Saturday, April 02, 2016

Marble Mountain

Ben Tardif spent three years designing and building an intricate marble machine he calls Marble Mountain. It has everything- ramps, stairs, slides, a castle, a luge run, a ski jump, a golf course, a bowling alley, and so much more. He says it’s not yet complete, but it’s complete enough that he can turn it on and show us what it does.
-It has a footprint of 12' x 8' and stands 8' tall
-The material of the tracks and supports consist almost entirely of wood
-Everything is custom-made from materials bought mostly from craft and hardware stores (mainly Michaels and Home Depot)
-The lift is 11 feet long, holds 90 marbles at once, and rotates at 1 revolution per second (60 RPM)
-It takes at least 250 marbles to keep it running without delay, but looks better with 300
-There are 32 possible paths for the marbles
-There are 14 rockers that distribute the marbles onto the different paths
-The first year and a half of construction happened in my apartment before moving to a small warehouse
-The original design was smaller and not as cool, so a redesign took place making it much bigger and morphed into a half-conical shape with the lift right down the middle
-I do know how much it cost to make thus far but even my finaceƩ doesn't know that number
-It takes just under an hour to set up or tear down Marble Mountain
-Since it is modular, I could remove a section and rebuild it as something else as long as the tracks matched up with the other pieces
Give him a couple more years and this will be a monster. See more of Tardif’s project at Instagram. (via Tastefully Offensive)

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