble the machine. They must be tested before mounted into the machine. So no surprises at the end. These are the basic elements:
1. Marble storage with servo to kick one marble into the machine. Made with copper wire, soldered together and mounted under an angle of appr. 20 degrees to let gravity move the marbles.
 2. Marble selector tunnel. Big seccret....
 3. Marble transport disc. Made with a wooden disc with a little hole where a light sensor is looking through. The long LED is providing the light, as long as it shines into the hole the motor is not active. The marble holder on the disc can swing when touched by a servo. So these servos (controlled by the Arduino) decide where a marble is kicked out of the machine. When a marble falls into this holder on the disc, the light is blocked and the motor starts turning the disc. Somewhere on the way the catched marble will be kicked out into a bowl and the light will stop the motor after a 360 degrees turn..

STEP 3 :

Mount everything on top and inside a wooden box. To make life easy the top cover is not bolted and the front is left open. Mount the motor with the dimmer on a subassembly and mount this underneath the top cover, fully vertical so it turns the disc without jamming.
I glued a little metal piece with M3 thread inside on the motor mate to bolt the disc on the motor. Using only the motor mate made the construction too wobbely.

STEP 4 :

Mount all needed bits inside the box They fit on two white mounting plates..

STEP 5 :

Now write the Arduino sketch for the selection process of the marbles. Magical !

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