(Credit: Martin Baynesford)
A UK wood worker by the name of Martin Raynesford has created a (sort of) working model of Donkey Kong out of wood.
Each piece of the model has been laser cut and carefully put together so that the user can control Mario to jump over boulder-like ball bearings that rumble down from above.
Mario himself is fixed on the spot, so he can't run up the board — a problem that Raynesford said he tried to resolve, but ran out of time to fix before the project deadline:
I always intended Mario to be fully controlled around the board. So much so I actually tore apart my functional CNC milling machine to drive Mario as required. I extended the vertical axis to give the required range of movement and I created some arduino code to drive the new XY frame to any given point on the board. At this point, I realised that my lead screw-driven CNC was simply not going to be fast enough for the job, and with a week remaining (and virtually nothing else completed) I just didn't have time to rectify the problem, so I had to drop it from the final build.
In the next iteration of the board, though, Raynesford intends to include a belt-driven XY frame so that the game is fully operational. What we particularly admire about this iteration is the way the ball-bearing track works, especially the magnet system and the barrel feeder. Raynesford calls his project a Rube Goldberg machine, but we'd humbly suggest that he's being a little hard on himself.
You can read more details of Raynesford's project here on his 365 blog, where he aims to complete 365 laser-cut objects in 365 days — and watch his laser-cut version of Donkey Kong in action in the video below.