Sunday, October 10, 2021

Great Ball Pit - Challenge 2021

Welcome to the 4th annual Great Ball Pit - Lego GBC Build Challenge

Before we get into the details, let's take a look back at the previous 3 winners and their modules.

(2018) "16x16" Winner: Serendibite

(2019) "Wheels Up" Winner: Ryk Field

(2020) "Bakers Dozen" Winner: Sam Friesen

2021 Challenge

This years theme is "Great Heights" where the challenge is to build a module which will lift a ball up to a height of at least 64 bricks ( 24 inches / 61 centimetres ). This will be referred to as "The Minimum Height" in the guidelines below.

Module Guidelines

  • The module can have any size footprint, and use any lift mechanism.

  • Multiple lift mechanisms can be combined and chained together to reach the minimum height.

  • The minimum height is not the maximum height, there is no maximum height.

  • Once the ball(s) has/have reached the minimum height, anything is allowed to happen to them. I would recommend removing some of the energy from the balls before they exit the module.

  • The module must meet the GBC standards for input bin height (10 bricks high), and capacity (30 balls minimum in the input area).  Output speed needs to be "reasonable" which should be a maximum of 1 ball per second.

  • The module must be powered by official Lego components such as: EV3/Mindstorms, Power Functions, Powered Up, Boost, or Control+.

  • The module should be something that has generally not been seen before.  Existing mechanisms are *OK* but try and be original.

  • If you have any questions about the module guidelines please PM me on Discord.

Challenge Details*

- Submissions will only be accepted in the Discord "challenge-2021" channel. Click HERE to join the Discord.

- Submission Deadline is 11:59PM (PST) November 21st, 2020

- Submission must include a video of the module operating. YouTube or posting a video file directly to the challenge-2021 channel is preferred.

- Builder must live in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, or Europe (for prize shipping reasons)

- By entering this challenge, you (the builder) are allowing me to post videos and additional content showing your module with full credit to the builder.



Each entrant will vote on their 1st and 2nd favourite module.  1st choice receives 2 points, 2nd choice receives 1 point.  The winners will be selected based on which modules receive the most total points.  You are not allowed to vote for your own module.  I will be allowed to cast a vote in this challenge, regardless of an entry.

**New for this years challenge** : Previous Challenge builders (2018-2020) will be allowed to vote regardless of an entry this year.


Prize Pool

First Place Prize

- Choose *one* of the following items:

75317 - The Mandalorian & the Child (new/sealed)

43177 - Belle's Storybook Adventure (new/sealed)

75546 - minions in gru's lab (new/sealed)

30 Official Lego GBC balls (new from Lego replacement parts)

- The prestigious Challenge Winner” Role on the Discord server.


Runner-Up Prize

- Choose *one* of the remaining prizes, after the first place winner has selected.


All entrants will receive the new "Challenge 2021" role on the discord server.


* I reserve the right to modify, or append additional rules to the challenge at anytime.

Monday, November 16, 2020

New Lego GBC Module - S13

A few weeks ago I finished my entry to the 2020 Great Ball Pit Challenge, but did not have time to make a video for it.  The video has now been released and you can watch it below.

The module uses a serpentine lift which was originally built by Brian Alano.  I used Lawrie's revised instructions, and then made further changes. I increased the height, and used several 36T bevel gears to chain all the lifters together.

This was my first time building a serpentine mechanism, and my first time building a weighted tipper.  My original idea for a "13 batch" module was to use a PUP HUB and sensor to determine when to unload balls, but I wanted something even simpler.  By reusing my trapdoor switch (tutorial available), it allowed me to use the simplest way to batch balls, a weighted tipper.  Getting the balance right was fairly simple, but the mechanism is a bit harsh at times, and a ball or two may escape while a tipper is being reset.

We had 18 people build modules for this years challenge, and I'm expecting even more next year!  Join the GBC Community chat here!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Challenge 2020 - Winners

Each year the Great Ball Pit challenges Lego GBC builders to build something different.  This year 18 builders were challenged to build a Batch module, and after voting here are the top 3 results!

Sam Friesen from Canada secured top spot by producing a *NEW* mechanism to batch balls.  It's a fresh take on a stuck ball mechanism and is quite novel as it waits to pinch the "14th" ball before releasing the 13 in front of it.  You can view Sam's winning entry below.

Sawyer out of New Zealand places top 3 for the second year in a row!  His Banana gear based lift only lifts when there is enough weight in the basket.  Where does he come up with these ideas?

And placing 3rd, Pinwheel from the USA created an awesome "Marble Race" module that was triggered by his own take on a stuck ball mechanism.  I love marble races so this one was one of my favourites!

Thanks to the other 15 builders who also participated, a lot of cool mechanisms were developed that are sure to be "borrowed" for peoples future creations!