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3d Printed, Automatic, 12% Scale, Free Fall Pinsetter


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  • 3d Printed, Automatic, 12% Scale, Free Fall Pinsetter

    Hello All,
    Today I share one of my most recent creations with you. I have always wanted to make some sort of small scale bowling equipment ever since I got my first 3d printer five years ago. In the past few months, I finally decided to go ahead and start the project. I started by making some pins that were correctly scaled to some 1" marbles I had on hand and a simple setting triangle. Within the next month and a half, I made this, I call it the TDA-12.

    The TDA-12 is a 12% scale, 3d printed, free fall, pinsetter that currently operates semi-automatically. Everything, besides the balls, hardware, motors, electronics, and arduino code has been designed and made by me. None of the pinsetter parts were reverse engineered from real life parts or engineering drawings.

    The TDA-12 operates very similarly to the AMF 82/70 as that is what I have experience with. The pins are stored in a bin with a shuttle that releases them into their respective pin cups. The pin cups hold the pins exactly like they do in real life. Once the pin cups are loaded, the table lowers as the pin cups tilt up. Once the pins are placed on the pin deck, the pin cups move backwards and the table and pin cups return to their home positions. Currently, there is a pit and pin elevating device designed and made, but they are not ready to be shown just yet. The only system so far that is not designed like an AMF system would be the sweep, as I opted for an A/Jetback/A2 rake system. The sweep is operated using two servo motors, one that drives the shafts that pull the sweep back and forth, and one to drive the sweep lift shaft. For simplicity reasons, the sweep is lowered to a set height, the sweep is then allowed to ride on the surface of the pin deck once the sweep starts moving backwards, unlike the A/Jetback/A2 rakes. This was done to avoid the need for a complicated lift mechanism to make sure the sweep remains at a constant height above the pin deck.

    The only major system left to be designed is some sort of distributor system. Designing this pinsetter at 12% scale means that any pin distribution system is very difficult. Utilizing an AMF type bin system limits me to some sort of moving distributor, which is proving to be more difficult than designing the whole setting table.

    I hope to one day get this to operate fully autonomously, and that someone here enjoyed this little pinsetter. More of this project can be seen on my Instagram account, ThirdDimensionAmusement. I would normally never share my Instagram account like this, but I use Instagram as my project portfolio, and it is more likely to get updates about this project.

    If you have any ideas about a pin distribution system that you think would be good on a tiny pinsetter like this, do not hesitate to let me know!

  • #2
    Well done, nice combination of the two different machines.

    12% scale would present some challenges. Incredible patience and eye for detail is a must.

    Mike Wilson
    Bowl-Tech Inc..


    • #3
      NICELY DONE!!!! It's not easy building something like this at the scale you're doing it at. Looking forward to seeing this project evolve.


      • #4
        Very nice. Eldon Bowl-A-Matic in the modern era!! I am relatively new to 3D printing (December) and your mechanism is quite impressive given the scale you've chosen. It's actually kind of comical in a very cool kind of way that when this is done, your Arduino board will probably be larger than your pinsetter!! I also think that since you started at about the smallest possible scale, if issues arise at that scale, you can probably adjust scale upward until you hit the sweet spot. I never saw this coming. What a novel idea. It never ceases to amaze me the kinds of projects that show up. This is outstanding.


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