Michael Stockdale

Thesis Faculty
Ayodamola Tanimowo OkunseindeMelanie CreanErnesto KlarGloria DuanSamuel Leigh

Water Flow Marble Machine

This kinetic sculpture is a marble machine that represents the flow of water in the infrastructure around us.

Some questions I ask myself a lot are:

What does that pipe go? What is behind that wall? What is that big machine and what does it do?

I love to look into the machines and systems around us that are fundamental to the operation of our lives. Hidden behind walls, under floors and ceilings, and often behind locked doors are complex pieces of machinery that provide valuable functions within our daily lives. All around us are these large scale systems that work in the background, and they often go unnoticed by a large part of the population. I notice them, and love to figure out how they operate, and why.

Other people may not take an interest to these systems, or even care about what they do and how they work. Through my work I intended to vizualize a system in a way that would make it easier to understand and interpret. I chose to create a marble run for this sculpture, because after observing marbles flow, to me it resembles the flow of water.

Some of the most important systems we use relate to water. We drink it, and use it for many other purposes within our daily lives. There is so much that goes into bringing water from point A to point B, and treating it to ensure that it can be used safely by us.

Marbles are brought up to the top of the sculpture through a screw lift in the back of the machine. From there, they are distributed through the various pipes that lead to different points of the sculpture.

The elbow joints and screw mechanism are 3D printed, and the tubing is clear acrylic, so you can see the marbles flowing inside.