My Mixed Reality Gumball Machine worked, most of the time.
Sometimes you had to enter the secret password twice to get one prize; other times you got two prizes.
Sometimes you could see, and hear, some jostling around inside the gumball dome, but nothing would come down the chute. The top level of plastic gumball containers roiled a little bit, like something was stirring in the underlying layers, but no prize emerged.
There was an element of chance, sure, but not in a good way.
I wanted something SOLID, reliable. So planning began on Version 2.
(In the entire storied history of DIY gumball machines, this would be version 3 or 4, depending on how you're counting, but as far as Mixed Reality gumball machines, it would be my second effort.)
First improvement: laser cut acrylic over 1/8" pine. This would give it a clean, precise look.
Also you could see inside.
I got the idea from the Gumball reprise that the Make: intern did. Fortunately, he shared the .dwg files for the "case," which I figured I could adapt.
In the lede image of this post, you can see how this was starting to develop on his workbench. I like that this really does look like a casual snapshot: you can see a coffee cup; an Arduino; an overturned gumball machine dome, with enough gumballs to test the concept; a spare bag of gumballs; A Radio Shack (RIP) soldering station, some random power supplies, a few screwdrivers, and a brass wire sponge for cleaning the soldering iron tip.
This took me into the world of laser cutters. That was inevitable.