“Amazing how with only the power of 3D-printing, two different computers, hundreds of dollars in CNC machinery, a lathe, and modern microcontroller magic, I can almost decorate a cupcake as well as a hyperactive ten-year-old.” We can think of no better way to sum up [Justin]’s experiment in CNC frosting application, which turns out to only be a gateway to more interesting use cases down the road.
Granted, it didn’t have to be this hard. [Justin] freely admits that he took the hard road and made parts where off-the-shelf components would have been fine. The design for the syringe pump was downloaded from Thingiverse and does just about what you’d expect – it uses a stepper motor to press down on the plunger of a 20-ml syringe full of frosting. Temporarily attached in place of the spindle on a CNC router, the pump dispenses onto the baked goods of your choice, although with an irregular surface like a muffin top the results are a bit rough. The extruded frosting tends to tear off and drop to the surface of the cake, distorting the design. We’d suggest mapping the Z-height of the cupcake first so the frosting can dispense from a consistent height.
Quality of the results is not really the point, though. As [Justin] teases, this hardware is in support of bioprinting of hydrogels, along with making synthetic opals. We’re looking forward to those projects, but in the meantime, maybe we can all just enjoy a spider silk beer with [Justin].
Continue reading “Syringe Pump Turns CNC Machine Into A Frosting Bot” →
The AutoFrost CNC cake decorator is the result of a student project a Olin College of Engineering. [Tara Krishnan] and her classmates designed and built the hardware, as well as a Python interface that is used for drawing the design you want printed in frosting. The X and Y axes are controlled by stepper motors, with manual adjustments for the Z axis. The software has setting for the size of the cake, making it a bit more versatile than the last mechanized decorator we looked at. The GUI also allows for multiple colors which are applied one at a time, with the machine pausing for an operator to switch out the colored frosting container. All in all a nice build, but the next rendition should look to get rid of that second Arduino. We can’t think the code is complex enough to warrant two of them. Check out the demo video after the break.
Continue reading “CNC Cake Decorator” →
This contraption lets you decorate your cake at the push of a button. It’s a stretch to call it computer aided as this is purely a mechanical monster, but we still enjoy the apparatus and see its CNC potential (we’re still waiting for that pizza printer to hit the market too). An icing syringe has been modified with a flexible hose on the business end. As constant pressure is applied to the plunger, the nozzle oscillates while the cake rotates. What results is a spirograph drawing on the top of your dessert. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Another push of the button and you get shiny silver orb candies joining in the party.
What, no video? Aw! If you know where to find a clip, let us know and we’ll update this post.