Dumbo Never Forgets to Fill Your Glass

What do you get if you have a 3D printer, some booze (or any beverage), a pump, and an Arduino? If you are [RobotGeek] you wind up with an elephant that will pour you a shot on demand. The project was inspired by the ShotBot, but we have to admit the elephant sells it.

Conceptually, the device is pretty simple. A pump and a light sensor do all the real work. When you cover the sensor with a shot glass, the pump dispenses liquid. What we found of interest, though, was the process of starting with an elephant model and then modifying it for the purpose at hand. In addition to making it larger, they also cut off the trunk and replaced it with a spout. The steps show Fusion 360, but you could apply the same concepts using your choice of CAD programs.

We are generally not fans of putting food in 3D printed objects. However, if you look the trunk/spout conceals some silicone tubing and that should be fine. Of course, you could imagine other animals, although there is something charming about the elephant. Perhaps, though, you’d prefer an anteater or perhaps a cow to dispense milk.

If you’d rather have a cocktail, maybe you need help shaking. Or, perhaps your friends are more into Jello shots.

27 thoughts on “Dumbo Never Forgets to Fill Your Glass

  1. “What do you get if you have a 3D printer, some booze, a pump, and an Arduino?”
    Usually a wad of melted plastic that gets to be called “abstract art” until I toss it in the recycle bin, a lingering smell of blue smoke, and a hangover.

  2. Pretty sure this type of pump will dissolve over time if you use if for alcohol containing fluids. Seen an article recently here that described pumps that “squeeze” the liquid which made me think I would use those if I ever built a dispenser :)

  3. Your comment
    “or perhaps a cow to dispense milk.”
    sounds neat, but even a little bit of milk left in the “cow” (pump and tubing) over time could grow some nasty organisms.
    B^P

    1. 3 parts ethanol to 1 part milk, problem solved….

      But yah, even most water coolers have significant problems in this area. I try to avoid drinking from them. Also it’s recently been recognised that automatic IR sensing faucets can harbor nasties due to more convoluted valving and I guess stagnant eddies. (Yah the water moves in the eddy, but the bulk of the water in it does not move in or out of that area.)

      1. I didn’t know that about water coolers or IR sensing faucets. Thanks!
        (Thanks for contributing to my growing paranoia! B^)

        My biggest complaint about IR sensing faucets…
        (Rant mode ON)
        …is that they “sense” for the wrong location, they should point downward into the basin, where the hands will be,
        not straight out several inches in front of the nozzle. Once the water starts flowing, I lower my hands into the basin to wash them without water splashing all over the countertop, and the flow stops!
        (Rant mode OFF- for now)

  4. I’m never sure those pumps are suited for consumable items.
    I guess they sell ones specifically for such use but Chinese ones might lie and the westerns ones might be rather expensive.

    So are there any plastics used in 3D printers that you can actually use for food? Or is the 3D printing process averse to such use?

    I guess you could also just use a standard food item pump from one of the supermarket items or kitchen supplies and convert that to be powered by a motor/actuator externally, to be sure. But even then, with alcohol you are looking at another issue of the alcohol having dissolving properties.

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