As seen at The MAD Museum.
These rolling ball kits are available from our gift shop at the museum, MAD’s eBay shop & MAD’s new online shop.
Links to instructions for building these kits are below.
This hand-cranked machine is very easy to assemble and is suitable for use in school projects to teach about mechanisms. Also great for a rainy day project with the (grand)children. It is unique in the sense that it is built entirely from laser cut MDF. Slots and tabs are used in the design to ensure all parts are perfectly aligned. A minimum of sanding is required. 9.52mm balls are included.
This machine is hand-cranked and has a stairs type lifting mechanism. The camshaft is geared down to ensure smooth motion. Made from precision laser cut MDF and plywood. Plated steel axles. 5mm steel balls are included with the kit.
This motorised version of the #1 machine uses a small gear motor to power the stairs type lifting mechanism. Made from precision laser cut MDF and plywood. Plated steel axles. 5mm steel balls are included with the kit. Soldering is required to complete the kit.
Marble Machine #2 is motorized and features dual tracks with a track switch and a ball accumulator. The lifting mechanism is the wheel type.
Everything you need to assemble the kit is included except for glue and batteries (2xAA). Made from precision laser cut MDF and plywood. Carbon fibre uprights with silicone spacers. 7mm steel balls are included with the kit.
The lifter wheel is pre-assembled and has the pockets for the balls drilled to the right depth and angle. Motor, switch and battery box are pre-soldered.
This stirling engine runs off a single tea light. It has a balsawood displacer and uses a latex diaphragm instead of a piston. It has 4 micro ball bearings to ensure smooth operation. All parts required to complete the engine are included except for glue (epoxy and PVA). The kit comes with a stainless steel stand but you will need to supply your own tealight – most supermarkets carry these.
Stirling engines have very low power and need careful assembly to ensure there are no air leaks or friction. Therefore the kit is best suited for someone with a little previous model hobby experience.
Using this insect swatter is a bit like fishing. You bait it with a small drop of honey or jam on the string and must then patiently sit and wait until an insect is attracted to the bait. If you are lucky, you will make a “catch”. There are two different trigger options included: A pushbutton trigger or a string operated trigger so you can “fire” the swatter from across the room. It’s powerful action ensures a quick and humane dispatch of the insect. The arms of the swatter are geared together to give a perfect parallel motion of the paddles thereby minimising the chance of escape for the insect.
The kit is precision cut from 3mm MDF and uses stainless hardware. Easy to assemble. PVA or similar glue required (not included).
The base is 12x12cm and the swatter is 22cm tall.
The perfect starter kit for budding Automata makers! This simple kit is ideal for kids* and offers a great demonstration of a working crank mechanism.
Pick from one of five great shapes to put on the top of your finished Automata. Turn the crank handle and see your shape come to life!
The kit is precision cut from 3mm plywood. Easy to assemble. PVA or similar glue required (not included).
*Adult supervision is required.Automata Instructions