Rebuild? Why? - Marble Machine X #142

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A lot of REAL progress this week! I thought it was high time that i tried to give you all some context on why i am doing this major redesign that i am working on right now. Im presenting one theory that might explain the motivation behind the decision to do this redesign. Perhaps the Marble Machine X itself is the Local Maximum, in that case, the current process will lead me to that discovery and i will take another u-turn to find the path to the world tour. Probably i will take the advice that has been given to me so many times during the past years: "Why dont you just play guitar?"
:) Hope you all are are having a great day and enjoy everyone! ;) / Martin

Rebuild? Why? - Marble Machine X #142
Video edited by Martin & Hannes Knutsson
Support the Marble Machine X Project:
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Thanks to the Marble Machine X Team 2020
►Alex Füßl | Alex CNC | Munich, Germany
►Carlos Montoro | Anjuda Guitars | Madrid, Spain
►Chris Nadon | Aix-en-Provence France
►Dwayne Myers | Safety | Phoenixville, PA, USA
►Ecco Pierce | All Things Ecco | Oakland, California, USA
►Florian Hu | fhuable | Wellington, NZ
►Jacob LaRocca | Rocket Props | Somerville, Massachusetts
►James Passmore | CAD9 Design LLC | Worcester MA
►Marius Hirn | Munich, Germany
►Nick Householder | Florida, USA
►Philip Brown (solo banjo) Winston Salem, NC USA
►Rainfall projects
►Richard Southall | String HeArt | Devon, UK
►Sebastiaan Jansen | Leuven, Belgium (BE)
►Tim Keller | Inventopia | Davis California USA
►Tim Mitchell | CNC Machinist | Nashville USA
►Tobias Gutmann | Tobias Gutmann Prototyping | Munich, Germany
►Tommaso D'Amico | Vancouver, Canada
►Will Francis | Machine Thinking | San Francisco Bay Area, USA
►Blue Sparkle and her great team for this video's subtitles (and many others).
►Grant Lansdell: Great Idea Provider ;)
►Viktor Stenberg, Calle Guldstrand, Gustaf Törner | ProtoCut
►Liam Ward
►David Lewis
►Tobias Smidebrant
►Erik Holke
►CNC Routerparts
►Nathan Skalsky
►Karin & Olof Eneroth
►Matterhackers -
►This Old Tony -
►Thomas Pilot -
►Roys Sheds Perth Australia
► -
Help us caption & translate this video!
Runtime: 27:24


DoodleChaos - 11 dager siden
Ooof that was a brutal angle grinder. Hang in there Martin, regardless of what happens we support you.
SID - Dag siden
You’re just dragging it out for the $27,000 patreon bucks every month.
TheChipmunk2008 - 5 dager siden
@Wintergatan YASSSSSSSS
JoRasEyez - 6 dager siden
Redesign?????? am gonna stop watching i sad a million times Martin has a problem ... i wasted like 3 years following this project ........we all know martin he is perfectionist ,but every thing has its limit.. and i think he is doing this because the channel was not for building the marble machine , so he is scraping the barrel , soo it was fun while it lasted .... bye bye
numfortably_combed - 7 dager siden
@Wintergatan Hi Martin, You're now reaching epic levels of failure rates with the grinder! ;-) People in the comments below are talking about 6 Sigma standards. I'd also mention that you've reached the stratosphere-- you're now talking about aeronautical design levels of failure. See also ideas about "redundancy" in design and "fault tolerance." Airplane safety statistics might also be helpful to get a grasp of how to pinpoint design durability and weakness. Keep striving for excellence!
Atomic Shrimp
Atomic Shrimp - 9 dager siden
If you had to approach a completely different, but equally complex machine build project in the future, knowing what you have learned along the way, what would you do differently? Seems to me that you might invest more time testing single prototypes of a sub-mechanism before iterating them across the machine itself - that is, for example, build one marble dropper, and test it with a million marble drops. Then you're only fixing one thing, rather than fixing 20 of the same thing, only to find that the fix isn't sufficient. I'm not saying I would do better myself (in fact I know I wouldn't - I simply lack the patience for this scale and complexity of engineering), and it's also less exciting and less fulfilling to be just testing components, instead of seeing the machine emerge of course. Hope this doesn't come across as critique - I'm actually just interested to know how your methodologies have changed across the course of the project.
Jia Ern Chong
Jia Ern Chong - 16 minutter siden
I'm very look forward to the success of the marble machine x. It's more hardwork to rebuild it but I will support you anyway. The melody of the old marble machine still is the favourite of mine. MMX undoubtedly will be much more better.
gnarly cool dudes
gnarly cool dudes - 5 timer siden
why did you do this
Odyseusz Koskiniotis
Odyseusz Koskiniotis - 13 timer siden
Holy shit, please keep going
Random Voice ie. Ian Tan
Random Voice ie. Ian Tan - 15 timer siden
Although the chronological progress is missing, I would love to see the excess plywood boards side by side with their intended design in an exhibition when MMX is finally done. It'd be like another self-playing music machine museum, this time, featuring the creator in the flesh.
BrianRDub - 20 timer siden
The year 2023. "We are on rebuild #37 of the MMX!"...... I think this is the strategy...It never really gets done. Only improved perpetually. In the real world this is called scope creep and has brought many a good project to its knees and onward into failure. Here in youtube land there is no such thing as scope creep or failure. Only excited supporters watching the evolution of something fascinating.
momentinpassing - Dag siden
This is why the human mind has so many stabilizing features. Falling off .01% of cliffs, or eating .01% of the broken glass we find, is rubbish.
Kalle Jillheden
Kalle Jillheden - Dag siden
Hahaha that sick illuminati-esque graphs comparison, love it
Coxy's Railroading
Coxy's Railroading - Dag siden
Paste wax is also good for reducing friction on wood surfaces.
Coxy's Railroading
Coxy's Railroading - Dag siden
Discovery & Analysis => Improvement & learning => Progress
It's a complex project without a robust precedent. Iteration is the way forward.
KingPatrick 12
KingPatrick 12 - Dag siden
Hey man i remember when you came out with that video in 2016 and I loved that video then. I rediscovered it and I realized that one day this machine will be in a museum. If you need to take a break at anytime we'll understand.
Dan - Dag siden
idk man i think youve entered a black hole
hypothetical their clavicle
If you're worried about design flaw you can't have metal on wood friction. Might as well change now.
DarkhFyre - 2 dager siden
this is honestly such an incredible project. making a machine that plays music isn't an easy feat and it is amazing to see you work on this project and refine it to be a music and engineering masterpiece.
samili - 2 dager siden
Why don't you add another marblegate per channel and reduce the gear ratio, that will give each marble double the time to get settled in the marblegate. You'll have to slim down the design tho to keep the width of the original design
Marco Roose
Marco Roose - 2 dager siden
Maybe you could try „Silbergleit“ instead of Graphite Powder. Its more like a paste. I‘m really amezed every time when I‘m using it how much it reduces friction.
Daskut - 2 dager siden
"I'm rebuilding the Marble Machine X!"
Germans: 24:49
Pixel The Incrediboxer
Pixel The Incrediboxer - 2 dager siden
This is *marbelous*
Joe Balint
Joe Balint - 2 dager siden
Martin- I've missed quite a few episodes. But, I had a thought after your Captain Context vid: Are you treating the wooden parts to reduce the impact of humidity? A couple of decades ago, we use to make our robot chassis from plywood. We did our work in Ohio but the competition was at EPCOT in Florida. To avoid the plywood swelling from absorbing water due to the high humidity, we painted the chassis with several coats. Is there a coating on your plywood parts? Maybe it won't be an issue with your smaller parts.
lexdimond1 - 2 dager siden
You need to link up with Adam Savage
Benjamin Stadler
Benjamin Stadler - 2 dager siden
This calls for an intervention. Somebody get him out of the shed? Feels like current circumstances take a heavy toll on artists. Nothing wrong with focusing on details but this turns more and more into an unhealthy obsession - called perfecting yourself to death. It's not worth going insane over this.
KWA - 2 dager siden
If it were not for this kind of ambition and determination the world would never have the light bulb, the automobile, or the airplane. Keep up the good work.
Hadley Siqueira
Hadley Siqueira - 2 dager siden
I feel sorry for those ones who are making the 3D model of MMX. ^^'
PurpleGuy2779 - 3 dager siden
when i hear brutal, i think of sledgehammers.
Evan Stunt
Evan Stunt - 3 dager siden
Someday you'll need some magnetic polarized balls repelling to each other to avoid some noise .. or mechanism .. try adding alternated magnet binaries .. if they repels each other there is no reasonable motives to the marble to get stocked .. cause it will flow by magnet repulsion almoust for about forever..
ronrooz - 3 dager siden
Martin, why is it that in many of your videos the sound is sometimes out of phase and a moment later (next edit step) back in phase again?
Uraneum - 3 dager siden
Baron Münchhausen
Baron Münchhausen - 3 dager siden
Why? YT-Money for this "never ending story"!
Anson Olds
Anson Olds - 3 dager siden
Piano Technician here, I would advise against using Graphite Powder. In pianos it is useful for the short term, but eventually it gums up. Some "technicians" use graphite so much that it ends up everywhere, and those parts need to be cleaned or replaced because the friction becomes unmanageable. Instead I would recommend using Teflon powder, very sparingly.
Abe Dillon
Abe Dillon - 3 dager siden
An alternative to graphite is High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) . It's like a low-friction plastic material that should be pretty easy to machine.
Abe Dillon
Abe Dillon - 3 dager siden
At some point, you gotta lock in the design (flaws and all) and push future improvements to MMX 2.0
After the world tour, you'll have money for all sorts of fun tools.
Willaby Uberton
Willaby Uberton - 3 dager siden
I think your math is off. If you do something 100 times with a 99% success rate, than you have 0.99^100 = 0.366 chance of it working. Obviously not good enough, but that's still not 100% chance of one failure.
A 99.99% success rate 3600 times is 69.76%. Increasing success rate by a single nine gives you 96.46%!
If you want to play the machine ten times a day with a >95% success rate (less than one failure a month), you need each individual operation to have a 99.9999% success rate.
Which is probably beyond standard engineering. NASA quotes figures like 99.74% success rates for engines. Have you considered finding ways to recover gracefully from a failure?
Ethan - 3 dager siden
me: doesn't watch wintergatan for a few weeks, come back.
martin: I've replaced half of the machine.
Wow what an improvement. The lack of noise on that runthrough :o it's beautiful
MantraHerbInchSin - 3 dager siden
He is not crazy, just devoted.
I support you Martin!
Martin A.
Martin A. - 3 dager siden
yeah... lets start all over again.... at this point this is so stupid
Jörg Johow
Jörg Johow - 3 dager siden
I changed my mind:"never" - period.
Carson Kendall
Carson Kendall - 3 dager siden
you have the coolest job ever.. if you can call it that. incredible.
Somebody_Else - 3 dager siden
15:38 Good spot, Martin!
teamidris - 3 dager siden
I hear your ‘feels’ 100% :o) I ran the same race car 4x4 from 1993 to 2020 and it got changed many times. Around 2011 I took an angle grinder to the back and was cutting out redundant brackets from 1993. It was bad/good feeling. It was waaay better for it. *At the moment I am making a Mamod steam car into a Gscale rail car. I will have a small box of prototype parts that each took hours to make. :O
LangyX - 3 dager siden
@wintergatan, Auction off your spare parts as souvenirs.
YourResidentRedleg - 3 dager siden
Not gonna lie. I don’t care about any sort of reason. I’m not gonna stick around for someone to rebuild the same thing over and over and over and over again. Been here for years now. Watching you do this so many times is just monumentally disappointing. Keep screwing yourself, the people who help you, and your fans. Just finish the machine dude.
Probability and what actually will happen can be two entirely different things. But oh well. Just milk a Patreon for years with no finished product.
Frank Wells
Frank Wells - 3 dager siden
9146 X 5 = 45,730
Jonas Pihl
Jonas Pihl - 3 dager siden
I Can hear the cad team screaming
Jamie Kawabata
Jamie Kawabata - 3 dager siden
"All my friends have at least one friend like that." Hmmm... checks out.
wilson langeani
wilson langeani - 3 dager siden
You build it, man!
Ro Paul
Ro Paul - 4 dager siden
This is a prime example of why I unsubscribed from this channel. What will you redesign next? You can spend the rest of your life on continuous improvements. I can see it now Episode #507 - Marble Divider Version 8
Chuck D
Chuck D - 4 dager siden
I wish I was this brilliant.
Rafael Pernil
Rafael Pernil - 4 dager siden
I think it would be better to design the MMX to be serviceable, to have easy to replace parts and ways to recover from failure quickly
Niko Shropshire
Niko Shropshire - 4 dager siden
I am not sure if you want to get your machine complete. Wth?
Skillfully Executed
Skillfully Executed - 4 dager siden
Well your probability math is a bit poor there but okay, u can't really say u have a 99% stability rate based on 100 marbles, that is not a dynamic probability.
What you are looking for is stability, meaning a 99.9% probability for each marble to go through the system successfully, if after this you can start calculating using the probability of instance 1, and put the number of attempts as a power of.
Probability of a marble stopping within 3584 time(s) at 99.9% probability = 0.9993584 = 0.027714675751556
= 2.77%
So at 99.9% you'd actually have a 2.77% failure rate for each time you played the song, that is more than acceptable.
MC Falkenstein
MC Falkenstein - 4 dager siden
25:43 "I know my friends have at least one friend like that" That one cracked me up :D
Diário de um casal viking
Diário de um casal viking - 4 dager siden
4:35 Hey guys, ChrisFix here
Charlie - 4 dager siden
Lolz that graph about the local max is hilarious
Charlie - 4 dager siden
Your transparency is so refreshing Martin. Been a fan for quite a while and love how much detail you give all us fans. Cheers and Stay Safe.
nursefuzzywuzzy - 4 dager siden
Martin Don't you dare quit on this! You can get it to work I know you can do it!!!!
MeMuX - 4 dager siden
You should make a "Loctite usage" counter next video of assembly lol xD
AlexTheFluffyBoi - 4 dager siden
I wonder if we'll get a remake of the marble machine song on the new marble machine i really hope so :3
Pete Hyde
Pete Hyde - 4 dager siden
Service with a smile
Michael Nio
Michael Nio - 4 dager siden
What program do you use for your cnc router?
風見隼人 - 4 dager siden
I hope I can see my name next time. QAQ
Candra Shalahuddin
Candra Shalahuddin - 4 dager siden
I have followed your progress in making this masterpiece.
I'm very inspired! But at this point it looks like you are too emotional to do this brutal angle grinder. If you discuss this first on YouTube before act, I will advise you to make an MMX version, finish your work in stages, don't destroy what you have previously made, make a new one that is better without destroying the old one.
nothing is perfect, perfect is respecting imperfection

But I respect your decision.
Just don't get discouraged Martin. I hope the best for you!
Simorenarium - 4 dager siden
As a Software Developer I can really relate to the complexity and sometimes to the necessety to redisgn things...
HackdIluminattihater - 4 dager siden
24:49 Nein! Nein! Nein! Nein! Nein!
Th3f0xman Mc
Th3f0xman Mc - 4 dager siden
martin the 371 thousand people that watched this video are the real supporters
G erman C arrasco
G erman C arrasco - 4 dager siden
In other words, songs for the tour are not ready, building life in France is cozy and COVID allows to postpone completition undefinetey
NaiOni - 4 dager siden
So this is what I'm wondering... Isn't the likelihood of a master musician missing a note greater than 0.00001%? And isn't the likelihood of a string failing on a guitar greater as well? It's starting to feel like you're chasing precision that might actually be unachievable. The Lego company has some of the most accurate and precise manufacturing of any factory in the world, and 18 out of 1 000 000 pieces are faulty. That's 0.0018%, that's a lower precision than you are aiming for with the MMX. You are building a machine at least partially by hand with the goal of it having higher precision than some of the most sophisticated machines in the world. I'm worried that your unwillingness to compromise could make the completion of the MMX impossible. I admire the dedication, but this is the first time watching these videos that I've truly felt that you might be aiming towards the unachievable.
Tedd - 4 dager siden
As a comparison, how did the original marble machine fare stability-wise? I know a lot of marbles dropped to the floor, as can be seen in the video, but how much work was it to get one song out of the machine?
Tausif ali
Tausif ali - 4 dager siden
No one.....

German Engineering: Lets make a band using marbles
Koawei - 4 dager siden
classic to steampunk
Daniel Brendemuehl
Daniel Brendemuehl - 4 dager siden
With the graph Martin I just got to say I completely support you, but as a machinist I know that if you are dealing with anything mechanical you are going to have failures. Nothing will be perfect you can get close but nothing in this world is perfect.
chatparesseux - 4 dager siden
What you described is 6 sigma standard there are training books to reach that standard in the engineering process. Most automotive industries follow it
Ev3rM0r3 - 4 dager siden
One of the most dedicated individuals I have never met but the most intriguing single person I've watched on youtube or anywhere. I've watched your progress from day one on the last build and now this new one. What a journey. I could never follow in your ambition footsteps. I envy you sir. And GL on completion. And god damnit you better complete this!
Forge - 4 dager siden
Welcome to the 5 9's club!
Rai Kanegasi
Rai Kanegasi - 4 dager siden
7:58 If you were going to bore me, I wouldn't be watching you. Keep going, you're doing great.
zerohm m
zerohm m - 5 dager siden
been following this for what feels like years now. really cool to watch the different iterations and major breakthroughs you have periodically.
ky - 5 dager siden
At this rate I don’t know if it will ever get finished.
vinasu maaj
vinasu maaj - 5 dager siden
"In mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them." - John von Neumann
Tony C
Tony C - 5 dager siden
You're kidding me.... just finish the machine already!
Damalycus - 5 dager siden
vinasu maaj
vinasu maaj - 5 dager siden
the last part about stability hits home as a software engineer
MrCyssiek - 5 dager siden
Martin... I stopped watching this amazing project because... you tripping dude. You should know where is healthy line because MMX is not your project anymore, its obsession.
Drew - 5 dager siden
Martin: takes out angle grinder
Jakubiak Kos
Jakubiak Kos - 5 dager siden
20:00 Explanation
Steven Kozlosky
Steven Kozlosky - 5 dager siden
I love what you've done and what you're doing!! It's so much more than a build - it's instructive. My son is currently embroiled in a senior project at university. It's a device that four students conjured up in a spitball session and now they're tasked with building it. It has electronic and mechanical components but I'm convinced that the lesson is elsewhere - the lesson is the human components and learning to usher resources. The likelihood of a device that four kids agreed to build based on an hour spitballing ideas will work is slim to none and not really important.  
I concluded this having watched our eldest go through a similar "senior project" at another university. It was, by my estimate, not successful as a product, but what his team learned about engineering and management was priceless.  
Thanks again for all you do!!!
Carter Laubach
Carter Laubach - 5 dager siden
Don’t give up! You have made too much progress to turn back!
Omnihil777 - 5 dager siden
November 2036 : 6th rebuild of the MMX on the way, we think it will be ready in 2 months...
Exploding Crow
Exploding Crow - 5 dager siden
this whole project is proof that engineering and art can coexist
also i'm from chicago, i have no idea if it's actually a 'chicago' or 'boston' screw, but apology accepted anyway
also also, if you look briefly at the history of machines moving really fast, before the industrial revolution there was no real concept of machinery failing through normal use. things didn't move fast, you didn't have a part that was being used hundreds if not thousands of times a second. so when things started breaking on the big expensive new machines it took a collective brain blast from engineers to figure out what was happening. you basically went through all of that independently. i went to engineering school, i'm not even sure if that's where i learned about the problem. if it was they mentioned it like once and never again. the biggest breakthroughs of the past have become so common that they aren't even considered important enough to be common knowledge
Jasper Cattoor
Jasper Cattoor - 5 dager siden
Noooo don't give up :o
Jasper Cattoor
Jasper Cattoor - 5 dager siden
Yes, exactly, I mean WTH? WHYYYYY
nur farrahana
nur farrahana - 5 dager siden
You are so geneous
Shankara Rhuddlan
Shankara Rhuddlan - 5 dager siden
Hi Martin! Before I say anything else please know how much we appreciate you and how much you have inspired so many of us!!! I had this idea... what if you take any of the parts you removed and won't use again and auction off some of these parts to help raise money for upgrades, stir up some hype and excitement and allow some of us to donate and possible win a piece of MMX history and display it in our homes while we continue with you on this journey? Thanks for reading my comment and thank you for being so awesome!!!!
CarColleRote - 5 dager siden
soniyu ziuy
soniyu ziuy - 5 dager siden
soniyu ziuy
soniyu ziuy - 5 dager siden
... will last months. The difference is remarkable :)
Sean Lyttle
Sean Lyttle - 5 dager siden
6:12 - Thumbs up for a perfect transition and a perfect illustration of your point!!! Nicely done.
Jacob Johansen
Jacob Johansen - 5 dager siden
the last part about stability hits home as a software engineer
Jacob Johansen
Jacob Johansen - 5 dager siden
Teflon shims could also work as a friction reducer without the need to reapply the graphite lubricant over time... its what's on the bottom of mice
Blacklab412294 - 5 dager siden
Ok, I get why you are using water - to keep your bits cool. But why not Cutting Oil (the stuff you use when your tapping Threads) ? Water can lead to rusting (if you are using Iron), but tapping Oil tends to really cut down on friction, is great at cutting holes too. Sure you have to degrease after words, but still Water can be hard on drill bits.
bill bergovoy
bill bergovoy - 5 dager siden
as for ur diatribe re global maximum/local maximum, u spent a great deal of time reciting info/math that doesnt matter.
the bottom line is, examining any musical instrument. They all work perfectly. PERFECT. saxophone? every time u press a key, it opens the right amount and closes the same way, every single time.
guitar, same. trombone, same, violin, it doesnt matter. the beauty is how perfect they work. the side affect is, how easy it is to determine the value by how well it is built and the material used. but the design is the same, and remains unchanged.
this also isolates any variations in sound quality, is a result of the amount of skill/talent of the musician.
the beauty of ur marble machine is due to the dichotomy of how complex it is, while still being able to create awesome sound. but, therein lays the problem. IT IS COMPLEX. meaning there is chance of mistakes during assembly, or maintenance, or accidental impact, and not being able to ID what might have been impacted, and or causing more damage by not being diagnosed properly then getting used more and more
but, asis abundantly apparent, the creation of music is not the primary achievement. the design/assembly is as much of marvel as you cranking on a lever and pressing/pulling on levers and buttons
all of it is evertainment, proving reliefaaaaaa to me and many others and for that, I thank you
bill bergovoy
bill bergovoy - 5 dager siden
oh no. no no graphite powder is awesome, but not on unfinished / raw wood.
if friction is a concern, you should have done a couple different things. over cut the slots, then install a low friction material where the metal parts slide on the low friction material.
you can sand the slots, by working thru the sand paper grits, up to the highest grit you want. maybe 1000g?
u can again sand the slots/grooves, but no need to go upward of 220g sandpaper. Then apply a few coats of sanding sealer, lacquer base. (dont let the name, 'lacquer' scare u off. This is the easiest material to apply and get awesome results.
It will also penetrate deeply and allow super easy sanding.
after a few coats of lacquer you can apply a few coats of wax car polish This will give u the best low resistance surface possible.
the graphite is messy as you now know. but the bigger problem is that it will GUNK UP. it will get moist, attract oils, water, and gum up, creating a bigger problem
whereas wax wont have any problem, except the chance of over maintenance, which can be fixed relatively quickly/easy.
anyways, good luck
Comic Fox
Comic Fox - 5 dager siden
“Maybe I SHOULD give up”
Everyone: *No*
Valsa sam
Valsa sam - 5 dager siden
See nothing is perfect so we have to work harder and harder to achieve that perfection