“Optimus Prime cake!” my 5 yr outdated son exclaimed. His sixth birthday was approaching and like earlier years my spouse was planning to make him a themed cake of his alternative. However this yr was going to be completely different as a result of a little bit thought received caught in my head… what if the cake truly remodeled?
I set to work sketching, designing, modeling, 3d printing, motorizing, testing, failing, and finally succeeding to construct an articulated multi-tiered cake platform (you’ll be able to learn particulars about this particular construct on my weblog). Eight months of effort paid off as my son had a enjoyable birthday and was captivated by his one-of-a-kind cake. Right here’s what I realized alongside the way in which.
Whether or not you purchase it or make it, the kind of cake you get will affect what icing you should use and vice versa. In case you are icing a themed cake to appear to be fur, snow, grass, water and so on you may use a pleasant gentle, fluffy buttercream and due to that you might use an equally gentle sponge cake.
For the remodeling cake my spouse selected fondant as a result of it’s flat, ridged-looking floor gave the robotic a robust structural look. Nonetheless, fondant may be very dense and also you want a dense cake like a mud cake to assist it. We tried rolling the fondant actually skinny, like 1-2mm but it surely begins to disintegrate when it’s any thinner.
My level right here is that the burden of your cake may have an infinite influence in your design and the grade of parts you’ll want to make use of. Plan forward. Mud cake is about 0.6g/cm3 and sponge cake about 0.3g/cm3 (or 50% much less). So no matter your aim, its finest to verify your construction and motors can deal with the burden.
Have you ever ever watched a film battle scene with out sound? It removes all of the drama and leaves the scene wanting empty and faux. Sound sells the story and is equally vital as the image.
Optimus Prime is known for his commanding voice and it wouldn’t be proper if I left my robotic cake unvoiced. I used an Arduino with a MP3 participant module to play voice and sound results in time with the cake’s actions.
As a shortcut, attempt simply hiding a Bluetooth speaker underneath or close to your subsequent cake and utilizing your telephone to play sound results or theme music. Think about a Discovering Nemo cake with seaside sounds or a Thomas the Tank Engine cake with railways sounds!
The platform for the cake is comprised of 8mm MDF. I selected 8mm in order that I had loads of wooden to screw into from beneath. Plus it was good and heavy as a result of I feared Optimus would topple over when he stood up!
Extra than simply ornament, the gaps alongside the sides play a couple of roles: it lets the sound out from the hidden speaker, provides finger room to choose up the heavy cake securely, and the eliminated materials from the facet helps make the field seem thinner and empty which in flip helps promote the phantasm that it’s only a cake field not an experiment in electromechanical engineering.
The field was completed with a sheet of sticky again plastic sheet (such as you may use to cowl faculty books) not solely was the metallic look a pleasant ending visible contact but it surely retains the cake away from the porous MDF and is well cleaned.
To raise the cake I used a stepper motor (and some springs and elastic bands for luck). Stepper motors are generally present in 3D printers and are superior in the event you want high quality management of the vary and pace of movement. After I shopped for associated components — like belts, pulleys, bearings, and mounts — I discovered higher costs by shopping for the usual components utilized in 3D printers just like the RepRap.
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To regulate the stepper motor, you will have to be accustomed to a microcontroller like Arduino. There are libraries written for Arduino that allow acceleration and deceleration of stepper motors so you’ll be able to transfer your cake creation easily with out jerky or unnatural begins and stops.
The primary draw back for his or her use in transferring truffles is that the stepper motor sound is kind of loud and so they sound like a flatbed scanner when working, which is cool when your cake is formed like a robotic, however much less cool if it’s a fairy cake.
Metallic fishing wire, because it seems, is nice for animating truffles. It’s skinny, tremendous robust, and the stainless-steel is each rust proof and meals secure. Better of all, it would conduct electrical energy for hidden lights or motors.
I initially tried to make use of brushes (like on the underside of a R/C observe automobile) to move electrical energy to the wire however the wire had a behavior of catching and bending the comb. For higher outcomes I turned to steel information bearings, which conduct electrical energy by the wire by connecting energy to the bearing’s bolt.
No matter your artful mind desires up keep in mind the top consequence must be like a magic trick. Hold all of the equipment hidden and wow your company with a scrumptious phantasm.
Should you do make an animated cake please let me know on Twitter, I’d like to see it!
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