Introduction: 3D Printed Custom Candy Dispenser Topper

About: My practice centers on producing systems based artworks situated at the intersection between image making and information technology. I work mostly in series producing multiple works derived from the same set …

There's nothing more exciting than customizing your "Candy Dispenser" collection with works of art from famous museums, your loved ones faces or random things you 3D scanned. This Instructable will demonstrate how to take a 3D model from Thingiverse, modify it with another part from Thingiverse and safely create a Candy Dispenser stem ready to receive said 3D printed item.

For this example we are using "Lion, Art Institute of Chicago" ( ) that i posted to Thingiverse back in October 2012 and Tony Buser's "PEZ Dispenser Negative" ( ) that he posted the same year in May.

We will download the Lion file, slice and dice it in Tinkercad and print it out on a 3D printer. We will separate the Candy Dispenser Topper from the Stem using a bench vise and / or a hack saw. For the weak of heart, a warning, certain popular fictional characters meet a sticky end before all is said and done.

Step 1: Download the Source Files From Thingiverse

Download "Lion, Art Institute of Chicago" ( ) or a Thing of your choosing. Alternatively make something in your 3D modeling application of choice.

You will also need to download Tony Buser's "PEZ Dispenser Negative" ( )

Step 2: Import Your Content Into Tinkercad and Modify It

  1. Use the Import function in Tinkercad (top right) to bring your 3D model onto the workplane
  2. Use the Hole tool to cut a flat base for your object if it doesn't already have one. This is important for later on when we subtract the "PEZ Negative" and when you print your object.
  3. Repeat the step on the vertical axis to trim the back of your object.
  4. Import the "PEZ Negative" file.
  5. Scale your object so that it is larger on all sides than the "PEZ Negative" object.
  6. Make sure the none of the "PEZ Negative" file is poking thru your object.
  7. Change the "PEZ Negative" file into a hole by using the Inspector.
  8. Download the STL file for 3D printing.

Step 3: 3D Print Your Object

Et voila!

C'est un "AIC Lion Distributeur de bonbons Topper"

Printed on Makerbot Replicator Dual with a raft and support material.

Remove said raft and support carefully.

Step 4: Preparing Your Candy Dispenser Stem

It's important when preparing a Candy Dispenser Stem not to simply rip the original apart.

Doing this will render at least one of the sprockets unusable and your custom topper will not be secure.

There are two great methods for resolving this problem.

  1. Find your safety glasses and put them on.
  2. Place said Candy Dispenser in the bench vise.
  3. Pay attention to the seams that join the two halves of the Topper together.
  4. Increase pressure on the Topper.
  5. If you use too much pressure the Topper may explode, and bits of plastic will fly off. Wear your safety glasses and make sure family, friends and pets are out of harms way.
  6. The idea is not to crush the Topper, but to encourage the two seams to separate.
  7. Once the Stem is sufficiently loose, wobble it out of the Topper.
  8. Release the Topper from the vise carefully.

Some Toppers are springier than others, better made and less apt to this method, in these cases you will need to add a hack saw to the mix.

Step 5: Stay Sharp!

In the event that the pressure method fails to release the Stem the backup plan is to simply cut it loose with a hack saw or similar device.

  1. Place Topper in vise making sure the Stem moves freely.
  2. Place the saw just above the prong at the back of the Topper.
  3. Make sure the Topper is firmly in the vise and cut.
  4. If you feel the Stem loosen during this activity, try to pop it out.
  5. We do not want to damage the sprockets on the stem.
  6. When the cutting is complete release the Stem and check the sprockets.

Step 6: Assembly Phase

When assembling the new Custom Candy Dispenser Topper angle the stem in slightly.

You will need to use the flexibility of the sprockets to wiggle the Stem into place.

It will sit firmly inside the topper. If it pops off then you need to repeat this step.

Be ultra careful when articulating it for the first time and guide the new Topper prong through the Stem (it is easy to break the prong at this juncture and ruin your new Custom Candy Dispenser).


Step 7: 3D Printed AIC Lion Custom Candy Dispenser Topper

C'est complet!

Download the AIC Lion Custom Candy Dispenser Topper from Thingiverse if you prefer

On a Budget Contest

Participated in the
On a Budget Contest