Introduction: 3D Printed Measuring Spoons
A few weeks ago we decided to leave New York City and self-quarantine at a relative's unused house in NJ. We loaded up the car with all of the essentials; food, toilet paper, ice cream making supplies, a week's worth of clothing and a 3D printer. However, when we got there we realized they were lacking in some basic cooking utensils such as measuring spoons. We didn't want to break out self-imposed quarantine and venture out to find some. For a week we just sort of eyeballed our measurements while cooking, and then it dawned upon me! We could 3D print our own measuring spoons.
While there are lots of measuring spoon 3D models out there, we decided to make ours from scratch using Tinkercad. My wife has been wanting to to learn 3D modeling for a while and this was a good opportunity to teach her how to get started.
While I am sharing my public Tinkercad file here and also attaching the STLs for 3D printing, I will also briefly review the design process in case you want to try to make your own.
In this project I used:
(Note that some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This does not change the cost of the item for you. I reinvest whatever proceeds I receive into making new projects. If you would like any suggestions for alternative suppliers, please let me know.)
Step 1: Do Some Math
So the first order of business is figuring out how big the measuring spoons actually need to be. Since I am in the USA, I am using our archaic system of Tablespoons and teaspoons.
Thanks to the wikipedia entry on measuring spoons, I know that a Tablespoon is 14.8ml and teaspoon is 4.9ml. Armed with this information, I could calculate what a 1/4 teaspoon or 1/2 Tablespoon would be using simple division. You can see the results in the "target ml" section of the spreadsheet.
You may be wondering why I then immediately doubled the "target ml" number. Well, a measuring spoon is a half sphere, and we want to calculate the volume of a full sphere. If we only calculated the sphere size for just the "target ml", when we cut the sphere in half the volume would be half of what we need. In order to solve for this, we just assumed the sphere needs to be twice as big as the measurement we actually want. This way, we can cut it in half later.
The next number we need is the radius (in inches). I basically guessed at the appropriate radius to begin with. Using the radius we can calculate the volume of a sphere in cubic inches (cu-in). The formula for that is V = (4/3)πr³, but if you don't feel like doing all that math, you can just use this handy calculator to figure that out.
Now that we know the volume in cu-in (imperial), we need to convert it to ml (metric). To figure that out, you can use the formula ml = in³ / 0.061024, or again, use a handy online calculator.
Now you should be left with a ml number that corresponds to the volume of the sphere. You can compare this number against "Target ml (doubled)" to see how close you are. From here you can tweak the initial radius input and recalculate until you have basically hit your target number.
Once all the target volume numbers have been hit for the "Inner sphere" size, I needed to figure out the width, length and height for the sphere. This is easy. All 3 of those dimension are based on the diameter, which is just twice the radius (D = r x 2).
Finally, I added 0.2 inches to each diameter number to calculate an "Outer sphere" which will allow for 0.1 inch thick walls for the spoon.
If all of that was too much...
All you need to know is the size of the "Inner sphere" which will be the cutout hole in Tinkercad and the "Outer sphere" which will be the walls of the spoon.
Step 2: Hollow Half Sphere
Create a sphere based on the Tablespoon "Inner sphere" dimension that was calculated. Make this sphere a hole.
Create a sphere based on the Tablespoon "Outer sphere" dimension. Align this sphere with the inner sphere by centering it on all 3 axis.
Create a square hole and place it over the entirety of the outer sphere. Move it vertically off the workplane (along the Z axis) until it is halfway up the sphere. For the tablespoon we would move it 0.856in off the workplane. I arrived at that by dividing the outer sphere by 2 (height = 1.712 / 2).
Finally, select all of the objects and group them together. You should now have a perfect half-sphere cup.
Step 3: Get a Handle
Make a box for the handle with the dimensions of 3" long x 1/2" wide x 1/8" tall. Go to the boxes' property window and adjust the "Radius" slider to 0.22 and "Steps" to 15.
Place a 1/4" inch wide cylindrical hole centered on the width of the box and about 1/8" from one of the edges. This will be used to insert a ring into the handle later. Group the box and the hole together.
Next, align the handle to the top center of the half sphere, and then slide the handle until the edge of the box is just inside the sphere. Don't worry too much about the exact dimensions. It should just look about right.
Group the sphere and the handle together.
If your cube is poking out a little on the inside of the sphere, here is a trick to get rid of it; ungroup everything! Once everything is ungrouped, select all the objects and regroup them at once. It should now be perfect.
Step 4: Create a Label
Use the text tool to create a capital "T" for Tablespoon. Convert the T to a hole and place it somewhere along the handle. You can either put the labels all the way through the handle, or partially through to make an indent (like I did).
Group them together to cut out your text hole.
Step 5: Make More Spoons!
Once you know how to make a Tablespoon, repeat the process to make other sized spoons using the other values from the spreadsheet (or that you calculated yourself!).
Step 6: Make a Ring
Create a torus shape that has a "Radius" of 0.5, a "Tube" of 0.07, and both "Sides" and "Steps" set to 24.
Cut out a 0.1 slice in the top center of the torus ring using a hole shape and the group function.
Step 7: 3D Print
Select each spoon one-by-one and export them to STL. Also, do the same for the ring.
3D print your spoons out of PLA using your 3D printer and software of choice using a standard quality setting.
My print took about 8 hours in total for the spoons and 10 minutes for the ring.
Step 8: Get Baking!
Now that you have made some measuring spoons, bake something delicious and
mail it to me share it in the comments below along with a picture of your spoons.
Did you find this useful, fun, or entertaining?
Follow @madeineuphoria to see my latest projects.
Participated in the
3D Printed Contest