The Ball Rollercoaster Clock

In this video, I take on one of my most ambitious projects yet—a giant ball roller coaster clock. It all starts with revisiting one of my earlier creations for JBV Creative and deciding to scale it up significantly. I begin by turning on the original sculpture to see if it still works.

After anticipating viewer comments suggesting turning this into a clock, I decide to design it as a clock from the beginning. I opt to use larger 30 mm balls instead of the original 6 mm ones, which means scaling up the entire project significantly.

The first step is constructing a substantial base to support the enlarged structure. As I progress, I realize I may have underestimated the scale, but I push forward, embracing the challenge.

I leveraged my largest build volumel 3D printer, the Elegoo Neptune Max 4, which allows me to print large parts quickly and accurately. This technology is crucial as I design and print the intricate roller coaster track sections.

Building the track is complex, requiring careful consideration of each segment, including loops and helixes. I faced challenges with designing support structures and ensuring smooth ball motion.

I made heavy use of my xTool laser cutter for the track supports, including cutting through 18mm acrylic in one pass for the mechanism arms.

To make the clock functional, I integrate a sophisticated mechanism involving cams, gears, and gates. This mechanism controls when and where balls are dropped onto specific tracks to indicate minutes, tens of minutes, and hours.

Using the free motiongen software (which you can find here), I optimize the lifting mechanism, ensuring efficient ball transport back to the top of the track after reaching the bottom.

Finally, after weeks of design and construction, the ball roller coaster clock is completed. It operates flawlessly, dropping balls onto designated tracks to display the time accurately.

Reflecting on the project, I acknowledge the difficulties but express immense satisfaction with the final result. This project pushes my engineering skills to the limit and underscores the value of viewer support in inspiring me to tackle bigger challenges.

Overall, this project represents a significant achievement and highlights the possibilities of combining 3D printing, mechanical design, and creativity to create a functional and captivating piece of kinetic art.