At last week's 8th grade Purim carnival at Yeshiva Har Torah, a K'Nex pinball machine, built by Ian, had everyone talking. How did he do it? How long did it take? How did he even get it to school? So, we went to the source. Here are Ian's responses to the most commonly asked questions. Thank you to Ian for both the pinball machine and for taking the time to answer our questions!
How long did it take to build the pinball machine?
It took me a little more than 2 months to complete the pinball machine. I remember clearly that I started building it on a Saturday in August 2016. I stayed up until after midnight to get the table base and flippers done. I was so excited that I took a picture of it that night. The picture is dated August 21, 2016 at 12:20AM. I finished building it towards the end of October. I mostly build on the weekends and spend hours thinking, building and brainstorming.
How did you figure out how to do it? How did you get the idea?
I decided I wanted to make some sort of game that people could play. I thought of many ideas including a bowling game, a skeeball machine [Ed. Note: We Want skeeball!] , a basketball shooting game, and even a foosball table. I started to build a bowling game but then I got bored of the idea. So I started thinking of other ideas and looked on the web for inspirations. I found some pictures and videos of pinball-type machines and I decided to try to make one.
The machine in use at the carnival
It took me a really long time to plan out how I was going to build it. I searched for pictures of pinball machines just to get an idea of how they looked. I first started with the basic table frame and I added the first 2 flippers. I then basically designed the rest as I built. I decided to have two sets of flippers, one pair in the front and one pair in the back. I also decided to have two chain lifts in the backboard of the pinball machine to bring more excitement into the game. I then created many holes in which the balls could fall into and go up the different paths. From there I added obstacles and rubber bands for the ball to hit and bounce off of. Afterwards, I added many different paths for the ball to take to lead to the two chain lifts. Then I was finished!