Instructables

Cake Icing Tracer Projector

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Have you attempted to decorate fancy cake only to end up creating a deformed and unrecognizable version of your kids favorite character (nailed-it)?  Don't fret: the professionals CHEAT! I am sure that most professional bakers don't need to trace their patterns from a projected image, but most bakers don't have 4 year olds as their bosses... The basic premise is you affix a pocket or pico projector to your cabinets (using rare earth magnets) and project the desired image onto your cake; then you merely have to ice what you see. Easier said than done, I know. But if you have a steady hand, and some experience with managing frosting viscosity, then this approach removes the geometry and perspective out of the equation. The most well known commercial product available designed for this purpose is called a kopykake projector which retails for 225$ to 480$. If you already have a projector then you can make one with junk from your basement.

We've previously tried the Frozen Icing-Transfer method with limited success, particularly because the shape was large and complex (breakup while peeling back the parchment). 



 
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Step 1: What you'll Need

Picture of What you'll Need
Okay, most people don't have a pocket or pico projector in their home. These little gadgets are getting cheaper and more powerful every year, and you may end up using it more often than you think (outdoor movie night, photo viewing,  Halloween decorations...).
  1. Pico or Pocket Projector: Prices range from 100$ to 500$ depending on brightness (in lumens) and connectivity. See the link for up date ratings of available projectors.
  2. 1 bolt: 1/4" diameter, 20 threads per inch. I urge you to bring the projector to a hardware store and test them out. Do be careful not to tighten the bolt too much, because you may break into the projector as can happen with some cameras.
  3. An old hard drive: I harvested some Neodymium magnets from a dozen of these recently. 
  4. Torx drivers and Philips head screw drivers to get into the hard drive.
  5. Drill to make a hole for the bolt in the magnet mount.
  6. Some way to send the photo to the projector like a computer or smart phone with the right adapter. My projector has a slot for Micro SD, so I just copied the JPEGs onto the card.
sabu.dawdy11 months ago
clever and beautiful
Renard_Bleu (author)  sabu.dawdy10 months ago
Thanks!
That is awesome! Oh the possibilities!!!
Renard_Bleu (author)  Penolopy Bulnick11 months ago
Thanks! I've been meaning to recommend these little projectors as prizes for future contests...
ASCAS11 months ago
Clever!
Renard_Bleu (author)  ASCAS11 months ago
Thanks man, your projects are super slick.
andrea biffi11 months ago
great idea, those magnets are impressive strong
Renard_Bleu (author)  andrea biffi11 months ago
Thanks, I've got a whole bunch now, and haven't figured out the practical/safest way to store them.
attach them to the refrigerator.
Renard_Bleu (author)  thematthatter11 months ago
Thanks for the suggestion, I couldn't make that work in the kitchen, but my garage fridge on the other hand...