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Overview > Great Ball Contraption > Great Ball Contraption Discussion > Workshops at Brickworld Chicago 2015

Last year at Brickworld Chicago we held a GBC roundtable and a GBC Build workshop. Now is the time to think about what to do this June in Chicago. My thoughts current run this way:

  • Have another build workshop. This would consist of a short intro to GBCs followed by a guided build of a small GBC module.
  • At the GBC layout on Thursday and Friday have an open invitation for people to bring in their ideas and misbehaving GBC modules and get advice from experienced builders.
Posted by ALittleSlow (administrator) on 16 February 2015 at 01:50.

Would the Brickworld Chicago Administrators let you ask each registered attendee if they are interested in helping attempt to break the world GBC record? Send e-mail to all very soon if allowed. Point to three GBC small modules they could build? All that have an LDD and parts list! Ask for response from registered attendees if they are interested? Be a part of history! Brad

Posted by on 9 March 2015 at 14:41.

I sent an E-mail to Tom, the BWC GBC Coordinator. For instructions, I would check Philip Verbeek's GBC modules index.

Posted by ALittleSlow (administrator) on 9 March 2015 at 16:13.

The "Official" world's record is easy. We're going to beat it at Brickworld. That number is 88 and is a new Guinness record. The "unofficial" number is 139 and we're not likely to beat it. We're not ready to beat it, yet. GBC has been growing organically over the last few years and last year we had a big jump due to the Build Workshop. I definitely think doing the workshop again is a great idea. It gets unsure builders to finish a module. However I would rather have quality than quantity, it's the module that workshop attendees went home and built after that I want to see. Or their third or fourth. The other thing to consider is having a bunch of attendees build a bunch of (untested, unreliable but well documented online) modules and just dropping them off may lead to Tom loosing his mind... I really want engaged GBC builders. Tom

Posted by on 10 March 2015 at 17:04.

Hi guys,

Breaking the offical world record may sound easy, but can be quite a challenge. You actually need a few persones who can contribute with a larger number of modules or just a big group of people. Kind of as you have done last year.

The official record of 88 was setup by 2 men... Me being one of them :-) The unofficial record is a little bit more difficult to break...

In case of new modules I try to test the modules with the builder before start of the event at setup. To get an idea of what kind of trouble I can expect. During the event we will experience what flaws actually do come forward. I know the feeling of "may lead to Tom lossing his mind"

Kind regards, Maico Arts

Posted by on 12 March 2015 at 21:10.

We did swap out an unusually large number of modules at Brickworld Indy this year. I think it was mainly because of the unusually large number of new modules plus the availability of spares. Admittedly, some of those were mine, and they were ones which I thought I had adequately tested.

I've been pondering what is the appropriate target for module reliability, and it seems the minimum value is directly related to the "Tom losing his mind" factor. It's okay for modules to leak, to jam, and even to break down. But the rate they do this must be no greater than the ability of the people monitoring the modules to correct them without losing their minds. I've observed that the maximum density of monitors you can have without them running into each other is one per two banquet tables (16 feet or 5 meters). Ideally monitors should be able to take breaks, maybe about 10 minutes per hour, and they should spend half their time interacting with the public (and be able to do so for several minutes at a time without being interrupted by a module failure). These factors can be used to calculate the minimum reliability needed to keep Tom's mind firmly inside his cranium. Interestingly, the metric won't be reliability per module, but reliability per unit length.

I haven't finished running the numbers yet, but I think it will end up significantly lower than Rafe Donahue's calculation of, if I recall correctly, 1-10^(-5) reliability. -Brian

Posted by ALittleSlow (administrator) on 23 March 2015 at 15:44.

I find it interesting to hear about your experiences. My LUG (Swebrick) is starting a GBC collaboration this year. We'll learn as we grow, but maybe you have more tips to share that will allow us to make fewer mistakes in the beginning. Maybe a wiki page about this would be good.

Posted by Torso on 23 March 2015 at 19:30.

I don't think you'll find more experienced sources than Tom and Maico. Maico, want to start that page?

Posted by ALittleSlow (administrator) on 23 March 2015 at 19:55.

I just put in for a discussion about GBC at Brickworld. I'm hoping all you experienced GBCers will come and help scare of... I mean encourage the newbies. I would like to also touch on some of the discussions surrounding the specs. I assume one of you <cough Brian> is going to run a GBC Build Workshop. Tom

Posted by on 31 March 2015 at 17:10.