Transformers, Birthday Cakes In Disguise

[Russel Munro] decided to go all-out for his son’s birthday cake: he made a Transformers robot cake that, well, transforms from a truck into a robot, Optimus Prime style. His impressive build has the actions of the original: first, the front rears up to lift the head, then the back lifts to form the body and the head and arms pop out of the top. Underneath the thin fondant exterior is a 3D printed body, driven by a mechanism in the base. He used fishing line to lift the parts, which is pulled by a motor salvaged from a CD player, being driven by an EasyDriver board from Sparkfun.

The main issue he had to overcome was weight: apparently he underestimated the weight of the fondant that covers the cake, and had to do some last-minute work to strengthen the drive mechanism, and skip plans for the more ornately decorated version that his wife had planned. But the look of glee on his son’s face when he operates it at the party is the best bit. In these days of CGI and computer games, it is good to remind the kids that there is still a lot of fun to be found in ingenuity and liberal quantities of hot glue.

5 thoughts on “Transformers, Birthday Cakes In Disguise

  1. So a thin layer of fondant added to anything make it a cake…hmmm, quadcopter cake flies in through the window. I like that it is more old style Transformers, the latest movies ruined things with too much detail.

    1. At first I was also skeptical of calling this a “cake”, but looking at the build details, it appears that it does indeed have actual chocolate cake on it, not just fondant. Although it sounds like a little bit of the originally planned cake had to be replaced by styrofoam due to the weight of the cake.

      1. He definitely wins Dad of the Year. I know those Cake TV shows have the same challenges, but just curious how much cake has to be in a cake to call it a cake. They have rules on how much cream makes something ice cream. Maybe any cake at all counts, so this counts. It could be all styrofoam with just a “cake pop” for his head, but tearing off his head to eat it may not go over well with some of the kids. Is Aerogel edible? Mmmm Aerogel…

        1. Oh man, I’ve always wanted to bite into aerogel!

          Cake is the result of baked batter; anything else is not cake (ie. frosting, candles, etc)
          Volume of Not Cake / Volume of Cake = Cake Ratio.

          1. So how would you make an animated cake since you have all the answers? Haters gonna hate. I would have figured by calling it an “animated cake” most people would realize it’s not 100% flour, eggs, sugar and baking powder , but as they say common sense ain’t so common.

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