Pinball machines can have different sizes: full size ones, little paper or tin models, and variations in between. As 3-D printers are now available for consumers, new possibilities emerge. Adriaan created a couple of beautiful miniatures using a 3-D printer, for all to see at the DPO (Dutch Pinball Open). He even managed to put little lights in them, which truely makes these models a ‘must-have’. Our editor spoke to Adriaan about the story behind the Tiny Pins.
For those not present at the DPO, can you explain what a Tiny Pin is?
A scaled (1:10) model of a pinball machine that looks very realistic.
Every new version becomes even more realistic and has new features. Thanks to
3-D printing, upgrading the versions is relatively easy. For example, since
version 5 you can flip back the backbox; in version 6
you can tilt the playing field and version 9 has an extendable glass plate, a
separate lockdown bar and a USB connection for an external power supply.
How did you come up with the idea to make them?
My pinball buddy Erik Swetter, who owns a Hologram
shop, started using a 3D printer, which interested me a lot. It inspired me to
make mini pinball machines, so I could see my own collection (11 machines) on a bookshelf ;-)
I made a model in Sketchup and Erik printed it. Our first model was just a solid box. Compared to that one, version 10 is highly developed.
What do you need to make a mini pinball machine model ? How much time does it take to make one?
You need a 3-D printer and a good 3D model. Printing takes about six hours. Furthermore you need to make the decals and the electronics for the lights. Then you need to assemble these, a fiddling job that requires patience and perseverance. Some details like the side rails are quite small and thin so you need to be very careful, or you need to print thicker versions.
How many did you make up till now?
I made 11 ones, and the current version is ready for sale.
How many different models can you deliver? Can you customize them?
In theory, there is no limit to the models I can make. For instance a widebody or an EMer that
have other sizes than the WMS based machines, are also possible. These may cost a
bit more though. Wether I can make them depends
mostly on the availability of the graphics of a model.
But - you can also make your own graphics for your Tiny Pin. My daughter made a really nice design for her own customized ‘Smiley pin’ (see pic).
Where can people purchase them?
People can order them at Tinypin.nl, or send me an email with their wishes to firstname.lastname@example.org.