Introduction: Soda Machine
When we thought about building this machine, we thought about serving drinks easier during little parties. Indeed, during parties, whereas they are children' birthday parties or teenagers celebration, the drinks are always a mess and end up being spilled everywhere. Therefore, we estimated that this project would be a great occasion to solve this problem.
The project we decided to do is a soda dispenser. It has the same goal as other soda machines, but the machine we built is easier and cheaper to get, light, and not too cumbersome compared to machines you can find in fast foods for instance. Its use is also very easy, even if it is on this aspect probably a littler harder to use than common machines because of the clip used to stop the liquid from leaking.
Our machine's functionnement is really easy. To get a drink, you just have to place your glass under the PVC tube going out of the box at the bottom. Then, by removing the clip, the soda will pour itself right into your drink. When you think you have enough in your glass, you just have to put the clip back where it was on the tube: the liquid will stop flowing out.
We achieved our goal and were able to build a machine that would allow to avoid spilling drinks all over the place. By using this machine, instead of trying to serve drinks shakily because there is a large crowd all around you, you can easily serve yourself a drink without risking anything.
Step 1: Tools & Material
- Black tape
- Paintbrush (optional)
- Cardboard box
- PVC Tube
- Paint (optional)
This project was inspired by the following video:
Step 2: Preparation of the Bottles
You can put as many sodas as you want in this machine, as long as they fit in the box. To prepare the bottles, carry out the following steps:
• Return the bottles
• At the very bottom of the bottles, make a hole with the knife
• Insert the PVC tube in those holes
• To avoid leaks, secure the holes tightly with Blu-Tack and black tape if necessary
Step 3: Preparation of the Box - Emplacement of the Bottle
For this project, you should use a box that has the size of a shoebox for boots. You should then proceed in the following order to get the box ready:
• Make your box stand on its side
• With the bottle caps of the soda you are going to put in the machine, trace their outline on the top of the box
• With a knife, remove the cardboard pieces that were determined by the circles traced earlier
• Place the bottles inside the box and insert their necks in the corresponding holes
• Put the caps back on the bottles
Step 4: Preparation of the Box - Emplacement of the PVC Tube
Now that your sodas are tightly secured, you can begin taking care of the tubes!
• In front of the bottles, a little under their bottom, make two small holes aligned vertically
• On the bottom of the box and aligned with those two holes, make an additional hole the same size as the two others
• In the first hole, insert from the inside to the outside the tube linked to the bottle
• In the second hole, reinsert the tube but this time from the inside to the outside
• In the third hole, insert the tube once again from the inside to the outside to the end of the tube will dangle
• Cut the tube so it will dangle just above the glass
Step 5: Installation of the Closing System
• To prevent the arrival of liquid, put the claw on the tube when it gets out of the box, between the two first holes
Step 6: Elevation of the Box
Your machine is almost ready! But to be able to serve soda correctly, it needs to be elevated to be able to put glasses under it.
• Depending on the size of the side of your box, you should cut on another cardboard two identical rectangles which total length is four time the size of the side your box
• Their height must be approximately the size of a glass
• Fold them in 4 equal parts to form a rectangular parallepiped
• Secure the two pillars with black tape
• Attach them to the main box with tape
• To ensure even more stability, you can cut two additional triangles and attach them to the pillars to be safer about stability
Step 7: Decoration (Optional)
This step is not mandatory!
Since the box we used was a recycled shoebox, we decided to paint it to make it better looking. You can chose whatever color you want and you can even stick the labels of the bottles on the box, as suggested on the video we got our inspiration from.
Step 8: Conclusion
During the making of this project, we encountered many problems.
We were originally planning to build the machine with a mini air pump. However, when we tried using it, we discovered that it didn't work and malfunctioned. Factors such as the lack of time didn't permit us to order another pump because the shipping delay was too long. Therefore, we tried to find a manual pump to make sure that it would work correctly. However, after many attempts, we realized that the air that was breathed in the soda was not enough to make it go up and out into the other part of the PVC tube. Therefore, we add to give up any idea of using a pump. That's why we finally settled on using gravity and a simple claw, which are finally a way more practical and cheap solution.
Besides, at first, we also had a hard time isolating the holes made in the bottle. At the beginning we only had Blu-Tack at hand so water would keep on spilling everywhere. However, after getting our hands on black tape, everything went more smoothly and we were able to avoid leakage.
I think there are two ways we could improve our project.
First, we could make our box in a waterproof material such as plastic. Indeed, box is not a very good idea when it comes to liquids. We had to be extremely careful when manipulating the sodas and the PVC tube. With a plastic box, there would have been less risks. Besides, a plastic box would have been more solid and would have had a longer lifespan.
The seconds thing we could have improved is the closing system. We used a clip because it was the easiest to find since we didn't have much time left. But instead, we could have modeled a 3D component which would have suited our box and our concept more efficiently since it would have been designed by ourselves.