2023 in GBC: Keeping the Balls Rolling

Today we are going to take a look at all the wonderful moving creations the LEGO Great Ball Contraption (GBC) community has made during 2023. Like we did in 2022. we will look at some of the best modules and layouts of the year and feature some of the fascinating innovations that happened within the GBC community. Let’s get the ball rolling!

Monumental Modules of 2023

Let’s highlight the individual modules first. I have made a selection of mechanical masterpieces, though other modules might be pieces of art themselves. I should clarify that the modules I mention are in no particular order.

gbc ROLLERCOASTER – Berthil van Beek

There have been numerous endeavors to construct GBC rollercoasters, with a notable series on YouTube by Tomáš Ullrich. Known for embracing challenges, Berthil van Beek recently expanded his already extensive portfolio of modules by introducing a new one—a rollercoaster. In this design, he employs a spiral lift to attain the necessary height for launching the balls through a loop. Unfortunately, this module faced operational challenges during extended runtimes at events. Undeterred, Berthil is currently developing a new version, promising an exciting prospect to anticipate hopefully in 2024.

Mitsuami – Takanori’s Workshop Channel

This list wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging the contributions of some incredible Japanese builders! The first on the list is Takanori’s “Mitsuami,” which literally translates to “braid.” The intricate movements of this machine might draw inspiration from rope braiding mechanisms. The movement is very satisfying and interesting to watch!


This module brings a smile to my face in every way, especially when the googly eyes move side to side while the balls are getting grabbed by its arms. The vibrant use of bright colors makes the module stand out in the loop. The clever design of the arms effortlessly grabbing the balls is truly praiseworthy. Overall, Pinwheel has done a fantastic job with the themimg and incorporated some impressive mechanisms. Well done!

Ball rolling machine No. 20 – rimo yaona

After crafting five original modules in 2022, Rimo showcased an impressive pace by delivering four more in 2023—truly remarkable dedication to creating unique GBC modules. Hats off to Rimo for this accomplishment! However, one particular creation caught my attention—the extraordinary movement in this machine. The seamless upward transportation of the balls is mesmerizing, using cheese slopes to push them up! I eagerly anticipate the original modules Rimo will unveil in 2024!

Waterfall ball machine – kevin darke

Now for a colossal marvel of a module. Crafted by Kevin Darke, a creator renowned for his affinity for large-scale modules, this waterfall stands out in the lineup. What makes this module unique is its dual-loop design. The first loop represents flowing water made up of transparent minifigure heads, while the second loop is dedicated to the movement of the balls. These two loops gracefully filter out in size towards the end making each sized element goes where intended. We eagerly anticipate what newinnovative creations they will unveil in 2024!

The Arch Elevator – Rohan Beckett

For the first time, a bridge graces our year roundup of highlighted modules. This one hails all the way from Australia, courtesy of Rohan Beckett. It efficiently transports balls over a significant distance, a practical feature when working with a loop! The bridge consists of two carts—one moving the balls up, while simultaneously the other descends. It boasts one of the most unique bridge designs I’ve ever encountered. Kudos to Rohan Beckett for this remarkable module!

Heptagram – Riku Katsumata

Riku Katsumata is known for his mechanical masterpieces, and this is one of them! Utilizing the large banana gears and the substantial 40-tooth gears, he ingeniously crafted a heptagram shape and added a gripping mechanism to the end, resulting in an impressive GBC module. This accomplishment, though challenging in its execution, is remarkably well done!

The Coolest GBC Layouts of the Year

While single modules boast impressive features, their true capabilities shine when incorporated into a layout that allows balls to circulate seamlessly. In 2023, numerous noteworthy loops and layouts emerged around the world. Though I can’t spotlight them all, a select few captured my attention due to their size, complexity, or pure GBC brilliance.

LEGO Great Ball Contraption at Shizuoka University Hamamatsu Campus

Japanese layouts are always worth watching! This layout only features 33 modules but every single one of them is unique. This layout is made by the following seven Japanese builders: SR, March 3rd (三月三日), Taichi Yamasaki (山﨑太一), Keiji, Rin, Yabukita, Katsumata.


After four years without LEGO World Utrecht, the most significant LEGO event in The Netherlands, it’s only fitting to showcase this noteworthy occasion. As a Dutch builder, it’s the event you eagerly anticipate throughout the entire year! Seven days of LEGO immersion is a rare opportunity, perfect for thoroughly testing all your modules. This impressive layout was a collaborative effort involving six builders: Maico Arts, Ben Jonkman, Berthil van Beek, Philip Verbeek, Kris Bollen, and myself. Comprising 145 modules of various sizes and complexity!

Swebricks Klosskalas

In 2023, the Swedish record for the longest GBC has been surpassed, this time reaching an impressive 174 modules, witnessed at Swebricks Klosskalas 2023 in Örebro. The loop featured some very nice decorated modules from Minecraft to Star Wars!

Brickworld chicago

Last but not least, Chicago deserves a spot on the list as the ultimate Mecca of LEGO GBC. Playing host to one of the largest layouts annually, attending this event has long been a coveted item on my bucket list. So this list would not be complete without it.

The past year has truly been exceptional for LEGO GBC modules and layouts. Witnessing the incredible videos above, one can only hope that the coming year brings an equal measure of creativity and ingenuity, perhaps even fueled by exciting new LEGO elements and the new Powered Up system! Bring on 2024 – it can’t arrive soon enough!

Which GBC module is your preferred way of moving balls? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Do you want to help BrickNerd continue publishing articles like this one? Become a top patron like Charlie Stephens, Marc & Liz Puleo, Paige Mueller, Rob Klingberg from Brickstuff, John & Joshua Hanlon from Beyond the Brick, Megan Lum, Andy Price, Lukas Kurth from StoneWars, Wayne Tyler, Monica Innis, Dan Church, and Roxanne Baxter to show your support, get early access, exclusive swag and more.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *