Marble machines

Marble Machines are complicated but useless pieces of toy machinery that automate the process of playing with marbles. This automation could in theory lead to gains in productivity as people are now freed up to pursue more productive goals.

But as it turns out, it's even more fun to watch an automated machine that plays with marbles.

Modular marble machine

A marble machine / building block combination

Marble machine 2.1

A more refined redesign of marble machine 2

Marble run building blocks

Another set of building blocks for marble tracks

Seven amazing marble machines

Made by Paul Grundbacher, from Switzerland

Marble machine 1

My first wooden marble machine

Marble machine 2

My second wooden marble machine. Very loud.

Lego marble machine

My first marble machine - inspiration to build the wooden machines

Binary marble adding machine

A machine that adds in binary, using marbles

Michael Schultheiss's marble machine

A very complicated and elaborate machine!

Ronald Walter's marble machine

Motorized, with Lots of gears!

Ryszard's "Archimedes" marble machine

Inspired by Paul Grundbacher's machines

Ryszard's "Chaos2" marble machine

Inspired by Paul Grundbacher's machines

Ryszard's marble machine 3

Ryszard's marble machine 4

Marble run building blocks

An earlier set of blocks, a gift for my nephews.

Briand Sanders's machine

Brian Sanders's beautiful version of marble machine 2.1

Wooden ball bearing

Some marble machine concepts explained

Marble pump

An elegant little mechanism to push marbles up a column

Elevating wheel

A high throughput elevating mechanism that never jams


A way to divide the marbles into two equal streams