5/8″ ball bearing playground

This kinetic sculpture is a ball bearing’s paradise. Not only do they get a cushy ride around two lift wheels but there’s a variety of enjoyable obstacles they can go down. The first is a vortex made from a wooden flower pot which sends the balls randomly down one of two possible exits. From there it’s on to enjoy a ride on a flip-flop, a divide-by-three (takes weight of three marbles before it dumps them all), a zig-zag track, or a divide by twelve mechanism. We’re sure this is a riveting read, but don’t miss the video after the break where [Ronald Walter] shows it in action and takes it apart to illustrate the various features.

If you’re wondering about the digital logic terms used, we’ve seen wooden devices that use these concepts in the past.

[via Reddit]


  1. Tom says:

    Lol It’s not actually a flower pot, it just looks like one.

  2. Setatx says:

    “The first is a vortex made from a wooden flower pot which sends the balls randomly down one of two possible exits.”

    Love these! Like playing mousetrap as a kid.

  3. JC says:

    Ha that’s a cool design.

    I wonder if they are FAG bearings.

  4. Mike of England says:


  5. zool says:

    cool, nice quality

  6. Caspan says:

    @JC LOL you know my brother worked for FAG bearings and had this name tag that had to be visible at all times. So there was a nice close up picture of his face with a huge red FAG right above it… I loved it :)

  7. Erik Johnson says:

    I loved this stuff as a kid. I was all over the neighbor kid’s Super Marble Run.

  8. willy says:

    he has two other designs that are just as cool…

  9. vonskippy says:

    I was going to make something like that, then I got a goldfish in a bowl. Pretty much the same entertainment value.

  10. JC says:

    @Caspan – I hoped somebody would get that! I actually used to work for Timken, so that was always pretty funny to me. I’m sure it means something way different in Germany (I think that’s the right country).

  11. Sigg3 says:

    My GF’s all like: How do you turn it off?

  12. Hirudinea says:

    Sure it does nothing, but it does it very well.

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