Started playfield assembly

Today I started assembly of the basic mechanisms on my custom pinball playfield! It was super exciting to install the hinge brackets and drop the empty playfield into the cabinet for the first time 🙂 In addition, the following assemblies are coming along nicely:

  • Ball Through/Feeder/Shooter
  • Flippers
  • Kickers

I couldn’t wait to find out how well I did with the CAD file in placing the holes for all this. In the end, almost everything came out just right except for a few minor elements here and there – certainly nothing critical that warrants another trip to the shopbot, at least for now 🙂 It was pretty trivial to take note of what needs to move, so fixing the CAD file will be a piece of cake and the next playfield prototype should be perfect! Here’s the top of the playfield now:

One thing took me by surprise however – how tricky it is to get the kicker and ball feeder mechanisms to line up just right. Unfortunately these Williams mechs are each comprised of two completely separate brackets that need to be individually screwed to the playfield. The position of each bracket relative to each other is critical to ensure proper unrestricted movement of the mechanism. You can see what I mean in the underside view:

One could wonder why everything isn’t on one single bracket, like the flippers… for cost savings perhaps? Or to allow more freedom in choosing the location of the bracket that holds the coil? It’s too bad, one bracket would make assembly much more quick and painless. Regardless, I will have to improve my CAD drawing to get these measurements just right for the next iteration of the playfield. Using these Williams mechs is still way less painful than designing and building my own! 🙂

Next up, more playfield assembly! Also, I have to start thinking about how to wire everything back up to the backbox!

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One Response to Started playfield assembly

  1. Brian says:

    Very cool project. I would love to do something like this but it looks like it took a lot of time.

    Any chance you still have the topper to Dr Who?

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