lecture: Building Custom Pinball Machines

What you need and how it works. An experiences report


How to build a pinball machine? We introduce you to all basics and explain the different options for hardware and software. As an example, we show images of our own custom pinball machine.

This talk gives an overview over all the components in a pinball machine which includes software and a lot of hardware. Afterwards, we go over all the steps when designing and building a pinball machine. We start with basic design rules, physical limits and best practices. Then, we focus on the mechanical and electronic components. After that, we talk about software and display (DMD vs LCD) options. At the end, we explain how to build or manufacture certain parts for your machine.

For the hardware, we talk about:
- EM, WPC and modern machines
- Coils and Switches
- Sources for mechanical elements
- Gi/Lamps
- Display option (DMDs, LED-DMDs, LCDs) and how to control them

- Open Pinball Project (Open Hardware)
- Multimorphic P-Roc and P3-Roc
- FAST Pinball Boards
- Full custom options
- Fadecandy/Openpixel
- I2C and ServoControllers

Software options:
- Mission Pinball Framework (Disclaimer: I'm one of the authors)
- pypinprocgame/pypinprocgameHD

Building/Manufacturing Parts:
- Playfields (including printing)
- Cabinet
- Metal ramps
- Wire ramps
- Plastic ramps
- Plastics/Decals
- Inserts
- Mechanics