Still don’t have anything for Valentine’s Day? We wholeheartedly suggest that you fire up that printer and get ready to fall in love with engineering all over again, because [JBV Creative] has designed a super-sweet piece of machinery that would turn the gears of anyone’s heart. He calls this the most overly-engineered candy dispenser ever, and we have to agree. It’s certainly one of the most beautiful we’ve ever seen.
There’s no electronics at all in this elegant design, just purely mechanical, hand-cranked fun. Turning the crank does two things at once — it moves a little access panel back and forth underneath the chute that governs the number of candies given, and at the same time, moves the conveyor belt along to deliver the goods to the receiving area.
This entire design is absolute genius, especially the decoupling mechanism that shuts off the flow of candy but allows the belt to keep moving. Be sure to watch the build video where [JBV Creative] effortlessly snap-fits the machine together without a single tool, and stay for the follow-up video where he discusses the engineering challenges and shows just how much work went into it.
Of course, there’s more than one way to overly-engineer a candy dispenser. Here’s one that finds the holy grail of peanut M&Ms — the ones that didn’t get a peanut.
Continue reading “Express Your Love With Candy And Engineering”
Picture it: Halloween, 2018. You want to go to a party or take the kids out trick-or-treating, but remember what happened last year when you weren’t there to answer the door? A pack of wild children blew their allowances on 48 rolls of the cheapest toilet paper ever printed, and it took you four full hours to get all the sodden, dew-laden wads out of your rose bushes.
Halloween is a time to fear things like hobgoblins and the possibility of The Purge becoming a thing, not sugar-fueled children who are upset that you left out a bowl of Sixlets, wax lips, and alt-flavored Tootsie Rolls. So how do you take back the night? Do what [Randall Hendrix] did: build a Super Mario-themed candy-dispensing machine.
No customer, not one tiny [Thanos] or [Tony Stark] will be able to resist the giant, blinking, green start button. Pushing it cues the music and the spinning drum, which tumbles the candy around like a clothes dryer. Gravity and chance will drop one or three pieces onto a conveyor belt that runs under Mario’s feet, but it’s up to you to press the jump button at the right time. Otherwise, he knocks your prize back into the barrel.
There’s no micro here, just woodworking, relays, motors, a sound FX board, and the amp from an old pair of PC speakers. Mario’s candy-securing jump was originally pneumatic, but now it’s powered by a 240:1 gear motor that lifts him up with a cam. Grab a fun size Snickers and slap that break button to see this marvelous machine in action.
Concerned that they’ll play until the candy is gone? Add a sinister element like the Candy-or-Death machine we saw a few years ago.
Continue reading “Mario Candy Machine Gamifies Halloween”
Will you be handing out candy on Halloween? Maybe you have a party to attend or kids to take around the neighborhood and can’t be home to answer the bell. You don’t want to be The Dark House With No Candy, ’cause that’s a good way to get TP’d. We’re not exactly sure what [Ben]’s catalyst was aside from trying to avoid tempting would-be thieves with an unattended bowl on the porch. Whatever the reason, we’re happy to present Candy or Death, his gamified candy (or death)-dispensing machine.
Okay, so it only dispenses candy for now. [Ben] hasn’t quite worked the kinks out of his death ray. He designed it to sit behind a porch-facing window so it can’t be messed with. All trick-or-treaters can do is push the button and take the candy. It’s built around a cereal dispenser that’s modified to be cranked by a piece of round rod driven with a NEMA-17 stepper motor and an Arduino Uno with a motor shield. The candy slides down a length of aluminium rain gutter into a plastic stacking bin, and the whole thing is built into a nice wood frame.
A few adjustments were necessary to keep it from jamming. The dispenser’s hopper uses rubber blades to govern the flow, and he ended up removing a few and trimming the others. [Ben] has an album up of all his build pics and put his code on the gits. Stick around to see videos of the machine from the front and rear.
Continue reading “Push Button, Receive Candy (or Death)”