How to Make Your Own Pinball Game


Pinball machines are some of the oldest arcade games in history. Dating back to the mid 1600s these games have evolved into the light flashing, ball bumping game we know today. The origins of pinball are intertwined with the history of many other games.


Games played outdoors by rolling balls or stones on a grass course, as in the case of bocce or bowls, eventually evolved into various local ground billiards games played by hitting the balls with sticks and propelling them at targets, often around obstacles.


In this experiment, we will build a pinball game where sticks hit a Ping Pong ball into a cup that buzzes when the ball hits it.


Materials Needed:


  • Sticks or pencils to use as a flipper
  • Battery, either a 9 V and connector or AA and holder
  • Buzzer
  • Paper clips
  • Scissors
  • Aluminum foil
  • Wire Strippers
  • Shallow box
  • Duct tape
  • 4 oz. Paper cup
  • Ping Pong ball
  • 22-gauge stranded hook-up wire




Connect the leads of the battery holder and buzzer. Put the buzzer in the bottom of the cup with a hole in the bottom, so you can run the wires out to the battery holder.


Wrap the Ping Pong ball in a sheet of foil. Smooth it out so that the ball can roll freely when in play.


Next design a pinball machine table top on the shallow box. At one end, cut a hole for the cup to fit into. Set the cup, flush with the bottom of the box so the ball can roll into it unobstructed.

Add in obstacles and tubes to make play more interesting. The circuit is completed on the buzzer when the ball, wrapped in foil touches it, making it buzz.

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