Wonderful Engineering

Computer Science Student Creates An Amazing Knex Machine Using 100,000 Pieces

It may look like a toy, but don’t be fooled by its looks. This is a machine that has been created from toys by Austin Granger, a University of Minnesota computer science student. He dedicated more than 250 hours of work and more than 100,000 K’Nex pieces to come up with this amazing creation that measures in at a height of more than 23 ft. It is currently displayed at The Works Museum.

Apart from being tall, it is strong!

No adhesives have been used – it is all K’Nex snapped together.

Not only is the machine impressively tall, it’s strong, too.

There are no adhesives involved at all, just K’Nex snapped together.

“There are 8 tracks. The ball goes through 7 rocker switches to get to them, and they are evenly distributed so there is a 1 in 8 chance of any ball going down any track.”

“The longest path wraps around the ceiling of the lobby, it takes 45 seconds to complete.”

It was designed along while Austin worked on it.

The museum approached K’Nex for funding, however, were turned down.

The construction depended upon donations.

Austin made use of K’Nex pieces and found others online at a discounted price.

In response to a question of whether a kid can knock it over, Austin responded, “The main support towers are incredibly strong, and are designed to withstand well over twice the load they would ever need to. During construction, I would set my large boxes of K’nex on the towers for easy access, as well as stress testing. Since this is in a public place, everything had to be designed to withstand whatever a little kid can throw at it.”