Cupcake Machine Makes Tasty, If Weird, Creations

Baking cupcakes is a fun pastime, and one which we imagine many people took up in this year of quarantine and lockdown. However, anything a human can do, a machine can certainly make an attempt at, as [Skyentific] shows with this roboticized cupcake machine.

The build will be familiar to anyone who has worked with 3D printers or DIY CNC machines before. A series of stepper motors move a carriage carrying a regulation-sized patty pan. This is filled with dough from a tube, squirted out by a modified electric caulking gun. The carriage then transports it to a small microwave chamber of custom construction. After a minute or so of cooking, it’s then removed, and topping is applied from a further two caulking guns. An Arduino is in charge of the operation, running the show with some stepper drivers, limit switches, and a bank of relays.

The final product isn’t the prettiest cupcake we’ve ever seen, but it’s perfectly edible. We can imagine with some small modifications the device could probably cook batches of four at a time without too much trouble. We’ve seen other baking robots before, too. Video after the break.

13 thoughts on “Cupcake Machine Makes Tasty, If Weird, Creations

  1. It was an interesting take on the possibility, but not all that viable in a plethora of ways… Especially after seeing commercial Pizza making robots, and automated bakeries being used in real world situations…

  2. I’m glad he was concerned about the microwave leakage, and a little disappointed that his solution was to just stand back. The above suggestion of a convection oven is a good one. I have students in a design class that build machines like this, only more primitive. This is a very nice build and a cool concept. I could see a working commercial version of this as a wonderful novelty at some of the cupcake boutiques – sitting in the window and making customized, terrible looking cupcakes on demand.

    1. Considering the source of his microwaves personally I think he was rather too concerned over it – his box looked more than good enough. If he was cranking out really huge power levels then he needs to be massively concerned, and its far better to be safe than causing yourself a protracted but rather early death… But the shrunk down standard microwave with a complete metal box around it in use should be adequate at protecting the humans around it – it certainly looked more than good enough – just make damn sure it can never ever be active with the door open and its probably safer than the bargain basement model I expect he gutted to get the parts…

      That said I find the concept of baking with a microwave almost offensive… Baking should be done via radiant heat, not agitating primarily the water molecules in the ingredients… using a microwave for this sort of thing just seems wrong – though I’m sure you can do some very interesting things heating from the inside around wetter bits first with the right recipes… its just cooking has for as long as humans have mastered fire seemed to be about cooking from the outside in, by applying heat – if it was good enough to not change in all that time, why bugger with it for normal recipes now..

  3. AFAIK, the only issue with convection ovens is thermal transfer time. Cupcakes currently take >15 minutes in my oven, about the same in an EASY BAKE, perhaps Alton brown reduced that time with his megawatt pizza oven, but it isn’t practical.

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