Modular Marble Runs with Makeway February 21 2020
What began as a solo project quickly grew after Elyasaf partnered with his old classmate Reuven Shahar creating a duo of industrial engineers with a background in woodworking. Later on, a company named Tross Media, experts in professional video making, crowdfunding, and advertisement found this project interesting and decided to manage the crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.
Marble runs are so much fun! That's why Elyasaf and Reuven went on a journey creating an extensive modular system consisting of magnetic units challenging your creativity with all the ways that you can assemble your marble run. Creating a brand new marble challenge couldn't be easier. All you need to do is move the track, connector, and track pieces around. The magnets will seamlessly stick to your fridge, whiteboard, or metal door creating never-ending, always-engaging super-puzzle.
With the Elyasafs ageless fascination with machines, gears, automatons, and such Marble Runs were a natural choice. "As a kid, I used to build marble courses from LEGO blocks. With the development of 3D printing technology, it was just a matter of time until I started exploring printed marble runs. Adding the magnets gave me flexibility with endless possibilities," Elyasafs explains.
Reuven Shahar met Elyasaf in 2003 when they started college to learn industrial design together; however, after graduation, they both went their separate ways. After randomly bumping into each other on the street, they started to work together. "My first thought was that this is one of the coolest games I can possibly work on, and I still think that to this day," says Reuven.
"We share many hobbies and are both excited about these types of games, but we bring different approaches to the design process. I wish I would've thought of offering him to join me sooner," says Elyasafs thinking back.
In the beginning, it was all about working late at night until they started to rent an office. "It quickly became our full-time job," they say. The atmosphere in the office is all about hard-working, 90' music, and fun. The research and development consisted of hours of 3D modeling, followed by tons of 3D printed models for testing. The prototypes were tested and improved numerous times until they achieved the wanted result.
They both learned that lousy design is apparent to everyone, but the good design comes only after hard work and demands hundreds and thousands of different prototypes. While Elyasaf started printing with silk filaments from different brands at the beginning, he encountered many issues with failed prints. That considerably delayed the research & development of which 3D printing is the main element. As he was looking for a reliable material, he encountered Fillamentum PLA Extrafill. "I was surprised by the outcome, in which the different layers were hardly visible, and the total look was similar to a real mass-production product," says Elyasaf.
"I'm happy with the result, and every time I see grown-ups playing with it for a long, it makes me happier," Elyasaf notes. All while trying to make a fairly simple product that would fascinate people, keeping them surprised, amused, and curious.
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