ME 101: VISUAL THINKING

Batman Pinball Machine
Batman Pinball Machine

Created with foam core, rubber bands, a spring and a wooden dowel

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Pinball machine detail

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Pinball machine detail

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I built these projects for ME 101: Visual Thinking, a class that served as one of my first introductions into design thinking and rapid prototyping/ideation. For our final project, groups we had to build a functioning pinball machine made of nothing but foam core, a spring, rubber bands, and a dowel.

My team developed a Batman pinball machine through which the player had 5 lives (or 5 opportunities to "save Gotham") by getting the pinball into the entry of all 3 towers at the back of the board. Once the ball enters a building, the bat signal descends behind the structure. Obstacles include Joker's mouth, which balls may fall into, physical barriers in the form of Catwoman, and a central bridge. Players may receive an extra life (in the form of a released extra pinball) by hitting their ball into the platform beneath the Batmobile. When a player strikes out, all balls are funneled to an open slot on the left of the board, made possible by a tricky maze of platforms and bridges inside of the game.

 

The game begins the same way as a traditional pinball game does -- the player pulls on a dowel connected to a spring, which propels the ball up and around a ramp and onto the board where the player can begin.