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What are some tips for making simple Goldberg machines in six steps?

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Quick Answer

Some tips for making simple Goldberg machines in six steps include choosing a simple task, identifying possible materials, sketching out the machine before building it and keeping the complexity of the tasks to a minimum. Rube Goldberg was a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist. In his lifetime, he created over 50,000 cartoons and received notoriety and accolades for their zany and inventive nature. He is the only person to ever have his name listed in the dictionary as an adjective.

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Full Answer

Popular ideas for choosing a task for a Goldberg machine to accomplish include ringing a bell, popping a balloon and putting out a candle. The more simple the problem is to solve, the more effort is available to go into the design. The machine should use materials that are on-hand and readily available, for this reason, it is important to assess the supplies before designing the actual machine. Items that are commonly available include toy cars, balls, toasters, cups and cardboard.

Sketch the initial concept, and leave room for any changes that may occur during the actual construction. In the construction phase, identify some possible movements certain objects are able to perform both alone and in conjunction with other objects. For example, cardboard tubes are easily used as ramps, toy cars are easily projected and balls easily move down ramps.

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