Maker Models

Print Your Own Games and Products - On Your Own 3D Printer

    Marble Run Simple Chutes

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    Marble Run Simple Chutes is a fun game for kids 3 and older. They load the marbles in the top, behind the gate. A push on the lever opens the gate and the marbles take off down the switch-backs. Near the bottom, they go through the whirl pool drop, and then into the zig-zag exit. The marbles are then trapped between the pegboard back and the wooden dowel leg supports.

    The game is robust. It will last a long time and endure some rough kid handling. And if a part were to break, you can simply print a replacement. It is small enough to fit on a shelf or in a toy box, so it is easily stored away when not in use. But you will likely be surprised by how much it will get used. There is a certain fascination in watching the marbles go back and forth and down the chutes. It is like watching little round minions doing their thing over and over.

    All of the parts have pegs that fit through the holes on the peg board, and then have holes for screws to hold them firmly in place from the back side.

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    There are 15 different STL parts that make up this game:
    2 parts for the lever gate. (You provide the 1/4” bolt and nylon lock nut.
    2 parts for the entry level chutes.
    2 parts for the right-flowing switch-back chutes. You print 3 sets of these.
    2 parts for the left-flowing switch-back chutes. You print 3 sets of these.
    2 parts for the hair-pin turn chutes.
    3 parts for the whirl-pool chute
    1 part for the zig-zag exit chute
    1 part for the legs that hold up the peg board. You print two of this part.

    You add a 12 X 12 inch peg board, #4 screws and washers to hold the parts on the peg board, a 1/4” bolt for the top lever gate and four 1/4” pan head bolts with nuts to hold on the legs. You will need 1/2” dowels to act as the leg supports, front and back. Complete instructions are included when you buy and download the STL files for this game.

    Marble Run Motorized Lift

    Marble Run Motorized Chutes have an auger-lift, which will continuously take marbles which have run down the chutes and push them back up to the top for another run.

    The Simple Chutes above is better for little kids who like to grab the marbles, put them behind the starting gate, and toggle the lever.

    But for older kids and even adults, the fascination of watching the mechanism that lifts the marble minions up so that they can run down through the switch-backs and hairpin turns and the whirlpool and then back up again, is captivating.

    There is a rotating direction gate, just below the whirlpool. Rotate it to the right and the marbles are directed into the auger lift. But rotate it to the left, and the marbles will exit down the zig-zag chute. That way, this game can be used for little kids in a manual mode, or it can be used in the fully automated mode.

    There are 12 additional STL parts that make up the auger lift add-on:
    1 motor mount part
    1 in-feed and lift tube base holder
    1 out-feed and lift tube top holder
    2 parts to make up the top and bottom half of the auger
    1 part to hold the rotating shaft on the top of the auger in place
    1 part to hold the rotating direction gate and send marbles to the in-feed.
    1 rotating gate part
    1 turn knob for rotating the rotating gate
    1 holder part for the turn knob
    1 zig-zag chute that is notched to match up to the rotating gate
    1 battery holder enclosure

    You will need a 12 X 16 inch peg board, more #4 screws and washers, a small gear motor, a battery holder with on-off switch, and a clear plastic tube. The instruction sheet will give the exact details for obtaining these parts.
    Parts to be printed on your 3D printer Description of the parts for the Marble Run Simple Chutes Game
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    Starting Chute - sloped to give the marbles a good running start into the switchbacks. The starting lever fits over this part. So the slope enables the marbles to go from a standstill, to enough speed to have momentum through the rest of the chutes.
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    Starting Chute continued - this is the second part of the starting chute. It sends the marbles into the first of the curved switchback chutes.
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    First Switchback Curved Chute. The back of this chute is higher than the others. Because the marbles may have more momentum at this point, the higher back catches them and gets them going down the chute in the other direction.

    The subsequent Switchback Curved Chutes don’t need to be as tall on the back side, so to save plastic and printing time, this is a lower-backed version of the Switchback chute, for a left side catch and return.
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    Switchback Curved Chute continued for the left side. This chute will continue the run from the curved chute. The chutes are in two pieces so that they can be printed on printers with print plates as small as 5 inches. There must be a part for each direction, because of the small shafts on the back side which fit through the holes on the peg board. By using the uniformity of the peg board, all of the parts fit together horizontally and are properly space vertically.
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    Switchback Curved Chute for the right side.
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    Switchback Curved Chute for the right side continued.
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    Hairpin Turn Chute for the left side. This is a new part, which adds more interest to the game, as the marbles make sharp turns into the next lower level of the game. It can be used interchangeably with the Switchback curved chutes. The continuation chutes will work with this chute just as they do with the curved chute.
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    Haripin Turn Chute for the right side. These take more plastic and more time to print, but adding one or two of them to the game, in place of a Switchback curve make things even more interesting.
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    Starting Lever Mount and hinge. This part mounts above the Starting Chute at the top of the Peg Board. It is the holder for the Starting Lever bolt.

    Starting Lever. A quarter inch bolt through this lever and into the mount gives you a starting gate for the marbles. The bolt needs a nylon lock nut, so that you can tighten it just the right amount so that it will hold the marbles back, but loose enough to still turn. The lock nut will then maintain that correct pressure, as you open and close the lever.
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    Switchback Chute for the Whirlpool. It is a little longer than the the regular Switchback chutes, so that we could have a shorter steeper drop chute into the Whirlpool. With more incoming speed the marbles swirl around longer.

    Drop Chute for the Whirlpool, which gives acceleration to the marbles as they enter the Whirlpool.

    The Whirlpool. There is a slight incline on the base of this chute so that the marbles eventually find the hole in the middle. But the slope is kept to a minimum to keep the marbles swirling around as long as possible. The size of the hole is so that the marbles have to find a near-exact fit before they drop through. This adds to the action.

    Zig-Zag Exit Chute. This chute gives an interesting exit from the Whirlpool Chute. It catches the marbles as they drop through, and takes them to the base of the game, for a grand exit.
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    Pegboard Support Leg. Print two of these, one for each side of the peg board. There are holes for two 1/4” screws with nuts on each leg. These will hold the peg board up, even with all the chutes attached to it. There are holders on each leg for 1/2” round dowels, that span between the legs and add stability to the whole game. They also trap the marbles that exit at the bottom, so they don’t disperse all over the place.
    STL file parts Description of the parts for the Motorized Auger Lift (which is an add-on to the Marble Run described above.)
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    Auger Bottom Half. The auger is so tall, it must be printed in two halves. The bottom half has a base that fits the motor. It has a fitting on the top that will match with the upper half of the auger to help in putting the two halves together. They are glued together.
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    Auger Top Half. The top half of the auger has a shaft on the top to fit into the auger shaft holder. It also has a special shape at the top that pushes the marble out of the tube onto the exit chute. And it has a recessed shape in the bottom to fit the protrusion on the top of the bottom auger half. Note that there are also pads added to the base of the file. These pads add stability to the base of the auger while it is being printed. They break off after the printing is done.
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    Motor Mount. This piece attaches to the peg board, and has support arms and screw holes that exactly match the mounting holes on the motor. #4 screws go through the motor and into the mount to hold the motor in the exact position under the auger, so that the auger is in the correct position in the plastic tube for catching the marbles upon entry, and for lifting them.
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    Auger Top Shaft Holder. This part holds the top shaft of the auger. It also protects fingers from getting caught in the marble pusher at the top of the auger.

    Top Out-feed Chute and Tube Holder.
    This part holds the top of the clear plastic tube, and catches the marbles as they exit the tube, and channels them into the starting chute for another run.

    Base In-feed and Tube Holder
    . This part holds the bottom of the clear plastic tube, and feeds the marbles into the auger, to be lifted to the top.
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    Direction Gate Holder. This holds the rotary gate that sends the marbles into the auger, or into the zig-zag chute. Its chute sends marbles into the Base Infeed and Tube Holder.

    The Rotary Gate with its Control Knob and outside holder make up the rest of the directional gateway.

    The Zig-Zag Chute for Rotary Gate is slightly different from the other Zig-Zag Chute. It is designed to fit up to the Rotary Gate, and accept marbles that it directs to it.
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    Battery / Switch Case. This case attaches the battery holder with built-in on-off switch to the pegboard. The game runs on 3 AAA batteries.
    License Agreement: When you purchase any STL files from this site you may use those files to print all of the copies you want for your own non-commercial use. You agree that you will not share or redistribute those files to anyone else. You agree to honor the intellectual property and not copy the designs. You agree that you will not use the files to manufacture products for commercial sale.
    Product Note: products will be available for sale again in a year - after we return from a church mission Price
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    Marble Run Game STL files and instructions. You get all the STL files you need to print every part needed for the game. These files can be downloaded immediately upon check-out as part of the payment process. You get instructions on how to assemble assemble the game. A list of the additional parts you will need is included, or you can just purchase the Parts Kit below, and all the parts you need will be mailed to you.


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    Marble Run Parts Kit. This kit includes one dozen marbles, 38 #4 screws 1/4” long with #4 washers, four #4 screws 3/8” long, a quarter inch hex bolt 1.25” long with a matching lock nut nylon threads, four quarter inch phillips head bolts 5/8” long with nuts, two 1/2” diameter 12” long wood dowels, and a 12” X 12” peg board.


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    Marble Run Motorized Auger Lift. You get all of the STL files for the regular Marble Run, plus all of the additional STL files that you need to add the motorized auger lift. You get an additional set of instructions for assembling the lift parts and adding the motor and battery. (If you buy this product, you don’t need to buy the Marble Run above because this includes all of that.)


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    Marble Run Motorized Auger Lift Parts Kit. This kit includes all of the parts for the regular marble run including the marbles. You also get 1 Solarbotics GM3 DC motor with 3” of 24 AWG black and red wire soldered to its contacts , 1 3AAA battery case with on-off switch, 2 Butt connectors, 10 more #4 screws 1/4” long with #4 washers, 2 #4 bolts 1” long with matching nuts, 2 #4 screws 1” long, 2 #4 screws 3/8” long, a 16” X 12” peg board in substitute for the 12” X 12” peg board, 1 1.36” inside diameter clear plastic tube 9.6” long, 1 3/16” wood dowel 10 3/4” long, and 2 pieces of 1/2 inch wood dowels 16 3/8” long in substitute for the 12” long dowels. DOES NOT INCLUDE the Loctite Super Glue Ultra Gel Control glue. The photo is just to show you what it looks like; buy this at your local hardware store.