Introduction: Friction Fit Acrylic Candy Dispenser
Hi everyone! Always wanted to store your candies in a cute and organized manner? Do you have so many candies but want to store them in one easy-to-see container while having them divided and individually stored? Well then, this is the project you DEFINITELY should try out. Here are the step-by-step processes you'll need to make your own candy dispenser.
Step 1: Download the Laser Cut Files
Before you are able to easily dispense and organize your candies, you have to start with getting the files! For this candy dispenser, you'll have 3 different .pdf files ready for laser cutting that you'll need to download. The size of the pdf is 24 x 18 inches that covers the entire acrylic sheet. Two of the files fill up the entire sheet while the last one fills more than half. Feel free to look through the files to get the feel of what you're about to cut!
Step 2: Find 2mm Acrylic
For this project, you'll be needing three sheets of 2mm-thick acrylic that is exactly 24 x 18 inches each. Make sure that the acrylic really is 2mm thick because the slots were designed for it. Ideally, you'd want to use transparent acrylic sheets so that you can easily see the candies instead. You may also opt to use translucent colored sheets as well. However, if you want your candies to be a surprise, then opaque sheets can be an option, too!
Step 3: Cut the Files
Load the design on the Universal Laser Systems Control Panel. Once the design is now open, open settings and go to manual control. Load the 2mm acrylic laser cut file and then go ahead and cut!
The cutting process for all three files totals to around 30-45 minutes depending on the effectiveness and other settings of your laser cutter.
NOTE: The 4 funnel panels that are included in the "Marla's candy dispenser 3" file were not included in this photo since they were added late, however, instructions on it are included in the rest of the instructable
Step 4: Layout the Design and Identify the Parts
This is the trickiest part. Once you've laser cut all the files, you'll have to learn to assemble and slot the entire thing. Attached to this step is a guide on all the parts of the laser cut pieces. The following steps will guide you through what order the pieces should be placed.
Step 5: Assemble the Main Structure
On the layout, you'll need to assemble parts 1 (back panel), 2 (main dispensing hole), and 3 (both the side panels). The back panel will serve as the backbone of the entire dispenser. First, attach part 2 and stick it to the middle slots of the back panel. After this, you can assemble both of parts 3 to the side slots of the back panel and stick the middle slots of both parts 3 to the side slots of part 2.
Step 6: Add the Top Divider Panels
After assembling the main structure, time to add some dividers in order to distinguish the different candy types. Get all four pieces of part 4 and then slot them into the back panel and the main dispensing hole panel. The slot for the dispensing hole is nearer towards the back panel. The one in the other side is reserved for the bottom supports.
Step 7: Add the Bottom Support and Bottom Panel
Now to complete the rest of the structure! Add on the three bottom supports (part 5) and attach the slots to the lower part of the back panel and to the remaining slots in the main dispensing hole panel. After that, attach the bottom panel (part 6) while slotting the bottom supports there as well as the back and side panels to the sides.
Step 8: Finish the Entire Structure
It won't be a dispenser without the dispensing mechanism! In this part, we want to be able to insert the dispensing tool (part 8) to the front panel cover (part 7). Once you're done with that, you can attach part 7 to the rest of the structure. Attach the slots of the front panel to the side panels and the main dispensing hole panel. After it's attached, you can now add the top cover (part 9) to seal everything in.
Step 9: Add in the Funnel Panel
To make the dispensing mechanism easier, insert all 4 pieces of part 11 (the funnel panel) inside the actual container. Adding this will help the candies slide through the dispenser since the candies are concentrated in the area. This also lessens the chances of having the candies stuck on the other side of the dispensing hole.
Step 10: Glue the Cover
However, don't throw away the other parts just yet! The circle waste you had for the top part of the dispenser will be used to make the cover! You noticed how there are extra 4 bigger circles, right? Well you'll have to glue those with the 4 extra circles (part 10) which will help in making your cover. Use tamiya cement and add a few drops to the center of both circles. Stick them together and let it stay overnight then you'll have your cover for the dispenser.
Once the glue is dry, add it to the top of your dispenser to secure the candy.
Step 11: Add in the Candy
The dispenser fits around four variants of candies, or you could always just have four packs of one variant. You do you! Have fun with your dispenser and regularly clean it up. The material is acrylic so that shouldn't be a problem.