The K'NEX Big Ball Factory is a construction toy that has more than 300 pieces in the basic set. The set is recommended for children ages 11 and up; experienced builders do not recommend it as a first set because of the difficulty in construction. Keep in mind that the Big Ball Factory can be up to 5-feet tall, depending on the configuration of the build. You may begin construction on a table, but you should transfer it to the floor before it is too tall to complete.
- Skill level:
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Set the Ball Factory set box beside the building area. Building the Big Ball Factory set is intensive so you will want to refer to the pictures on the box often during construction.
Build the front of the Big Ball Factory first. Look at the photo of the complete structure to ensure correct construction. The set has three types of connectors for the rods that build the structure. The three types are used by inserting the head of the rod into the slot on the connector, snapping a rod into a connector and threading a rod through a connector. Some of the connectors have a locking system instead of a hole, which locks the rods in place allowing the 3-D structure to hold its shape.
Add the factory assemblies to the back of the construction. Gears are colour-coded by size with yellow being the largest and blue being the smallest. Red gears are medium size, and you will use them to transition between the large and small gears.
Continue adding new sections until you complete the structure. When you become comfortable with K'NEX building, create your own designs using the parts in the set or combine sets for even larger structures.
Use care when constructing the pulley, crank and gear systems. According to K'NEX, "Builders must pay close attention to the positioning of Locks, Gears, Spacers and Connectors." If you do not connect them correctly, they will not operate as they should. Face any tan or bronze connectors that you are using as locks toward the gear and lock it in place.
Tips and warnings
- If the balls of the factory fly off instead of looping the loop, shift the ramp in slightly.
- You must leave an empty link between the grey and orange connectors in order for the machine to carry the balls up to the top.
- If the chain stretches over time, replace a link with a gold splicer.
- K'NEX Big Ball Factories contain many small parts. Keep small children away from the toy to prevent them from swallowing a part.
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