Lifts

If we want a ball to roll down the track it must be first lifted up. There are many ways to lift up a ball and there are many variations of the rolling ball sculpture lifts. Let´s see the most common.

NO LIFT

Some rolling ball sculptures have no lift so balls have to be lifted by hand. Bad side of this is that hands are sweaty and greasy (even if they look clean) so eventually balls get dirty. The other thing is a greater chance of dropping a ball on the ground or even on the sculpture. This could do some damage to the sculpture or the ball itself.

SCREW or SPIRAL LIFT

This is the most often used rolling ball sculpture lift. Works on the principle of the Archimedes´ screw where balls on track are being pushed up by a rotating spiral. It can be vertical or sloped.

CHAIN LIFT

Is another cool lift where balls are lifted up by brackets mounted on a chain. It´s a good choice for a very tall rolling ball sculptures.

WHEEL LIFT

Is a large wheel rotating in the back of the sculpture. The balls enter at the bottom and exit on the top of the wheel.  The wheel can be made of wood and looks really good.

BALL TOWER LIFT

Is my own invention and I haven´t seen it done by anybody - yet :) The balls sit on top of the other, making a tower of balls. When the bottom ball is pushed up by a lever it lifts an entire tower pushing the top ball out of the lift.

HAND or MOTOR POWERED?

All the lifts mentioned above can be hand or motor powered so the decision is based on the fact whether one likes to just observe or actively participate - interact.

MOTOR POWERED

When motor powered lift is used one must consider a power supply, a low voltage adapter and a cable leading to the motor. All these can be easily hidden if used on free standing and little more difficult on wall hanging rolling ball sculptures.

The motors that are used to power a lift are geared, low RPM, DC motors. The noise they are making depends on the quality of the gear box they are having so quieter motors are also more expensive ones.

The next thing is the lift speed. It is defined by the number of balls released per minute. This number varies from 5 and up to 26 (or even more) balls per minute.

A motor can be operated by a switch but a cool and practical feature with a motor powered lift is a remote control. With a remote one can turn the motor on / off and also adjust the speed to your liking.

A motor powered rolling ball sculpture can be equipped with a motion sensor and / or a timer.

HAND POWERED

Good thing about hand powered rolling ball sculptures is no need for electricity and its interactivity.