Rube Goldberg Machine

I am making a Rube Goldberg Machine for Stem class for my 20% project.

Rube Goldberg Machine: Choosing(Day #1)

I chose this project because I enjoyed building the first one and I like the idea that you are taking random, everyday objects to do a simple task. I would like to learn about the physics of this machine. I would not however want to have my career be based on this because i am hoping to be a vet.

Rube Goldberg Machine: Intro Research (Day #2)

To start off the planning, I read the instructions and watched some videos on how to make Rube Goldberg Machines.  After watching lots of videos, I brainstormed with my group on possibilities for our machine.  We need to draw out a plan and brainstorm a little more and we will be ready to put it to action!

Rube Goldberg Machine: Intro Research Part II (Entry #3)

Today we watched a video about a man who built a Rube Goldberg Machine.  It took him a couple months but it was a very complex machine.  This helped us come up with a few more ideas for our Rube Goldberg Machine.  I also looked at a video where they used a conveyor belt to raise objects up onto a track.  This will also be used in our machine.

Rube Goldberg Machine: Questions Answered (Entry #4)

Today we finished planning out our project.  We assigned who is going to bring in each material and made sure everything was correct.  We also labeled each step on our diagram so everything is easy to understand.  We answered a few of the questions that we had about completing our project today.  One of the questions we had was how are we going to combine all of the projects together.  After asking Mr. Ternet, I found out that we are not required to combine or projects, but if we have extra time then we can  put them together.

Rube Goldberg Machine: Building (Entry #5)

Today we began to build our machine.  We built the zipline to knock the balls onto the track  and the track for the balls to roll on.  The questions we answered were why the ball wasn't staying on the pulley we were using for our zipline. We eventually just used tape to stick it on.  Tomorrow we are going to put the steps together.

Rube Goldberg Machine: What I am finding out while doing my project (Entry #6)

I am finding this project very fun to build.  We have come across a few problems, but they are solvable.  We are mostly having a lot of successes and our project is working very well.

Rube Goldberg Machine: Technical terms (Entry #7)

To complete this project you need to know what all of the tools you are using are.  We are using a pulley to help reveal our poster.  A pulley is a wheel with grooves that when a force or weight is applied to one side then the other side is raised up.  We are using a zip-line for the ball to knock the other balls down the track.  A zip-line is a cable mechanism used for transportation.

Rube Goldberg Machine: NEW Questions and information (Entry #8)

We need to figure out how we are going to reveal the poster.  We were going to use a pulley and have the balls pull the bucket towards the ground, but we couldn't figure out how to make the bucket go down if it is already on the ground.  I think we just need to find a way to keep the bucket off the ground until the yellow balls fall in.  

Another thing we need to figure out is where we are going to get a pump and a weight to push the ball off of the counter.  I think I might have a pump at my house, but I am not sure if we still have it or if it got thrown away.  

Something that we have been wondering is if we will be able to get the machine set up the exact same way every time.  After watching a few YouTube videos, we realized that we need to mark where everything is with tape so that it works everyday and is in the same spot so we will have less flaws.

Other than these three problems, our project is moving along very smoothly.

Rube Goldberg Machine: Technical Parts of My Project (Entry #9)

Today we built the bucket for our Rube Goldberg machine.  We used paper and duct tape by folding the paper into a rectangular box-like shape-but without the top- and covered it with the duct tape so it would look nice.  The bucket is used in the final stage of our machine.  The small yellow balls will fall into the bucket and gravity will pull the bucket towards the ground.  When the bucket is lowered, the sign will be raised up.

Rube Goldberg Machine: Tech Stuff part 2 (Entry #10)

Today we built our bucket.  The balls will fall into the bucket and raise up a sign as our ending goal.  The bucket is part of the final stage.  We finished building the bucket and we cut small slits in the sides for the string to go through.  

Rube Goldberg Machine (Entry #11)

Today we began to work on our presentation that we need to do.  We filled out most of the basic information and began to work on our sketch.  It is coming along and hopefully we will get it finished.

Rube Goldberg Machine (Entry #12)

Today we came across another issue. The bucket that we had made was too heavy.  We needed to take some of the duct tape off of the bucket.  We were also running low on tape, so we were trying to gain as much tape back as we could.  In the process, our bucket got destroyed.  We decided that we will need to make another bucket soon. Meanwhile, we will use the red plastic bucket that I originally brought in. We can't use this bucket for our final project because it is also too heavy.

Rube Goldberg Machine (Entry #13)

Today we added in our first stage.  We got a large, 4 lb green medicine ball that we can use to drop on our air pump so enough air can be pumped out for the plastic ball to fall off of the counter onto the zip line.  The ball works perfectly for the machine.  We have not yet come across any issues and our machine is running very smoothly.  

Our 4lb ball that we are using for our first step.

Rube Goldberg Machine: Next Steps (entry #14)

Today we made our new bucket.  This time, we used way less duct tape so the bucket is less heavy.  Our last bucket was too heavy to use.  We almost have our whole machine built.  Our next steps are to set up the position of the bucket and the sign/curtain.  We also need to make the sign that we are going to reveal in our final step.  This is an easy process- all we need to do is tape 2 pieces of poster board together and write a few things on it.   

Rube Goldberg Machine: (Entry #15)

Today we tested out our machine.  Altogether it is running pretty smoothly.  We did come across a few issues though.  One of our issues was that we couldn't get the balls to fall into the bucket.  When they did fall in, they fell through a crack that we forgot to secure.  We still need to secure the crack, and hopefully we will be able to get the balls to fall in.  I think we just need to adjust the location of the pulley and maybe we will be able to get it working perfectly.  

Rube Goldberg Machine: (Entry #16)

Our Rube Goldberg Machine is almost exactly the way I wanted it to be.  We had to alter a few things in order for the machine to work properly, but overall, it is the same.  All of our steps worked fairly well but they had a few issues.  We were able to fix most of our problems by adding in another object, adding tape to hold something in place, or re-positioning something so we would get better results.  

There were a few way we had to modify our design in order to get our Rube Goldberg to work.  First, we had to add on legos to our ramp because it wasn't tall enough for the conveyor belt.  Second, we had to build a new bucket because the original bucket was too heavy for us to use.  We also had to place cardboard inside of the bucket so the balls wouldn't tip the bucket over. We placed cardboard on the outside of the bucket too, so it couldn't  slide too far  away from the conveyor belt.  

Rube Goldberg Machine: Reflections (Entry #17)

I learned many things while building my project.  I learned that building a Rube Goldberg is definitely not as easy as it looks.  I learned that just because something works once, there is always room for mistakes.  I learned how to work pulleys, conveyor belts, and I learned about how you can take everyday objects and use them to build a multi-step machine.  This project helped me to understand more about gravity, trial and error, and correcting mistakes.  

I think my project turned out okay.  It worked up until the last few days when we were combining the last few stages.  When we were almost finished we started to come across multiple problems.  We were able to solve most of the issues, but there were a few that we could not figure out how to solve.  

This project made me want to pursue this subject more because it was the type of project that easily draws you in and gets you interested.  However, I would not want this to be a part of my job because I want to be a vet when I am older.  I do think that some of the skills that I developed from this project will help me later on in life and will help me find a good job.

I am glad that I picked this project to do because I found it interesting and fun to do.  I also think it is a very good project to finish the year on.  

Comment Stream

2 years ago

Looks great! Hope you compete it well. I like the zipline it looks really cool!

2 years ago

I love the set up. The course is very creative! Love it!