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

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  • #16
    I am curious about the very small scale bowling lanes and pinsetters. When I started tinkering in the small scale lanes in the late 1970's I started with 1/3 scale. My goal was to have somewhat realistic bowling in a home rec room type of setting. I wanted to capture realism, lane conditions, approach, release, pin action. But with even smaller scales, I would think that the goals would be different. I can imagine a miniature bowling alley with a number of lanes and pinsetters. I can also imagine all lanes operating with automatic 'bowler' mechanisms so that the lanes would be in continuous operation. This 'mechanical' AI bowler would line up for the strike ball and would know which pins remain and would position itself and throw the ball to try to pick up the spare. These could be very realistic dioramas of sorts. I would think that the possibilities are endless.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by dhudach View Post
      I am curious about the very small scale bowling lanes and pinsetters. When I started tinkering in the small scale lanes in the late 1970's I started with 1/3 scale. My goal was to have somewhat realistic bowling in a home rec room type of setting. I wanted to capture realism, lane conditions, approach, release, pin action. But with even smaller scales, I would think that the goals would be different. I can imagine a miniature bowling alley with a number of lanes and pinsetters. I can also imagine all lanes operating with automatic 'bowler' mechanisms so that the lanes would be in continuous operation. This 'mechanical' AI bowler would line up for the strike ball and would know which pins remain and would position itself and throw the ball to try to pick up the spare. These could be very realistic dioramas of sorts. I would think that the possibilities are endless.
      You're unfortunately never going to get a very accurate game at such a small scale, the best you can do is match the weight ratios and everything but approach and spin likely aren't going to be at all achievable. It's another reason I'm going with candlepin, ball spin and approach is a much smaller part of the game so it all scales down a lot more accurately.

      For me this whole thing is just following up on a childhood dream, when I was a kid I was always playing with little desktop bowling sets and dreamed of having an actual pinsetter with them and trying to build bits and pieces of one out of cardboard. Now that I'm an adult with CAD knowledge and a 3D printer, I can make it happen for real.

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      • #18
        Agreed, realism is lost at scales below 1/3. With my 1/3 scale alley, realism is diminished. However, weight of pins and ball, distances are enough to offer decent ball movement and pin action. So there is a real sense of bowling at the 1/3 scale. But yes, below the scales where realism can truly be replicated, the reasons and goals here are different. For me too, and probably others, these projects represent an opportunity to realize childhood memories. When I was a kid in grade school I would go to the bowling alley with my dad on league night. I would do my homework then be allowed to go in the back with the mechanic. I would watch the Brunswick A2 machines all night. I've never attempted or given thought to building a pinsetter on scales below 1/3. I think it's a fascinating approach and beyond building the working machine, the possibilities of constructing a 'live' display are enticing, for sure.

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        • #19
          One more question for ThirdDimensionAmusement, what kind of hardware are you using for freely-rotating hinge points? I believe I've got all the hardware I'll need for my project in the mail, but I realized I did forget that one connection type.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Yakkers View Post
            One more question for ThirdDimensionAmusement, what kind of hardware are you using for freely-rotating hinge points? I believe I've got all the hardware I'll need for my project in the mail, but I realized I did forget that one connection type.
            The system isn't letting me edit, but just clarifying, I see you're using the steel rods but I'm wondering what's typically done to cap them and hold them in place.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Yakkers View Post

              The system isn't letting me edit, but just clarifying, I see you're using the steel rods but I'm wondering what's typically done to cap them and hold them in place.
              I use hardened steel rods to rotate the pin cups and slide them back and forth. The steel rods are simply held in place by the pin cups clamping onto them. The table has protrusions that have slots cut into them that the rods ride within to achieve the back and forth motion required to release the pins.

              I use normal hardware store 1/8'' mild steel rod for anything that rotates; pit rollers, elevator sprockets, sweep torque shaft, etc. I use custom printed collars to retain the shafts.

              I also use various M3 hardware, including heat set brass inserts, for the linkages and pivots that drive nearly everything. Every linkage in my machine pivots on an m3 bolt.

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