DIY Dispensing Machine?


#1

I am interested in making a dispensing machine for my DIY Soylent. The goal is to be able to produce the Soylent with minimal manual measuring. I would like to see if some of you can assist with the design and parts sourcing. The easier it is for the average person to acquire the parts, the more people can benefit from this effort.

My idea is that a programmable computer like a Raspberry Pi could control the process. The major components would include a scale with some sort of digital output, hoppers to hold and dispense ingredients, and a rotating mechanism for the hoppers to spin on so they can align with the scale. Some simple electronics might be required so the computer can control the machine.

For the scale to work, it needs to send a digital signal and be able to measure to an accuracy of 0.1 grams. I haven’t looked online, but I don’t think this would be a difficult item to find for a reasonable price.

The hoppers might be varying in size so they can hold up to 500g and dispense with an accuracy of 1g. Smaller hoppers might need to hold 10g and dispense with an accuracy of 0.1g. I have no idea where I would find something like this.

The rotating mechanism would be like a suspended merry-go-round or possibly a ferris wheel. It would have to be controlled with a stepper motor or have some sort of sensor so the computer can drop the ingredients into a container on a stationary scale. A conveyor system might work too.

I’m a bit rusty on electronic circuit design. Simple components are easy to find at a local Radio Shack and would probably suffice for interfacing the computer with the motors and sensors.


#2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l9OAccaJdA someone made something like this… that would be the optimal way to do it :slight_smile:


#3

Hi @Syntax42 - let’s collaborate!

We have designed WESNA - 100%FOOD Machine (have a look at www.WESNA.me) and will have 20 prototypes in Sept-2014 for tests.

I will appreciate your review and if you want - we can give you a sample for beta-testing.


#4

Thanks. I knew I saw something like that on YouTube but couldn’t remember what they were making.

It looks like a flour sifter was modified with an electric motor. That shouldn’t be too complicated.

For the ingredients which require more precision and smaller volumes, I’m thinking a pepper grinder might work. Electric ones are easy to find.

Interfacing with a scale looks like one of the more complex things, but I found a few guides on the internet.


#5

If someone made a cheap version of it for the diy community then they would probably make a decent chunk of cash also.


#6

Hi @Syntax42 - can you review our release of 100%FOOD Machine?


#7

@Spaceman, I am not interested in that machine due to the cost.

I’m mixing my ingredients by hand for now. I have determined that if I have access to a 3-D printer, and the time to work with it, I could build a machine for myself. Unfortunately, working night shift makes it hard for me to use public printers.


#8

Yes, having / making machine for personal use is not worth. Machine cuts costs for multiple users. So we offer it for co-workings, offices and gyms.

As an extra bonus - you get a precise measurement 670 cal, 500 or 833…