Simple Marble Run v1.1.6 (No hardware required)

Here are a couple of my old test files I was using to line the designs up:
front test (edited)
back test (edited)
(I thought you might find them interesting. It was just part of my design process.)


I love this design by @designvh619:

I want to find a way to work the printed bearing into one of my projects!


I am excited to see what you come up with!!!


Bill, I am totally not understanding what you mean when you say you are using Notepad for text editing and markup (text). Can you explain that to me like I am 3? I always want to learn more.

FYI, I know Illustrator and PhotoShop fairly well, Studio, and have attempted Fusion 360 a few times but would definitely give myself still a 1/10 for it! Have progressed a little further with TinkerCad. Just not wrapping my head around why you are using text.

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I am not Bill (clearly) but I can tell you a little bit about his process.

A scalable vector graphics (.SVG) file is actually an XML file, which is a human-readable data format This means that you can open a .SVG in a simple text editor and look at what’s inside it. It also means that, if you are careful and know the format, you can just type one up from scratch.

Bill said he is using Notepad as his editor, or you could use TextEdit on a Mac. Mere mortals use a drawing editor that lets you draw shapes with the mouse, and the computer converts your squiggles into the SVG/XML format when you save your work. Bill is directly typing the graphical data without using a drawing package.

As he works, he can save his work and then load the file into a browser to see how it looks. It’s the same way we old-timers used to create web pages, by typing HTML into a text editor.

Although I said XML is meant to be “human readable” that doesn’t mean that it isn’t usually very cryptic. Try opening any .SVG file on your computer in Notepad, and you will see what I mean. The data can be formatted to be more clearly understood, but your computer really doesn’t care, so long as there are no errors in the syntax.

It’s really an impressive skill.

EDIT: Actually, Bill mentions using “markup” which may mean he is using HTML formatting for his SVG files. This is very similar, but generally a bit easier to read. Here is a tutorial that shows how you could get started doing this:


@drvegetable is correct. I write my SVGs in an XML (Extensible Markup Language) format and adjust each coordinate by hand in a text editor. This gives me ultimate control and I do not have to worry about which pixel the mouse is lined up with. I try to work with whole numbers to keep it simpler with my coordinates, but sometimes decimals are necessary for accuracy.

I am a software engineer with a lot web development experience. One of my favorite projects was recreating a logo with SVG then using JavaScript to animate it.

So, for me it was just a lot easier to type out my SVGs instead of trying to draw them with a mouse.


Make sure you use “fresh” PG draftboard.

My last sheet was not 0.125, it is 0.135, I did two passes and still did not cut through all the way.


That is unfortunate.

Having built this myself, I would mention that the model is designed to press fit rather tightly, so if your draftboard is too swollen (or out of spec) the tabs will probably not go in without some sanding.

I made mine out of non-PG 3mm baltic birch plywood. It was slightly thinner than PG draftboard, but was still a tight fit.


I am very sorry that you had issues with the design. It is designed to work with 1/8" thick material. I have not tried acrylic yet, but that is on my list of materials to try.

The thickness of the material is very important since it is designed to be pressure-fit together.

Thank you for sharing your experience! I am going to be very careful from now on when using PG Draftboard to check to see if it has started to expand. I assume that it just sucks up moisture? And I would assume that moisture in the board would make it much harder to cut?

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Acrylic varies as well, I have a sheet that is ~.015" thicker on on side vs. the other, but variation between sheets can be more than that.


Very good to know. Thanks for the information!!

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I was reviewing this SVG and to my horror, I realized that I had forgotten the ramp edge spacers!!

There are supposed to be four (4) of these. If you downloaded the verion 1.1.4, you will need these.

I have updated they main post with the new version.


I would remove the individual file, it doesn’t import at the same scale.

I got my order of ball bearing from Amazon and with a bit of scraping and re-cutting a few parts I was able to put it together. I think I got put together correctly, I might have missed a washer.


Really? I haven’t had any problems with it.

When I am testing, I often just use my individual files. I rarely use the entire file.

They are scalable vector graphics (SVG). They will scale in this view when they are forced to a certain size, but the file itself should be the right size (when not viewed in an altered container.)

Nice motor. Can I ask what motor you used and where you purchased it?

Is it this one?


That’s the one. I think I got a pack of 10 on AliExpress.

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That is awesome! I need to check that out!

I could design for the motor to go inside the frame. It might look better.


I got real lucky. I just did a rough guess of the size and used the gear generator site. I was going to make if flush, but it was bit too large and hit the top rail. It worked a bit better since I could mount the motor easier. The first time it got bound up and snapped the axle. I made another and added axle washer for the entire length. I also added some beeswax to lubricate the axle.

Since I already kinda botched the print and give me a good model to build on. The motor is bit loud so nicer frame and a place to mount a switch or a potentiometer.

Extra gears for electric motor.
marble track motor gears


I really like the video. I just keep watching it!

That motor is really cool. I really do need to look into getting some of those!

I have been playing with @designvh619’s disc bearing design and it has led me to trying out planetary gears for the first time. I want to see if the gears work as well as the discs. The problem I have with the discs is that they keep bumping into one another and cause more friction. The gears will be forced to stay apart.