Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 31

Thread: Ball lifter project

  1. #1
    Blind Shooter JammaBuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    chester
    Posts
    76
    Thanks
    125
    Thanks Received
    135

    Lightbulb Ball lifter project

    OK so Ive been reading a lot of the ball lifter threads but it seems like its a unicorns horn of a problem to make one easily, reliable and affordable.

    Well I think I will have a stab at it . First off I have no idea about ball lifters or machine requirements except what Ive read here and videos Ive watched on you tube so its really a stab in the dark but that's half the fun. I'm going to be building a in frame unit for a vintage machine so no fever mode to worry about.

    Machine requirements
    1 catch tray for the balls (I'm thinking laser cut box with a sloped bottom to feed the balls to the lifting gears)
    2 some way of lifting them (Probably go with the traditional way of stacking them but I'm looking at worm drive)
    3 switch to tell machine to lift balls (I'm thinking load sensor on an arduino as I don't want it to be on all the time just when needed)
    4 other bits and bobs to switch it on/off etc etc
    5 easy to build with plans + other files if needed and a tutorial so everyone can make it/modify it .

    Could be biting off more than I can chew but hay.

    I have access to a laser cutter and 3d printer so these will be my main tools.

    Anyways if you guys have any ideas/advice please feel free to post it and if you think I'm flogging a dead horse then that's fine to post as well

    I'm off to do some designs back later

    J.

  2. The following 5 users say "Thanks" to JammaBuilder


  3. #2
    I was thrown out of Top Gear Drunkenclam's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Guildford, Surrey
    Posts
    23,936
    Thanks
    11,370
    Thanks Received
    15,426

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    Many have tried and failed. Myself included. Big stumbling blocks are getting a pot of balls to fall nicely into a single row.

    Worm drives are great but harder to make. Can have multiply columns to lift more balls at the same time. Low energy.
    A push type lifter like the silver brand orange lifter. Require a bit more power. Suffer from increased load. Plus you lose a couple of hundred balls in the lift tube.

    You really don't need an arduino as simple micro switches and relays can do the job and don't need programming. On my next attempt I want to make a 2 stage system and use proximity switches to trigger the lifters.

    For a good lifter design. Search for the ball dozer
    Ian #UKPachinko

  4. The following 7 users say "Thanks" to Drunkenclam


  5. #3
    Blind Shooter JammaBuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    chester
    Posts
    76
    Thanks
    125
    Thanks Received
    135

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    Its quite likely that I will also fail but I'm inspired to try and I have an idea for getting those pesky balls to line up.

    Your probably right about the arduino I did put in my requirements that it should be easy for everyone so No arduino worm drive wise 3D printing was my plan makes it easier to build and I would of course release the stl files to everyone so they could print their own if I go that way anyways.

    I was planning on using a stepper motor to drive the gear on the pusher type lifter as the ones i use for quite hefty robots can pull around 2.5kg and Im looking at lifting 1kg ish of balls so in my head that would work but need to test it.

    will have a look at the dozer now cheers for that

  6. The following 6 users say "Thanks" to JammaBuilder


  7. #4
    Blind Shooter JammaBuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    chester
    Posts
    76
    Thanks
    125
    Thanks Received
    135

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    That ball dozer looks awesome wish I could get my hands on the plans but sadly it looks like the site for it has now gone.

    anyways on a lighter note I've built 1 part of my mock up test to get the balls in line

    WP_20161206_18_54_24_Pro.jpgWP_20161206_18_54_31_Pro.jpg

    Pretty much just a box to catch the balls as they come out the bottom with internal ramps that make the balls fall down on to what will be a 3D printed inclined channel to funnel the balls out 1 by 1 into either the gear of a push lifter or a worm drive lifter still undecided as to which at the moment.

    I'm doing the model for the ramp now so will post about it later

  8. The following 3 users say "Thanks" to JammaBuilder


  9. #5
    Master Inventor daverob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Brighton, UK
    Posts
    1,276
    Thanks
    1,872
    Thanks Received
    6,741

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    I'm with Drunkenclam on the electronics side of the ball lifter design. Keep it simple, a geared DC motor with a microswitch or two inline with it is all you really need. If you use a stepper motor, then you need electronics to drive it, and that's just unnecessary complexity.

    I had a go myself with a laser cut acrylic design. The lifting part isn't that difficult to design, getting the balls to the lifter without jamming is significantly harder. And if you end up with a design where the ball could jam in the motorised part of the lifter, then make sure there's something flexible that will give way or your 2.5kg motor force will make short work of destroying your plastic lift mechanism. I got through several gears before deciding that laser cut acrylic is way too brittle for this part of the design.

    Tips for getting balls to line up, include a small drop/ledge in the channel (about half a ball width) or a change of direction. That tends to stop balls from sitting on top of each other.
    Last edited by daverob; 12-07-2016 at 11:23 AM.

  10. The following 4 users say "Thanks" to daverob


  11. #6
    Blind Shooter JammaBuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    chester
    Posts
    76
    Thanks
    125
    Thanks Received
    135

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    I see what your saying about the electronics but I don't see a stepper motor with a driver attached via 4 wires as complex but that's probably just me I'm used to playing around with them.

    The gears are what's giving me the most trouble and making me think worm drive maybe a better option and it wont need the stepper either. I've built acrylic gears before and they never last long was thinking 3d printing but after a couple of tests I think that once a jam happens the balls will deform the gears to easily and/or break bits off causing more jams but before I decide fully on that I'm going to test another design I have in mind.

    thanks for the tip I have a slight drop from ramp to channel its not very easy to see in the picture at the moment but Now you mention balls sitting on top of each other I think I need to mod the design as that will still be possible with what I have so far.

  12. The following user says "Thanks" to JammaBuilder

    Jon

  13. #7
    Blind Shooter JammaBuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    chester
    Posts
    76
    Thanks
    125
    Thanks Received
    135

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    Finished my first mock up of the ball tray and it works or though I've only tested it with 50-60 balls poured in from a cup so far

    WP_20161207_19_03_29_Pro.jpgWP_20161207_19_03_37_Pro.jpg

    the black bit you can see is the 3d printed ramp which the balls roll down to exit the tray the drop down of the balls seems ok but I'm thinking of making it a little larger and making the slope 1-2 degrees more at the moment its a 2 degree slope and the ball channel at its deepest is around 8mm but I want to increase this to about 10-11mm.

    I have a couple other ideas I want to test over the next few days but I will keep you all posted on progress

    a quick pic of the bits so far

    WP_20161207_19_08_29_Pro.jpg

  14. The following 7 users say "Thanks" to JammaBuilder


  15. #8
    Fever Hunter doa12's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    219
    Thanks
    415
    Thanks Received
    397

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    Would it be possible to 3D print the gears that work with the plastic, then use that to create an aluminum gear with a little home forging? This is on my list to try as we did aluminum smelting/forging in high school with a gas smelter; but I've been eyeing the youtube videos about making a home smelter from plaster of paris, some buckets, a hair dryer, a bought crucible, and using charcoal briquettes as fuel (and the hair dryer blows to increase that heat by providing oxygen). I also have this bookmarked for 3D printing when I ever get a 3D printer: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:406764/#files I figured I could make a few of those, stack em up, and see how it goes to move the balls up. My brother talked about possibly using a more standard mini-bucket conveyor to take balls from the bottom to the top.

  16. The following 2 users say "Thanks" to doa12


  17. #9
    Blind Shooter JammaBuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    chester
    Posts
    76
    Thanks
    125
    Thanks Received
    135

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    Hi doa yes it would be possible to do that or though I have only ever taken a cast from 3D print for silicon props for amateur film projects but I don't see why you cant use molten aluminium instead of silicon.

    I was looking at that on thingiverse yesterday it seems ok but will have to test print it and I think the tray being 3d printed will break quite quickly but I may be able to combine my tray with that worm lift part

  18. The following user says "Thanks" to JammaBuilder

    Jon

  19. #10
    Master Inventor daverob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Brighton, UK
    Posts
    1,276
    Thanks
    1,872
    Thanks Received
    6,741

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    Cast aluminium is too ductile to use as a gear. When it comes up against chrome steel pachinko balls, it's going to get dented or dinged at the first ball jam. Which in turn will cause more ball jams and you'll end up with a gear that's a different shape than you first started. If you use harder metals to resist deformation, they'll end up scratching your pachinko balls.

    A plastic gear is a lot more suitable, but it's a matter of discovering the right plastic to make the gear out of. Acrylic is too fragile, and laser cutting it makes it even more brittle. Nylon and engineering plastics such as Acetal (Delrin), would be suitable but are harder to work with. I'm not sure about ABS and other printable plastics, as I haven't got access to the equipment to work with them. I'd like to try a 3d printed gear in my laser cut design, just to see how well it would work, but time and resources are against me at the moment.

  20. The following 3 users say "Thanks" to daverob


  21. #11
    Blind Shooter JammaBuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    chester
    Posts
    76
    Thanks
    125
    Thanks Received
    135

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    Now you mention it your right aluminium sounds like it would be as much hassle as acrylic is.

    3D print wise I tend to use PLA which can be a little soft but printable ABS is a pain to print if you want precession (at least on the printers I have) maybe its worth testing a printed gear with 40-50% infill and enough outer layers it may just work

  22. The following 2 users say "Thanks" to JammaBuilder


  23. #12
    Blind Shooter JammaBuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    chester
    Posts
    76
    Thanks
    125
    Thanks Received
    135

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    Hay Daverob I've just had a thought if you laser cut your gear do you have the .DXF file for it? just thinking I could turn that into a .STL model quite easily for 3d printing I would just need to know thickness you needed for you motor then I can print one off and post it over to you to run a test on your setup

  24. The following 2 users say "Thanks" to JammaBuilder


  25. #13
    Sandwich Shooter browne92's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Westlake, LA
    Posts
    476
    Thanks
    67
    Thanks Received
    701

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    Quote Originally Posted by daverob View Post
    I got through several gears before deciding that laser cut acrylic is way too brittle for this part of the design.
    The problem might not be the acrylic, but the laser cutting. Heat from the laser causes stress to form in the acrylic and makes it brittle. You can relieve the stress by annealing, but that requires heating in a controlled oven and slowly bring back to room temperature.

    You'd might have more success machining instead of laser cutting, but then there are probably more suitable plastics anyway.
    pachinkoparts.com - Home Page
    Definition: Racecar-a device that turns money into noise.

  26. The following 3 users say "Thanks" to browne92


  27. #14
    Fever Hunter doa12's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    219
    Thanks
    415
    Thanks Received
    397

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    Hmm, how about aluminum, sprayed with Flexseal or some kind of rubberized coating? It would provide cushion from jarring/impact with the balls. Or using the coating with other metal. I know some people that have used FlexSeal or spray in truck bedliner to protect parts. Not sure of the longevity though.

    I also have a gear pattern from somewhere (maybe here!) that could be carved with a CNC into HDPE or wood; kind of a sprocket but that would be like others where you end up with a bunch of balls in the tube that are inactve. I don't think wood would hold up, and I think HDPE would end up like the broken bit in atari joysticks.. works great til it breaks and is then unfixable.

  28. The following 2 users say "Thanks" to doa12


  29. #15
    Master Inventor daverob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Brighton, UK
    Posts
    1,276
    Thanks
    1,872
    Thanks Received
    6,741

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    Quote Originally Posted by JammaBuilder View Post
    Hay Daverob I've just had a thought if you laser cut your gear do you have the .DXF file for it?
    Thanks for the offer. PM sent.

    Quote Originally Posted by browne92 View Post
    Heat from the laser causes stress to form in the acrylic and makes it brittle.
    I did try getting a second gear cut and asking them to anneal it, but it wasn't much better, and the extra cost of the annealing meant that I was already looking at other materials.

    Quote Originally Posted by browne92 View Post
    You'd might have more success machining instead of laser cutting, but then there are probably more suitable plastics anyway.
    That was my thoughts as well. I've bought a small rotary table for my manual milling machine, so when I get the time to set it up and figure out how to use it, I should be able to mill a prototype gear out of any material. But it would be too time consuming to use this for a 'production run' of gears, and it's too specialised a set-up for an open-source design.

    Quote Originally Posted by doa12 View Post
    Hmm, how about aluminum, sprayed with Flexseal or some kind of rubberized coating?
    It might work, but it's getting more complicated to produce. If a 3d printed gear is tough enough, or something milled out of plastic, then it's going to be a lot easier (and cheaper) to reproduce. For an open-source design, as soon as you get into complicated processes or items which need uncommon or specialised equipment, you lose most of your audience.

    It's one reason why I tried the laser cut acrylic gear in the first place. I knew it was likely to be brittle and might not hold up very well, but if it was possible to make a complete ball lifter using just laser cut parts, a handful of screws, and a cheap motor off eBay, then it's a simple DIY project. If you've got to laser cut this part, 3d print another, and then mill the gear from solid, then you've either got to have a very well equipped workshop, or you have the complexity of sourcing multiple custom made parts.

    works great til it breaks and is then unfixable.
    ...story of my life.

  30. The following 2 users say "Thanks" to daverob


  31. #16
    Blind Shooter JammaBuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    chester
    Posts
    76
    Thanks
    125
    Thanks Received
    135

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    Got the file Cheers Dave will get on that asap hope it will work out as I don't have a mill to try anything else.

    I was thinking on the line up of the balls problem a bit and the Ball Dozer design was thinking that a funnel type ball catch tray might work well Ive seen people feeding their machines from a funnel mounted on top if the idea works the funnel could be brought quite cheaply from a hardware store or for a more standardized part 3D printed eliminating 1 process from the build

  32. The following user says "Thanks" to JammaBuilder

    Jon

  33. #17
    Blind Shooter JammaBuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    chester
    Posts
    76
    Thanks
    125
    Thanks Received
    135

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    The gears are all printed and will pop them in the post to you Monday DaveRob they may need a little clean up here and their but they should fit ok Ive added extra outer layers for strength and done a 55% infill so they should be fairly strong hope fully they will work out ok

    WP_20161210_12_36_56_Pro.jpg

  34. The following 5 users say "Thanks" to JammaBuilder


  35. #18
    Blind Shooter Yob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    88
    Thanks
    93
    Thanks Received
    56

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    Quote Originally Posted by JammaBuilder View Post
    That ball dozer looks awesome wish I could get my hands on the plans but sadly it looks like the site for it has now gone.
    Maybe you can find some info on archive.org:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20150219...ozer/Home.html

  36. The following 3 users say "Thanks" to Yob


  37. #19
    Blind Shooter JammaBuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    chester
    Posts
    76
    Thanks
    125
    Thanks Received
    135

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    Awesome thanks will be reading that shortly

  38. The following user says "Thanks" to JammaBuilder

    Jon

  39. #20
    Blind Shooter JammaBuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    chester
    Posts
    76
    Thanks
    125
    Thanks Received
    135

    Default Re: Ball lifter project

    Been having a play around with a new design for the catch tray still just a test but I think it will work

    WP_20161213_14_40_35_Pro.jpgWP_20161213_14_58_07_Pro.jpgWP_20161213_15_37_00_Pro.jpg

  40. The following 3 users say "Thanks" to JammaBuilder


Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-26-2013, 09:32 PM
  2. Where in Japan might I find these 2 items please? A ball lifter + ball counter..
    By davidboy81 in forum Ball Lifters/Ball Management
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 01-27-2012, 06:35 PM
  3. Ball lifting speed of a ball lifter?
    By davidboy81 in forum Ball Lifters/Ball Management
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-19-2012, 09:06 AM
  4. Jan Ball Project
    By emmadog in forum Arrangeball
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 08-19-2010, 04:40 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •