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Its the AMAZING, THE INCREDIBLE, VITO-MATIC!  Tired of opening those pesky vitamin bottles, counting out vitamins and sorting them for the week?  Such headaches are no more with the incredible, the amazing, VITO-MATIC!

Ok... to be honest... this build did not turn out to work exactly as anticipated, but it is a good idea that just needs some minor tweaking. 

The Problem:  To stay healthy, I take a lot of vitamins and various herbal supplements every day.  Once a month or so, I go about this very time consuming task of filling little ziplock lunch bags with each of the pills I take every day so that I can simply grab a lunch bag rather than sorting through a bunch of vitamin pill containers.   This can take forever to do with my limited mobility taking one of each of the pills to separate them into the little bags. 

The Solution:  While I was spending about four hours filling little zip-lock bags with the vitamins I would take everyday for the month, I had this idea for making a vitamin dispensing machine that with the turn of a crank would dispense the precise dosage of pills I would need each day.

The Problems with the Solution:  Well... my machine does work... sortof.  It does dispense pills nicely.  Unfortunately, sometimes it dispenses more than one of some pills, and none of another pill.  But I must admit that while it doesn't exactly work as planned, and it sometimes launches the pills like a gun, it was a lot of fun to use.

Card Stock paper
1 empty CD container
Exacto knife

Time to make: Aprox 1 hour

Step 1: Step 1: Create the Inner Wheel

Trace the circle of the CD container in the center of a heavy weight card-stock paper or piece of cardboard using your marker.   You will be making a pattern similar to what is shown below in illustration 1 cutting several tabs inward to just inside the edge of the circle.  Bend these tabs upward.  Next, cut a sheet of card stock paper to form the out side shell of this wheel.  You are essentially forming a paper bowl.  Glue the outside shell to the tabs of the center hub as shown in illustration 2.  Use tape to hold the shape of the bowl and let dry.

This paper bowl should fit inside the CD case and be able to turn fairly easily.  It it does not fit, you may need to trim the paper or start again.

Step 2: Step 2: Create the Crank

For my Vito-matic, I made the crank out of cardstock paper.    Take a sheet of cardstock paper.  With a ruler, measure off four equally spaced lines approximately a half an inch apart.  When folded to form a triangle, this shaft should fit snugly over the CD containers shaft .  Trim off excess paper.  Fold the paper to form a triangle as shown.  The shaft of the crank should be slightly longer than the depth of the CD container.  Mark this length with pencil or marker.  Cut as illustrated to form a "Z" shape for making the crank.  Use the scrap of paper, fold and insert to strengthen the joints of the crank as shown.  Cut a triangle shape hole in the center of the paper wheel and insert the shaft.  Tape or glue this shaft securely to the wheel.

Step 3: Step 3: Divide the Inner Wheel

Use strips of paper to divide the inner paper wheel like the hub of a wagon wheel.  Each division is meant for a different pill compartment.  You can have as many as eight divisions for eight different pills.  Secure these dividers to the shaft of the crank with tape.    Next to the dividers, cut a small slot the size of the pill in the compartment for it to drop out.

Step 4: Step 4: Cut the CD Container

Use an exacto knife or box cutter to cut a small slit along the side of the CD container.  This works best on CD containers made of soft plastic.  This slit is where the pills will drop out from, so it should be slightly larger than the size of the pills you will be dispensing.   Next, carefully cut out a small hole at the center of the CD container lid.  Fill the paper wheel with your vitamins, then carefully slide the shaft of the paper wheel through this hole such that the vitamins are now inside the CD container lid with the crank extending out the center hole.

Step 5: Step 5: the Dispenser

Using tape, I taped the base of the CD container to a piece of cardboard.  The cardboard was then folded as illustrated to hold the dispenser vertical.  Next, folding a piece of cardstock, I made a slide for the pills to slide down as they drop from the slit in the CD container.

Step 6: Step 6 : Using the Vito-matic

To use the vito-matic, simply turn the crank at the center of the CD container.  As the wheel inside the CD container turns, the slots of the inner wheel and outside container line up allowing pills to drop onto the pill shoot.  If you turn the crank at the right speed, one pill from each compartment should in theory drop down the shoot.  In actuality, some compartments will release multiple pills while others may not drop any.  But it is a lot of fun to use, and it might be useful for someone who is unable to open a pill bottle.

Step 7: Visit

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Humana Health by Design Contest

Participated in the
Humana Health by Design Contest