This K’Nex Machine Is 23 Feet Tall And Has Over 100,000 Pieces | Smart News | Smithsonian
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This K’Nex Machine Is 23 Feet Tall And Has Over 100,000 Pieces

Inside, there are two lifts, three motors, eight paths, a 20 foot free-fall and more

smithsonian.com

It’s not always true that bigger is better. Unless you’re building something out of K’Nex. In that case, bigger is definitely better. Just ask Austin Granger, the man behind this giant K’Nex ball machine.

This giant contraption is 23.5 feet tall, 40 feet long and contains 100,000 K’Nex pieces. Inside, there are two lifts, three motors, eight paths, a 20-foot free-fall and more. The ball isn’t just a pet project—Granger made it for a local children’s museum called The Works, in Bloomington, Minnesota. In a post on Reddit, he estimated that this project took him about 250 hours to put together, over the span of four months. And as if the number of pieces wasn’t impressive enough, the thing is also super strong. Granger writes:

The main support towers are incredibly strong, and are designed to withstand well over twice the load they would ever need to. During construction, I would set my large boxes of K'nex on the towers for easy access, as well as stress testing. Since this is in a public place, everything had to be designed to withstand whatever a little kid can throw at it.

The man loves K’Nex so much he even sacrificed his delicate fingers:
I have developed calluses on my fingers from all the snapping over the years, but this project still made my hands feel like they were on fire after a full day of construction.

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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