Saturday, March 21, 2015

Custom Pinball


I came across this blog: . 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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

  1. Because I not going to use standard parts, I can use all metric parts. Easier to get, and more attractive to design with.
  2. Also try to use modern sensors and electronics.
  3. Use a 24v supply. Try to use a single power supply.
  4. Distributed controller screwed on the bottom of the playfield
  5. 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)
  6. 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.
  7. Nice to have: Have the possibility to leave the balls in the game, when storing or moving the pinball.
  8. No need for coin changer. Idea: pay with bit coins!
  9. I also like to use the programmable serial LED of the WS2812B. This will save tons of wires .
  10. 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:

  1. There are hardly any 3d models around of the standard playfield parts, so need to design them all.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

No comments:

Post a Comment