The 3D printing revolution has opened up an exciting new world of streamlined at-home manufacturing to tech heads, DIY-ers and inventors worldwide.
Now almost anything can be printed- custom orthotics, prosthetics, medical devices, even houses and cars.
Pancakebot promises to open the door to the final frontier of 3D printing and give the world the ability to print something never printed before- pancakes.
Described as the ‘World’s First Pancake Printer’, Pancakebot has emerged from a whimsical but wildly successful Kickstarter campaign to bring the project to life and make our pancake printing dreams come true.
In this article we’ll take a close look at the Pancakebot, including details on the design, construction and history of the development of the project to find out if the Pancakebot stacks up to the hype.
What is the Pancakebot?
The Pancakebot allows everybody from professional pancake chefs to weekend pancake enthusiasts the ability to print out pancakes in any form the they desire. Want a snowflake-pancake? A pancake-man?
A pancake in the shape of your face or an Eiffel Tower made entirely from pancake batter? Pancakebot can make that dream a reality.
Pancakebot promises to make the art of pancake creation (even more) fun, designed to inspire creativity in and entertain both young and old pancake fans around the world. Pancakebot doesn’t just have in-home applications, either- Pancakebot also offers advertisers a fun and edible way for brands to interact with their customers.
The Pancakebot started off as a dream by pancake scientist Miguel Valenzuela. Valenzuela, during a conversation with his kindergarten-aged daughters about the pancake related applications of 3D printer technology was struck with divine inspiration, and the idea for the Pancakebot was born.
Fettered by no rules of gods or men, Valenzuela followed in the footsteps of visionary giants such as Tesla and Einstein and set about creating his first prototype. The first functioning iteration of Pancakebot was constructed from Lego, and over six months of experimenting, developing and clipping tiny plastic bricks together Valenzuela perfected his design- the Pancakebot was alive.
Valenzuela revealed his creation at the New York World Maker Faire in 2014, where his innovative contraption awed the public so completely he decided to double down on the project and build an even better Pancakebot which was subsequently revealed to the public in 2014 at the San Mateo Maker Faire and the White House Maker Faire.
In his quest to provide accessible pancake printing to people all over the world Valenzuela partnered with crowdfunding veteran Storebound and together they launched the Pancakebot Kickstarter campaign on March 6th 2015.
By April 10th 2015 the Pancakebot had generated over $460,584 USD from over two thousand eager backers worldwide and began shipping late 2015. Pancakebot is now available via the Storebound platform and has a buzzing community of Pancakebot owners sharing recipes and pancake designs online.
How Does Pancakebot Work?
The Pancakebot is managed with an easy to use software package that allows users to design a pancake in almost any design on their computer. Pancake chefs simply pick their favourite piece of art, picture, drawing, company logo or product image and feed it to the software, which creates a file that the Pancakebot machine can read and print.
Users have complete control over the layers of pancake that are placed by the machine, offering comprehensive control over the shading and texture of the printed pancake.
Once the Pancakebot software has created the printing pattern users save the file to an SD card which is then placed in the Pancakebot machine.
The Pancakebot machine consists of a removable, washable giddle in a cradle above which a patented batter dispensing system sits. The batter dispenser uses a combination of compressed air and vacuum to deliver the batter onto the griddle over a 2D grid, and highly accurate controls allow users to fine tune the printing of their pancake as it moves over the griddle.
The Pancakebot machine reads the software-supplied template and automatically moves the batter dispenser over the griddle at the required speed and nozzle height to provide the required thickness, shading and depth to create a clear image of the pancake design. Pancakebot chefs can even control the color of the printed pancakes by adding food coloring to the batter before printing, providing excellent branding and promotional capabilities or simply multiplying the fun factor.
The Pancakebot is simple, easy to use and allows users to adjust multiple variables such as pancake batter flow pressure and print with the griddle turned off or even completely removed. Users are able to pause and resume printing to make adjustments and the removable griddle system makes cleaning the Pancakebot quick and easy.
The Pancakebot cooking surface is BPA free and the entire system is collapsible for easy storage. Pancakebot ships with an instruction manual complete with batter recipes, and the software package includes video tutorials for first-time pancake printers to learn the ins and outs of printed pancake design. The total print area size of Pancakebot is approximately 16.0″ x 8.3″.
The Pancakebot website hosts a passionate community of pancake printers, providing hundreds of pancake designs ready to download and plenty of FAQ’s and troubleshooting guides for user support as well as news and updates on the Pancakebot system.
Pancake printers are able to find, download and print high quality pancake templates in a wide range of design, including cartoon characters, animals, logos and famous landmarks.
Pancakebot Pricing & Availability
Pancakebot can be ordered from the Pancakebot website, with the basic Pancakebot system priced at $299.99. Pancakebot can currently only be ordered in the United States and Canada and is available in both black and red models.
While Pancakebot don’t have a return policy and all sales are final, Pancakebot provides comprehensive help, support and troubleshooting via their online community and the modular construction of the Pancakebot system make fixing any potential issues simple and easy. overall Pancakebot is a great way to have fun with the family, introduce children into the world of 3D printing and DIY making, or for brands and companies to connect with their audience.