In this project, we converted our X Carve (CNC Machine) into a pancake machine! It can make pancakes of letters and shapes and anything that is in SVG format!
The extruder consists of a plastic sauce bottle to dispense the mix and 3D printed parts to hold it all. An air pump connected to the sauce bottle pushes out the pancake mix with air pressure.
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Step 1: Tools and Materials
The tools required in this project varies in what CNC machine you are working with, but here is the list of tools I used.
- A 3D Printer
- Philip Screw Drivers
- Soldering iron
- Pliers and cutters
- Drill Driver and drill bits
- A whisk and bowl
- Heat gun (600C)
- Air pump (12V)
- 12V relay
- Sauce bottle (720cc)
- Silicone air hose (any size that can be connected to the pump and the air coupling)
Air coupling (any size that can fit)
Step 2: 3D Printing the Parts
Go to the link below and download the 3D model from Thingiverse.
Or you can design your own if you are using a different CNC machine or different sauce bottle.
Step 3: Making the Extruder #1
To make the extruder, we will first need to measure and cut the sauce bottle.
Measure and cut the sauce bottle about 4 cm from the bottom.
Step 4: Making the Extruder #2
To fit the bottom piece we just cut, we will need to shrink the other end of the bottle.
Using a heat gun, heat and melt the end of the sauce bottle until it can fit the other piece snugly.
Step 5: Making the Extruder #3
To fit the air hose to the sauce bottle, we will need to attach a coupling to the bottom piece.
Drill a hole in the bottom piece and attach a coupling using a spanner.
Step 6: Electronics
The X carve G Shield controller outputs signal pins for modifications and upgrades. In order to control the air pump, all we need to do is to use the output signal to and send it to a relay board.
A switch is added to control the pump in case you want to control it manually and a LED lamp is added to indicate whether the pump is on or not. Also, a DC power (in this case 12V) is needed to power the pump.
Follow the schematics or the diagram to make your own controller.
Pin 11 = Signal output
Pin 14 = Ground
Step 7: Assembling the Z Axis Carriage
Disassemble the Z axis carriage and take off the V wheels. Put the V wheels on the pancake extruder carriage we just 3D printed. Then, slide the carriage onto the X carriage.
Step 8: Cleaning Your X Carve
If you have been using the X carve to cut wood or any other materials, we will need to clean the machine to use it for making food. Use a brush and maybe a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the dust.
Step 9: Making the Pancake Mix
The pancake mix needs to be able to be pushed out by air pressure and also be able to go through the bottle. This probably was the most challenging part for me, so I lost a track of how much water or milk I added. The mix will differ depending on how powerful the pump is and any other variables such as humidity and the temperature.
But I recommend that you make a normal mix first and keep adding water as you need it.
Step 10: Preparation
Before we hit that "Carve" button, we will need to do few more things.
- Connect the air hose from the pump to the coupling.
- Take off the waste board and put the hot plate underneath the machine.
- Pour the mix into the sauce bottle and mount it on the extruder.
Step 11: First Print Test
Go to Easel (for X carve) and draw a pattern or anything you like, but start with something simple like a circle. When you are ready, make sure everything it hooked up and click the "Carve..." button.
Here are my settings I used in Easel.
- Bit size = 10 mm
- Feed rate = 3200 mm/min
- Plunge rate = 228.6 mm/min
- Depth per pass = 0.7 mm
- Material thickness = 0.5 mm
Enjoy you pancake!