In this instructable I'm going to show you how to make a multi-layer cake using CAD and rapid manufacturing.

(I personally get a huge kick out of mixing heavy machinery with cake baking.)

One of the coolest tools on the planet is a laser cutter. It is normally used in industry to cut plastics, wood, glass, or thin sheets of metal. But, the tool is so versatile that you can also use it to pattern things like chocolate, pumpkins, Silicon wafers, paper, rubber, cork, or in this case... CAKE!

By using the laser to cut the cake we can do arbitrary design on the computer and then transfer that virtual design into an actual physical cake. It's really cool. And tasty!

I was inspired to make this particular cake for the Engadget Birthday Contest.

Step 1: Tools and Ingredients

For this project you will need:

  • Cake Mix (Preferably White or Yellow Cake). I used Duncan Hines
  • Some sort of frosting. I used fresh whipped cream.
  • Food coloring for the frosting.
  • And a Laser Cutter!!!

Admittedly, these same process steps can also be applied to cutting cake using a CNC Mill, a waterjet, a scroll saw, a band saw, or even by hand. The laser just makes it much easier.
...And now that I think about it, you could have manufactured your own custom cake baking tins.
I still can't believe you've pushed CAKE and FROSTING through a laser cutter! <br> <br>All I can imagine is having to clean that puppy afterwards... Yuk. <br>
Could it be that darker cake mixes contain more sugar, also? Sugar is highly flammable after all.
where do you get a laser cutter? how much?
Sure... &quot;<em>Experimenting&quot;</em>&nbsp; with frosting. I guess for some people experimenting is just another word for TASTING!!!! Cool instructable anyway! I wish I had a laser cutter.<br />
The cake is a lie.
GLAdyS killed the companion cube! VENGEANCE! :) -PKT
&nbsp;you spelled GlaDOS wrong... lol. =P
This is really something unique and creative. I have a question though, is the cake edible? Is it clean/safe to eat?
Lasers are nothing more than focused light. Can't get much cleaner than that. Far cleaner than cutting with a knife covered in all kinds of invisible bacteria and germs.
Yeah but if it's too powerful and it gets burnt it might give you cancer. (Yuk!)
no it cant!
Actually, burnt food has been proven to be a cause for cancer.<br/><br/><sup><sub>Damn, I forgot the link.</sub></sup><br/>
So have vitamins, air, lint, and the economy.
And Christmas lights.
and duct tape! duct tape cures EVERYTHING!
And my table and solder
and soda cans<br />
Yeah but it tastes like crap.
no. cake is not edible.
? Cake is edibal. Burnt cake is edibal al long as you don't eat too much.
im kidding....
when suger is burnt or melted it turns to caramel that is why it tasts like marshmellows<br />
the best part is eating the cake trimmings when you cut out the actual cake!
oh yeah this is great... for all of us who have 15 grand laser cutters lying around. cool idea anyway. maybe you could do this with a super high powered laser pointer...
Lets see... His laser cutter is 45 watts and my laser pointer is power by 3v so is my laser pointer is that strong it's going to draw 15 amps. Eek!
I saw a 25 kilowatt laser at a laser convention... They had it cut through inch-thick sheet metal, no problem.
<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.dragonlasers.com/catalog/Handheld-Lasers-price0-p-1-c-338.html">here</a> <br/>
Those aren't powerful enough...
what about really really thin ultra black heat absorbing cake?
Still not powerful enough. There's no way you can get a handheld powerful laser unless you wait until the future.
You can laser photos onto cheese. I call this one "Cheesy Relativity"
Dear Colin, I'am a baker in Belgium. I was trilled to see that it is possible to lasercut cake. At the moment I am looking for a way to make animals in bread. Would it be possible tot lasercut 200 little dogs (5 x 5 cm) in dough which has not been baken yet? Is it expensive a lasercutter? Are these the same cutters they use to cut letters out of a metal plate? Could you help me further with mine questions? Thank you very much Bon bini
Nooo, don't laser cut any little dogs, thats just mean!
You can't cut out of unbaked dough because you still have to put it in the pan and bake it, so not really. Laser cutters can be bough for as low as $3,000-5,000. So yes, kinda expensive. And they are the same cutters used to cut metal. However because the power intensity/speed is adjustable to .1 increments, then you could cut butter if you tried hard enough.
ha ha ha
Sweet! Have you had any luck cutting the cheese (hehe) or are you just engraving into the surface. When cutting chocolate we often find that the chocolate burns before we can cut all the way through.
Sweet! Have you had any luck cutting the cheese (hehe) or can you just engrave into the surface? When cutting chocolate we find that the chocolate starts to burn before we can penetrate very deeply.
How much did your laser cutter cost?
Most cost like... $10,000. I've got like $2 right now... Doesn't look like I'm going to be making cool cakes for a while...
This is definitley a new level of culinary innovation! I'm sure we would all love to make ourselves a B-day cake with this...
Is all that writing and such on the wall behind you the recipe to make the cake? Looks like a very complicated cake.
nice,lasers are cool and I would actually like the taste burnt marshmallow!!
Where can we get a laser like that? :)
Many sign shops have lasers that could probably do this (though I'm not sure). Call around and you might get lucky and find one that will do it cheap just for fun. And I suggest to decorate with a layer of powdered sugar instead of frosting (moisten cake first). Do a couple layers then re-moisten and add sprinkles of a certain color for cake layer.
For even cleaner edges and surface (the perfect edges incidentally is partly what makes this so great), don't use frosting. Instead mist the cake with water and throw powdered sugar all over it. You can leave it like that or re-moisten it and then throw sprinkles all over it.. You can also use cinnamon sugar (a good choice if you're doing a streusel). I imagine you could use powdered jello mix to do colors, though I've never tried that.
This kind of innovation, invention and sheer genius is why WE will always rule the world. GREAT JOB!

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