British YouTuber and maker James Bruton has built an unusual “Marble Machine”. This is a machine that is driven by a cascade of marbles or ball bearings and triggers mechanical processes.
Inspired by currently popular Marble Machine watches, Bruton has designed a series of 3D-printed components that trigger different mechanisms in sequence through the marbles. From the clinking of the cup, to the filling of water and milk, to the dipping of the tea bag.
In detail, several of his self-designed levers, rockers and wheel mechanisms are used. These are operated by the falling marbles and ball bearings in a sequential order.
According to Bruton, the biggest challenge was to transform the quite violent forces and accelerations of the marbles into smooth, controlled movements of the mechanisms that brew the tea.
In the end, Bruton succeeded in creating a creative marble machine that can brew a cup of tea fully automatically. His intensive work on fine-tuning has paid off, and many of the mechanisms and movements already look very elegant and smooth.
As always, Bruton publishes all his designs and associated files on GitHub under an open source license.