Having finished making versions of all the necessary organs, I have finished the model off by adding elements that one would associate with pinball. So I have added a pillar hiding the hole where the ball will disappear down, using a star motif often used within pinball graphics. I’ve also added two flippers, for the purposes of illustrating digestion they don’t really need to work, but I thought it would be more fun if they did. So I created a simple mechanism, that could be hidden under the base.

flipper mechanism

flipper mechanism

I’ve only added the mechanism on one side, as unfortunately there wasn’t enough room on the right hand side to fit it in, it would have meant a complete redesign of the oesophagus slope. So the finished working pinball machine is as shown below:

Pinball model showing process of digestion.

Pinball model showing process of digestion.

The model works pretty well, obviously it’s a little delicate as its just made out of paper, but the marble moves around the whole layout pretty well, once its been launched. You don’t even need to use the flipper, the ball will roll out of sight without any further human intervention.

I was unsure whether I would cover it when finished with a sheet of acrylic, to prevent the marble flying out as its launched, but in practice because the initial slope is quite steep, the marble rarely shoots out of the box. I looked at various transparent coverings anyway, but they all seemed to distort the view of the model through it. So I decided not to bother covering it with anything, as it wasn’t essential to the design and looked aesthetically better without.

If I was making the model again, I’d like to make it a lot more detailed, and show a higher level of skill in the paper cutting. However I ‘m fairly pleased with the end result, I like the fact its mainly white, I think it shows off the shadows cast, and emphasises the precise nature of the paper cutting.  Originally I was intending to create a piece which had a much darker feel, echoing the ‘elegant macabre’ medical illustrations of Gaultier D’Agoty. However I think it might have ended up a bit confused if  had pursued this route, instead I like the limited use of black drawing attention to the mouth and the heart. The mouth works well being black representing the food disappearing down into the dark depths of the oesophagus. Whilst the black drawing on the heart makes it stand out from the other organs, which is important as the ball doesn’t actually pass through it.

However now that I know the model will actually work, but will be too delicate to be left out for anyone at the end of year show play with, annoyingly I think its now essential that I produce some kind of video that shows it working.

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