Galton Board

Galton Board

A Galton Board, also known as the bean machine or a quincunx, is a desktop probability machine that brings the statistical concept of normal distribution to life. As you rotate the Galton Board on its axis, you set into motion a flow of tiny beads that bounce with equal probability to the left or right through several rows of pegs. As the beads accumulate in the bins, they approximate a bell curve. In this lesson, students will design and make a 3D model of a Galton Board suitable for 3D printing.
Subjects
Design and TechnologyScienceMathematicsComputing
Years | Grades
8th Grade | 12-13 years9th Grade | 13-14 years10th Grade | 14-15 years11th Grade | 15-16 years
Duration
Lesson 1: 45 minutes Print Time : 4 hours

Galton Board Trailer
Play 0:52

Objectives

  • Know the functional requirements of a Galton Board 
  • Use TinkerCAD software to design a Galton Board optimized for 3D printing
  • Manufacture a Galton Board using a 3D printer
 

Tools and equipment

  • BE3D eDee printer
  • Set of example models
  • Access to a computer that can access the internet and TinkerCAD®
  • Paper pad and pencil
  • Printed lesson resources
  • 100 x steel ball bearings or crafting beads (1 mm-2 mm max) 
  • Optional: Sand and Perspex (for creating a lid)
 

Skill requirements

To participate in the lesson, students should be able to:
  • Use TinkerCAD, Fusion 360 or Similar CAD software at an intermediate level
  • Be comfortable using DeeControl software including adjusting print settings
  • Use the BE3D eDee 3D printer

Galton Board walkthrough
Locked 7:47

3D models overview

  • Total print time 9 hours 30 minutes
  • Total filament 36.6 m
  • Additional non-printable components
  • Printed all at once
GALTON BOARD TYPE 1
  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • 17.6 m
GALTON BOARD TYPE 2 BOARD
  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • 14.7 m
GALTON BOARD TYPE 2 LEGS
  • 50 minutes
  • 2.5 m
GALTON BOARD TYPE 2 FRAME
  • 40 minutes
  • 2.3 m
Note: Values are calculated for one set of models.

Lesson resources

  • Lesson plan
  • Example Galton Board designs
  • Worksheet
  • Walkthrough
  • Presentation
  • 3D models
  • 3D print instructions
  • Curriculum alignment