Monday, February 26, 2018

GBC Observer 👁 Week 9, 2018

Here are some modules that caught my eye this past week.

Quanix has released a final version 2.0 of his pneumatic ball factory.  While this has some seriously impressive mechanisms, I'm curious if this could be integrated into a GBC layout in it's current configuration.

PV is back with another C-model.  This time it's a ball colour sorter and counter.

And here is the new world record GBC layout that took place at Lego World Copenhagen.  Maico has done it again!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Container Yard Remix - Lego GBC Module

Hey everyone,

Here is the latest Great Ball Pit video showing off the 42062 Container Yard Remix module.  

This module was built entirely from parts included in the 42062 Lego Technic Container Yard set.  It uses a tipping ramp mechanism, and is reliable enough to work in a GBC layout when you upgrade it with a Power Functions M motor.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Inclination Power Station - Lego GBC Module

Last night I created a new small module that will be used to power other small modules.  I call it the Inclination Power Station.  This module uses a very similar lift mechanism to the GBC Ramps module by B Bonahoom.  However this module can connect to other modules and power them as well.  In order to use this as a power station you need to move the motor to the outside of the module.  The internal motor position is only for stand alone display.

A video will be forthcoming once I finish off a few more modules that can attach to the main Power Station.

Here are a few preview shots of the module and how it can connect to other modules.


Dogbone pieces will be used to secure modules together.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Lego GBC and Reddit, what gives? 😕

I have been thinking about this lately and thought I would open this up for discussion here on the Great Ball Pit.

From what I can surmise /r/Lego over on really disapproves of Lego Great Ball Contraption modules.  I'm not sure if this is a reddit community specific issue, or is this a more general issue within the lego AFOL community?

The GBC module with the highest upvotes on /r/Lego is Akiyuki's Strain Wave Gearing Module at 780 points followed by Akiyuki's Planets at 61 points.  Close behind that is BvB's rainbow wave which has 51 points.

Akiyuki is easily one of the most skilled and well known GBC builders in the world with 102k YouTube subscribers and over 74 million channel views.  So why his modules don't get more exposure and rank highly is very confusing.

My personal experience with posting modules on reddit also resulted in poor uptake, with a couple of them being "down-voted to oblivion".  My highest rated submission was my Tri-Sep module @ 15 points.

Compare these well engineered, well designed Lego GBC MoC's to what I would consider low quality or joke builds on /r/Lego that gain well over 5,000 points and it's quite perplexing, and discouraging.

It is unlikely that I will post anymore modules on /r/Lego and instead I have created /r/GreatBallContraptions which is open to everyone to share their GBC modules, and videos.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

10,000 YouTube views! 🎉

We've hit another milestone here at the Great Ball Pit, 10,000 total views on the YouTube channel!  Thanks to everyone who views, likes and subscribes to the channel.  I wasn't sure how popular my videos would be, so to accomplish this in 2 months time is really quite something!

I plan on continuing to deliver high quality GBC content for you guys, both here on the and on the YouTube channel.

Please feel free to contact me or leave a comment if you have any questions or feedback about anything GBC related.

Thanks again everyone! 😀

Monday, February 19, 2018

My GBC Module Archive

I've finished my GBC module archive, in it you will find all of the GBC modules that I've created that I feel are reliable enough to put on public display.

You can find it at the top via the navigation bar "My GBC Modules" or click on this link:

I will be creating another page soon for my stand-alone modules like the YouTube Milestone module.

GBC Observer 👁 Week 8, 2018

Here are some GBC modules that have caught my eye over the last week.

J Douglas has some beautifully colourful modules with an interesting lift mechanism.

Maico does a short preview of the GBC layout @ LegoWorld Copenhagen 2018.  The layout is powered down, but I expect a "follow the blue ball" video to be released at a later date.  

FrostBricks shows off his awesome Donkey Kong GBC arcade machine.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Roadwork Double - Two modules, one motor ✌️⚙️

Last night while testing out some modules, I realized that Roadwork Redux could easily be chained together with some additional axles and universal joints.  I did not originally design it this way, but I'm really happy that it is possible.

Here are some images of the 2 modules connected to one motor.

I might try to build an different new module that can work with this drivetrain.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Trench Run a Lego Star Wars GBC Module

I've just uploaded a video of my latest GBC module, which is a Lego Star Wars themed conveyor belt called Trench Run.

It's mechanically very simple, the majority of the build time went to decorating it to look like the Trench Run scene from Star Wars: A New Hope.

It does not meet the GBC Standard for input size and batch capacity but it's really close.  It's output speed surprisingly meets the GBC standard since it can output 3+ balls (batch) every 3 seconds.

Power is provided by a Power Functions M Motor, and the module also has an agitated input bin, and animated Turbo Laser.



Thursday, February 15, 2018

GBC Mailbag 📦 #2

Unboxing some more GBC parts ordered from Bricklink and Lego shop at home.

Monday, February 12, 2018

GBC Observer 👁Week 7, 2018

Not too many new modules have appeared since last week, here are two that I found.

Huw does a servo motor module.

Sawyer does a version 2 of his Lego molding machine GBC.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Lego Great Ball Contraption - Roadwork Redux

Hey everyone,

I'm proud to release the official video for the upgraded Roadwork Remix module that I started the Great Ball Pit with.  This is the same module that was shown a few days ago in collaboration with PV-Productions, however this video is done in the Great Ball Pit format.

Roadwork Redux is a small Lego Great Ball Contraption module based on parts from the Lego Technic 42060 Roadwork Crew set that was release in 2017.  Module highlights include:

  • Can be Hand Cranked or Motorized
  • GBC Layout compatibility (Standard Input and Output Heights)
  • Reliable Ball Agitator and Lift Mechanism
  • Recirculation Ramp for stand alone display

Please enjoy the video!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

GBC Observer 👁️ Week 6, 2018

I thought I'd change the title of these weekly posts to help manage them easier.  I'll still be doing them weekly and include the week number in the title from now on.

Over the last few days several cool modules have appeared, here they are in no particular order.

Huw has combined two interesting movements into one with his new tilting/lifting module.

J Douglas shows off a series of his smaller modules.

And here's the 100 YouTube subscriber Milestone Module for the Great Ball Pit YouTube  channel.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

GBC just got a whole lot more expensive

This weekend I logged into the Lego Shop @ Home website to see if the Replacement parts store had re-opened after the annual Winter holiday shutdown.  Yes it's back up, and I'm sad to say that GBC balls are 25% more expensive then last year!

As well they only have the orange balls in stock.   Which has been the case ever since I started building GBC's in 2016 (I have never seen the white balls in stock).  This makes the lego balls cost more than many other pieces that I consider essential to GBC modules.

I'm at a loss trying to figure out how a small lego ball would cost more then a large 1x5x11 Technic panel (flat panel in the above image), which I assume is harder to mold, takes up more storage space, and would cost more to ship.

I'm really curious as to why the cost of the balls is so high.  It couldn't be something as simple as profit, could it?

New YouTube channel trailer!

I've been meaning to finish off an official 30 second trailer for the YouTube channel, and this weekend I finished up the music, and put together a final cut.  I would like to grow the channel quite a bit this year, and I'm hoping this trailer will help.

Music by Me, programmed on a Roland TR-09


Monday, February 5, 2018

Mine Loader Remix

Hey everyone,

I'm happy to present the latest model in my "Remix" series, and have taken the contents of 42049 Mine Loader and turned them into a GBC layout ready module.  Additionally the module can be powered by hand, and run in recirculation mode for stand alone play.

After 3 failed lift mechanisms, I attempted something similar to a mechanism I recently saw on YouTube.  It's what I'm calling a "Sequential Sweeper".  It uses rotating axles to push a ball up a ramp.

My crowning achievement is getting the engine block and piston to work at the very end of the build when I had a sparse selection of parts remaining.

Instructions are forthcoming and like my last remix module there is a good chance they will end up on offer at PV-Productions website.

Here are some additional images of the module.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Working with PV-Productions

I recently had the opportunity to work with Philip Verbeek at PV Productions.  Philip is what I would consider a Master GBC builder.  His main focus is taking existing Lego Technic sets and turning them into interesting GBC modules.  It was Philip who inspired me to do the original Roadwork Remix module.

Our collaboration was simple, I modify the Roadwork Remix module to match Philip's core fundamentals, and he would produce the module instructions, and promo video for his website.

The key design changes I needed to make were the following:
- Build a hand crank that can be used to power the module. (In addition to the motor)
- Add a re-circulation feature. (For stand alone playability)
- Do not use the extra parts that were leftover after building the regular set.
- Keep the spinning Technic 40th anniversary sign.

This was extremely challenging yet also extremely satisfying to get each of the changes done.  I felt like I was making a GBC module on hard mode.  I had to recover many parts to make the changes, but not reduce the functionality, reliability, or structural integrity.

The end results are great, the module looks better then before and now has even more features.

I'd like to thank Philip for the opportunity to collaborate, and hope to work with him more in the future.

You can visit Philips website at and check out the instructions for this module and many others that Philip has created.

Here is the resulting video that Philip created for the model!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Why doesn't Lego offer an official GBC set?

I was thinking about this again today.  Why doesn't the Lego group offer an official GBC set?

Lego Great Ball Contraptions have been around for over 13 years, and many awesome GBC sets have been uploaded to the Lego Ideas website.

I believe the unwritten core rules of having a Lego Ideas set published is the following:

Interest - What % of Lego fans would this interest?  What % of non-Lego fans would this interest.

Playability - Does the model use interesting building techniques and parts?  Is it fun to play with?  What about re-playability?
Cost - How much will the set cost?

Now lets imagine that a GBC set on Lego Ideas met those criteria and received the 10000 votes required, why might the Lego group still not want to make a GBC set?

Durability - GBC models use and wear parts down all the time.  Lego wouldn't want to deal with complaints over a GBC model wearing down after a weeks use.  Parents may also be concerned kids breathing in, or eating ABS dust.

Design Resources - Lego has a limited amount of designers, and GBC modules can be quite complex when you need to factor in extended use and reliability.  Would lego have an existing designer who is an avid GBC fan to work on the project?

Community Interaction - Lego was not involved with the creation of the GBC Standard rules.  Would they use them?  Would they want to alter them?  Would they collaborate with GBC creators in order to make sure the standards are met?


Interest in GBC is growing as you can see at most conventions, the layouts are getting bigger and bigger.  However at this time I feel that it wouldn't be profitable for Lego to pursue a GBC set.  And lets be honest, Lego is a business trying to make money.

Maybe this will change in the future, but until then it's up to us builders to keep growing the publics interest in GBC.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Mid-Week GBC Observer

Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a great week.

Here are a few GBC modules that caught my eye over the last few days.

Sawyer's Fork Conveyor has a nice timed movement.

Huw has created a scissor lift module.  The abrupt lift is quite something!