Tony the Pinball Wizard has designed and 3D printed an absolutely incredible full-sized pinball machine. Designing the machine took over 200 hours in CAD and over 1,200 hours of 3D printing (errors and false prints not included) on a home made 3D printer.
Tony used 8,500 meters of 3D printing filament of 85 diffrent types, colors, and sizes for its otherwide fairly traditional 1970’s layout.
Tonydecided that the machine should be fully 3D printed. Many pinball parts are suited to 3D desktop printing but this one includes a fully printed case and playtable. There are a total of 170 different part designs with a total part count of 520. The project was printed partly on Tony's home design printer fitted with a larger than normal 400mm x 300mm bed. The largest part being 380 x 280mm.
Openscad and Arduinos
All of the 170 parts were designed using Openscad. The designs took a total of 200 hours on Openscad. Other softwares used were Cura, Slic3r and Pronterface with a custom version of Marlin embedded in the 3D printer. The pinball machine uses 3 Arduino processors with software written in C, on the Arduino interface. Multiple processors were required to provide the large number of interface ports required.
Printing All the Parts
The total printing time for all the parts was 1,200 hours and the project used just over 8 kilometres (5 miles) of filament, supplied by 3DFilaPrint. The majority of the filament was however used in the case and playfield. A more realistic approach might be to use conventional construction methods for these, but the printed cases are however amazingly strong and light. The pinball uses mainly PLA, with some special materials where strength, flexibility or special finish are required. Some parts are printed on top of a single layer overlay to add some graphical design features.
The Bumper Design
The bumper design is particularly interesting. The magic happens with two rings of conductive filament. the bottom one is stationary while the top one is a multi material print with a flexible filament. When the ball runs into the bumper the top filament flexes and the lower rings contact.