Introduction: Nutribox (Vitamin Dispenser)
This tutorial will walk you through process of making a homemade vitamin/supplement dispenser. It takes in user provided data to create a convenient and affordable way to dispense supplement mixes that are customized to the user. I did this as a project for my Principles of Engineering(POE) class, which is taught by Ms. Berbawy. I was able to get the parts and materials with the help of Berbawy Makers.
1/8 inch thick wood and acrylic
3D printer filament
1x RFID chip
1x Raspberry Pi
1x battery pack
a lot of patience and time
Step 1: Dispensing Mechanism
Create CAD models (the software I used was Fusion 360) of the screw and screw shell as shown above. The screw is 100.5 mm in length and has a 4 mm radius. The screw shell is 103.5 mm in length, has an inner radius of 9 mm, and a wall thickness of 2 mm. I have included the STL files if you are interested in all of the dimensions.
Step 2: 3D Printing
Then, print it out with a 3D printer (I used prusa mini). Three pairs of screws, screw shells, and vitamin containers are needed, and they each take about 2 hours to print. The choice of filament is up to you, my choice of color was yellow.
Step 3: Case Design
Next, is to design (I used Adobe Illustrator) the case for the box. The thickness of material is 1/4in, along with the finger's length and depth. the measurements I used are as follows:
Front: 9.5in by 5.75in
Top: 9.5in by 8.5in
Back: 9.5in by 10.5in
Sides: 8.5in by 10.5in
Bottom: 9.5in by 8.25in
Middle horizontal: 9.47in by 8.24in
Middle Vertical: 9.47in by 5.22in
P.S. the 1/4in is included in the dimensions above.
Step 4: Laser Cutting
Now, pick the materials for the case. Again, the thickness is 1/4in. I used birch wood for the sides, bottom, and middle sections, and used acrylic for the front, top, and back sides. Use caution when laser cutting because wood is extremely flammable, especially lower quality plywood. After laser cutsting, you can use a file and/or coping saw to adjust the wood adjust the wood as needed. Remember safety goggles!
P.S. Since Acrylic is extremely expensive, I decided to use birch wood to prototype it first to avoid mistakes, as shown on the wood case above.
Step 5: Internal Wiring
Inside the machine, there's the dispensing mechanism, breadboard, scale, RFID chip, battery pack, relays, funnel, raspberry pi, and a lot of wires. The RFID chip and breadboard are fixed onto the side of the case. The scale is placed in between the front and bottom compartments of the bottom. The relays sit in the back of the middle plane, while the raspberry pi sits at the back compartment of the bottom. please follow the wire chart and breadboard shown above for specific instructions on where to connect the wires to.
Step 6: Raspberry Pi
To use the raspberry pi, you will need a monitor, mouse, power cord, and keyboard. We write custom code for this project, which to be honest, has several problems. It is still a project in process, and we are hoping to upload the entire code block when we get the bugs worked out.
Step 7: Finishing Touches
After everything in the machine works properly, you can begin thinking about what type of vitamin powder you want to put in the hoppers. Whether it be protein or vitamin powder, with a little tweak in the code, the machine can dispense the amount you want it to. You can also check out the google form we created to get a recommendation on which vitamins you should be taking. Enjoy!
Step 8: Disclaimer
This is not a completely functional machine, as I was short on time and resources. The motors I used were not powerful enough to propel the powder inside properly, so no powder ended up coming out from the front. It can likely be due to some design flaws in the CAD as well, as the screw dispensing mechanism leaked some powder from the back. But they can be simple fixes, good luck!
I am not responsible for any physical injury, mental stress, or lifelong trauma if you do choose to follow the instructable. It is advised that you do not proceed with this instructable if you have a weak heart in case of heart attacks.