This miniature Wintergatan-inspired mechanical marvel uses marbles to create music!





We are no stranger to Love Hultén’s wonderfully quirky creations – from the Retro Coffee table that merges the love of retro gaming with our need to keep the java buzz going to a Dieter Rams’ inspired gaming console that is on all our Christmas wishlist. This time the Swedish designer brings to life an interpretation of Martin Molin’s music machine X — a marble powered music box!

Marin Molin, best known for his band Wintergatan (the ingenious wooden hand-cranked machine that plays music with 2000 marbles) is the inspiration behind the MMXS, Marble Machine XS, is a miniature homage to Molin’s ongoing music project Marble Machine X. The designer explains, “The programming wheel design of MMXS imitates Molin’s original, but instead of tactile interaction and acoustic elements – MMXS relies on a DC motor for mechanics combined with sounds generated by a synthesizer(Axoloti Core).” An 8-month long love of labor, the machine relies on a DC motor to run the mechanics while the sounds are generated by a synthesizer. The design features 16 notes, 128 programming bars, 10 different sound presets, speed control, volume, and a built-in speaker! The music is created by the marbles being released from their height via programmable gates. The close-up images of the design show the old-school Meccano toy set finish, giving this DIY electronics machine a unique retro aesthetic.

Measuring 50x20x20cm, the design is smaller in overall built, reducing the dependency on using the entire body to play the music as was in the original design and making it a more finger-operated gadget. The marvel of all the unique elements, coming together with such mechanical genius makes us all aspiring puzzle-makers want to solve a design this complex. Don’t forget to check out the video to watch all the complex machinery work in a seamless symphony!

Designer: Love Hultén