Product Idea |

Chairlift

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Do your minifigs love mountains, like I do?
Would they like an easy way of getting there?
Here is my solution: a working chair lift.

Why I built it

When enjoying the views in the Austrian Montafon valley, I got the inspiration for using pneumatic hose as "cable" and T-connectors to attach chairs.

Building details

  • The big wheels were quite a challenge (must be round and strong). They took quite some iterations.
  • An important part of the construction is the bar between the stations. It ensures there is tension on the cable, and prevents the whole construct to "implode". That cable is really strong!
  • The bar hinges at the stations, giving flexibility in the height/angle of the whole construction.
  • The bases must be 'thin' (to avoid the chairs bumping into them) as well as stable. That's why I chose these particular pieces for that. They allow a technic axle inside, and connect to liftarms for maximum stability. Furthermore, the liftarms through the bottom of the bases are connected to technic bricks. This ensure a strong connection between the base plate and the construction.
  • This consists of 2140 parts. 12 carts are connected to the cable, using 24 parts each.
  • Four friendly attendants ensure safe entry and exit for all your minifigs!

Play options

  • The lift is operated with the lever attached to the mountain station wheel.
  • Through the base of that station is an axle to use whatever driving force you want. For example, hide a motor inside the mountain. Or provide manual operation without the lever on top.
  • To swap between summer and winter, simply replace the appropriate decorative bricks. Minifigs don't forget to put on warm clothes!
  • The mountain is optional. You can separate the mountain station base. Then, for example, put the mountain station on top of a Bygglek box.
  • You can remove the stations from the bases to provide your own alternative base, integrate with a building, etc.
  • The height (altitude) of the mountain station is adjustable. Same holds for the angle of the lift, thanks to the hinging bar.
  • The length of the lift is adjustable. Use longer or shorter hoses, or enlarge/reduce the number of chairs. Off course, the length of the bar between the stations has to be adjusted accordingly.
  • Running horizontally is possible by adjusting the ground station a bit (lower the wheel, basically).
  • Finally, the direction of rotation can also be changed (by swapping 2 parts in every chair).

Some possible updates I still want to investigate/show in updates:
  • Extend the lift with multiple stations (poles with wheels) in between to get a farther reach.
  • Attach closed gondolas.

A video of the lift (an older version) in action is on my YouTube/Instagram:
(powered by one power functions M-motor inside the mountain)

O, and no minifigs were hurt while testing this.
Well, not too much anyway ;-)