I came across this blog: http://pinballchameleon.blogspot.co.nz/2014/06/the-modern-firepower-pinball-project.html . What a nice project to do! I also like to build one!
But with a difference: All custom pinballs are still build with metal parts either from old pinballs or newly made. But why buy it when you could make it yourself? I like to make most parts above and below the playfield with a 3d printer.
This project I plan to do in 2 phases:
- First phase is to build a custom pall based on an existing playfield. The focus is on the creation of a framework for pinball . Designing the playfield thingies like flippers and ball troughs. Also designing the electronics and software. CNC routing and playfield printing.
- Second phase is to design my own playfield. Focus is on game design, rules, music etc.
So start with phase 1!
I like the relative simplicity of the Firepower pinball, so also going to use Firepower playfield.
This game does not use ramps, but still has a lot of interesting features like spinners , pop bumper , ejects etc. Also, I like the SF theme as I am a serious SF fan.
Some of my requirements/ ideas
- Because I not going to use standard parts, I can use all metric parts. Easier to get, and more attractive to design with.
- Also try to use modern sensors and electronics.
- Use a 24v supply. Try to use a single power supply.
- Distributed controller screwed on the bottom of the playfield
- Because I don't like the big size of standard pinball housings. It fills your living room so quick, WAF issues. I aim at a thin box I can easily store. So this also means that all the stuff below the playfield is restricted in height. (so no standard ball trough)
- So also get rid of the black box. The player has to do it with a couple of simple 7 segment displays for the score and ball count.
- Nice to have: Have the possibility to leave the balls in the game, when storing or moving the pinball.
- No need for coin changer. Idea: pay with bit coins!
- I also like to use the programmable serial LED of the WS2812B. This will save tons of wires .
- Nice to have : Wifi
Some of the consequences of making my own metric stuff is that I need to make my own coils and plungers. Not a biggie
Also plan to create my own inserts: need to test this, but likely can print them also on the 3d printer. Alternative cut them with a laser cutter or CNC machine.
For playfield prints I plan to use either waterslide decal or (pressure adhesive) polyester.
I still need to decide if I going to base the distributed control on an AVR or ARM processor. Also what to use as a main controller: Raspberry Pie or a AVR/ARM processor. What physical interface between them. But those are problems for later.
The issues I face at the moment:
- There are hardly any 3d models around of the standard playfield parts, so need to design them all.
- I don't have access to example playfield parts, so it is difficult to get dimension of existing parts. Likely end up measuring photos of playfield parts.
- I am unable to find a good quality scan of a Firepower playfield.
(and of course time)
So let get started with the plastic design first!