What do Legos, pancakes and printers have in common?
Miguel Valenzuela has the answer. The Norwegian father of two just managed to build a 3D printer out of Legos to make pancakes.
Hailing from Oslo, Norway, Miguel and his PancakeBot are making waves. They have been touring the country, presenting to groups of school children what his invention can do. Eventually, he plans to make his invention available online.
On a fundraising page called IndieGoGo, Miguel shared how his unique and awesome invention was inspired by his two daughters. He built the contraption to help motivate and challenge children to become interested in learning engineering.
The idea came in 2010. Miguel read about a British designer who created a pancake stamping machine composed of plastic bricks. He shared this to his daughters who immediately got excited and insisted that they had to have one of their own as well. For the next six months, Miguel worked on perfecting the first version of PancakeBot.
After posting photos and videos online, media outlets began to take interest on the invention.
Miguel has made two kinds of this pancake printer: one made up of acrylic material and another made of Legos. Out of the two, it is the Lego design that he is more keen on sharing to anyone who is interested to know more.
On the PancakeBot website, there is a 115-page instruction manual that can be downloaded for free. According to the website, the 3D printer makes use of AutoCAD to draw the designs that the said device draws onto the hot griddle.
The PancakeBot came to the United States in 2012. It appeared in the World Maker Fair in New York.
Just a year later, Miguel began to work and perfect non-Lego versions of the printer.
He made the acrylic version which features two motors, a microcontroller board, and a vacuum pump for batter control. The acrylic design was launched just last weekend at the Bay Area Maker Fair which was held in San Mateo, California.
A video is available online where a demonstration of the latest versions of the PancakeBot are uploaded. There have been no reports yet on the taste of the printer’s products, but the machine demonstrates that it can create incredible designs, including something as detailed as the Eiffel Tower, purely drawn in pancake batter.
A demo video on YouTube shows the latest version of the PancakeBot in action. While we have not tasted anything made by the machine, the Eiffel Tower drawn in pancake batter shows that PancakeBot can create incredible detail in its creations.
The acrylic model of the PancakeBot is said to be marketed for kitchen use, while the Lego version is intended for educational purposes. Miguel plans and hopes to teach more children about engineering through the machine built from Lego pieces. He aspires to get children more engaged in engineering, encouraging them to make inventions of their own.
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