The rolling performences are based on a 5% slope angle (5 cm height per 100 cm track)
A track commonly made from metals like copper, aluminium, steel, etc. Sometimes made from plastics (skyrail, Spacewarp).
A track made from wood or metals.
A track made from wood or metals
A track made from wood (routing) or cutted tube.
Rolling performance: Very high speeds possible, marbles or balls cannot fall off track. You need a transparant tube to see the marbles / balls. There’s one disadvantage: It’s difficult to clean and remove stucked marbles or balls.
Non-movable track parts:
The properties are based on a 16 mm glass marble.
A marble or ball will swing in the halfpipe until it lose speed and proceed to the exit. The halfpipe itself must be slightly tilted in the width so the marbles can escape the halfpipe when it has no speed anymore.
A marble or ball roll down a steep sloped track with a short vertical bend to uphill, then the marble or ball fly though the air and land back in a landing track or something else. You can also place some bells or chimes on the landing site of the marbles to create som nice sound. Or place a trampoline or drum on the landing site for a second jump.
Trampoline / drum
A marble or ball speeds down a steep sloped track and land on a drum or trampoline to bounce off and making i high jump and a funny sound.
A marble or ball bounce between two drums, massive steel blocks or bricks until it fall through the gap between the 2 objects. You can also use bouncy balls for this trick.
A marble or ball can make a loop without falling down, the height acceleration track must be at least twice the loop diameter for good performance. It’s possible to add more loops when marbles has enough speed.
A marble or ball fall down between nails, screws or pins attached on a wooden board. It makes a funny noise when more marbles or balls bounce down. You can also attach bells or springs for more sound.
One of the most used track layout in Marble Runs. A marble or ball swings down along chutes or rails until it reach the bottom.
Funnel / bowl
A marble or ball rolls down a funnel until it drops through the center hole. A funnel can have multiple holes to different paths. A hyperbolic funnel (like a witch hat or trumpet cone) create a tornado effect when marbles or balls spinning in it with high speed, a ride can take more than a minute.
Spiral / helix
A marble or ball twist down a spiral track. It’s possible to make very long tracks using this layout. Simply with use of a hose or curved model train tracks you can make a high spiral tower.
Movable track parts::
The properties are based on a 16 mm glass marble.
This device divides marbles to multiple paths and can replace multiple switches with only one moving part. It contains a rotating sloped chute on a platform surrounded by paths, the chute rests on a pin or nail in the center of the platform and can easely rotate. When a marble drops on the chute, it will hit a wedge mounted on the side of the chute (see image), so the chute will rotate slightly and the marble rolls over the platform and will drop into a path. The next marble will rotate the chute further and take the next path. The platform must be level for good working. A wider path will take more marbles per round.
When a (heavy) marble or ball drops into the center of the cochlea-shaped wheel, it will rotate and release the marble after a few turns onto the underneath track part.
Flipflop / splitter / switch
This device divides marbles to 2 paths, when a marble hit the switch, it will tumble to the other side so the next marble will take the other path and tumble back the switch. This is very useful to prevent jamming on paths with obstacles and other devices. It’s possible to place multiple switches like a 1, 2, 4, 8, etc system.
When a marble falls onto the pendulum, it will rotate and the marble falls onto the next track part or a second pendulum.
This device will spare up marbles until it tips over, then all marbles in the container will escape from it and rolls down a path. You can make a tipover for 2 or 3 marbles, but big ones with hundreds of marbles are also possible and creates a “marblelanche” when the container tips over.
This device will spare up some marbles like the tipover, the difference is that not all marbles will be released in one go, but one by one. 2 pawls mounted on the seesaw will release the first marble but blocks the next one, when the seesaw falls back, the next marble will be leaded to the first pawl, when the first released marble hit the seesaw, the second one will be released, repeating the progress until the queue is empty.
This device looks like a spiral elevator, but is not. When a marble or ball hit the spiral, the marble or ball slides slowly down the spiral and let it rotate, a heavy (steel) ball wil rotate the spiral with high speed.
There are many different ways to bring the marbles or balls back to the top of a Marble Run, Marble Machine or Rolling Ball Sculpture.
A chain with forks bring the marbles / balls to the top.
A rimmed belt brings marbles to the top, the belt has rims to take the marbles up without falling down.
Crank / lever lifter
A moving crank push marbles up to the top. The lever is mounted on a rotating wheel or crank with a axle that slides through the long slot in the lever, the lever goes slowly up and go down faster. A barrier prevent marbles fall off the queue, when the lever is at the bottom, it will push down the barrier and pick up a marble / ball. The lever bring up the marble / ball until it roll off the lever through a hole (or over the rim) in the guiding plate behind the lever.
A rotating spiral or coil bring the marbles / balls along a guiding rail to the top
Stair stepper / moving staircase
A marble or ball climb up a moving stairway to the top.
A rotating wheel or gear with holes bring the marbles / balls to the top