Expert Tips for Building a Rube-Goldberg Machine | Physics Class Help

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In summary, the person is trying to build a Rube Goldberg machine, but is having trouble getting started. They mention that the first step is to figure out a mechanism for putting out the fire, and then find some clever method to trigger the steps. They mention that the tricky part will be figuring out how to make the chain reaction work. They give a link to a video of an advert for a different car company that they believe is worse than Mazda.
  • #1
aditya88
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Hey Guys,
For my physics class I have to build a Rube-Goldberg machine. I'm really stuck in making the machine and was wondering if anyone could help me. I don't know where this post is suppossed to go, so I figured it would be most appropriate in the Engineering topics.

Thanks a lot Guys
 
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  • #2
What do you need help with? Do you understand the concept behind the RG machines? Be a bit more specific and we can help.
 
  • #3
I believe that the first rule of designing an RG machine is to throw practicality out the nearest window. Think of the silliest way to make something happen (within physical and financial possibility), and then cascade the concept to a series of cause/effect relationships. If you can get your mitts on some of his cartoons from the library or somewhere, it should give you some wild ideas. If not, try to obtain a copy of "The Incredible Machine" computer game and play around with it. That's what it's based upon.

PS: Don't forget to include birds and teakettles in the design, no matter what it's supposed to do; they're 'must have' items. :biggrin:
 
  • #4
Here are my objectives:
Fill a beaker with water (the hardest I would say, especially considering the lack of materials)
Put out a candle (easiest IMO, we can use a fan or what not)
Turn a page in a book (we can use a fan here too, but it is the 2nd hardest task.)

BTW, what cartoons may help with building this machine?

I can't figure out where to start, I need a minimum of 10 steps so I understand i need a chain of events, but just can't derive where to start from.
 
  • #5
http://www.rube-goldberg.com/html/gallery.htm"
 
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  • #6
Ah, I worried you were being expected to make one that would actually work!

I think it's better to work backward. First figure out a mechanism (A) for putting out the fire. Then, find some clever method (B) that can be used to start (A). Next, find a (C) that triggers (B). And so forth.
 
  • #7
Don't forget the bowling ball.
 
  • #8
aditya88 said:
Hey Guys,
For my physics class I have to build a Rube-Goldberg machine. I'm really stuck in making the machine and was wondering if anyone could help me. I don't know where this post is suppossed to go, so I figured it would be most appropriate in the Engineering topics.

Thanks a lot Guys

Typically, the 'Rube Goldberg' machines that are dealt with in Physics class are all about 'basic machines':

3 types of lever
Inclined planes
Pulleys

(For whatever reason, teachers like to pretend that cranks and screws are different, but they're really not.)

Generally, the tricky part is going to be figuring out how to make the chain reaction work - that is, triggering the individual steps.

I think we're looking at something more like the famous Mazda television add were one thing keeps knocking into another rather than an actual Rube Goldberg cartoon. (IIRC the add took 50 takes.)
 
  • #9
NateTG said:
I think we're looking at something more like the famous Mazda television add were one thing keeps knocking into another rather than an actual Rube Goldberg cartoon. (IIRC the add took 50 takes.)

no it was a honda advert with all the cogs and fans and windows etc look: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6006084025483872237

pfft, mazda?! their advertising campaign is terrible. they spend more money on it than making the cars, and its just crap. not to mention the quality and reliability of their cars.
 
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Related to Expert Tips for Building a Rube-Goldberg Machine | Physics Class Help

What is a Rube-Goldberg Machine?

A Rube-Goldberg Machine is a complex contraption designed to perform a simple task through a series of chain reactions. It is named after cartoonist Rube Goldberg who often depicted overly complicated machines in his comics.

How does a Rube-Goldberg Machine work?

A Rube-Goldberg Machine typically works by utilizing various everyday objects and materials to create a series of chain reactions that ultimately lead to a desired outcome. These machines often involve a combination of gravity, kinetic energy, and potential energy to trigger each step in the process.

What are some common examples of Rube-Goldberg Machines?

Some common examples of Rube-Goldberg Machines include domino setups, marble runs, and even elaborate inventions made from household objects such as mousetraps, ramps, and pulleys.

What is the purpose of a Rube-Goldberg Machine?

The purpose of a Rube-Goldberg Machine is generally for entertainment and amusement. It can also serve as a creative and challenging engineering project for students or as a way to demonstrate complex scientific concepts in a fun and engaging way.

What are some challenges in building a Rube-Goldberg Machine?

Building a successful Rube-Goldberg Machine can be challenging due to the need for precise timing and coordination between each step. The machine also needs to be designed in a way that ensures the chain reactions will continue until the final step is reached. Additionally, finding the right materials and objects to use can also be a challenge.

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