Why I chose the Rube Goldberg machine.

I chose the Rube Goldberg machine. I chose the rube goldberg machine because I wanted to try engineering a project and learn more about engineering. I don't think this would work very well for a career but I think for side projects it would work.

Rube Goldberg Plan

The first step to the machine is the pendulum. The pendulum will have a rock attached to it which will hit a golf ball. The golf ball will roll down a pipe into a cup. The cup is sitting on a seesaw that will lower down a zip line. The zip line will have a ball or rock attached to it by a pulley, the pulley will slide down and hit a bell. The bell should ring ending the project. What  I want to learn about this project is how to engineer something that works and is efficient.

Further Introduction

The way I learned more about my project was watching some helpful videos. The videos helped me by showing different stages that were unique and simple.

Changing Plans

We decided instead of using PVC pipe we will use a racetrack. We thought it would work more efficiently and the golf ball will roll faster.

What I learned

I learned that we may need to change a few items in order for our project to work. Such as, the PVC pipe and switch that to cardboard paper towel rolls. We will have to change only that but the plan should work.

Special Terms

Momentum - the quanity of motion of a moving body, measured as a product of its mass and velocity

Velocity - the speed of something in a given direction

Time to get technical

What we realized about our project. Below is our list of problems.

1. We tried to use an eraser instead of a rock but we had to use a rock to use enough momentum to knock down a golf ball.

2. We were going to use a bell but we could not find one so instead we have to use a buzzer.

Technical #2

The part of our project that is most important is the cardboard pipe which is using enough momentum to allow the golf ball to fall into the cup. I also think that the pendulum is important because it allows the golf ball to fall on the pipe which is a key part pf our project. One more item is the see saw which we use a cup that uses the golf balls weight to lower the zip line.

Changing Objects

Instead of just taping the golf ball to the wall we decided to use a spoon. The spoon helps hold the golf ball which allows the pendulum to easily knock it down to roll on to the pipe. We also are most likely going to change the bell to a buzzer.


What we noticed was that once we switched the tape with the spoon the ball moved faster. Also, most of the project is working quite well. We still need to test the whole project. I think the project will work within the 9th to 12th try. That is what we learned while testing today.

Changing Objectives

Below is our project. You cannot see the car.

The original objective was to ring a bell or buzzer. I could not find any bells or buzzers for our project. I decided that we would have to change objectives. I decided that the new objective would be pushing a race car across the room. This should work better for our project.

Thoughts on Project

I would like to begin testing the entire project rather than half of it. I think it will  work. The only problem may be the golf ball going down to fast and missing the cup.


This is our 6th test. I recorded the video as my partner tested the project.

What to work on now

I would like for the test to got to the final stage and work. I think in order for this to work we will have to time everything right. Our 6th test brought us to 4/5 tests complete. In order for it to work I think we would have to make the clip gain more momentum down the zip line.

What we could improve on with the project

Our project could have been set up much faster. I think over the time while working on this project we have set the project up so many different times due to changing objects and slowness. I now have noticed that this project has begun to be set up much faster.


Finally our project has been set up and is beginning to work.

Problems/Changes with our project over time: 1. The pipe would not stay up it needed more support  2.Changed cardboard pipe to plastic pipe 3.Changed objectives from ringing a bell too pushing a race car

Our project did not work

Our Rube Goldberg did not work, but it worked a lot better than I thought it would.  It did not work because the last step did not work because the zip line did not match up right with the race car. We could have matched up everything right for the rock.


I learned that we could have built it a lot faster. Also, we could have enhanced our last step. Our project  turned out very well except the final step. I dont think this would work very well for a job or hobby because, ít takes a lot of time to set up and enhance. I think I would change to 3-D printing because I think it would be fun to test and try something I have made.

Comment Stream

2 years ago

Looks good, Very interesting.

2 years ago

I can't wait for the amazing buzzer I think it's really cool you are using sounds in your project.