A truly mechanical dueling pinball with a pirate theme, made from wood and 3d printed wood PLA.
The goal for this project was to build a decorative wooden pinball table, that wouldn’t use any electronic parts, except for the LED lighting. Because commercial Pinball tables use electronics and coils to power almost everything, from flipper fingers to bumpers and slingshots, I couldn’t – and didn’t want to – use available Pinball spare parts to build mine. The only spare parts used are the rubber bands and the balls themselves. For everything else, I took inspiration from commercial Pinball tables and came up with my own, purely mechanical version in Autodesk Fusion and 3D printed the results. See the prototyping chapter, below, for more details.
- The table was designed in Autodesk Fusion.
- The frame and playfields are made from plywood.
- Decoration, mechanics and play field elements are printed in Wood and Cork PLA
- Playfield images were burned using a soldering iron
- Besides for the lighting, no electronics were added
The pinball was build in multiple stages. I tested all features like the flipper fingers, bumpers and slingshots individually by building a small prototypes solely to test and tune the individual feature, before adding it to the table.
Almost all things needed multiple iterations, as there are a few things to consider:
- it should be fun to play with
- it must not break, if a ball hits it with full force
- balls must not get stuck
- it needs to be 3d printable
The video and images below, show the first play test prototype, after the flipper and slingshot mechanics proved to be working correctly.