(Topic ID: 282116)

My mini homebrew -- updates and advice

By Nokoro

1 year ago


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  • 298 posts
  • 21 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 84 days ago by Nokoro
  • Topic is favorited by 27 Pinsiders

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    There are 298 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 6.
    #151 9 months ago
    Quoted from Nokoro:

    Thanks. I’ll be using an arduino. If I remembered correctly, there’s a great library to control servo motors. You basically just set the angle you want, and that’s it. I’m fairly confident on the programming part. I wasn’t so sure on the stability of a motor that repeatedly takes a force.

    AMH used a servo to control a swinging door that took a beating

    #152 9 months ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    AMH used a servo to control a swinging door that took a beating

    Interesting. It does look like the door moves with the ball but then goes back into position. So, there may be a bit of movement. I wonder if it creates any electrical surges. For instance, if you accidentally move the 3D printer without disengaging the stepper motors, it’s not good and the LCD screen will flash.

    #153 9 months ago

    Perfect print. Further proof that my PLA was bad.

    B4FA2BE5-4422-403C-BA43-CE734758D8E0 (resized).jpeg

    #154 9 months ago
    Quoted from Nokoro:

    I wasn’t so sure on the stability of a motor that repeatedly takes a force.

    Remember that a lot of servos are used in R/C hobbies where they have to hold a specific position against a constant pressure (airplane rudders/wing flaps) or impactful force(car steering setups). Servos will list both their torque and speed ratings, and I would assume you'd want a higher torque rating (to resist impacts better) while speed would be less of an issue. You will have to find servos that meet your specific needs, but they do exist.

    #155 9 months ago

    Wow that is a cool idea!

    Ben Heck has some footage of making Americas Most Haunted here:
    https://www.benheck.com/americas-most-haunted-making-of/

    #156 9 months ago
    Quoted from Hardsuit:

    Remember that a lot of servos are used in R/C hobbies where they have to hold a specific position against a constant pressure (airplane rudders/wing flaps) or impactful force(car steering setups). Servos will list both their torque and speed ratings, and I would assume you'd want a higher torque rating (to resist impacts better) while speed would be less of an issue. You will have to find servos that meet your specific needs, but they do exist.

    Servos aren't meant to take impacts and will easily strip their plastic gears. The steering in R/C cars utilize servo savers that generally prevent impacts transferring to the servo. Metal geared servos may fair better but still they should not take impacts.

    #157 9 months ago

    Thanks all. Useful information.

    #158 9 months ago

    I found a 10 foot strip of tin used for making cookie cutters on Amazon for $10. Seemed perfect for making ball guides for my mini pin. Following zacaj advice, I 3D printed some brackets. They’re a bit difficult to get on, but once on, they slide along the strip quite well and stay on. I’ve cut up my hands quite a bit just with two brackets so far. Time to put on some cut resistant gloves, or perhaps change the bracket dimensions a bit. This weekend I’ll hopefully replace my poster board ball guides with something more stable.

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    #159 9 months ago
    Quoted from Nokoro:

    They’re a bit difficult to get on, but once on, they slide along the strip quite well and stay on. I’ve cut up my hands quite a bit just with two brackets so far.

    Yep, you got it exactly right. Cuts and all I got some 1.25" stainless strips from a local metal place, so the edge wasn't quite as bad if you know how to hold it, but definitely still got me a few times. There's a fine line between making the plastic loose enough to slide on easily and tight enough to stay in place

    #160 9 months ago

    Got the metal ball guides in yesterday. It is very nice to have something that stays in place and lets you fine tune more precisely.

    DF27B2D1-4F2F-4302-A8D7-8BCCAA52CDC7 (resized).jpeg

    The cookie cutter tin strips I got are fine for a prototype, but do deform pretty easily so they don’t look perfect. Once the geometry is nailed down, I may 3D print the guides just to have a more smooth and cleaner look.

    Already this is shooting better.

    6D36F32D-C651-4E98-8B9B-C27C20534F78 (resized).jpeg

    I do think that my left ramp is taking up too much space and not leaving enough room for where I want to put the VUK. I have a really cool idea for how to change that, but it is going to test my newly learned CAD design skills. I’ll post back more later about it.

    #161 9 months ago

    I will say that I was initially reluctant to get a 3D printer because I was worried I would get too distracted and it would take time away from this project. And, in fact, I did fall into that 3D printing rabbit hole for a few weeks. However, now that I have a feel for it, it is truly enabling. If I have an idea, I don’t need to worry about finding miscellaneous parts to make it happen. I just make my own parts. Ultimately, I can move faster with it. I don’t think I could conceive of this project without one anymore.

    #162 9 months ago
    Quoted from Nokoro:

    I will say that I was initially reluctant to get a 3D printer because I was worried I would get too distracted and it would take time away from this project. And, in fact, I did fall into that 3D printing rabbit hole for a few weeks. However, now that I have a feel for it, it is truly enabling. If I have an idea, I don’t need to worry about finding miscellaneous parts to make it happen. I just make my own parts. Ultimately, I can move faster with it. I don’t think I could conceive of this project without one anymore.

    I don't know what your other hobbies or skills are, but you'd be amazed at the non-pinball things you can design. I don't know how many drill fixtures I've printed over the years. If you can 3d model, a 3d printer is a priceless tool to have.

    If you get your shot geometry to where you want it, I would order some thin stainless strip:
    https://www.mcmaster.com/1421T41

    #163 9 months ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    I don't know what your other hobbies or skills are, but you'd be amazed at the non-pinball things you can design. I don't know how many drill fixtures I've printed over the years. If you can 3d model, a 3d printer is a priceless tool to have.
    If you get your shot geometry to where you want it, I would order some thin stainless strip:
    https://www.mcmaster.com/1421T41

    Oh, yeah. This will be great for other things. I’ve been doing a bunch of electronic projects. In the past, just finding a housing in the size I wanted was a challenge. For example, for a game I made, I needed a couple of handheld buttons. I found a rectangular plastic housing on Amazon, drilled holes in it, and then filed the holes to get them large enough for the buttons. No more! Now, I just make what I need.

    #164 9 months ago
    Quoted from Nokoro:

    Oh, yeah. This will be great for other things. I’ve been doing a bunch of electronic projects. In the past, just finding a housing in the size I wanted was a challenge. For example, for a game I made, I needed a couple of handheld buttons. I found a rectangular plastic housing on Amazon, drilled holes in it, and then filed the holes to get them large enough for the buttons. No more! Now, I just make what I need.

    I remember growing up, if we were making a little electronic box (or a custom joystick like a track and field control panel) you were at the mercy of whatever project boxes they had at the electronics store (radio shack was ok, but there was this bigger local store called Tri-state electronic). If I had a 3d printer growing up I would have been making my own boxes the exact size I needed.

    #165 9 months ago

    Well, here's my idea for the replacement for the left ramp. I have no idea if this will work, but it will be fun to try. Left Ramp (resized).JPG

    #166 9 months ago
    Quoted from Nokoro:

    Well, here's my idea for the replacement for the left ramp. I have no idea if this will work, but it will be fun to try. [quoted image]

    well that's something.. you might even get away with printing that without support.

    #167 9 months ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    well that's something.. you might even get away with printing that without support.

    There will be a little support on the overhang to the right, but I don’t think I need any elsewhere. Will try printing tomorrow. This was all a bit of guesswork as I was designing it. We’ll see . . . .

    #168 9 months ago

    If you don't already, you should probably get some ramp flap material. In my experience with printing ramps you can't really get the front edge that sharp

    #169 9 months ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    If you don't already, you should probably get some ramp flap material. In my experience with printing ramps you can't really get the front edge that sharp

    That's ideal, though I've used some thin card stock as a ramp flap in a pinch. You just need something flexible and thin.

    #170 9 months ago

    Love the replacement ramp, that’s fun

    #171 9 months ago

    It works! Feeling pretty awesome right now!

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    #172 9 months ago

    The ramp is supposed to represent the character Haku in his spirit form, and the wireform will snake back to the right return lane.

    C5CA3A0B-E9C6-4315-8993-B3909D8EDB94 (resized).jpeg

    One thing that I didn’t think about is that the exit from the ramp heads slightly up the playfield. I should have angled it down. However, the ball comes out with enough speed that if I make the wireform turn down right at the exit, it should be fine. I could also try redesigning it if it becomes an issue, but I think I’ll be fine.

    It would be great to actually try to mold the face of the Haku dragon spirit around the entrance to the ramp, but I don’t have the skills for that. I may try to decorate it in some way with his image though.

    #173 9 months ago

    That ramp is awesome!

    #174 9 months ago

    Now you need to find a haku to go on top of the ramp!

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    #175 9 months ago

    Thanks all. It was fun to design.

    Quoted from jorro:

    Now you need to find a haku to go on top of the ramp![quoted image]

    Hey, you want to be my art designer?

    Took a stab at designing the left ramp today. It is too big to print on the Ender 3, so I had to split it into two parts. Again, this is all new to me, so this is a bit of trial and error. Will try to print it over the next couple of days.

    Right Ramp (resized).JPG

    #176 9 months ago

    This did not work out as planned. First, I messed up and somehow got way off on the dimensions for my right ramp. The one I printed is far too large.

    On top of that, while the bottom section printed perfectly, the top section’s walls are not sticking together well and are spongy. There is also some layer separation. The top section is an odd shape with the ramp curving up and then down as it goes around the bend. Because of the way it is shaped, it was printed entirely on supports with the walls at an angle from the z axis. I wonder if it is just hard to print, or if I have some under extrusion that is manifesting itself because of the difficult shape.

    Regardless, I need to recalibrate and try again. Finding out your print is bad at the end of a two hour print is frustrating. Finding out it is bad at the end of a 25 hour print is exceedingly annoying.

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    #177 9 months ago

    have you considered simply filling in material underneath (especially if a ball is never going underneath)? Or you could print it flat, add a boss or two on the back to raise it up (so you have the slant). A lot of real pinball ramps (one I can think of is the giant ramp on back to the future) are actually flat.. the upper half is mounted high, and the entrances droop down and then get attached to the playfield.

    #178 9 months ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    have you considered simply filling in material underneath (especially if a ball is never going underneath)? Or you could print it flat, add a boss or two on the back to raise it up (so you have the slant). A lot of real pinball ramps (one I can think of is the giant ramp on back to the future) are actually flat.. the upper half is mounted high, and the entrances droop down and then get attached to the playfield.

    That’s a really good idea. I didn’t realize that a lot of ramps are flat.

    One issue I have is that the back part of the ramp travels horizontally across the back of the playfield, so it has to angle down, otherwise the ball might get stuck. But, I could probably have the right side of the ramp raised slightly higher than the left to make that happen.

    Do you think the weird curves I was trying to do could have led to my soft, separated wall issue?

    #179 9 months ago

    I had the same problem with separated walls with one specific material once. printing with higher temperature helped. Maybe it is already to cold when the new layer is put on.
    You could consider cutting the model in parts so that you can print it flat and then just melt it together with a soldering iron. That works for me quite well.

    #180 9 months ago
    Quoted from Nokoro:

    Do you think the weird curves I was trying to do could have led to my soft, separated wall issue?

    No, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to print what you have there.
    Spongy walls: underextrusion (either nozzle is blocked, or there isn't enough tension on your gear extruder)
    Separation: same as above, possibly not enough heat during extrusion, or layers too high (but I don't think you mess with those settings)

    https://www.simplify3d.com/support/print-quality-troubleshooting/layer-separation-and-splitting/

    #181 9 months ago

    I’ve been printing at 210 with this filament for a while now so don’t think it is a heat issue. And, it seems to have started happening mid print. I’ll check those other things. Thanks all.

    #182 9 months ago

    Attempt number 2 to make my right ramp went much better. I cleaned the nozzle on my 3D printer and tightened the gears. I also redesigned the ramp, following the suggestion of toyotaboy to print it flat. I was wondering how best to loft it at an angle when I noticed that one of the ramps on one of my pins had these slotted grooves in the side so that it could be mounted to a straight post at an angle. I thought that was the perfect solution, so I added that to the ramp. I also was much, much, much, much more careful about measuring the dimensions this time. And, since the back of the ramp lies flat across the back of the playfield, I arced it along a curve so balls can't get stuck there. It was just slightly too large to print with the ramp flap, so I took off the ramp flap and printed that as a separate piece.

    IMG_1747 (resized).jpeg
    IMG_1748 (resized).jpeg

    Next step will be to mount it to some posts and do some more work on the rails.

    #183 9 months ago

    Interesting geometry on the corner

    #184 9 months ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Interesting geometry on the corner

    Yeah, because that’s an area of horizontal travel, that curve is solely there to prevent a slow ball from coming to rest. Typically, the ball just travels along the back wall as expected.

    2 weeks later
    #185 8 months ago

    Pretty slow progress as of late. Life's getting in the way. But, I was able to mount my right ramp, and finish and mount the wireform off of it. I had to make a custom starpost that had the indent for the rubber ring a bit lower to accommodate my smaller ball. I attached it to the playfield through a t-nut and hooked the end of the wireform onto it. Works pretty well. The wireform still needs a bit of work. Really fast shots will fall off around the bend -- easy fix with another side rail. And slow shots can get caught at the lower part of the entrance to the wireform. That will be a bit of a harder fix, but I think I can reconfigure it.

    I also ordered some servo motors to try out my idea for gates around the inner orbit. I should get those this week.

    Still need to make the wireform for the left ramp. Will probably start on that tomorrow.

    Here's a few pics including a video of me trying the ramp by hand.

    IMG_1789 (resized).jpeg
    IMG_1790 (resized).jpeg

    #186 8 months ago

    The more I play with it, the more I realize the left ramp could be a lot better. It takes a near perfect shot to make it through the loop. Most shots get rejected. I have to decide whether I'm ok with that -- some games have such a shot that you need to nail perfectly -- or whether I want to redesign it.

    #187 8 months ago

    Any idea why they are rejecting? Too tight a turn to make the loop?

    #188 8 months ago
    Quoted from Mbecker:

    Any idea why they are rejecting? Too tight a turn to make the loop?

    It’s weird because when I first tested it, it worked for the most part. Maybe I just got lucky. But now it is rejecting more than it is letting through. I’m tempted to make the bottom a bit longer and the tube diameter a bit wider to see if that will help. I’m debating whether to try that now or work on other areas of the table and come back to it.

    Honestly, though, this table is pretty brutal and unforgiving. The ball moves really fast, and it is hard to react in time. Very different than full sized. The flippers are too powerful on the middle shots, but if I turn them down, the wide shots become difficult. That inner loop just chucks the ball back at you. I haven’t played Munsters, where these flippers are used on the lower playfield with a ball the same diameter as mine, but I can’t imagine players can keep the ball in play on that lower playfield for long.

    All in all, this is meant to be a fun experiment / learning experience. We’ll see how playable it is when I’m done with everything. There may be only so much I can do at this scale.

    #189 8 months ago
    Quoted from Nokoro:

    I haven’t played Munsters, where these flippers are used on the lower playfield with a ball the same diameter as mine, but I can’t imagine players can keep the ball in play on that lower playfield for long.

    Munsters and Family Guy both give you unlimited ball saves for a set time, probably for this reason. They're also not very drain compared to yours, since they have no outlanes, but when you do drain, you usually don't have time to really react

    #190 8 months ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Munsters and Family Guy both give you unlimited ball saves for a set time, probably for this reason. They're also not very drain compared to yours, since they have no outlanes, but when you do drain, you usually don't have time to really react

    Ah. Good to know. I think the way I code this will be very dependent on how it plays. Might need to make it a 10 ball game.

    #191 8 months ago

    your ramp and wireform looks so good.
    i kind of have the same issue right now. for my right ramp i need the ball to be fast, but i noticed that with a faster ball, my other ramps/loops reject the ball more often.
    i would suggest to make the flippers weaker, so that it feels allright, and try to modify the ramps that would need more speed. maybe make them flatter, so that a slow ball can make it.

    This is the problemsolving that nobody will see in the finished machine , and yet those problems take so much time...

    #192 8 months ago
    Quoted from stefanmader:

    your ramp and wireform looks so good.
    i kind of have the same issue right now. for my right ramp i need the ball to be fast, but i noticed that with a faster ball, my other ramps/loops reject the ball more often.
    i would suggest to make the flippers weaker, so that it feels allright, and try to modify the ramps that would need more speed. maybe make them flatter, so that a slow ball can make it.
    This is the problemsolving that nobody will see in the finished machine , and yet those problems take so much time...

    I tried weakening the flippers a bit by reducing the voltage from 24V to 20V. The problem then was that the ball barely made it around the orbit and couldn’t make it up the left ramp. I put it back to 24V and played some more. I did make the left ramp a few more times, so even though it rejects a lot, I think I’ll leave it for now. I want to move onto other areas of the game. I may go back and redesign it eventually, but I’ll wait and see how everything comes together first.

    It was interesting what zacaj said about Munsters not having outlanes on the mini playfield. I’m thinking about closing my right outlane to have fewer drains and more ball time. Already I get so many drains down the middle that I don’t have time to react to save. I may not want to deal with a full set of outlanes as well.

    #193 8 months ago
    Quoted from Nokoro:

    I tried weakening the flippers a bit by reducing the voltage from 24V to 20V. The problem then was that the ball barely made it around the orbit and couldn’t make it up the left ramp. I put it back to 24V and played some more. I did make the left ramp a few more times, so even though it rejects a lot, I think I’ll leave it for now. I want to move onto other areas of the game. I may go back and redesign it eventually, but I’ll wait and see how everything comes together first.
    It was interesting what zacaj said about Munsters not having outlanes on the mini playfield. I’m thinking about closing my right outlane to have fewer drains and more ball time. Already I get so many drains down the middle that I don’t have time to react to save. I may not want to deal with a full set of outlanes as well.

    Maybe just tighten them up so that they have to be perfectly lined up to get through? Also assuming you've tried reducing the playfield angle to reduce speed?

    #194 8 months ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    Also assuming you've tried reducing the playfield angle to reduce speed?

    Not yet, but at some point I’m going to redo my cabinet and move the playfield over to plywood, not particle board (that was a mistake), and when I do that I’ll add in something that allows more freedom of adjustment on the pitch.

    #195 8 months ago

    It’s freezing outside today so instead of taking my usual lunch break walk, I decided to make some progress on my other wireform by joining the upper and lower sections together. Can anybody guess what I did wrong? Will have to redo it. Waste of 45 minutes.

    62593A90-B5EE-4C46-9CC5-61ED18BB0A61 (resized).jpeg

    #196 8 months ago

    Fixed.

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    #197 8 months ago

    worked out in the end i see. Your Pin already looks like so much fun

    #198 8 months ago

    Rails are all done and mounted, including the slight fixes to the left rail.

    0FDD1E71-7858-4D0D-BCEE-95AF02AF8309 (resized).jpeg

    #199 8 months ago

    Also this week, I worked on my plan to use servo motors to control gates around the inner orbit.

    As it turns out, most people use servo motors to control pretty thick shafts. But for my scale, I want a fairly thin rod to stick up through the playfield. I found these couplings at Servocity which can be drilled out to hold a much thinner shaft. I’m using 2 mm rods.

    FE14BC7F-275E-4DD3-BC41-49980437F3BE (resized).jpeg

    The problem is the coupling itself is pretty thick and I don’t want to have to drill that size hole through the playfield. So I made and printed a spacer to keep the whole thing underneath. I just need long enough screws to attach it. The spacer has a cut away in the side allowing me to adjust the set screws to hold my shaft in place.

    3611E8E7-B322-4176-A30A-024E506F8AFC (resized).jpeg
    44FF1F2C-A4D6-4A84-8469-D8AD2D40A0F6 (resized).jpeg

    I also printed the gates themselves. To attach them to the rods, I bent the rods at a 90 degree angle. I designed in a channel in the horizontal direction and some “clips” in the vertical direction to snap the rods in place. It’s pretty solid, but we’ll see how well it holds up during play. It took some experimenting to find the right dimensions to get the rods to snap into the gate properly.

    94C34860-297F-47E4-84EF-7179D1B7B50A (resized).jpeg

    #200 8 months ago

    I'm looking for some stand up targets for a few locations. Right now, I'm thinking about some for in front of the half circle plastic that forms my inner orbit. All I'm finding for the narrow ones are 1/2" x 1" targets like these:

    https://www.pinballlife.com/data-eastsegastern-12-x-1-small-rectangle-target-switch.html

    Anyone know if anyone makes anything smaller or if any game used smaller targets? 1 inch is a bit too tall for me, and I wouldn't mind a bit narrower than 1/2". I'm guessing not as all of these would be for regular size games, but I thought I would throw the question out there.

    I wonder if I'm better off trying to make my own by buying individual leaf switch leaves and spacers. It sounds like a lot of work, and I would rather not go down that route if not necessary.

    There are 298 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 6.

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