Use Marble Run Maker's interal scripting language to build contraptions by hand.
The simple scene below, including the rotating arm, was scripted in just a few lines. The arm was built using simple x,y,z coordinates. A trigger on the rotating arm -- activated by balls, boxes, or other contraptions -- tells it when to start moving. Learn to build these here.
Use rekindle in your contraptions to quickly regenerate sections that you define only once. Rekindle will duplicate a section of your contraption at the angle, location and timing that you want.
In the example below, the arm of the conveyor is described only once, and is told to rotate 10 degrees. At the end of the 10 degrees, it's told to rekindle itself a total of 36 times (10 degrees x 36 arms = 360 degrees). Finally, it's told to rotate the remaining 350 degrees of a full circle. More details about this here.
The spiral lifter shown here is an example of a contraption where the objects involved are complex--certainly nothing you're going to be building by typing the coordinates by hand, as we did with the ferris wheel rekindling example.
In this example, I'll show you how you can import contraption shapes into Marble Run Maker via STL files. Every 3D program supports this filetype. One free one that I recommend espcially is SketchUp Make 2017. Once you draw your shapes and import them into Marble Run Maker, it's very easy to add motion using Marble Run Maker's built-in scripting language.
A pinball bumper is the cylindrical thing on a pinball table that shoots balls outward when they come in contact. Here's a a simple three-part contraption built after seeing this video on how they work. The shape of the contraption is quite simple, and so is the
movement string: The plunger moves down and up rapidly, hitting the balls at an angle, if the ball touches the trigger at the bottom.
A spiral can be designed once in SketchUp, then rotated various ways to make loop-de-loops and spiral descenders. The two loops you see here were designed in SketchUp Make 2017 (free!) in about 15 minutes. The only difference is a single deleted wall. YouTube videos on SketchUp make it easy.
Visit the database for several simple, easy-to-use contraptions that do a variety of things. Here's one row of the database:
|Ball sorter. Plane slides across track when triggered by white ball. Contraption Scene|
|More in database...|