Editing Getting started (section) From The Great Ball Contraption Wiki PageDiscussionEditHistory More... What links here Related changes Special pages Page information Warning: You are not logged in. Your IP address will be publicly visible if you make any edits. If you log in or create an account, your edits will be attributed to your username, along with other benefits. This page supports semantic in-text annotations (e.g. "[[Is specified as::World Heritage Site]]") to build structured and queryable content provided by Semantic MediaWiki. For a comprehensive description on how to use annotations or the #ask parser function, please have a look at the getting started, in-text annotation, or inline queries help page.Anti-spam check. Do not fill this in! == Building Your First Module == Your first module can be your own design, or it can be a copy of someone else's, but it should be '''simple'''. Since 2014 the [http://www.brickworld.us/ Brickworld] event has run a workshop specifically for first-time GBC builders. The modules built are designed to be simple, reliable, and constructed of relatively few, relatively common parts. Instructions for the modules for the first two workshops can be found [http://alittleslow.wikidot.com/gbc-donahue here] and [[:File:Stackable GBC, rev 12.pdf|here]]. <!-- should we look at hosting the instructions for the 2014 module here too? --> A beginner's GBC [[module]] will typically have three components: an input area, some form of [[lift mechanism]], and a way to safely deliver [[balls]] to the following module. More advanced modules may also have some kind of [[widget]] that does something interesting with the balls before moving them on (in fact, some modules have the widget as the whole focus - the lifter is just there to get the balls high enough!), but we won't worry about that for now. Most GBC modules are built from the inside out. That is, the core of the module, the lifting mechanism, is designed first, and the input and output parts are built around it. Once you've got your lifting mechanism built, and you're comfortable that it doesn't spill or break down (it will probably take several major revisions to get to this point!), the next thing to build is usually the input area. Depending on your lifting mechanism, this could be as simple as an appropriately-sized basket with one side open to the base of your lifter, or you might need some complicated ramp arrangement to get the balls in the right position to be loaded onto your lifter. One thing to beware of is that any place where the ball path narrows significantly is likely to get blocked (typically by two balls trying to go through at once) unless there is something providing some constant [[Agitator|agitation]] to break up the clots. It will probably take several more revisions until your input area is feeding your lifting mechanism reliably. All that's left to build now is the output section. It needs to unload balls from the lifter without jamming, get the balls clear of your mechanism and any supporting structure (including baseplate), and deliver them politely to the next module. This is probably the easiest part of the module, but it can be surprisingly nontrivial to accomplish. Once you've got a complete path from input to output, then the serious testing can begin. See how it runs with a constant stream of balls one at a time. See how it runs with a whole bunch of balls dumped in all at once. See how it runs with no balls at all. Get another module (from a friend, or build a second copy, or build a different module altogether!) and join them together, in both orders, to see how the interface between the two modules works. Summary: Please note that all contributions to The Great Ball Contraption Wiki are considered to be released under the a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license (see GBC:Copyrights for details). If you do not want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, then do not submit it here. You are also promising us that you wrote this yourself, or copied it from a public domain or similar free resource. Do not submit copyrighted work without permission! Cancel | Editing help (opens in new window) Retrieved from "http://greatballcontraption.com/wiki/Getting_started"