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Magnetic Bowling

Magnetic Bowling

Fancy firing some ballistic bowling balls at targets? We thought so. Magnetic bowling is simple to build and great to play. Let’s see which set up gets you a strike...

Instructions below

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This kit requires the use of a sharp object, always be careful when using sharp objects!

Download kit Instructions and extra parts to make your kit look great! PrintPrint these instructions and get making!
  1. Check you have all the required items listed in the ingredients box above.

    1Attach a ball bearing to one of your magnets

    Be careful, if the magnets snap together you could hurt your fingers.

  2. 2Place the magnet and ball on the track

    If the ball sticks up a little you'll need to cut a channel for the magnet. Make it deep enough for the magnet and ball to be neatly touching the channel.

  3. 3Now make the targets

    Now make the targets. Cut out and decorate the shapes on the printed sheet. Fold them as shown and use sticky tape to hold them together.

Magnetic Bowling

Let's play!

  • Clear a bit of space on the floor and set up your targets.
  • Set up the launcher channel pointing towards the targets.
  • Add bearings and magnets as shown. Start with one magnet and three bearings.
  • Gently roll a fourth bearing into the back of the machine. It should launch the first one fast. Can you hit the targets?

Let's experiment!

  • Try using fewer or more balls on the launcher
  • Try using more magnets put together
  • Try launching different size ball bearings (if you have some). A single small one on the end can sometimes go much further.
  • Try placing several versions of the device end to end.
  • Try rolling two balls slowly back towards a magnet.
Build more great contraptions
Time
10 minutes
Difficulty
Easy

Parental supervision required

Ingredients

Things you'll need to make this

  • Steel ball bearings

    Model shops sell them or order online. Size wise, 8mm to 15mm is perfect.

  • Powerful magnets

    Buy from a model shop or online. Search for "neodymium magnets", order the circular disk type. Try to get same size as your ball bearings.

  • Guide rail

    You can get plastic or aluminium ones from model shops or DIY centres. Buy the "U channel" shape; 15cm to 30cm should be plenty.

  • Printed sheet of targets

    Just print the final page if you don't need the rest.

Download instructions

You'll also need these tools too:

  • Craft knife
  • Sticky tape
  • Scissors

Competition

Build your contraption to wake up Wallace

Win a starring role in a future
Aardman animated production

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