Giant K'Nex Ball Machine

Our giant K’NEX Ball Machine is even bigger!

Come and see the newest updates.

Over the course of the past year, our K’NEX Ball Machine has been through a lot of changes! In the summer of 2018, the machine was partially dismantled to make room for new features designed and installed by the machine’s architect, Austin Granger. If you thought the machine was fun to watch before, wait until you see it in action now!

Ball Machine Stats:

  • After completing all of the updates, the new machine is 22 feet tall, incorporates more than 115,000 K’NEX pieces and includes more than 850 feet of track.
  • Austin estimates it took roughly 400 hours over a 12 month period to build.

Austin’s Early Years:

Austin started building with K’NEX when he was four years old. In middle school he was inspired when he saw another K’NEX builder’s complex, kinetic machine. He experimented with his own structures, trying to build something similar to, or even better than, the structure that inspired him.

Advice from the Engineer:

We asked Austin what advice he’d share with young visitors who want to build machines like this one. He said to start by challenging yourself to build the strongest towers, bridges and other structures you can. The frame of your machine needs to be strong in order to withstand moving parts. Once your structures are strong, work on building even higher and longer structures – bridges that span longer distances and towers that reach the ceiling. The next step – add in the kinetic pieces. It involves a lot of trial and error to learn the skills and understand how to engineer with K’NEX at this scale.

Special Thanks To:

  • Brickmania for their donation of K’NEX pieces as well as the staff contribution of volunteer hours.
  • Burns & McDonnell for their contribution of volunteers who helped paint and install flooring and railing that surrounds the K’NEX Ball Machine.
  • The following assistants who helped Austin construct the K’NEX Ball Machine:
    Adam Oachs, Alexander Bresnahan, Colin Thomason, Sam Ihlenfeldt, Amanda Feuk

We hope you’ll be inspired by our new K’NEX Ball Machine. Imagine what you could build and create!

Want to know more?

Watch a video all about the building of this K’NEX Ball Machine.

Top portion of the K’nex Ball Machine.

Austin Granger, K’nex Ball Machine designer and builder.

Detail of K’nex Ball Machine.

The machine’s gravity well.