At-Home Engineering Challenge #3

For all you students and engineers bored at home, I present my At-Home Engineering Challenge 3: Marble Run

Using a “marble” and a “cup”
And any other materials you choose

Construct a marble run that lasts for exactly 60 seconds

-Time begins when you release the marble and ends when it lands in the cup.
-Marble and cup aren’t strictly defined, get creative!

-Competition runs through 5pm Eastern on Monday (April 13th - delaying one day because I won’t be looking at this on Easter).
-Please link a still picture of your build, and upload and link a video of your marble run in action.
-Kids are encouraged to participate, though careful what’s in frame for your picture and video.
-All decisions final, don’t like my rules, run your own competition.

You will earn (pay attention, once again this is different):
1 point for every competition you participate in
1 point for making it easy to verify your marble run time wasn’t due to video manipulation (Suggestions below)

1 point for making a marble run time between 10 seconds and 90 seconds
1 point for making a marble run time between 30 seconds and 80 seconds
1 point for making a marble run time between 45 seconds and 70 seconds
3 points for making a marble run with time between 55 and 65 seconds (these time points stack)

2 points for best theming (awarded at my digression, you must really dress up your marble run),
2 points for most ingenious solution (I will post a video of “most ingenious” from my coworker at Flexware, you must top this)
2 points for having the largest “marble” (run must last at least 10 seconds, other rules must be followed - “marble” must land in a “cup”)

Suggestions for earning verification point -
Have a stopwatch or clock with seconds in frame (use your laptop with full screen),
Play audio of a recognized song in the background with your camera mic picking it up
Talk through the video and describe the marble run as its going

Prior Challenges

At-Home Engineering Challenge #1
At-Home Engineering Challenge #2


After all challenges complete, this leader will earn a $50 Amazon gift card

Sam_J4409 - 14
ChopinWood - 12
Jacob_Banooni - 5
Ari_2412 - 4
Karaoke - 4
jago21 - 4
JKBear331 - 3
JimboFee - 2
UnofficialForth - 2
Lipstick - 2
PaytonB - 2
Brittan - 1

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An example marble run:

Oh boy, a use for the millions of legos in my basement


Using a “marble” and a “cup”
And any other materials you choose

hmm a marble + cup + my hand
ez pz
wait 60 sec then drop the marble

you should add the constraint no powered parts

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So I wouldn’t be able to use my lego nxt? Lol, might be good to take that away

I will say this. I noticed a lot of the people that talked a big game and thought they had “beat” challenge 2 didn’t even submit an entry.

So does this mean powered mechanisms are allowed? Seems kind of OP to let a marble just drop into a box with a openable floor powered by a lego nxt or a servo+ardunio, sit their for 59.5 seconds, and open the floor.

While that may be a solution, there’s still a lot of points it wouldn’t earn you.

-edit - changed the word “would” to “may”. Like the GDC, I’m not ruling on the legality of hypothetical designs :wink:

I have an idea… question: does the “marble” have to roll/rotate/revolve during this run?

I don’t necessarily enter, but I do think about what I might do if I do try it. This one just might be feasible for me to actually enter.

I would encourage participation regardless! If you’ve got a clever idea, I’d love to see it in action.

This one’s… eh… I’m working on the physics. Dynamics wasn’t my best subject in college… But for this particular idea, the “marble”* probably won’t be rolling. Just wanted to check. If I don’t enter I’ll reveal after the challenge ends.

*I don’t have marbles at my place that I can remember. Stress balls, OTOH, I have quite a few of.

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There’s a reason why marble is in quotes. Could be a traditional glass marble, or a ball bearing, or a foam stress ball, or a track ball, or a fuel cell… Just saying :sunglasses:

Don’t say that

I promise I won’t submit an entry that will have a marble staying at rest indefinitely.

Aha! It took forever for the video to upload. My internet can be iffy.

Yeah, I know it’s not anywhere near 60 seconds (I think it’s like eight seconds) but it was still fun to build. It was actually kind of difficult to keep the marble from getting stuck.
How to make corner pieces if anyone's interested

And then you just use as much Scotch tape as you want


Here is my entry

I defined my “marble” as the gear with axle
I defined my “cup” as the white LEGO box that the “marble” falls into

To make things easier to record I started the Laptop timer with a wireless mouse, and the phone timer was started before I began recording


Those are pretty liberal definitions…

in process of uploading

marble is the metal ball and cup is the clear plastic cup at the end. If you have any questions feel free to ask them.

also if I need to define a theme I define it as semi classical


Karaoke - 10 seconds (1 + 1 + (1/6) + 0 + 2 + 0) = 5 points
I’m awarding you “most ingenious” - nice technique on folding paper to create a custom solution.

Nadeem - 60 seconds (1 + 1 + (6/6) + 0 + 0 + 0) = 8 points
Yeah yeah yeah. Marble and cup aren’t defined, but I was thinking a sphere at a minimum. Nice job implementing the “OP” solution.

JKBear331 - 60 seconds (1 + 1 + (6/6) + 2 + 0 + 0) = 10 points
Most traditional marble run, very pretty. I’m a little jealous of your construction sets :wink:

Since this competition was against the clock and not necessarily me, I will upload my attempt later (Using k’nex and a racquetball – still working out a few issues)

My Flexware co-worker’s solution using vision: