by christinachun, published

Marble-Thingi-Run! by christinachun Dec 23, 2012

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I loved seeing marble runs or any of those types of toys in store windows when I was a kid but I never owned one. I designed this (ongoing) set as a gift to my younger cousins this Christmas.

I'll be updating the files and adding as I go.


The new marbleRun-swirl works great and was a hit with my cousins! I just wish I could have printed more parts for them!


I've printed these on my Afinia H-Series 3d printer with these settings:

0.25mm Resolution
Loose Fill
Normal Setting
30 Degree support

*The mill might have to be printed at a better resolution to be smoother so it turns more freely unless you're okay with filing/sanding it a little to get it to turn smoothly.

I designed this to work within my printers capacity. I doubt it will fit to existing marble runs since I didn't use them as a guide.

Uses 14mm marbles.

List of parts so far:

  1. marbleRun-H - Marble slide.
  2. marbleRun-I - Height extender with the top positive and bottom negative.
  3. marbleRun-EndCatcher - Catches the marbles at the end.
  4. marbleHopper - Makes it easy to load lots of marbles!
  5. marbleRun-mill - Marbles go through and the mill turns! Attach one of the connectors to the side of the slide, put the mill in and then attach the other connector.
  6. marbleRun-flipper -Marbles go through and the flipper turns!
  7. marbleRun-2wayExtensions - 1 each of the Negative & Positive. Use this to extend the height, add a large gap, or create a custom piece.
  8. marbleRun-2wayExtensionNegative
  9. marbleRun-2wayExtensionPositive
  10. marbleRun-Swirl
  11. marbleRun-XLExtension - Extra Large extension that is the same height as the marbleRun-Swirl!
  12. marbleRun-Curve
  13. marbleRun-2waySplit - Splits the marbles in two directions.
  14. marbleRun-Funnel - Big funnel to have marbles hop into!
  15. marbleRUn-Chute - Can dispense marbles into the Funnel.

I will .zip all the files after I am finished finalizing the files.

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I used to have an actual marble run set that looked nearly identical to that wen I was little, did you base this off anything?

I based the design off of the common marble run but since my build size isn't that large, it's not going to be compatible with any other sets since they are my own measurements.

Beautiful set. Did you end up using support material for the print? I was thinking of adding some gradual curves anywhere there is an overhang so I can print without the support material.

Yes, I used support material. I have been meaning to update the design a bit by shortening the the connecting ends to just use the extension pieces and reduce the large over hangs. I've learned a lot since I published this and will hopefully update soon.

Are the models updated by now, so that you can print without support?
Do you think the models can be scaled for other marble diameters or won't they fit anymore?

Reminiscent of Mousetrap, or (even moreso) Bing, Bang, Boing! we need to add tags for "Heath Robinson", or (in the USA) "Rube Goldberg" so that we can build bigger marble-course libraries!


a ramp that makes the marbles jump... and dont forget the neccesairy looping!

I didn't have time to add more parts due to my small build platform and wanted to give a gift of at least a basic marble run set. I would love to integrate moving parts but I'm not as experienced in that area (yet). I have a few ideas though and I'll be experimenting. Hopefully someone here will expand this marble run or make it better! :)

like it!
i had a marblerun like this made by my dad. entirely made from wood.

Thanks! I've seen the wooden ones and they are amazing! There's even a company now who hand makes wooden ones with xylophone pieces so it plays music as the marbles pass through!

This is awesome! I've had a marble run on my to-design list for months. Looks like you beat me to the punch.

These are so much fun! I didn't have time to print at decent settings due small build platform but it sure is fun. It's not perfect but hopefully I get a few helpful souls to improve this set over time!