Make your own Spin & Spill Balancing 'Bot game!

1st time poster and I am really excited to join the Glowforge forum and community….with a project that I hope will be fun for you to make on your Glowforges.

I’m a professional toy designer based in Seattle and am lucky enough to get some quality time with a Glowforge. I also write for MAKE magazine for the last 10 years, creating project articles and doing my own regular column, “Toy Inventor’s Notebook.” There I sketch up simple projects for readers to make something fast and fun. Check out a bunch of my page MAKE projects here:

https://makezine.com/author/bob-knetzger/

A future TIN column will feature this laser cut project: the “Spin & Spill Balancing ‘Bot game.” Easy to make and fun for the whole family.

To play, on your turn, spin the randomizer and add the number of gears shown to the bobbing, balancing ‘bot—but be careful! If you cause anything to fall, you’re out! Set up and play again. The last remaining player is the winner. And if you’re lucky and nimble enough to successfully add the last of all the gears onto the swinging ‘bot, you’re the instant winner! Here’s a quickie demo:

Of course a real game is much more fun as the gears pile up and up and up, while the ‘bot swings and sways and the tension builds!

I’ll upload the project file here so you can make your own game. Just cut out on Medium Draftboard, peel off the paper and slot the ‘bot parts together. Trap 9 quarters in the bottom keel for a counterweight. Tip: for a harder game remove some of the quarters to make a tippier ‘bot. (If needed I can add full build instructions here.)

This design features “Makey,” the cute robot mascot from Make magazine, but as I’ll show in the article, you can easily modify the artwork to create your own versions of the game. I’ll make a “Santa” version with different art and little “gift” tokens instead of the gears. Should make a fun stocking stuffer for this Xmas.

If so inspired, please feel free to make your own version of the game and post or send me photo of your family game session in action. Customize/personalize the graphics? Use your own drawing, clip art, or personal photograph? Change the size or scale of the game? Invent your own play variations? Ditch the gears and play for keeps with real coins? That’s all up to you.

And if you like, I can share your creations in the MAKE magazine article, both print and online versions.

Have FUN!

makey balance game design-test embed.3.svg.zip (147.1 KB)

makey balance game design.v2.ai (2.1 MB)

Bob Knetzger

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That’s adorable! (I love wooden toys.) :slightly_smiling_face:
Thanks for sharing the pattern!

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Fabulous! Thanks for sharing this & look forward to trying it out.
Welcome to the forum (and another Seattlite, woohoo!)

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I love this! I’m going to have to print with the kids.

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Super cool, thanks!

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Great stuff, thanks for the share!

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Bob, that’s great! Thanks for the share!

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Great idea! This could be a fun drinking game😜

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That is fantastic! My kids will love this.

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I just downloaded it and converted it to an SVG. I know there have been issues with AI to SVG sizing. Can you tell me the size of the component I circled in blue in your AI design file:

In Inkscape, it measures 1.448" in diameter. I just want to make sure that’s right.

Thanks again!

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Welcome to the forum! I love your column, it’s one of my favorite features Make every month. Cool project!

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Wow, thank you so much … Sooooo cute!

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I downloaded the SVG instead of the AI file, and am getting 1.076" diameter for that part.

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Thank you. I had not even noticed that the SVG was there. I should have known by now that SVGs show up as images.

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I’m not sure mine is right – the slots look too small. You may actually have the correct scaling on yours. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: (Drinking my coffee now, and then I’ll try doing math!)

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The “ai” one also has a nice drawing in the “robot” that the SVG does not have.

You’re right that the slots look too small on the svg one too. In the AI one I converted, the slots are 0.131" wide, which is wide enough for 1/8 proofgrade. In the SVG, they are 0.09.

If anyone can open this in AI and tell us the actual size of the circle, then I’ll know what scaling factor to apply to the whole thing.

Thanks.

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Hi Bob!
Welcome, and thank you for joining us :sunglasses:
A lot of fun projects in your link! Creative inspiration for all ages. Great share!

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I think yours is probably correct. 0.131" for the slots sounds about right.

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I’m convinced yours is the right one and we’re dealing with the 72 dpi vs. 96 dpi issue. The difference in sizes seems to fit my theory.

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Hmm. When I open the .ai directly in Affinity Designer and Inkscape, both of them give a measurement of 1.434" for the selected part. The slot I was using for reference measures .122" at that scale, which might be a tight fit, but when I checked the others in the drawing some of them measure .131", which is about what I’d normally use for 1/8" draftboard. So I think 1.434" is probably about right.

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