Thursday, 18 December 2014

Pinball: Floating Flippers

The concept
Create a portable pinball flipper and slingshot unit that can be placed on any surface to instantly transform into a play surface for pinball.

Other uses: Once built could be designed to be used for testing other ideas for playfields and components etc too.

Early imaginations & trying to think in 3D - can be placed over digital display, or how about an etching plate to track the ball?

The first set of plans

The Protoype

The prototype is lasercut MDF. It has its problems and these include the stability of the unit (needs to be clamped to something possibly), also the strength of the flippers and the time it took to put together due to how I designed and cut it. I'd like to either lasercut or cnc into thicker material so there is not so much glueing together of parts and I can use a full size pinball. So if I decide to continue this route there is more work to be done basically.

Like I say above, the build process proved to be slightly problematic; mainly in the time it took to put together due to having to layer up the wood to obtain some depth, but also little things / mistakes which only come up as you work with them, and therefore need to be fixed and altered to make it work as intended.

I photo documented this process of building:

Ok first mistake... lots of parts to glue together... time and clamps...

This being the second image by no way represents time... unless you could the clamps per hour... mmmh actually almost (not really)
Ok the above image represents more mistakes in the artwork which could only come from protoyping. This linkage needs some room for the pin to move as it swings around - the solution was to drill in the space it needs to move - problem solved! Albeit a bit messy and... more time.

Sort of connected to the last problem was the size of some of the holes for pins I had made. I didn't think of finding out what size of dowel I could get before so I had to resize some of the holes.

The dowel now fits OKish and is glued into place before sanding down to make a flat surface again.

Friction! Too much with this wood - the solution was to use wax to lubricate the wood. I found with the dowels that if I put the dowel into a slightly smaller hole than the width of the dowel then spin it around a few time it would make this great smooth and shiny pin - which is perfect on its own for spinning around with very little friction as below:

So that's it... many mistake... lots to learn... lots to do...

What's this all about?
This post is from my journal on MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking.
I am currently proposing a project based around arcade games, specifically Pinball (see list of posts about Pinball). 

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