Yes fellow Instructablers, the Homemade Cotton Candy Machine is finally here!

This is the first how-to posted on the entire interweb that teaches the reader (you lucky guys) how to build a FULL-SIZED Cotton Candy Machine!!!

This instructable assumes you know how to use a lathe, tap and various other instruments prior to engaging construction. Even though I figured out how to operate the lathe at my school by myself, it might be more difficult for others.

http://www.mini-lathe.com/Default.htm is a pretty good source for basic lathing tutorials

The entire CAD assembly file is included on the intro, materials, and final steps (just for reference)

This is defined by my searching abilities. Considering that dragonx151 and I have searched the web for cotton candy plans (personally about 1 month's worth of hours), I'm pretty sure that this is the first.

Step 1: Materials / Necessities

Okay, so here's what you're going to need to make your own cotton candy machine!

1- standard electric motor (preferably 1/4" motor shaft)
1- 3.25" X 6+" Aluminum extruded round bar (3.25" diameter)
2 - 1/2" bolts of any size diameter (smaller = better, but you need the tap for it)
2 - 1" bolts of any size diameter (need the tap for the right size)
1 - average toaster heating element
? - .25" diameter copper pipe (or crimping connectors for wiring)
1 - radio-controller "floppy" antenna
? - lots of miscellaneous screws, nuts, and bolts
1- 3" (dia) X .125" piece of wood
1- Light Switch Dimmer or Adjustable power supply ( needs to be able to handle high voltage and amperage output)
Teflon Tape
Conductive Tape
A large, plastic or metal, circular object (if you don't have one, make one)
Some wire mesh (usually used as gutter covering)
A Few Sheets of paper
Some tape
Some heavy gauge wire
A small bit of fast drying concrete


Electrician's pliers
Band/Hack saw (if using copper pipe)
Drill press (and the smallest drill bit you can find, at least 1/16" or smaller)
metal working clamps
Tin Snips
Alibre Design Express (free at www.alibre.com)
Oh! It is useful to know how to make cotton candy machine. The outerside wire mesh catcher is chosen with middle size thin stainless steel fenced wire mesh. <br>http://www.brand4india.com/wire-mesh-suppliers/products/crimped-wire-mesh/ <br>
Hi there, I live in Canberra and was wondering were i could purchase some wire mesh for my floss machine? Looking forward to your response. <br>Ajabi
Did you buy your aluminum online? How much roughly did you pay?
Yeah, I did. I think I paid something like $22 for it. I could be off by a factor of 2, though ($44).
If you want to know more about a cotton candy machine look here: http://www.patentgenius.com/patent/6284164.html
Have U any video of this running? How many cotton candy can U get from this?
Just found this. Incredible work.
Hi, I'm a student from Belgium. I can not read the drawings. Is it possible to have them in .dxf from autocad?
I don't own autocad, but I'll see if I can export them in .dxf . Also, I'm just about finished with my new design (should work 50X better this time), if you want me to send those to you, too.
Please send to me. thank you.
Can you send me the design? I wabt to make this as a project at our school.
Hi, Do you have the DXF files yet? I will make the project at school
I made every single piece to this in the machine shop at my school. I just cant find a suitable heating element. Help me pleasee? I've looked all over the internet and I've called around to local appliance centers and they have nothing suitable. What brand of toasters did you get your element out of?
This would be great if the alibre downloads actually worked. The pictures help a lot but Im in a machine shop so my teacher wants everything precise. Is there anyway you could send the files or demensions to me?
I would agree this is the first how to do it for a cotton candy machine. I tried to find out some of the basics on the net (ideal sugar flow temps, Centrifugal force and holes sizes etc) but couldn't find much. We call it candy floss on this side of the pond but nothing on that either. So well done. On mark two could you consider a non contact heating method? Something like induction heating or a halogen/ infra red&nbsp;heater. I can't help but thinking its the commutator set up that will cause you trouble. Thanks again.
&nbsp;Cool but it has lots of steps,but hey it doesn't matter you still get what you want,A COTTON CANDY MACHINE! =]
...damn! T Thats sweet!! For about a year now every so offten iv used my <em>the real cotton candy maker</em>, i got at a garage sale for 50cents because the NiCd battery was dead, which i upgraded with a new battery, and motor, but you machine is superior :-D Mabe i goda make 1 Woot!<br/>
OH WAIT! Okay, I'm making another one next year, one far superior to even this one! If possible, could you tell me where I could get one of those "the real cotton candy makers?" I need to look at the heat source, as that's the biggest problem in my machine. If they don't sell them anymore, could you maybe ship yours out to me and I'll ship it back after extensive photographing (I'll pay shipping both ways, if you'd like) Thanks for the comment! -Muffin
Maybe you could get a job working the machine at the State Fair and offer to "repair and maintain" the machine for them. You kids are amazing!!! I've worked with college grads that weren't nearly as bright and productive as you are. Good Luck. I'm giving you a +.
Haha, Yeah! I could really use some up-close inspection of the real machine, and It would be handy to reverse engineer a real one.<br/><br/>Thank you so much for your kind words. It really means a lot to me when I get comments like that. I don't know if I'm as smart or productive as a college grad, but I won't deny that I'm innovative =P<br/><br/>You rock, SacTownSue. You rock!<br/>
reverse engineer, as in take apart *wide eyes and big grin* IM AM ON IT!!!!!<br/>
oooh i found one in stock and that can be purchased online lol <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.target.com/Carnival-Style-Cotton-Candy-Maker/dp/B0000AR7OR/ref=sc_ri_1/602-1981372-4942211">http://www.target.com/Carnival-Style-Cotton-Candy-Maker/dp/B0000AR7OR/ref=sc_ri_1/602-1981372-4942211</a><br/>
Thanks! - GAH 40 bucks?! I'll just have to get a job at target ;P
look at target.com for theirs its $50 as i said up there <sup> go scroll up look at my comment GO NOW or else i will steal your cotton candy, Just Kidding, OR AM I.</sup><br/>
<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.asseenontv.com/prod-pages/cotton_candy_maker_kit.html">The real cotton candy maker</a><br/><br/>Im not positive if thats what your looking for but i saw it and is only 19.95 so. Yeah.<br/><br/>GREAT INSTRUCTABLE!!! <br/>
That's only the sugar and cones, the machine is $40 on that website. I've actually got a pretty good understanding on how the real machines are wired now, so this next one should be the real deal! Thanks!
WOW! thats expensive just for basically SUGAR and a few plastic cones. do you think that you could just put an blow dryer coil under the bowl/hopper thing? or would that not get hot enough? Thanks again!
im not positave, but i think the real ones use heating element coils (like would be in a soldering iron or ...iron lol) i have used REAL cotton candy machines a couple of times but never really saw how they were heated, so i believe a coil would work
Oh, sorry it was one of thos 15 second cotton candy makers. I would prob ship it to you but i gutted the living crap out of it, which now it doesnt look like the product (cause i took the plastic casing off, upgraded battery, motor,etc.) If i were you and wanted to see what is used, i would get one off line, I reccomend googles Froogle.com
as there is a mass recall on the &quot;real cotton candy makers&quot; they may be hard to find. <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml02/02165.html">recall notice here.</a> i would check craigslist or ebay as there are still a couple out there. i love mine.<br/>
hi guys! im a third year student and my feasibility study is putting up a cotton candy stand. i don't know how to start since i don't know where i could buy the machine. my prof says that we should be pioneering something about our potential business. i hope someone out there can help me. please please.. thank you so much in advance=)<br/>
Whoa! Cool!<br/><br/>If you have the resources, I highly suggest making your own machine - it will cut your costs by at least 80%. You <em>could</em> buy the machine from lots of sources online, but seriously - why spend over $100 (I think maybe even over $200) when you can build it for about $30?<br/><br/>Also, I'm working on a portable cotton candy <em><strong>gun</strong></em>, which in my opinion would be a best seller everywhere - who doesn't want cotton candy wherever they go, straight into their mouth?!<br/><br/>Hope that helps.<br/>
$100, maybe $200, heck try $300+ for the cheap industrial ones $500+ for the better ones! theses suckers are <strong>EXPENSIVE</strong> i am sooooo going your way of making my own.oh the cheapest i could find was for $50 at target a cheap toy one.<br/>
Totally new to instructables, so please be patient. Where can I find the CAD file?
is this the newest model you have
wow,I big explanation a big project,but I dont see anywhere in the pictures suger cotton candy.
That's because we ate the cotton candy before we could get a picture of it. I think I mention this in one of the steps. I guarantee you, though, it works. I'm in the process of building version three, and I promise to take video of that one working :)
Could you post a video of you using this machine? Thanks
OK, a DXF file can I open whit Autocad. Thanks !!!
How expensive was that rod?
Awesome!! Next version please. :D
best food ever invented!
i would rather buy candy floss from a shop than going through the hassle of making the machine
Missing the point here. Hacking is worth it's own rewards. They've learned (and subsequently) taught us new skills and ideas. I want one where I can put my head in like that commercial for that new sitcom. I laughed so hard at that!
Cotton Candy. Yummy.
How long did it take you to make this?
Just joining this site (it is great) I don't know a lot about it, but there are a lot of helpful things like motors, different materials, etc. at this site. <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.mcmaster.com/">http://www.mcmaster.com/</a><br/>
I like this, the steps were kind of patchy with information, but not bad otherwise. Does the cotton candy not fly out the holes of the mesh you have just laying around it? Usually they have something a little more dense.
Yeah, I'm sorry about the lack of instruction. I really put this one together in a hurry and I'm not very happy out the quality of the Instructable. It will be updated in the future, though, so hopefully that clears things up. As for the cotton candy flying out of the holes, I believe that in one of the steps, I describe creating a long sheet of paper that wraps around the mesh. It's just not in the pictures because I threw the sheet out after using the machine a couple of times, and I didn't make another one for this instructable, yet. Once again, sorry for the lack of quality, -J

About This Instructable


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Bio: I'm a just a not-so-average human with a passion for making. I see a world of hackers, makers, and producers as the sun rises ... More »
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