I've been interested in pancake personalization for a while and have devised a few methods:
- Pancake Laser Etching
- Pancake Stenciling
- Pancake Screen Printing.
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Step 1: Laser Etching Pancakes
- Design your image to be purely black and white
- Resize it to make sure it fits within a 4" circle
- Make some pancakes larger than 4"
- Insert them into the laser engraver on top of a paper plate
- Refocus the laser so the beam head is almost touching the cake
- Set the power levels way down, you're only going to want to slightly toast the pancake.
- Send the file and let it print
Step 2: Spray Paint Stenciling Pancakes
Prepare the stencil
- We typed out "Billy Cakes" in a stenciled font
- Printed it out on to bristol board, a heavy paper
- Cut out all the black areas with an Exacto knife
- Pour 3 tablespoons of chocolate sauce into a clean empty spray bottle
- Add a tablespoon of water
- Spray into a trash can whlie adjusting the pressure nozzle till the sauce comes out in a fine stream.
- Lay the stencil over the pancake where you want the print
- Spray from a few feet away to lightly coat the pancake under the stencil
That is all. A good method, but not the best. Let's get on with what really works:
Step 3: Proper Pancake Printing, Materials List
Things you'll need:
- 2x Transparency with design on it
- Halogen Bulb / A sunny day
- Chocolate Sauce
Step 4: Preparing the Pancake Screen
- Wash the screen completely with any degreasing soap. Dish soap works well.
- Let the screen dry
- Take the screen to a dark room and lean it up against the wall so the side of the screen that touches the pancakes faces you.
- Place your squeegee against the bottom of the screen and pour some emulsion on it
- With a slow steady hand run the emulsion up the screen creating a film.
- Flip the screen over and run the still emulsion laden squeegee up against that side.
- Lay the screen face down (with the part that touches the pancakes facing down) on top of two pieces of wood so it doesn't touch the floor.
- (optional) run a fan in the room so it dries quicker. Remember the room should be very dark.
Step 5: Expose Your Screen
First you will need to get your film ready:
- Design a 3.5-4.5" black and white image, I've attached mine as a PDF and gif if you liked them.
- Take your to design to kinkos as a PDF and ask them to print it out on a color transparency as black. They should understand this, if not, ask the manager.
- Cut the border off of one of the transparencies and place it on top of the other.
- Align both designs and them tape the edges together
- Place the design on the back of the screen (the part that touches the pancake) BACKWARD, so the text looks backward.
- Place the on top of a box with some padding on top
- Take a piece of glass and lay it on the transparencies to hold them flat against the emulsion
- Shine 1000 Watts of halogen light for approximately 25 mins from 3 feet away
- On a sunny day, leave the screen outside in the light for 5 mins.
- Take it to a large sink, or hose and wash off the underexposed emulsion:
Step 6: Make Some Topping
- Take some strawberries
- Chop them up into thin quartered slices
- Put some water in a pan with 1/2 cup of sugar
- Once it starts bubbling (not too much of a boil) add the strawberries
- Remove from flame once it starts bubbling
Step 7: Print Some Pancakes
You first need to make some pancakes. But once you've accomplished that awesome task you can rush forth and conquer all!
First be sure to flip your pancake as soon as possible, this keeps the pancake color lighter so the chocolate sauce will have more contrast. Take the pancake fresh from the pan and set it down on something clean large and flat. We had a nice chunck of plyboo around the office that I used. Set the screen so the design you want to print lays directly over the center of the pancake. You should be able to see the outlines once you touch down. Now all you have to do is pour some chocolate sauce on top and pull the squeegee across. You don't want to push too hard or your print will come out thin try leaving a nice thin even layer of chocolate sauce. Pull the screen up and the pancake should fall, printed and ready for consumption.
Step 8: Share the Personalized Pancakes
Your pancakes are personalized for a reason. Give them to people who will appreciate them most. The pancakes I made had a "We Accept Pancurrency" joke on them, which I hope people at the office appreciated.
That is all, I hope you've gained something from this instructable. Remember, the new economy favors personalization and there are more and more manufacturing techniques that enable this. Go and make someone feel special today!