Tonys Pinball Creation reference guide
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The Beginning

 
This is my second attempt at building a pinball machine. The first was many years ago, as an apprentice electronic engineer but the project was never finished due to the lack of facilities to produce the many parts required.
 
The current machine was inspired by the desire for a seaside related item, with a seaside theme for the 3D FilaPrint stand at TCT 2016 at the NEC Birmingham UK.  The machine follows a fairly traditional  1960’ /1970’s layout including the traditional score drum wheels but with the addition of a ramp, some ornaments and sound.
 
It was decided that the machine should be full size and fully 3D printed. Many pinball parts are suited to 3D Desktop printing but this one includes a fully printed case and playtable. There are a total of 170 different part designs with a total part count of 520.  3D printing provides a very quick way of producing  something from design to the actual physical part. The project was printed partly on my home design printer and on many of the 3D Filaprint’s printers.  My homemade printer has a larger than normal  400mm x 300mm bed which made all of the required large parts possible. The largest part being 380 x 280mm.  All parts were printed on glass, most were designed and printed face down to produce a flat smooth surface, especially important for the playing table. The glass was applied with LeapFrog Maxx 3D spray as it was imperative that there was absolutely no "lifting" when printing ther large parts for the control cabinet (AKA medicine cabinet).
 
All of the 170 parts were designed using Openscad.  The designs took a total of 200 hours on Openscad. Other softwares used were Cura, Slic3r and Pronterface with a custom version of Marlin embedded in the 3D printer. The pinball machine uses 3 Arduino processors with software written in C, on the Arduino interface. Multiple processors were required to provide the large number of interface ports required.
 
The total printing time for all the parts was 1200  hours and the project used just over 8 kilometres of filament, supplied by 3D FilaPrint.  The majority of the filament was however used in the case and playfield. A more realistic approach might be to use conventional construction methods for these, but the printed cases are however amazingly strong and light. The pinball uses mainly PLA, with some special materials where strength,  flexibility  or special finish are required. Some parts are printed on top of  a single layer overlay to add some graphical design features.