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    Mini Pinball Kit
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    Mini Pinball Kit

    1.  GETTING STARTED

      • Discuss original idea / episodes (use footage flashbacks)
      • Talk about what we liked / didn’t like
      • Why we believe it’s a good project
      • Map out project goals / major design challenges
      • Design drawing and sketches
      • Order in sample MCU’s and solenoids
      • Decide major parts and begin sourcing:
        • What is the minimum # of mechs we can design to achieve a game?
        • Is this a kit? What’s the target cost?
        • What scale do we want to use?
        • Is the design generic, and buyer adds a theme?
        • What is the skill level to assemble?

     

    GOAL: Create product roadmap & design spec

     

    2.  CHOOSING A MICROCONTROLLER

      • What does the system need to do?
        • 1 channel SFX
        • 1 channel music
        • Video? LED? LCD?
        • What’s the cheapest way to display information?
        • Do we use the Teensy 3.0 like before or is there a better, cheaper option?
        • How do we make this as user-configurable as possible?
        • Experiment with several MCU’s, then order more of the one we like best

     

    GOAL: Find the right MCU and starting sourcing for production.

     

    3.  DESIGNING MECHS

      • Probably a multiple week project
      • Can we design a “uni-mech” that can do everything?
        • Flippers
        • Load balls
        • Pop bumpers
        • Are these mechs injection molded?
          • Where can this be done?
          • Does a hackerspace has an injection mold we can try?
          • Can we get help from designers?
          • Things to keep in mind for injection molded design
          • Sourcing small solenoids / motors

     

    GOAL: Design 1-2 mechs that can do everything, to limit manufacturing costs.

     

    4.  KERNEL & LIBRARIES

      • (Certainly multiple episodes for this)
      • Wire up a prototype board for testing (will design a PCB from this)
      • Write libraries for users that do the following:
        • Speech and music calls
        • Switch detection
        • Solenoid and light control
        • Scorekeeping and rules
      • Write a base kernel that will cycle through games
        • “Borrow” from other pinball projects?
        • Comment it well so users can create one
      • Once kernel written, do a walk-through of how to create rules (screen cap sessions)
      • Make a sample game like “Super Space Shuttle”
        • Walk viewers through how to code the kernel
        • Obtain graphics like end users would (FedEx/print shops)
        • Show how to create audio assets using something free like Audacity.

     

    GOAL: Have a code base that gets a machine flipping.

     

    5.  PCB DESIGN

      • Based off MCU and display, design the smallest PCB we can.
      • Layout connectors, then MCU, then power/batteries.
      • EAGLE tutorial, mostly a screencap episode.
      • If we have a protoboard, then we can design PCB while doing other things.
      • Send off for test PCB’s from China (takes 2-3 weeks) or a e14 prototype vendor in US.

    GOAL: Have a working PCB that we can price and use for the prototype.

     

    6.  PHYSICAL GAME DESIGN

      • Decide what size and scale the playfield will be.
      • Design a casing around it, that can be assembled from a flat pack like Ikea.
        • Have “modules” where you can move around base components such as pops or toys.
        • Make game easy to configure.
        • Implement the mechs we designed into game.

     

    GOAL: Have a machine that plays complete games.

     

    7.  CREATIVE DESIGN AND KITS

      • Think of a fun generic theme to put on game.
      • Start with a blank slate (as a buyer would) and work up from there
      • Module and art design.
      • Do a walk-through of how to create rules (screen cap sessions)
      • Make a sample game like “Super Space Shuttle”
        • Walk viewers through how to code the kernel
        • Obtain graphics like end users would (FedEx/print shops)
        • Show how to create audio assets using something free like Audacity.

     

    GOAL: Have a complete game, like Super Space Shuttle was.