(Topic ID: 245724)

Some questions


By snuggy

8 months ago



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  • 7 posts
  • 4 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by jabdoa
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 8 months ago

    Hello, I am in the process of my alpha whitewood (mainly a scrap board I use to make sure I have all the needed tools so I dont get into hiccups in the future.)
    I want to advise with the people in this forum:

    - is it advised to install a side rail on the playfield itself or use the cabinet walls as the "edge" of the game?

    - in pictures I've seen of the cutout of the pop bumpers on the playfield the skirt has an irregular shape cut out of it (looks like three circles overlapping eachother) yet when I've installed mine I needed only to drill 2 small holes that are spaced away from the center hole of the skirt. (I assume this doesnt matter but I hate the nagging feeling I'm missing something)

    - designing the playfield, I am using a mac what is a recommended software that works? Will autoCAD or solidworks be good if I use examples from pinball makers?

    - regarding the previous question, I might be able to have access to a CNC machine big enough for a playfield from a local maker shop, I'd like thoughts about using a CNC instead of drilling my own holes.

    I apologise for the nooby questions but these have been nagging me and I always appreciate opinions from other people, furthermore I've yet to find an answer to these during my research.

    #2 8 months ago

    Hello and welcome !

    - side rails help keep the playfield from warping when you start adding elements the the top and bottom. They can get pretty heavy quickly.

    - cut out holes can be what ever shape you need, however if you are left with little slivers of wood between then, just remove them so they don't break off in the future.

    - AutoCAD works great to generate the flat .dxf files for machinig. Stern uses Solidworks for design I believe. Also for testing rules and some features, virtual pinball can be a good option.

    - CNC cutting of the playfield is the way to go if you have access to one. While AutoCAD will generate the .dxf file, you'll still need CAM software to generate the tooling for the machine. I think solid works has this option ( plugin?)

    #3 8 months ago

    Thanks for replying, so the measurements I see of standard playfield sizes includes the width these rails take along the border?

    #4 8 months ago

    The rails sit on top of the playfield and are fastened from the underside of the playfield. I believe they are usually 1/2", so that 22" wide playfield is actually closer to 21".

    #5 8 months ago

    Hey there
    I'm currently drilling by hand just to get a basic game going to playtest so I can get it ready for CAD and get a good one routed when everything is ironed out designwise, it's a pain to spend money for countless routed playfields only because a shot doesnt work as good physically as it should in your mind.

    Another thing I can recommend is to not bother about lighting and inserts that early into the build as you can add that later when you feel the game is working mechanically.

    I use Sketchup for mockups and Fusion360 (also on Mac) for the CAD/CAM drawings, if you are not that familiar with CAD that should be a good start without being forced to pay a ton of money.

    What i learned quickly is getting slings to sit right is a pain in the a**, so be careful with that and dont set them up too far behind the rubber or else there will be no power to them at all.

    #6 8 months ago
    Quoted from zFabi:

    Hey there
    I'm currently drilling by hand just to get a basic game going to playtest so I can get it ready for CAD and get a good one routed when everything is ironed out designwise, it's a pain to spend money for countless routed playfields only because a shot doesnt work as good physically as it should in your mind.
    Another thing I can recommend is to not bother about lighting and inserts that early into the build as you can add that later when you feel the game is working mechanically.
    I use Sketchup for mockups and Fusion360 (also on Mac) for the CAD/CAM drawings, if you are not that familiar with CAD that should be a good start without being forced to pay a ton of money.
    What i learned quickly is getting slings to sit right is a pain in the a**, so be careful with that and dont set them up too far behind the rubber or else there will be no power to them at all.

    Thanks for the tips!
    In my mind I have finished phase 1 ( which is checking that I have the right drills and tools to insert the different basic parts).
    Now I'll move to phase 2 which is to acquire a proper sized non bended playfield and build a cabinet around it.

    another thing I've been wondering, is there a recommended spacing for pop bumpers that are placed in triangular positions, or is it a check for yourself depending on power and playfield position...

    #7 8 months ago
    Quoted from snuggy:

    another thing I've been wondering, is there a recommended spacing for pop bumpers that are placed in triangular positions, or is it a check for yourself depending on power and playfield position...

    Usually people copy those from their favorite Stern or Williams playfield. Just measure and use the same setting. One less thing to worry since you are using the same mech.

    Depending on your ambitions you can use CAD but it is certainly not required for a one-off. A CAD model will require a lot of work but offers a lot of advantages when designing and manufacturing parts. However, people such as the pinball amigos figured that you can also build a machine without any CAD. Without CAD you can just print a scanned playfield and use it as a template for your drilling. I thing there are also some templates around on pinballmakers for drilling some mechs.

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