Saturday, December 4, 2021

Challenge 2021 Winners!


The challenge this year was to build a module that raised a ball to a height of 24 inches (64 bricks).  The GBC standard rules for input and output were to be followed as well.

17 modules were entered, and 10 previous challenge builders returned to vote!

The winner with the most points was ...

fhariede with his stacked shooter module!

This module did a few things that I really enjoyed.  It used the crown piece (part: 39262) for each shooter,  and the output chute was super clean and visually appealing.  Great job fhareiede!

This years runner up was ...

Pinwheel with his "shoo the dragon" shooter module.  This large module tells quite a few stories as a few brave souls attempt to get rid of a dragon who has taken an interest in their castle!

This module uses a pair of shooters (catapults) to get the ball up an over this large custom built castle.  The theming is great and there are several small stories being told as you can see in the video.

In conclusion I would like to thank everyone who participated in this years challenge, I find it interesting that the two winning modules were shooters when there was so many other great lift mechanisms being used.  BvB's impressive coaster track module, and Rohan's giant 2+ meter tower deserve a special mention!

If you would like to join the Discord community chat you can click here:

Monday, November 22, 2021

Challenge 2021 - Submissions and Voting!

Here are the 17 entries in this years challenge "Great Heights" (in Alphabetical Order)

  1. Ben Stoever - Ball Track Race :
  2. Berthil - Shoot the Loop :
  3. Buz la mouche - Blue Bridge :
  4. doug72 - High Rise :
  5. dunes - Twin Bucket :
  6. fhareide - Platform Jumper :
  7. higgins91 - Challenge Entry 2021 :
  8. John Sherman - Climbing Tower :
  9. Kevin Mitcham - Challenge Entry 2021 :
  10. Matt Norman - Laminar Flow :
  11. pikohan - Vertical Shooter :
  12. pinwheel - Shoo the Dragon :
  13. Rohan Beckett - The Tower :
  14. Sam Friesen - Challenge Entry 2021 :
  15. Sawyer - Mindstorms Vertical Train :
  16. Toothwheell - Ball Launcher :
  17. Walt White - Challenge Entry 2021 :
Be sure to like, and comment on the videos if you've enjoyed the builds!

Votes will be accepted by Private Message to "Matt (Great Ball Pit)" on the community Discord server.  Anyone with a "Challenge 20xx" tag will be allowed to vote for their first and second favourite modules. 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. Matt's module "Laminar Flow" is not eligible to receive votes.

Votes will be accepted until Friday November 26th at 12:00pm.  The winners will be announced shortly thereafter.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

New Lego GBC Module - Laminar Flow


This is Laminar Flow, my latest Lego GBC module that I built for the 2021 Great Ball Pit Challenge.  The main constraint of this years challenge was to lift a ball to a height of 24 inches (64 Bricks).  I achieved the height with a twinned conveyor powered by a Lego PF-M motor.

This module features a Zamor Sphere (Part: 54821) filter that recirculates the Zamor's inside the module, while Lego GBC Balls are allowed to exit.  Well... this is what's supposed to happen.  Sometimes the Lego GBC balls are also re-circulated, which is something I will need to improve in the future.

The filter is simply 2 beams spaced apart at a distance that allows for the GBC balls to fall through.  The new beams with pinholes on all sides (Part:71710) seem to work well for this application.

The gearbox is fairly simple, with the medium motor clutched and geared down so it can move the large conveyor without any issues.  The conveyor is tensioned like my other Technic built conveyors using a pair of light-grey spring shocks.

In summary, I'm really happy to have been able to use up the following quantity of parts that were sitting lifeless in my workshop:
  • Blue Zamor Spheres (Thanks VLC Diana)
  • Blue Duplo Slides that were once used in my 8 foot long slide video VIDEO HERE
  • Lots of LUGBulked Black 1x16 Technic Bricks and  Black 7x11 Technic Frames
This module is sure to have great table presence if I can ever get it to a live GBC event.  (Hopefully sometime in 2022). 

Thank you for visiting, and feel free to join the community Discord server located here

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.